Apply to SUAPP PhD in Urban Affairs Program

We are excited to welcome you to apply to the new doctoral program in urban affairs. Interested individuals should complete the University's standard online Graduate School application. You can find a step-by-step description of the Graduate School application process, including important deadlines, here. Your completed Graduate School application will be reviewed by the Urban Affairs admissions committee. To find out more about our program, use the links on the left.

Apply to U of M Grad School

Application ProcessHow To Apply

Fall admission only

The Ph.D. in Urban Affairs program begins accepting applications starting September 15th of each year. For early consideration for graduate assistantships, please have all application materials submitted by March 1. The Ph.D. in Urban Affairs is a 48-credit hour doctoral degree program. As such, this program requires that students enter the program as they near the end of their master’s degree or have a master’s degree in hand before applying. We fund approximately 40% of students entering the program, so they are encouraged to complete all funding applications after applying for admission. If you have further questions about your application, please contact Dr. Davia Downey (dcdowney@memphis.edu).

Ph.D. Admissions Criteria

All applicants must meet all criteria for admission to the graduate school. A master’s degree is required (or near completion) for admission. 

International applicants must submit a minimum score of 80 on the internet-based TOEFL test or have an equivalent to a U.S. Master’s degree from an accredited college or university where English is the language of instruction. For more information on international student requirements, click here

Additionally, applicants to the doctoral program will:

  1. Provide transcripts of all post-secondary institutions attended
  2. Provide a statement of purpose (1,000 words or less) that discusses:
    • Your research interests and motivation for pursuing a Ph.D. in Urban Affairs at the University of Memphis.
    • What research questions you’d like to explore while a doctoral student at the U of M?
    • How has your academic and professional experience prepared you to complete the doctoral program?
    • The field areas you intend to emphasize during your studies and how they relate to your research and career aspirations. (Example: Public Administration and Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice, etc.)
    • Please provide the names of two University of Memphis faculty members that would be suited to supervise your research if accepted to the program.
  3. Provide the names of two or more faculty within the School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy who closely match your research area.
  4. Provide a current CV or Resume
  5. Submit one policy-oriented writing sample. Applicants can submit up to three. Examples include journal articles (published or under review), master’s theses, or other professional writings demonstrating research and analytical capability.
  6. Provide contact information for at least three references who will be asked to provide letters of recommendation. Applicants can provide up to five references if they choose.
  7. An interview (in person or by phone/video) may be requested by the admissions committee.