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Prospective Students

How to Apply to Graduate Study at DURP

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 master’s degree programs with Demography, International Affairs, Law, Public Administration, and Public Health. Students interested in these joint degree programs 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.

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 Degree program applicants should note the joint degree program they intend to pursue on the Supplemental Form for MSP Applications.

Applicants to any joint program 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 Term Spring Term
Application for Admission (US Applicants) July 1st November 1st
Application for Admission (International Applicants) April 15th September 1st
Department Financial Aid Application February 15th N/A
Application for University Fellowship January 9th N/A

Additional information about financial aid opportunities can be found on our below.

Questions and Answers about the Application Process:

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

A: 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.

Q: Are you looking for a specific GPA from your applicants?

A: 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.

Q: Do I have to take the GRE?

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

Q: Is there a specific score I should aim for?

A: 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).

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

A: 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.

Q: When do most students begin their studies with DURP?

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

Q: How long do I have to wait for a decision?

A: 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.

Financial Aid

The cost of study at Florida State University is low compared with many other graduate schools, and Tallahassee boasts a relatively low cost of living. The actual costs of tuition and fees and estimated costs of other components of education are posted on the Student Financial Services website.

Numerous programs exist that can help Urban and Regional Planning graduate students reduce their costs of study. These may be divided into Department administered aid, Office of Financial Aid administered aid, and external sources of support. Any applicant for whom finances are an issue should examine all categories of programs. Departmental-administered financial aid opportunities are discussed below, while those administered by the Office of Financial Aid can be found at their webpage. An additional set of commonly used external means of financial assistance are listed toward the bottom of the page.

Departmental-Administered Financial Aid

The Department of Urban and Regional Planning nominates candidates for and directly offers a variety of aid programs all of which are based on the talent and abilities of the applicant. These competitive programs include fellowships, cooperative internships, research and teaching assistantships, tuition waivers, and stipends. Awards to entering graduate students are primarily made for study beginning in the Fall term. Applicants who wish to be nominated by the Department for specific university awards listed here should so indicate as much when submitting their supplemental form.

The deadline to apply for departmental financial aid for fall admission is February 15th of the year in which the student wishes to attend. If you wish to be considered for a University Fellowship, the application deadline is January 9th.

Fellowships

Fellows Society Adelaide Wilson Fellowship
This fellowship provides support for up to 5 continuous years for newly-admitted Ph.D. students. The Fellowship is $30,000 per calendar year, and provides the university health insurance plan for the individual.

Legacy Fellowship
This fellowship provides support for up to 5 continuous years for newly-admitted doctoral students. The Fellowship is a $10,000 supplement to a 0.5 FTE assistantship (required) per academic year, and provides the annual health insurance subsidy.

McNair Scholars Fellowship
The McNair Scholars program is a federally-funded program that prepares first generation or underrepresented undergraduate students for doctoral studies. This fellowship provides support for up to 5 continuous years for newly-admitted doctoral students. The Fellowship is $16,000 - $20,000 per calendar year for the years supported by the Graduate School and an assistantship during the other years, and provides the university health insurance subsidy for the individual.

FAMU Feeder Fellowship
This fellowship is for students that graduated from Florida A&M University and completed the FAMU Feeder program. Awards will be given for a maximum of four years for doctoral degree-seeking students, and two years for master’s degree-seeking students. The award will have a non-duty stipend of $5,000 for each of the Fall and Spring semesters, no summer funding will be provided. The Graduate School will also provide a twelve credit hour tuition waiver for each of the Fall and Spring semesters along with the annual health insurance subsidy. The award may supplement an award by the academic unit or other entity if allowed.

McKnight Doctoral Fellowship
These fellowships provide up to five years of support, with a stipend of $12,000 plus tuition waivers and support for other fees. Fellows also receive an annual health insurance subsidy. This is a state-wide program administered through the Florida Education Fund (FEF). Applications are available on the FEF website. For more information regarding FSU application procedures, contact the Graduate School, 314 Westcott, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306-1047, (850) 644-3501, or email gradschool@fsu.edu

Additional information about these opportunities can be found on the fellowship page of the Graduate School Website

Cooperative Internships

Each year the Department arranges with a number of public agencies and private firms for Masters and PhD students to be placed in a professional planning or planning related position. The one-year internships provide a stipend and tuition waiver. Work requirements typically vary from 15-20 hours a week. Recent sponsors have included the Blueprint 2000, US Forest Service, State of Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, and several other public agencies and private firms located in Tallahassee.

Florida Department of Transportation Public Transit Fellow Program The Department has partnered with the Florida Department of Transportation to offer a one-year cooperative internship for students interested in public transit. Transit Fellows work part-time with a public transit agency during the academic year and full-time during one summer. Funding includes a $15,000 stipend for 12 months plus 24 credit hour tuition waiver. Previous fellows have had summer postings with agencies such as Tri-Met in Portland, Oregon, Atlanta Regional Commission in Atlanta, Georgia, Miami-Dade Transit in Miami, Florida, and Utah Transit Authority in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Research and Teaching Assistansthips

Graduate Research Assistantships These one year assistantships are awarded to incoming master's students and provide a stipend and tuition waiver. The student is assigned to work 15-16 hours per week with one or two faculty members. These assistantships provide an opportunity to gain valuable research experience under the direction of the faculty. Criteria for awarding research assistantships include financial need, academic achievement, and research skills. Doctoral Graduate Assistantships These awards provide doctoral students with a stipend, plus tuition waiver, each year for as many as four years. Students may teach one course each semester in the undergraduate program of the Department, under the general supervision of a faculty member. Alternately, students may be assigned to assist faculty members with research projects. Criteria used in making these awards involve financial need, academic achievement, and potential or proven teaching and or research skills. Awardees work 15 hours per week. Department Computer Assistant This position provides a stipend plus tuition waiver for a student who works under the supervision of the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy GIS Lab Director. Awardees work 16 hours per week. Joy Jinks Endowed Scholarship The Jinks Scholarship provides a stipend and tuition waiver for students who are interested in community development and community sustainability. Awardees work 15-16 hours per week. Richard A. Smith Memorial Scholarship The Smith Scholarship provides a stipend and tuition waiver to a master's student with outstanding credentials and demonstrated financial need. Awardees work 16 hours per week. Mark and Alice Filteau Graduate Assistantship The Filteau Assistantship provides a stipend and tuition waiver to a master's student with outstanding credentials and demonstrated financial need. Awardees work 16 hours per week. Leslie N. Wilson-Delores Auzenne Assistantship for Minorities Awards are available for all new or currently enrolled minority graduate students. Nomination is through the department or college, but competition for these awards is on a university-wide basis. The stipend is a minimum of $5,000 per academic year plus tuition waivers.

Commonly Used External Financial Aid Sources

Academic Common Market Residents of selected southern states are eligible for in-state tuition while studying urban and regional planning for either the Master’s or Doctoral degrees at Florida State University. To determine whether your state permits you to do so, you can visit the Academic Common Market website or contact our admissions coordinator for assistance. International Linkage Institutes The Florida State University System maintains relationships with various foreign universities under which selected nationals of certain foreign nations may obtain tuition assistance at FSU. For detailed information concerning a specific nation please review the information provided by the Florida State's International Program. FSU Graduate School The FSU Graduate School offers information on funding opportunities, news and events, electronic thesis and dissertation (ETD) guidelines, degree programs and certificate programs, fee waivers, as well as links to staff contact information, a searchable scholarship database, important forms for students and much more.

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 of $15,000 and full in-state or in-and-out-of-state tuition for 24 credit hours of study. During their first year of study and the summer following that, Transit Fellows work as interns in organizations engaged in transit planning for 16 hours per week during the Fall and Spring semesters and 40 hours per week during the Summer. Transit Fellows may take their Summer internships with a transit agency anywhere in the U.S. In addition to working as interns, Transit Fellows specialize in Transportation Planning in pursuit of their master’s or doctoral degree. Upon graduation, Transit Fellows are poised to enter the transit industry or regional planning agencies promoting the use of green, alternative transportation. Funding for the Transit Fellow program is provided jointly by the Florida Department of Transportation, 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 FSU/FDOT 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.