Our Definition of Success

A successful Ph.D. program distinguishes itself by its ability to provide a rigorous and engaging academic experience and prepare its students to be leaders in the international community of researchers, practitioners, and educators in the field of study. To achieve this vision of national prominence in the field of Urban Design and Planning, our strategic plan identifies three criteria of success.

1.  Students success in the job market and publishing

We define the quality of the program by the student success in the job market and in publishing in peer-reviewed journals. Ph.D. programs face new challenges both within and outside the academic setting. Important societal challenges demand new scientific frameworks and education paradigms. Academia, industry, and governments demand that we prepare new scholars and practitioners. Expanded economic competition, global environmental and health problems, and emerging national-security challenges require new approaches in graduate education. We build on our solid foundations of interdisciplinary research and education to meet the challenges that new emerging social, economic, and environmental trends pose to the field of Urban Design and Planning.

2.  Leaders in creating innovation in the Urban Design and Planning field

The quality of a Ph.D. program is also measured by the ability of its students and faculty to move the field forward and lead innovation through cutting edge research and practice. Our program builds on a strong emphasis on interdisciplinarity. Fundamental questions concerning mechanisms governing urban and metropolitan regions require interdisciplinary research aiming at understanding the interactions among the built, human, and natural environments. Emerging urban problems are becoming increasingly complex requiring evidence-based planning and management strategies and a more sophisticated integration of social and natural science. Students need to be trained to communicate complex ideas and issues to diverse populations. Ethical issues are becoming even more prominent. We build on our innovative research in urban form, urban ecology, growth management, land use modeling and the new emerging fields of globalization and public participation to lead innovation in the field of Urban Design and Planning.

3.  Agents of change in bridging urban science and practice

Our Ph.D. program in Urban Design and Planning is well positioned to bridge the existing gap between the sciences and practices. Our extensive scholarship in key emerging research areas and engagement in problem solving positions our program at the cutting edge. This positioning gives an interdisciplinary program in urban design and planning a central role in research universities, such as the University of Washington.

Strategic Plan 2008-2013