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College of Architecture, Planning and Design

College of Architecture, Planning & Design
Kansas State University
2132 Regnier Hall
Manhattan KS 66506-2902

785-532-5047 phone
785-532-6722 fax


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PhD Program


Deadline. The application deadline for all applicants to the APDesign Environmental Design & Planning Ph.D. program is January 8.

Previous Degrees. Applicants are normally expected to have earned a master’s degree in the design or planning fields. Here's why. Applicants with a master’s degree in the natural sciences, social sciences, or humanities may sometimes be considered.

Prospective student without a previous degree in the design or planning fields maybe wish to instead consider applying to one of the College’s master’s degree programs:  

Master of Architecture (MArch) | Master of Science in Architeture (MSArch) | Master of Science in Community Development (MSCD) | Master of Interior Architecture & Product Design (MIAPD) | Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) | Master of Regional and Community Planning (MSRCP).

Acceptance into one of these programs does not imply a commitment to admit the student to the PhD program and requires a separate application. 

Major Professor/Advisor. One member of the core Ph.D. faculty must accept mentorship responsibility for any student prior to their admittance to the doctoral program. Applicants are strongly encouraged to be in contact with Ph.D. faculty members with whom they share interests, and if possible, obtain a commitment from a faculty member to support the application. 

Application Review Committee. Even with faculty commitment, the application must be reviewed and approved by the PhD committee before an offer of acceptance can be made.


Application to the APDesign Ph.D. program requires the following:

• K-State Graduate School application

• 3.0 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) in all higher education to-date.

• Transcripts: Include transcripts from any institution of higher education you have attended.

• Statement of intent: Statement of intent should be one to two pages and should include the prospective student's background, research interests, objectives, and reason for applying to the program. 

• Research Proposal: This is a short (approx. 5 page) proposal that outlines your intended research. The proposal should be formatted in standard form.  The research will likely change after completing the coursework and consulting with the major professor, but the proposal will help us better understand the direction the student would like go.  

• Evidence of Past Research: The “portfolio” should include the prospective student’s work, whether design projects, research projects, samples of written work, or other examples of creative and/or research efforts.  We are particularly interested in seeing evidence of previous research and published scholarly writing.

• Letters of recommendation: Three letters of recommendation are required.  At least two should be from academic references.

• GRE score report: Ph.D. applicants should have attained a score of 300 or better on the combined verbal and quantitative components of the GRE. Analytical writing should be 4.0 or above.

• TOEFL/IELTS report (international students): Prospective international students are required to have attained a minimal TOEFL score of 100, or a minimal IELTS score of 7.0.

• Financial statement (international students)

• Application fee (Domestic $90 & International $100)