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College of Architecture, Planning and Design



Director of Student Recruitment
College of Architecture, Planning and Design

Kansas State University
1127 Regnier Hall
Manhattan KS 66506-2902

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


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Ph.D. Program


The Ph.D. requires usually requires four (4) years of full-time study beyond the master’s degree, and a minimum of 60 credit hours beyond the master’s degree.

Students will complete a minimum of: 

  • 30 credit hours of coursework and 
  • 30 credit hours of dissertation research. 

The 30 hours of course work will include:

  • ENVD 900 Doctoral Seminar, 
  • ENVD 901 Research Methods in Design & Planning, 
  • 2 Research Tools Courses, and 
  • 2 Cross-Disciplinary Seminars. 

Course selections will be made in consultation with the student’s major professor and approved by the Ph.D. program director.

In addition to coursework and dissertation research, students must pass several important milestones during the program including: 

  • complete a research proposal; 
  • pass a preliminary written and oral examination; 
  • submit an approved dissertation; and 
  • complete an oral dissertation defense. 

See the PhD Student Guidebook for more information.

Completing Your Ph.D. Examination and Dissertation

Ph.D. Preliminary Examination

Students who have filed their program of study (PoS) with the Graduate School and have completed at least 21 of the 30 hours of coursework with a GPA of 3.33 or better are eligible to take the preliminary written examination, which covers the student’s field(s) of specialization, as defined by the student's doctoral committee. 

Performance on the examination must provide evidence of the student’s mastery of the subject matter including knowledge of related literature, an understanding of research theory, and an understanding of research methods. Successful completion of the preliminary examination is required for the student to become a doctoral candidate.

Dissertation Proposal Defense

During the 3rd or 4th semester, a first draft of the student's dissertation proposal will be written and the student's doctoral committee will provide written feedback. 

After successful completion of the preliminary examination and revisions to the proposal, the student will make an oral defense before the doctoral committee, other faculty, and students.

Writing the Dissertation

The Ph.D. student will complete 30 credit hours of ENVD 999 (Dissertation Research). 

The dissertation will be comprehensive, original, and an independent contribution to scholarship. The research will be performed under the guidance of the major professor and the supervisory committee and must be deemed acceptable by them. The dissertation must follow guidelines outlined by the Graduate School.

Note: In some cases the major professor and supervisory committee will accept three or four high-quality publishable papers rather than a single dissertation. 

Dissertation Defense

A final oral examination in defense of the dissertation will be conducted and evaluated by the doctoral committee. In addition to the student's committee, the Graduate School will designate an outside chairperson to serve as the chair for your final examination (defense). Two weeks prior to the dissertation defense, the written dissertation will be available for review by the doctoral committee, other faculty, and graduate students.