Dec 10, 2023  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Planning, Design and the Built Environment, PhD

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Program Description

The PhD Program in Planning, Design and the Built Environment is a trans-disciplinary, three-year postmaster’s degree program consisting of 61 hours. In most cases, students enter the program with a master’s degree in architecture or landscape architecture, city and regional planning, real estate development, or construction science. Because of the program’s trans-disciplinary orientation, students may be drawn from other disciplines including engineering, business, the social sciences, and humanities. Students from those program areas may be required to take prerequisite coursework. Students with advanced preparation may take slightly less than three years.

The curriculum is divided into five content areas as indicated below. Those content areas include core courses, concentration courses, elective courses, a comprehensive examination, and dissertation research. Students select a field from the traditional disciplines of architecture, landscape architecture, planning, real estate development, or construction to build disciplinary as well as a trans-disciplinary area of concentration. Areas of concentration are developed subject to faculty expertise and student interest. Areas of concentration may be drawn from the program faculty’s four trans-disciplinary core areas: Regional and Community Development and Design; Built Environment and Health; Restoration, Sustainability and Land Ecology; and Technology, Materials, and Construction Processes. Specific research projects within in these concentrations might focus on urban design, health care, energy, development, transportation and land use, housing and community development, restoration, sustainability, architectural robotics, landscape ecology, and building practice and technology.

Core Coursework

Core Courses

The core consists of 28-31 hours of coursework and includes advanced theory/history, advanced methods courses generally taken outside the college, a two-semester readings course within a disciplinary area, courses in research design and teaching technique, and a colloquium. The core provides a foundation with some flexibility to tailor curriculum to individual needs within disciplinary fields of study, as well as a forum to address issues of the built environment in a trans-disciplinary setting.

Concentration Courses

A student’s area of concentration consists of coursework that may be taken within or outside the college. These courses add depth in the student’s area of concentration. Students develop an individualized course of study to reflect their individual focus and career objectives. The course of study must be approved by the student’s faculty advisor, committee members, and program director.

Degree Plan and Comprehensive and Oral Exams

Students are assigned a program advisor upon entering the program. A dissertation advisor and committee are selected at the end of the first full year of study. A curriculum plan for the remainder of the degree program is developed at that time. Comprehensive and oral examinations are administered following completion of the second full year in the program. Dissertation credit cannot be taken until comprehensive exams are scheduled.

Dissertation Research

Students develop a dissertation in their area of concentration. A minimum of 21 hours in dissertation research is required.

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