Florida State University

Department of Urban & Regional Planning

College of Social Sciences & Public Policy

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The Department of Urban and Regional Planning (DURP) at Florida State University offers graduate programs at the master’s (Master of Science in Planning) and doctoral (Doctor of Philosophy) levels. The department also offers Joint Graduate Pathways with Demography, International Affairs, Law, Public Administration, and Public Health. Students interested in these Joint Graduate Pathways apply simultaneously to DURP and the partner department.

The purpose of the admissions process is to judge the applicant’s basic intellectual resources, motivations for seeking the degree, probability of successfully completing the program, and the appropriateness of the Department’s faculty and course offerings to the student’s program and career interests.

How to Apply to Graduate Study at DURP

The required materials that must be submitted to apply for any planning program at the Florida State University are:

  • University Graduate Application Form All applicants must submit an application online by starting at the University’s Online Graduate Admissions website.
  • Transcripts of all Prior University Course Work. All applicants should have official copies mailed directly to the University Office of Admissions. International applicants may be required to provide certified translations of their transcripts and degree certificates with certified translations.
  • GRE scores (including the analytic writing score). All applicants should have official scores mailed directly to the University Office of Admissions.
  • Letters of Recommendation via the University Graduate Application Form These recommendations should come from instructors who can speak to your performance as a student and your ability to complete graduate-level coursework.
    • Master’s level applicants should submit 2 letters
    • Doctoral level applicants should submit 3 letters
  • The Department’s Supplemental Form for MSP or PhD Applications as applicable. This is a WORD document that should be saved to your computer, completed, and then submitted online via the University’s Online Graduate Admissions website. To submit this document, go to the “Supporting Documents” section of the University’s Graduate Admissions website and upload your completed form under “Document 1” in this section. Joint Graduate Pathway applicants should note the pathway they intend to pursue on the Supplemental Form for MSP Applications.

Applicants to any Joint Graduate Pathway must also submit any additional documents required by the partner program as well.
International applicants also are required to submit:

TOEFL scores (required only of international applicants whose native language is not English and who have not received a degree from a college or university in an English-speaking nation). Other English proficiency examinations that are accepted: the IELTS, MELAB and PTE examinations. Official scores should be sent directly to the University Office of Admissions. University minimum scores may be found at FSU’s International Admissions page.

If you have any questions about the application materials or admissions process, please contact the Department Admissions coordinator at durp@coss.fsu.edu

Application Deadlines

 Fall TermSpring Term
Application for Admission (US Applicants)July 1stNovember 1st
Application for Admission (International Applicants)April 15thSeptember 1st
Department Financial Aid ApplicationFebruary 15thN/A
Application for University FellowshipJanuary 9thN/A

Additional information about financial aid opportunities can be found here.

FSU/FDOT Transit Fellow Program

Do you have a burning desire to promote the use of public transportation as a career?
Consider the following course of action!

The Transit Fellow Program supports students in the FSU master’s or Ph.D. planning programs who are consumed with a desire to improve public transportation. Transit Fellows receive a one-year stipend and full in-state or in-and-out-of-state tuition for 24 credit hours of study. During their Fellowship, Transit Fellows are placed as professional transit planner interns with a transit agency, private sector firm, or other organization working to promote the use of public transportation. Funding for the Transit Fellow program is provided jointly by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), Public Transit Office and the FSU Department of Urban and Regional Planning. FDOT provides the stipend; FSU provides the tuition waivers. Funding is sufficient to support two Transit Fellows each year. Recipients of the award are known as FDOT/FSU Transit Fellows.

Transit Fellow Placements

In the past several years, Transit Fellows have interned at Star Metro, the Florida Department of Transportation, City of Tallahassee Planning Department, and Gannett-Fleming (a transportation consulting firm) during the academic year. Transit Fellows have had summer placements at Tri-Met in Portland, Oregon, Utah Transit Authority in Salt Lake City, Utah, Miami-Dade Transit in Miami, Florida, Regional Transit District in Denver, Colorado, and Charlotte Area Transit in Charlotte, North Carolina. Former Transit Fellows have found professional transit planning positions throughout the United States and overseas.

How to Apply to Become a Transit Fellow

To apply for a Transit Fellowship you first apply for admission to the Master’s of Science in Planning or the Ph.D. programs at Florida State University. You then phone or e-mail Professor Jeff Brown (850) 644-8519, jrbrown3@fsu.edu, to indicate your interest in the Transit Fellow Program. You may indicate your interest in the Transit Fellow Program either at the time of your application, or you may indicate it later, including after you are in residence at FSU. We have sufficient stipend money and tuition waivers to fund two students each year as Transit Fellows. We award the fellowships based on a combination of merit and enthusiasm for promoting the use of transit. Students who indicate their interest earlier are more likely to be funded, but we will entertain interest in the Transit Fellowship program at any time if funds still are available.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a specific undergraduate or graduate degree to apply?

Applications for admission to the department’s master’s degree programs are welcome from persons holding a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher learning in the United States, or the equivalent from an institution abroad. No specific major is required. Our students come from a wide diversity of majors in the social sciences, design professions, sciences, business, and humanities. Application for admission is usually made for the Fall term, but a limited number of applications are considered for the Spring term.

Applications for admission to the doctoral program are welcome from persons holding a master’s degree from an accredited institution of higher learning in the United States, or the equivalent from an institution abroad. No specific major is required. Our students come from a wide diversity of majors in the social sciences, design professions, sciences, business, and humanities.

Are you looking for a specific GPA from your applicants?

The minimum university criterion to be considered for admission to graduate school is an upper division grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher for previous undergraduate study.

Do I have to take the GRE?

The university requires all applicants for admission to graduate programs to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).

Is there a specific score I should aim for?

In the past typical students entering the department’s graduate programs have scored at or above the 64th percentile on the GRE Verbal test (510 old exam, 154 new exam), at or above the 45th percentile on the GRE Quantitative test (590 old exam, 148 new exam), and at or above the 41st percentile on the GRE Analytic Writing Exam (4.0 score on both exams).

What is the magic GPA / GRE formula that will ensure I am admitted?

GPA and GRE scores form only part of your application. The department views your entire application holistically in making a determination of admission. In making admissions decisions, the department also carefully considers other credentials including letters of recommendation from faculty, work experience, and extracurricular and civic activities. Ultimately admission is based on judgment that the applicant is capable of successful graduate work.

When do most students begin their studies with DURP?

Students in our graduate programs usually begin their studies in the fall term in late August.

How long do I have to wait for a decision?

Admission decisions are made on a rolling basis. For fall admission, all required application materials from U.S. students must be received no later than July 1 of the year in which the student wishes to enroll. Applicants who wish to be considered for department financial aid must submit all required application materials by February 15 of the prior spring. Students who wish to apply for a University Fellowship must submit all required application materials by early January of the prior spring. Application materials for fall admission from international applicants must be received by February 15th.

We admit a few highly qualified applicants on a space-available-basis to begin graduate studies in the spring term, which begins in January. To be considered for spring admission, all required application materials from U.S. students should be received no later than November 1 of the preceding year. Materials from international applicants must be received by September 1. Ordinarily no financial aid is available to students beginning studies in the spring term.