PhD in Regional Planning

Timing

Graduate College Time Limits

The time by which a doctoral candidate is expected to complete all degree requirements varies depending on whether or not the student was accepted with a relevant master’s degree.

  • A doctoral candidate who must complete all three stages of the degree is expected to complete all degree requirements within seven years of first registering in the Graduate College.
  • If the doctoral candidate has completed a master's degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign within the last three years, the student is expected to complete the Stage II and III requirements within five years of first registering in as a doctoral student.
  • If three or more years passed between receipt of the master’s degree at Urbana-Champaign and returning for the doctoral degree, the student is allowed six years to complete Stage II and III requirements.
  • If the doctoral candidate has completed a master’s degree from another university he or she is allowed six years to complete Stage II and III requirements.

With the written approval of the Graduate College, a department may set different time limits for completion.

Milestones to Completion of the Ph.D.

The following guidelines and limits reflect expeditious completion of the degree requirements under the 64-credit hour requirement for a Ph.D. candidate entering with a master’s degree. If you must extend one or more of the limits, a request must be made to the Ph.D. Program Director. The request, endorsed by your advisor, should indicate the reasons for the delay and include a plan and a specific date for completion.


Ph.D. Milestones
Normal Progress
Limit
Select Academic Adviser Included in admission letter End of 1st year
Complete Plan of Study document End of 2nd Semester Before beginning of 3rd semester
Complete required coursework (32 credit hours) End 3rd or 4th semester End 4th semester
Pass qualifying examination End 3rd or 4th semester Before beginning of 6th semester
Defend dissertation proposal (preliminary examination) During 5th or 6th semester Before beginning of 7th semester
Defend dissertation (final examination) End 3rd or 4th year Within 5th or 6th year as specified by the Graduate College
Deposit dissertation Within 2 months of defense Within 1 year of defense

 

Sample Program Leading to Three-Year Completion of the Ph.D.

Year 1
Semester 1, Fall
Semester 2, Spring
Summer Session

UP 501 Planning History and Theory (4 hours)

Research Methods (4 hours)

Draft Plan of Study

Specialization (4 hours)

UP 580 Advanced Planning Theory (4 hours)

Research Methods (4 hours)

Specialization (4 hours)

Pre-dissertation research


Identify dissertation topic

Finalize Plan of Study


Year 2
Semester 3, Fall
Semester 4, Spring
Summer Session

Research Methods or Specialization (8-12 hours)


UP 597 Urban Planning Research (0-4 hours)

Synthesis Papers

UP 589 Research Design and Methods (2-4 hours, strongly recommended)

Research Methods or Specialization (4-10 hours)

UP 597 Urban Planning Research (0-4 hours)

Complete Synthesis Papers

Qualifying Examination (May)



UP 597 Urban Planning Research (8 hours)


Year 3
Semester 5, Fall
Semester 6, Spring
Summer Session

UP 599 Thesis Research (6-12 hours)

Oral Proposal Defense/Prelim Exam

UP 599 Thesis Research (6-12 hours)

Final Exam/Dissertation Deposit