PhD in Urban Studies

GSSI - Gran Sasso Science Institute

Program Description

PhD in Urban Studies

GSSI - Gran Sasso Science Institute

Research and post-graduate study at the GSSI’s Urban Studies Unit focus on the long-term development trajectories of ‘territorial systems’, and ‘urban systems’ in particular (cities, metropolitan areas, metropolitan regions). The methodological perspective in research and teaching is genuinely trans-disciplinary. By supplying resources and an instrumental relational context, the GSSI fosters research projects and learning paths trespassing the boundaries of the single disciplines.

The evolution of the European urban system and territory is the main subject matter at GSSI Cities. Yet urban and territorial issues in other regions of the world will be also addressed. Scholars and researchers with a background in economics, anthropology, urban planning, architecture, sociology, political science and demography will find at the GSSI a relational context to work together in an attempt to enhance our understanding of the factors determining the long-term development trajectories of ‘territorial systems’ (cities, regions, macro-regions).

Post-graduate students at GSSI Cities will also have a diverse scientific background, and are expected to engage in interdisciplinary research in an international context. Research and learning at GSSI Cities is policy-oriented, with a strong emphasis on empirical inquiry. The first focal point of the activity is on the knowledge and analytical tools needed to perform exercise of explanatory forecasting of the development trajectories of urban systems in particular, and territorial systems in general. The second focal point is on evaluating the expected development trajectories, and on designing and implementing appropriate regulation policies.

Research and learning at the GSSI are grounded on firm epistemological and methodological bases. Through a day-to-day collaboration and interaction, researchers and doctoral students of the three areas of the GSSI – physics, mathematics and informatics and social science – will have the opportunity of building a sound knowledge of the methods of scientific research, and to acquire a familiarity with the history of science.


Disclaimer Please note that the submission of an application to the GSSI PhD degree in the different programs of the school has to be intended as an application to a selection procedure. Depending on the number of applicants and on the selection criteria, decided by the school faculty members, candidates will be shortlisted for a skype interview (shortlisted candidates may also choose to come to L'Aquila at their own expenses).

Fellowships All applicants admitted to the GSSI PhD courses will benefit of the GSSI fellowships and facilities, as detailed in the call for applications.

Application Instructions The questions within each section should be completed in order. Once you have begun working on your application form, you can save your work and, using your email address and password, coming back later to complete your application. Fields tagged with (*) are mandatory. The application procedure can be considered as successfully completed only after receiving the confirmation email, with a short summary of your data and the files you uploaded in attachment.

Application Materials The documents you need to submit are:

copy of the University title certificate academic transcripts (list of courses with grades) Curriculum Vitae a copy of a valid Identity Document (ID) signed and dated. These documents, common to all applicants, must be in pdf or jpg format and each file size should not exceed 3Mb.

Depending on your program choice several additional materials are required, namely:

PhD in Urban Studies: (i) Master Thesis (pdf file, 25Mb maximum size) in the original language, (ii) a summary of the Master Thesis in english (between 1,800 and 2,000 words in length). Contact Information Should you require assistance with questions that are not addressed in the GSSI web site please email

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated October 5, 2015
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Oct., 2016
3 years
Full time
Start date Oct., 2016
Italy L'Aquila
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Duration 3 years
Price Request Info