Geography and Urban Studies PhD

Build the analytical foundation and specialized skills to address real-world problems with the Doctor of Philosophy in Geography and Urban Studies in Temple University’s College of Liberal Arts. In this 51-credit doctoral degree program, you will examine spatial relations, scale transitions, place, context and societal relations within interdisciplinary and spatially integrative frameworks.

Study and analyze the development of urban regions with emphasis on the following issues.

  • Geographic methods, including spatial analysis, remote sensing and qualitative research.
  • Globalization, including capital and labor flows, culture, citizenship, identity, and welfare state restructuring.
  • Social justice, focusing on increasing inequalities across economics, gender and race.
  • Sustainability, emphasizing ecology, environmental justice and land use.

You will employ various theoretical approaches to investigate geographic and urban patterns and processes, using data to reveal key concepts. Acquire the methodological tools necessary to understand and address the economic, environmental, political and social challenges central to the wellbeing of billions of people in an urbanizing world.

Graduate faculty expertise includes critical feminist geography, geography program evaluation and spatial analysis. Faculty networks with academic institutions, community organizations, non-governmental organizations and public agencies, as well as social movements in Philadelphia, provide opportunities to actively engage in public policy and urban research beyond the classroom. 

Graduates are prepared to conduct advanced scholarly research to prepare for careers in academia or professional research, or for professional work in non-government organizations, private firms and think tanks that focus on critical issues in the field. 

Our Community

The College of Liberal Arts at Temple comprises many disciplines and research areas. Now more than ever, an interdisciplinary liberal arts education is invaluable for your future pursuits. It offers the opportunity to further push your drive to create real change in the world, here at Temple and beyond. In this graduate program, you’ll work closely with diverse faculty members who are highly esteemed in their field, collaborating with them and with a curious, passionate community of peers. 

Program Format & Curriculum

Students have seven years to complete the program on a full or part-time basis with classes offered after 4:30 p.m.

The 51-credit Geography and Urban Studies PhD curriculum includes core coursework, four methodology courses, seven electives, a qualifying exam and a dissertation demonstrating original research that makes a valuable contribution to the field of Geography and Urban Studies.

Core courses include the following.

  • Critical Issues in Globalization, Sustainability, and Social Justice
  • Geographic Inquiry
  • History and Theory of Urban Studies
  • Public Policy for Urban Regions
  • Research Design
  • Statistics for Urban Spatial Analysis

Learn more about the Geography and Urban Studies PhD curriculum.

Tuition & Fees

In keeping with Temple’s commitment to access and affordability, this Doctor of Philosophy offers a competitive level of tuition with multiple opportunities for financial support.

Tuition rates are set annually by the university and are affected by multiple factors, including program degree level (undergraduate or graduate), course load (full- or part-time), in-state or out-of-state residency, and more. These tuition costs apply to the 2019–2020 academic year.

Pennsylvania resident: $942.00 per credit
Out-of-state: $1,297.00 per credit

Learn more about our tuition and fees.


Additional Program Information