Ph.D. in Urban Systems

The Joint PhD Program in Urban Systems offers students opportunities to examine the complex relationships between physical, cultural, ecological, political, social, and economic aspects of cities in the U.S. and other countries, and to specialize in those topics of particular interest to them. With the exception of students pursuing a specialization in Urban History, the research approach in the program is based in the social sciences. Two senior public research universities in Newark co-sponsor the program: New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers University-Newark. All students in the program have full access to library, computing, and other student services at both campuses.

The program gives students the tools to develop research-based knowledge in urban systems, to take an analytic view toward urban problems and to participate in the development and evaluation of policy and services for urban populations. The program consists of two tracks and one sub-specialization: (1) Urban Environment and a possible sub-specialization in Urban History in the School of Architecture at NJIT and (2) Global Urban Studies in the School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers-Newark. All students in the program complete a 51-credit curriculum.

Urban Environment Track

Students in this track come to the program with previous degrees in architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, political science and economics. Once in the program, they focus on the physical and spatial aspects of cities and larger metropolitan areas, taking a contemporary perspective, a historical perspective or a combination of both. They choose dissertation topics in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, infrastructure, urban development, and urban agriculture, and pursue those topics in relation to social, cultural, ecological, and regulatory issues. Those who choose a sub-specialization in Urban History take courses in research methods related to that while other students in the track take research methods courses in the social sciences.

For information about Global Urban Studies at Rutgers-Newark, please see https://sasn.rutgers.edu/academics-admissions/graduate-programs/global-urban-studies-gus.

Admission to the Program

Criteria for admission to the program include a record of academic achievement, previous research experience, and a clear expression of research interests that are compatible with faculty expertise in the two universities.  A completed master's degree is normally required of all applicants. Those applying directly from a Bachelor's degree program must have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.75 or higher.

Students who are interested in the Urban Environment Track (including a specialization in Urban History) apply to NJIT (http://www.njit.edu/admissions/how-apply-graduate-admissions). Those interested in Global Urban Studies apply to Rutgers-Newark (https://sasn.rutgers.edu/academics-admissions/graduate-programs/global-urban-studies-gus).  Acceptance into the program is decided jointly by coordinators of the two tracks. 


The following items are required for application to the Urban Environment Track at NJIT:   

Scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)


Scores from Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) for international students

Official transcripts of all prior academic work

Three letters of recommendation (faculty preferred)


Written statement of purpose, including description of research interests

Interview (optional, at the discretion of track director)


More Information

For questions regarding the Urban Environment Track at NJIT please contact:

Fred Little,
Graduate Program & Admissions Coordinator, School of Architecture, little@njit.edu   973.642.7576


Karen A. Franck, Professor, Coordinator of Urban Environment Track, School of Architecture,  franck@njit.edu  347-229-2418.

For questions regarding the Global Urban Studies track at Rutgers-Newark, please contact the track coordinators:

Jamie Lew, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, jamieLew@rutgers.edu 973-353-5130

Mara Sydney, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, 973-353-5787  msidney@rutgers.edu

Degree Requirements

The curriculum for all Urban Systems students consists of a 9-credit core curriculum, a 12-credit research core, 18-credits of elective courses and a 12-credit dissertation sequence. Following completion of the core curriculum and the two required research courses, all students in the program must take and pass the qualifying examination in order to advance to doctoral candidacy and dissertation. Admission to the Urban Systems PhD Program is not a guarantee of success on the qualifying examination, or a guarantee of advancement to doctoral candidacy.

PhD Faculty, NJIT

Maurie Cohen, Professor, Department of Humanities, PhD, University of Pennsylvania

Zeynep Celik, Distinguished Professor, School of Architecture, PhD, University of California--Berkeley

Gabrielle Esperdy, Associate Professor, School of Architecture, PhD, City University of New York


Karen A. Franck, Professor, School of Architecture, PhD, City University of New York

Neil Maher, Professor, Federated Department of History, PhD, New York University

Stephen Pemberton, Professor, Federated Department of History, PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Anthony Schuman, Professor, School of Architecture, M.Arch, Columbia University

Darius Sollohub, Associate Professor, School of Architecture, M.Arch, Columbia University

Georgeen Theodore, Professor, School of Architecture, M. Arch, Harvard University

PhD Faculty, Rutgers Newark

Leyla Amzi-Erdogdular, Assistant Professor, Federated Department of History, PhD, Columbia

University

Ariane Chebel d’Appolonia, Professor, School of Public Affairs and Administration, PhD, Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris

Jamie Lew, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, PhD, Teachers College, Columbia University

Sean T. Mitchell, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology and Sociology, PhD, University of Chicago

Arthur Powell, Associate Professor, Department of Urban Education, PhD, Rutgers University, New Brunswick

Alan Sadovnik, Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor, School of Public Affairs and Administration PhD, New York University

Mara Sydney, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, PhD, University of

Colorado

Nükhet Varlık, Associate Professor, Federated Department of History, PhD, University of Chicago

 Core Curriculum

Urban Systems Curriculum (all courses are three credits) Semster University
Core (9 credits)    
History of the Global Metropolis (Arch 662-102)OR The Good City (USYS 711) Fall NJIT
Globalization, International Migration and Contemporary Cities (RU 26:834:690)OR Urban Governance in Global Perspective (RU 26:977:624:02) Fall Rutgers
Urban Theory and the Contemporary City (Arch 662-102) Spring NJIT/Rutgers
The Good City: Environmental Design and the Quality of Urban Life (USYS 711) OR History of the Global Metropolis (Arch 662-101) Spring NJIT
Urban Governance in Global Perspective (RU 26:977:624:02)OR Globalization, International Migration and Contemporary Cities (RU 26:834:690) Fall Rutgers
Core (9 credits)    
Qualitative Methods (RU 26.977.620) Spring Rutgers
Quantitative Methods (URB 6103) Fall RBHS
Additional research methods course    
Additional research methods course    
Electives (18 credits)Chosen in consultation with academic advisor and, eventually,dissertation advisor    
Dissertation research (12 credits)    
Total credits (51)