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College of Architecture and Planning

The minimum requirement is 36 credit hours of coursework, all of which must be at the Graduate level (5000 and above) and 30 hours of dissertation credits. All PhD students are required to take 12 credit hours of core courses.
The curriculum is divided into three stages:
  • core courses, 
  • major and minor field courses, 
  • and the dissertation. 
The program requires a minimum of 66 hours of graduate work, 30 of which must be earned while in residence.
Each student’s curriculum is tailored to his/her individual needs and is determined in close consultation with the dissertation advisor. Within their area of specialization, students will identify a major area of study and an outside field of study. All students are required to enroll in the PhD colloquium and Research Methods core courses during the first and second years of course work.

CORE COURSES (12 credit hours, minimum with B or better grade)

• PhD colloquium I (3 credits)
• PhD colloquium II (3 credits)
• Two Research Methods courses (3 credits each)

MAJOR FIELD OF STUDY (15 credit hours, minimum of B or better grade)

The Major Field encourages students to individualize their course of study by focusing on an area of scholarship within the specialized field. Major Advisors will work with the student to develop a course of study appropriate to the field.

MINOR AREA OF STUDY (9 credit hours, minimum of B or better grade)

The Minor Area encourages students to individualize their course of study by focusing on an area of scholarship outside of the specialized field. The minor area may involve substantive research questions or it may focus on methodological approaches that can be related to the substantive concerns found in the major.

ADDITIONAL COURSES (variable): (30 credit hours, minimum of B or better grade)

During the course of doctoral study, students may enroll for credits related to their preparation for comprehensive exams, the dissertation proposal and preparation, or advisor approved independent study.

Typical Course of Study
Students develop their degree plan, take six credit hours of the required Core Curriculum, complete additional courses in their specialty area, and any prerequisite courses.
Students take the remaining core courses, continue to take electives in their minor and specialty areas, begin literature surveys and reviews, and prepare for their comprehensive exam.
Students complete their specialization papers, prepare a dissertation proposal, complete literature review, and take the comprehensive exam.
Fourth and fifth years are spent researching and writing the dissertation.

Independent Studies
All independent or directed studies must be related to the student’s major or minor area of study, comprehensive examinations, and/or dissertation topic. The number of credit hours for independent studies is limited to a maximum of three per semester over the first four semesters of coursework. Independent study course work cannot exceed 25 percent of the 66 credits of course work required for the PhD degree.

Jody Beck
Director of PhD Program and Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture

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