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Department of New Jersey School of Architecture

PhD in Urban Systems

The Program

The jointly offered PhD Program in Urban Systems is built upon the unique strengths of New Jersey's three senior public research institutions: New Jersey Institute of Technology, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey at Newark. The program is designed to prepare students to develop research-based knowledge in urban systems and to participate in the development, implementation, and evaluation of policy and services for urban populations. Students in the program have full access to library, computing, and other student services at all three campuses.

The program core is designed as a 48-credit course sequence with three major specializations:

  1. urban health systems
  2. urban environment studies
  3. urban educational policy

Admission to the Program

The criteria for admission to the PhD Program in Urban Systems include academic achievement, scholarship, professional character, scientific inquisitiveness, accountability, dependability, and interpersonal skills. A completed master's degree is required of all applicants, with the sole exception of students applying directly from a Bachelor's degree program who have a cumulative undergraduate gpa of 3.75 or higher.

Application Submission

  • Completed Application to the PhD Program in Urban Systems. 
  • Scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). 
  • International students, and all students whose first language is not English, must provide competitive scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). 
  • Official transcripts of all prior academic work. 
  • Three letters of recommendation (faculty preferred). 
  • Written Statement of Purpose, including statement of proposed research concentration.
  • Interview (Optional, at the discretion of the relevant Track Director). 

Applications for admission to the program may be obtained from the Office of University Admissions, New Jersey Institute of Technology, University Heights, Newark, New Jersey 07102, from the NJIT Office of Graduate Admissions  web pages, or by calling 973-596-3300. 

For General Information or Admissions-related Questions, Click here or contact:

Fred Little
Graduate Program & Admissions Coordinator, New Jersey School of Architecture
973.642.7576

For Questions regarding specific Program Tracks, contact:

Urban Environment
Karen Franck, PhD
Program Director
973-972-0748 or 3876

Urban Health:
Dula Pacquiao, PhD
Track Director
973-972-0748 or 3876

Urban Education Policy:
Alan Sadovnik, PhD
Track Director
973.353.1216 or 5434

 
Degree Requirements

The curriculum consists of an 18-credit core curriculum, a 9-credit research core, a 21-credit specialization component, and a 24-credit dissertation sequence. Following completion of the Core Curriculum and Research Core, students must take and pass Qualifying Examinations in both areas in order to advance to Doctoral Candidacy and Dissertation. Admission to the Urban Systems PhD Program is not a guarantee of success on the Qualifying Examinations, or a guarantee of advancement to Doctoral Candidacy.

 Core Curriculum

Urban Systems I: History and Future of the Metropolis 3 credits
Urban Systems II: Urban Populations: Demography and Trends 3 credits
Urban Systems II: Cities in World Perspective 3 credits
Determinants & Consequences of Urban Health 3 credits
The Good City: Environmental Design & the Quality of Metropolitan Life 3 credits
Urban Educational Policy 3 credits

Research Core

Geographic Information Systems 3 credits
Research Seminar I: Quantitative Methods 3 credits
Research Seminar II: Qualitative Methods 3 credits

Specialization

Urban Environment Studies1
Development of the American City 3 credits
Architecture & Health: The Pathology of Urban Studies 3 credits
Architecture Perspectives in Urban Research 3 credits
Electives -- selected in consultation with Dissertation Advisor 12 credits

Specialization

Urban Health Systems2
Health Status of Urban Population 3 credits
Health Beliefs and Practices of Urban Populations 3 credits
Survey of Health Informatics 3 credits
Electives -- selected in consultation with Dissertation Advisor 12 credits

Specialization

Urban Educational Policy3
Sociology of Urban Education 3 credits
Educational Policy and Urban School Development 3 credits
History of Urban Education 3 credits
Electives -- selected in consultation with Dissertation Advisor 12 credits

1 Specialization in Urban Environment

Students in the Urban Environment specialization complete 21 credits in this area, nine credits of which are required and 12 credits of which are electives chosen in consultation with their dissertation advisors. The Urban Environment specialization provides students with the unique opportunity to examine the physical and spatial complexities of the built domain and the forces that gave rise to specific urban manifestations such as rapid social change, frequent demographic shifts, technological innovations, and shifting public policies. Reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of the environmental field, the curriculum comprises a set of courses drawn from the related disciplines of architecture, architectural history, urbanism, and city planning. The course work exposes students not only to extensive scholarship and rigorous analysis of architectural and planning theory and practice, but it also creates linkages to other urban systems. 

Ph.D. Faculty -- Urban Environment

Erv Bales, Assistant Professor of Architecture,  University of Illinois, PhD, 1967

Maurie Cohen, Associate Professor of Environmental Policy, NYU, B.S., 1984; Columbia University, M.S., 1987, University of Pennsylvania, Ph.D. 1993.

Zeynep Celik, Professor of Architecture,  Istanbul Technical University, BArch, 1975;  Rice University, MArch, 1978;  University of California--Berkeley, PhD, 1984

Gabrielle Esperdy, Associate Professor of Architecture, Smith College, BA; City University of New York,  MA, PhD 

Karen Franck, Professor of Architecture, Bennington College, BA 1970; City University of New York,  PhD 1981

David Hawk, AIA, R.A., Professor of Architecture, Iowa State University, B.Arch. 1971; University of Pennsylvania, M.Arch., M. City Planning, 1974; PhD, 1979 

Richard Olsen, Director, Environments for Health & Aging, Center for Architecture & Building Science; Catholic University of America, B.A.1970;  City University of New York, PhD, 1978 

Donald Wall, Associate Professor of Architecture, B.Arch Program Director; University of Manitoba, B.Arch., 1958; Cornell University, M.Arch., 1959; Catholic University of America, DArch, 1970

2 Specialization in Urban Health Systems

Students in the Urban Health Systems specialization will complete 21 credits in this area, nine credits of which are required and six credits are elective. A systems approach, explicit in the urban health systems specialization, utilizes knowledge from diverse disciplines to study the complex web of health care delivery to urban populations, explores economically viable alternatives to traditional delivery, establishes ethical implications for that delivery that are human-centered, proposes research-generated health policy solutions, and assesses outcomes. Coursework exposes students to research related to the health status of urban populations, health beliefs and practices, health informatics, and theories related to public policy, planning, health economics, evaluation methods, health and other related topics. Students in the Urban Health Systems specialization will complete 15 credits in this area, nine credits of which are required and six credits are elective. A systems approach, explicit in the urban health systems specialization, utilizes knowledge from diverse disciplines to study the complex web of health care delivery to urban populations, explores economically viable alternatives to traditional delivery, establishes ethical implications for that delivery that are human-centered, proposes research-generated health policy solutions, and assesses outcomes. Coursework exposes students to research related to the health status of urban populations, health beliefs and practices, health informatics, and theories related to public policy, planning, health economics, evaluation methods, health and other related topics

 3 Specialization in Urban Educational Policy

Students in the Urban Educational Policy specialization complete 21 credits in this area, nine credits of which are required and six credits are elective. The specialization in Urban Educational policy is designed to prepare students to develop research-based knowledge of urban educational systems and policies. Through an interdisciplinary approach to understanding urban educational systems and problems, students are prepared to think critically about systemic, urban school improvement. Based on the belief that urban education cannot be understood outside the larger context of urban systems, the program is designed to help students connect the study of urban education to the history, sociology, politics, and economics of urban life. Through course work, research, and internships, students will engage in-depth examinations of urban educational policy and practice. Using New Jersey’s historic Abbott v. Burke case as a foundation for understanding national trends, students will examine urban educational reforms in the state’s thirty urban Abbott districts resulting from this decision, including whole school reform, mandated early childhood education, and equity financing. Based on their research, students will explore the limits and possibilities of urban educational policy in improving schools for all children. Graduates will be prepared to take positions as university faculty, educational researchers and policy makers at the national, state, local and foundation levels, or to work as policy analysts in school systems.

Ph.D. Faculty -- Urban Educational Policy

  • Jean Anyon, Professor  BS University of Pennsylvania; M.S.; PhD New York University
  • Jeffrey Kidder, Assistant Professor BS Edinboro University of PA; MS; PhD Cornell University
  • Jamie Lew, Assistant Professor BA Washington University, St. Louis; MA, PhD Teachers College, Columbia University
  • Alan Sadovnik, Professor of Education and Sociology; Chair BA Queens College; MA; PhD New York University 

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