Urban doctorate program rolls out of AYSPS

Applications have opened this month for the Urban Studies doctorate program developed by the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies’ Urban Studies Institute at Georgia State.

Jennifer Marquez, associate director of PR & Communications at Georgia State, has provided news about Georgia State’s first urban doctorate program.

The program itself is composed of competitive funding opportunities for up to four years at $22,000 a year. In addition, students can attain a tuition waiver, with 15-hour per week research assistantships working with faculty.

The current application deadline is set for Feb. 15, 2019.

The Urban Studies program at Georgia State is focusing heavily on research that highlights cities as core drivers of economic growth, as well as challenges of inclusive urban development and teaching both locally and globally.
“It allows students to advance in this field in a way that was not available before. It will mold experts within urban studies, who students will have the benefit of learning from in classes or via special lectures and events, like conferences and speaker series. It also creates a nexus of research for students to participate in as research assistants,” Marquez said.

The doctorate program had been in development since 2017 and had gradually come to fruition.

“The PhD was submitted to university for approval, and later the BOR, [in] November 2017. Since the institute’s inception in 2016, the hopes were always to have a program of this kind,” Marquez said.

One of the department’s main goals is to transition students into professionals that are prepared to take on jobs of the future.

“The Ph.D. in Urban Studies aims to produce professionals, researchers and teachers who will contribute to the advancement of urban scholarship, knowledge, and policies in Greater Atlanta and elsewhere. The interdisciplinary nature of the program will engender scholars that are experts on cities and metropolitan regions while drawing on skills and methods from geography, sociology, economics and policy analysis,” Marquez said.

The Board of Regents Office has provided funding for the program itself.

“The program is starting in the fall 2019, utilizing existing resources within the Urban Studies Institute. There are a few, competitive funding lines made possible for doctoral candidates via the BOR budget to [Georgia State], “ Marquez said.

While looking forward into the future of the urban studies doctorate program, Marquez expressed excitement for Georgia State’s latest program.

“Atlanta, and Georgia State at the heart of downtown, in many ways embodies today’s urban challenges and opportunities. This program makes [Georgia State] the first university in Georgia and second in [the] Southeast to offer a degree of this kind. It directly aligns with [Georgia State’s] strategic plan around globalization, the complex challenges of cities, and the strengthening of graduate programs,” Marquez said.

“The PhD in Urban Studies at [Georgia State] will allow the university to be more intentional with regard to its environment and future by attracting top scholars and thinkers in this field to tackle urban questions – not only at home but on a comparative scale – nationally and internationally,” Marquez said.

In 2017, the Urban Studies department had received $1 million from a $12 million National Science Foundation grant for a project to help cities prepare for climate change by developing the knowledge needed to promote resilient cities for the future.