Karen Franck, PhD
Karen Franck, PhD
Program Director


The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Program in Urban Systems was established in 2001. The joint program is sponsored by the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), and Rutgers University -Newark.

This PhD Program in Urban Systems is the first cross-sectoral doctoral program in the social sciences to draw upon the combined strengths of New Jersey's two senior public research universities. Students enjoy the rich resources of the partner institutions, including faculty, research programs, libraries, and computer facilities. In addition, Newark - a rich, multicultural urban environment, serves as the host community for the program. Northern New Jersey and the Greater Metropolitan Area provide a natural laboratory in which students may pursue challenging research opportunities.

The program has a 51-credit curriculum with 3 major specializations:
Urban Health
Urban Environment
Global Urban Studies (formerly Urban Education)

Program faculty have academic expertise in a broad range of disciplines, including the social sciences (anthropology, sociology, psychology and political science), architecture and urban planning, education, nursing and other health disciplines, and research and statistical methods.

The program is based on the premise that urban problems are multifaceted and cannot be understood or solved within the confines of an individual discipline. Students are expected to acquire an appreciation of issues related to the urban environment, health, and education. Cross-disciplinary research is strongly encouraged, and the program is designed for individuals who want to make a difference.

This program of study fosters interdisciplinary collaboration, creativity, vision and scholarly enterprise. Urban systems are complex, challenging, and can sustain positive change and lasting transformation. Students strengthen their academic understanding of the urban environment and capacity for effecting change by acquiring a doctorate in urban systems.

For questions about this program, contact Dr. Karen Franck (Program Director).

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