Planning, Governance & Globalization Doctoral Program

Planning, Governance & Globalization Doctoral Program 2017-01-20T23:57:27+00:00

The doctoral program in Planning, Governance & Globalization is a spin-off from the Environmental Design and Planning (EDP) Ph.D. Program in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies. Initiated in 1975, the EDP program has grown not only in enrollment but also in specializations or streams as the College has become more diverse through restructuring. Effective spring 2007, EDP spun off two separate Ph.D. degrees, Planning, Governance & Globalization (PGG) in the School of Public & International Affairs and Architecture Design Research (ADR) in the School of Architecture + Design.



The GG track is supported by faculty in Government and International Affairs

Thematic Areas in the Governance & Globalization track

  • Governance, Institutions & Civil Society
  • Globalization, Identities, Security, & Economies



The UEDP track is supported by faculty in Urban Affairs and Planning

Thematic Areas in the Urban & Environmental Design & Planning track

  • Metropolitan Development
  • Community & Economic Development Planning
  • International Development Planning
  • Environmental Planning & Sustainability
  • Landscape Planning & Analysis
  • Transportation Planning
  • Physical Planning & Urban Design


Listing of current students and alumni.

For more information on the Ph.D. in PGG, please see the PGG Handbook.

Graduate School admissions, application, and other information.

Immigration Services – valuable information for international applicants.

Cranwell International Center at Virginia Tech – valuable information for international students after arrival.

Krystal Wright
PGG Graduate Staff Coordinator
Phone: (540) 231-2291

All information can be found in the current student handbook. Most forms you’ll need will be found on the Graduate School’s website: All forms must be submitted to Krystal Wright for processing.

See also the Scholar site for PGG current students

* Current students, not on stipend, who are seeking financial assistance should see the Graduate School’s site for other available funding.


Here is a suggested timeline of the major milestones that can also be found on page 9 of the handbook. Milestones are touched on briefly on pages 7-8 and in-depth descriptions begin on page 26 of the handbook.


Submit your plan of study with signature page (see next item immediately following) to Krystal Wright once complete.
Information about the plan can be found in the handbook on page 22 and the sample plan is on pages 34 and 35.
Students create their plans based on the sample.
Courses listed on the plan should match those on your transcript*:
* be sure you list the correct term on the plan as well as the correct department and course number (be careful of cross-listed courses).
Note: if you don’t have items for a particular section you don’t need to include that section on your plan.


Signature page must be submitted with your plan. You can create your signature page when creating your Plan of Study or print this form.


Take the Qualifying Exam form with you for signature when you meet your committee.
Most students do the plan of study and the qualifying exam at the same time though it’s not mandatory.


Take the Proposal Defense form with you for signature when you meet your committee.

PGG has established a highly selective Ph.D. program drawing students in the 60th percentile or higher of peer institutions based on GRE scores, GPA, and other measures. Applicants should have master’s degrees in closely allied fields, such as Planning, Landscape Architecture, Political Science, Sociology, International Relations, Geography, and Economics, among others.

The graduate admissions committee will carefully screen all applications, and all admissions decisions will be made by consensus of the faculty. At least one faculty member from this program must agree to supervise any applicant whose record meets admissions requirements before they will receive a formal offer of admission. All incoming students will be assigned a “provisional” advisor who will work with the student until the student establishes a formal advisory committee of four members.

Information about the tracks and their thematic areas, process for transfer courses, and more, can be found in the current PGG Handbook.


Students apply online through the Graduate School website. If applying online is not an option for you, you may request paper application materials through their site as well.

    1. Report of the TOEFL test (if applicable); Virginia Tech’s code is #005859. The Graduate School requires official test scores sent directly from ETS.
    2. Transcripts: see more important information about providing transcripts on the Graduate School’s application site.While completing your online application and prior to submitting it, you will be required to upload one copy of your scanned official transcript from each institution from which you have earned or will earn an undergraduate or graduate degree. Do not send transcripts for community college attendance or from any institution where you enrolled in classes but did not earn a degree.Please do not mail your official transcripts to us until you have received an offer of admission from Virginia Tech. Please note that non-legible scans will not be accepted. Make sure your scanned documents are legible before uploading, as non-legible documents will result in processing delays.You may scan a copy of your official paper or electronic transcript provided to you from your institution’s Registrar. Do NOT upload your institution’s web-based academic record or a document stating it is not an official transcript. Make sure that all critical and identifying marks have been scanned and are legible.
    3. Three letters of recommendation (these may also be submitted online).
    4. Resume and Personal Statement (see below for items to include in the statement).

Whether you’re applying to the Blacksburg or NCR campus, please direct any questions you have to:

Krystal Wright
Graduate Staff Coordinator
Planning, Governance, and Globalization Ph.D. Program
School of Public and International Affairs (0113)
140 Otey Street SW / Room 112
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
telephone: 540-231-2291

You may also direct questions to the Graduate School:

Graduate School
Graduate Life Center at Donaldson Brown (0325)
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Graduate School – Graduate School admissions, application, and other information.

Applicants may use the space provided in the online application for their resume and personal statement. The online application form will ask you to state your reasons for pursuing a graduate degree; this section may be used as the personal statement.


Items to include in your statement:

  1. Indicate which track (UEDP or GG) and the theme within the track you are interested in pursuing. Information about the tracks and themes can be found in the PGG Handbook.
  2. Include a brief research proposal.
  3. Identify faculty you would like to serve as your major professor and why.


Students applying to the PGG program should meet the following academic standards:

  1. A “B” overall grade point average (3.1 on a 4 point scale)
  2. TOEFL minimums: internet-based: 80; computer-based: 213; paper-based: 550- or -IELTS: minimum 6.5(TOEFL nor IELTS not required of US permanent residents or US naturalized citizens; can be waived by the Graduate School if student attended a university where English is the language of instruction)


The PGG Admissions Committee begins reviewing applications in early February, so students who wish to be considered for graduate assistantships should have a complete application submitted by February 1 for the upcoming fall term. Graduate Assistantship decisions are made by the end of March.

The following application and decision deadlines have been established for the upcoming entry terms:

Deadlines Fall* Spring Summer I Summer II
Domestic Applicants apply by August 1 December 1 May 1 June 1
Department decision by August 15 January 15 May 15 June 15
International Applicants apply by April 1 September 1 January 1 February 1
Department decision by May 10 October 10 February 15 March 15

* Students seeking departmental funding should submit all required admissions materials by February 1st for full consideration.

* Please also see the Graduate School’s site for other available funding.

Please note that International students must have a decision on their applications no later than the deadlines indicated for the terms shown above. Any decisions made after these timeframes need to be approved in advance and on a case-by-case basis, by the Graduate School’s International Graduate Student Services staff. The contact email is

For those in the National Capital Region, please contact

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