Public Administration PhD Program

NYU Shanghai, in partnership with the NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, invites applications from exceptional students for PhD study and research in Public Administration to be based in China.

Participating students are enrolled in the NYU Wagner Public Administration PhD program, complete their coursework at NYU Wagner and NYU's other graduate schools in New York, and then transition to full-time residence at NYU Shanghai where they undertake their doctoral research under the supervision of NYU Shanghai faculty.

Highlights of the Program

  • NYU degree upon graduation
  • Graduate coursework at NYU Wagner and NYU's other graduate schools in New York
  • Research opportunities with and close mentorship by NYU Shanghai faculty
  • Access to the vast intellectual resources of NYU Wagner and NYU's other graduate schools
  • Cutting-edge research environment at NYU Shanghai, including the Urban Lab, Center for Applied Social and Economic Research, Center for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence, and Center for Global Asia, a thriving community of PhD students, post-doctoral fellows, and research associates, activities such as a regular program of seminars and visiting academics, and links with other universities within and outside China
  • Financial aid through the NYU Shanghai Doctoral Fellowship, including tuition, fees, and an annual stipend
  • Additional benefits exclusive to the NYU Shanghai program, including international health insurance and travel funds

Supervising Faculty

ChengHe Guan

ChengHe Guan

Planning for Sustainable Post-pandemic Cities in the Framework of Digital Urban Transformation; Planning for the Growth of Climate Responsive Low-carbon Cities in the Context of GHG Mitigation; Planning for Environmentally Sensitive Urban Green Infrastructure Using Social Sensing Techniques

Recent publications by NYU Shanghai Faculty


  • Shi, Y., Yang, J. Keith, M., Song, K., Li, Y., Guan, C.*. (2021) Spatial accessibility patterns to public hospitals in Shanghai: An improved gravity model. The Professional Geographer.
  • Tan, M., Guan, C.* (2021) Are people happier in locations of high property value? Spatial temporal analytics of activity frequency, public sentiment and housing price using Twitter data. Applied Geography 132, 102474
  • Yao, Z., Yang, J., Liu, J., Keith, M., Guan, C.* (2021) Comparing Tweet sentiment in megacities using machine learning techniques: In the midst of COVID-19. Cities 116, 103273.
  • Liu, C., Liu, Z., Guan, C. (2021) The impacts of the built environment on the incidence rate of COVID-19: A case study of King County, Washington. Sustainable Cities & Society 74, 103144
  • Guan, C., Song, J., Keith, M., Zhang, B., Akiyama Y., Da, L., Shibasaki R., Sato, T. (2021) Seasonal variations of park visitor volume and park service area in Tokyo: A mixed-method approach combining big data and field observations. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 58, 126973
  • Guan, C.*, Rowe, P. (2021) Beyond big versus small: assessing spatial variation of urban neighborhood block structures in high‑density cities. Socio-Ecological Practice Research 3, 37-53.
  • Gómez, J., Guan, C.*, Tripathy, P., Duque, J., Passos, S., Keith, M., Liu, J. (2021) Analyzing the spatiotemporal uncertainty in urbanization predictions. Remote Sensing, 13(3), 512
  • Zhang, Y., Guan, C., Chen, B., Zeng, L., Zhang, B. (2021) Tracking embodied water uses and GHG emissions along Chinese supply chains. Journal of Cleaner Production.
  • Altinkaya-Genel O., Guan C.* (2021) Assessing urbanization dynamics in Turkey’s Marmara Region using CORINE data between 2006 and 2018. In a special issue - CORINE Land Cover System: Limits and Challenges for Territorial Studies and Planning. Remote Sensing. 13(4), 664
  • Zhang, Y., Wu, X., Guan, C., Zhang, B. (2021) Methane emissions of major economies in 2014: A household-consumption-based perspective. Science of the Total Environment, 768, 144523.
  • Guan, C.* and Forsyth, A. (2020) The influence of urban form and socio-demographics on active transport: A 40-neighborhoods study in Chengdu, China. Journal of Transport and Land Use, 13(1), 367-388.
  • Guan, C.* (2020) Landscape sensitivity of the border zone between wilderness and cities in the Appalachian Trail region. In Wang, J. and Cui, K. Eds. Frontiers of Urban Design Development, 533-539. Higher Education Press. International Top-level Forum on Engineering Science and Technology Development Strategy, Chinese Academic of Engineering.
  • Guan, C.*, Song, J., Keith, M., Akiyama Y., Shibasaki R., Sato, T. (2020) Delineating urban park catchment areas using mobile phone data: A case study of Tokyo. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, 81, 101474.
  • Guan, C.*, Srinivasan, S., Zhang, B., Da, L., Liu, J., Nielsen, C. (2020) The influence of neighborhood types and accessibility on active transport in China’s growing cities. Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, 80.
  • Guan, C.*, Peiser, R.B., Fu, S., Zhou, C. (2020) New towns in China: The Liangzhu story. In Peiser, R., and Forsyth, A. Eds. Toward Twenty-First Century New Towns. University of Pennsylvania Press.
  • Guan, C.*, Rowe, P. (2020) Multi-criteria locational analysis for retail development in small towns. In Wu, W. and Wang, Y. Eds. The Geography of Mobility, Wellbeing and Development: Understanding China’s Transformations through Big Data. Routledge Advances in Regional Economics, Science and Policy, ISBN 9781138081321.
  • Srinivasan, S., Guan, C.*, Nielsen, C. (2020) Built environment, income and travel behavior: Change in the city of Chengdu, China 2005-2016. International Journal of Sustainable Transportation 14:10, 749-760.
  • Gao, J., Guan, C., Zhang, B. (2020) China’s CH4 emissions from coal mining: A review of current bottom-up inventories. Science of the Total Environment, 725.
  • Liu, C., Ye, X., Yuan, X., Long, Y., Zhang, W., Guan, C., Zhang, F. (2020) Progress of Urban Informatics in Urban Planning. Guihua: Urban and Rural Spatial Planning Frontier, Vol 1(1) 91-97.
  • Guan, C. (2019) Spatial distribution of high-rise buildings and its relationship to public transit development in Shanghai. Transport Policy 81, 371-380.
  • Guan, C.*, Srinivasan, S., Nielsen, C. (2019) Does neighborhood form influence low-carbon transportation in China? Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment 67, 406-420.
  • Guan, C.*, Keith, M., Hong, A. (2019) Designing walkable cities and neighborhoods in the era of urban big data. Urban Planning International 34 (5) 9-15.
  • Guan, C.* (2019) Spatial metrics of urban form: measuring compact cities in China. In Lin, Z. and Gamez, J. Eds. Vertical Urbanism: Designing Compact Cities in China. New York, NY: Routledge. ISBN: 978-1-351-20683-9.
  • Han, M., Zhang, B., Zhang, Y., Guan, C.*. (2019) Agricultural CH4 and N2O emissions of major economies: Consumption vs. production-based perspectives. Journal of Cleaner Production, 210, 276-286.

Selected Faculty Features

"NYU Shanghai Launches Key Lab LOUD" (Guan ChengHe)

"Balancing Urban Growth with Environmental Protection" (Guan ChengHe)

"Key Laboratory of Urban Design and Urban Science Holds Joint Seminar with Tokyo City University" (Guan ChengHe)

"Researchers: New Towns with Single Centers Function More Efficiently" (Guan ChengHe)

"Scholars Offer Tools to Help Make Health Care More Accessible" (Guan ChengHe)

"NYU Shanghai Launches New Partnership with NYU Wagner's PhD in Public Administration Program"

"Reimagining Cities with Big Data" (Guan ChengHe)

Structure of Program

Participating students complete the PhD degree requirements set by NYU Wagner and in accordance with the academic policies of NYU Wagner. Each student develops an individualized course plan in consultation with the Director of the PhD Program at NYU Wagner and the student’s NYU Shanghai faculty advisor. A typical sequence follows:

Summer 1
in Shanghai


Begin program with funded research opportunity, up to 3 months preceding first Fall semester, to familiarize with NYU Shanghai and faculty as well as lay a foundation for future doctoral study.

Year 1
(Fall and Spring)
in New York


Pursue PhD coursework at NYU Wagner alongside other NYU PhD students.

Summer 2
in Shanghai


Return to Shanghai for a second funded research opportunity to solidify relationships with NYU Shanghai faculty and make further progress in research.

Year 2
and Beyond


Return to New York for one or two semesters to complete coursework before relocating permanently to Shanghai to pursue dissertation research under supervision of NYU Shanghai faculty advisor. Complete all required examinations and progress evaluations, both oral and written, leading up to submission and defense of doctoral thesis. 

To learn more about the NYU Wagner Public Administration PhD program degree requirements, please visit this page.


Current Students

Name Research Areas
Guangyu Wu Urban Science

Application Process and Dates

Applications are to be submitted through the NYU Wagner Application portal, within which students should select the Public Administration PhD as their program of interest, and then indicate their preference for NYU Shanghai by marking the appropriate checkbox when prompted in the Program Information section. Applicants will be evaluated by a joint admissions committee of New York and Shanghai faculty. Application requirements are the same for all NYU Wagner PhD applicants regardless of campus preference. However, candidates are encouraged to elaborate on their specific interest in the NYU Shanghai program and faculty in their application and personal statements.

For admission in Fall 2024, the application deadline is December 1, 2023.


Contact Us

Interested students are welcome to contact Vivien Du, NYU Shanghai's PhD program manager, via email at with any inquiries or to request more information.