Student Paper Competition

Deadline: February 17, 2015

The Transportation Planning Division (TPD) is looking for outstanding student papers on current transportation planning or policy issues. Our purpose is to recognize and reward work completed for courses in accredited masters and undergraduate planning programs. Please nominate and encourage your students to participate in APA's student paper contest. Winners will be announced at the APA National Conference in Seattle, Washington, April 18-21, 2015.


There will be a total of up to three (3) cash prizes. The grand prize for the best graduate student paper is $1,000, and the second prize is $500. The prize for the best undergraduate student paper is $500. Winning papers (or summaries) will be published in the TPD's quarterly newsletter. The TPD may also submit full versions of the winning paper for peer review and possible presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board and for publication in APA's Planning magazine.


  1. Papers must have been originally written by a single author for a class in a PAB-accredited planning program in a college or university during calendar years 2013 and 2014. The program chair, a faculty member, or the AICP liaison may nominate a paper by indicating when and for what course the paper was prepared; students may not nominate their own paper. Doctoral students are not eligible for this award.
  2. A paper may be submitted only once; papers may not be revised and resubmitted a second time.
  3. Each accredited program may submit only two master's and two undergraduate papers. Master's theses, terminal professional reports, internship projects, and student group projects are not eligible.
  4. Papers may be no more than 25 pages long, including an abstract (no more than 250 words), tables, maps, other diagrams, and references. Papers must be double-spaced with margins of at least 1 inch and a font of at least 12 point. Title page should include student name, address, degree program, date when paper was originally submitted, and phone number. No name or other form of identification should be included on the pages with the text of the paper (e.g., a header or footer should only include the page number and paper title).
  5. Papers will be accepted via e-mail; PDF is the preferred format; please submit the title page separately from the paper. Printed copies of papers will also be accepted; papers will not be accepted via FAX. The deadline for receipt of the papers is Tuesday, February 17, 2015. No late papers will be accepted.

Selection Criteria

A subcommittee of planning faculty and planning practitioners will read all papers using blind review. The papers will be judged on (1) Relevance to major current issue in transportation planning or policy; (2) Insight and significance of discussion; and (3) Quality of the writing, argument, and documentation.

More information


Send submissions to:

Eduardo C. Serafin, AICP
Chair, Student Paper Competition Committee
APA Transportation Planning Division

Technology Transfer Program, Institute of Transportation Studies
University of California, Berkeley

Previous Winners

Paper Competition Winners