Â© 2014, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. Today many Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are actively upscaling, refining and improving their existing PhD programs. Geography PhD programs have not been immune from these developments. The intention of this Special Issue (SI) is to further build and fortify the community of interest which is now forming around the changing trajectory of the PhD degree in Geography by: (a) providing a brief resume of knowledge and thinking about the principal problems which continue to impede PhD programs and documenting innovative and best practice in different national settings, and; (b) reflecting critically upon new contexts and trends which are working on HEIs, Departments of Geography, and PhD programs and providing space to articulateâ€”or to reclaimâ€”alternative value systems for PhD programs and to reflect upon the types of PhD structures and program designs these values might give birth to. This SI comprises a series of short papers, commentaries and interventions, incorporating insights from PhD program directors, current and recently graduated PhD students, experienced PhD supervisors, newly appointed faculty, and scholars of pedagogy.