Advising & The Learning Process

Maxine Goodman Levin School of Urban Affairs Ph.D. Program

To ensure that you develop the necessary skills for successful completion of your degree, you will work with a faculty advisor from your first semester in the program. You are responsible, in collaboration with your advisor and other faculty, for progress in the program and for the development of your own education. The faculty will participate as your partners, counselors, evaluators, teachers, mentors, and supervisors, but in the end it is your education and its full development is your responsibility. The journey will be demanding and difficult, and we hope that you will find it to be exciting, challenging, and intellectually fulfilling.

Student Involvement in the Learning Process

Receiving the Ph.D. in Urban Studies and Public Affairs is a privilege, not a right. Satisfactory progress in the program is not simply a matter of doing well in coursework. Perhaps the largest difference you will notice between your doctoral program and your previous academic work is the amount of time and energy you are expected to devote to study that is not associated with formal assignments. As a quality doctoral program, the faculty's objective is to contribute to expanding the knowledge base in the field. Hence, the development of your knowledge, skills and abilities to conduct inquiry and do research are of primary importance. Students are expected to familiarize themselves with the research projects of program faculty, staff, and other students by attending colloquia, brown-bag-lunch presentations, and other informal research reviews. As your research interests crystallize, you should ask to participate in projects in which you bring not only substantive knowledge of specific and related topics but also a set of methodologically relevant analytical skills, and the flexibility to learn new ones. By the end of the second year in the program, doctoral students are also expected to author or co-author a manuscript for an appropriate journal or professional conference. The faculty believes that peer-reviewed published research is an important indicator of the student's capabilities. Professionally refereed publications are a central part of a scholar's curriculum vitae presented for advanced professional employment. Working with faculty is am important route toward published work.