Visiting Scholars


Visiting Scholars

We often host visitors who are senior scholars and/or distinguished visitors who (1) hold a doctoral degree or the foreign equivalent and (2) an appointment comparable to that of a UCLA faculty member, and (3) are in most cases on temporary leave from their universities or research centers.

Visiting Scholars are in residence for relatively short periods of time, usually no longer than a year. They usually conduct research conceived and funded prior to coming to UCLA. Ordinarily, visiting scholars are self-supported; that is they have funding from their home universities or from outside grant or funding agencies. Although Visiting Scholars are largely independent and autonomous, these visits are viewed as a collaborative experience with UCLA faculty members, and such collaborations are in all cases established prior to their arrival at UCLA.

Ordinarily, visiting scholars are self-supported, or have adequate support funds from sources outside the University and are considered peers of the faculty, unlike postdoctoral scholars who enroll with the Graduate Division for an approved postdoctoral research and training objective under faculty supervision.

: The Department of Urban Planning charges a fee for all visitors:

  • Full Year (12 months):  $10,000
  • Per 3 month term (winter, spring, summer, fall) $3,000
  • Per month (30 days): $1,500
  • Per week (7 days): $500
  • Minimum fee: $1,000

This fee covers costs currently charged by the university to process visa applications and Bruin Card applications as well as supporting visiting scholars with their research/study program while at UCLA (via computing and other services), administration of the program and improvements to facilities and equipment. Visitors are provided with a shared office space when available.

How to apply:  To apply for appointment as a Visiting Scholar, please send the following materials via e-mail (as attachments, in either *.pdf or *.doc formats) to Robin McCallum, Manager of the Department, at  

  • A cover letter of no more than two pages describing (1) your background and qualifications, (2) your reasons for wanting to visit UCLA, (3) the program of study you intend to pursue while at UCLA, (4) the Urban Planning faculty member who has agreed to serve as your sponsor, and (5) your expected means of support during your visit.
  • Academic curriculum vitae.

There is no deadline for applications, though you should allow at least one month for your application to be considered, and at least two additional months to process your appointment should you be invited to visit UCLA.    

International visitors should apply at least six months in advance in order to allow time for visa processing. Please note that effective 1/5/2015,any DS-2019 form issued will require the student or scholar beginning a new J-1 program to demonstrate English language proficiency in one of three ways: 1.)    A recognized English language test; or 2.) Signed documentation from an academic institution or English language school; or 3.)    A documented interview conducted by the faculty supervisor either in-person or by videoconferencing, or by telephone if videoconferencing is not a viable option.

Invitation to visit the Department of Urban Planning is solely at the discretion of your sponsoring faculty member(s) and the Chair of the Department of Urban Planning.   To identify an appropriate faculty member to serve as your sponsor, you may wish to access the department of Urban Planning faculty research listings and contact information and the UCLA Faculty Research Interests database

Should both a sponsoring faculty member and the Urban Planning Chair recommend your appointment, you will be issued a letter of invitation for a specific term or terms.