Message from the Director

Welcome to the Doctoral Program!


The Doctoral Program in Planning and Public Policy sustains an academic community in which highly engaged students become independent scholars through close interaction with faculty, researchers, and student peers. Since its first graduate in 1971, the doctoral program has educated innovative scholars who wish to apply analytical skills to pressing concerns, seek new ways of thinking to anticipate an as yet unknown future, and hope to create a future that will improve on rather than simply replicate the past.


Education happens in our community in multiple and sometimes unexpected ways, in formal classroom settings, informal seminars, collaborative faculty-student research, occasional reading groups, lunchtime conversations, impromptu exchanges, and chance encounters. Synergy derived from the intersection of multiple disciplines, approaches, and modes of thinking is a hallmark of the doctoral program. It is reflected in the diversity of student backgrounds, in the academic and professional pursuits of faculty, and in the positions filled by program graduates. Intentional diversity reflects the program’s commitments: to avoid the constraints of conventional orthodoxies; to teach students how to think but not what to think; to nurture innovation; and to foster an attitude of optimistic openness to the possibility of surprise in how we think about the world.


The doctoral program encourages inquiries from interested students. The Bloustein School’s Office of Student Services can answer questions, provide information, or help you plan a visit to meet and talk with our students and faculty. We admit approximately seven students annually and, as admission is highly competitive, we encourage early applications that fully describe your background and interests. As program director, I welcome you to contact me at any time with questions or for information about any aspect of the program.