MSc in Planning

The Planning Program offers a fully accredited Master’s degree to suit the needs of students intent on working as planners or pursuing doctoral studies in planning or related fields. The structure of this curriculum consists of a required set of Core Courses and a broad range of elective courses covering five areas of Specialization in Planning:

  • Urban Planning and Development
  • Social Planning and Policy
  • Economic Planning and Policy
  • Environmental Planning
  • Urban Design

While the purpose of the Core Curriculum is to provide students with the kinds of knowledge considered essential to the education of a planner (history, theory, criticism, methods, skills), the five areas of Specialization in Planning offer everyone the opportunity for more in-depth study related to their future work.

The Planning curriculum consists of 16 half-courses (8 credits, that is, .5 credits per one-semester half-course), which full time students complete within two academic years (four semesters) by taking four-half courses per semester, along with a Summer Internship between the two years. The Program also admits part-time students, who are expected to fulfill all requirements for the degree within 6 years of first enrolment.

Out of the 16 half-courses (8 credits), the Core Curriculum accounts for 8 half-courses (4 half-courses and two full-course, the Planning Workshop and the Current Issues Paper), that is, 4.0 credits-as explained below. The Specialization in Planning requires a further 5 half-courses or 2.5 credits. These requirements leave students with space for free electives-3 half-courses or 1.5 credits-that may be taken from any Graduate Unit in the University.

The Program also requires that students demonstrate a B (or higher) average in their first-year grades and submit a Plan of Study upon the completion of a Summer Internship before admission into the second year of course work.

Admission and Degree Requirements

Students are admitted under the general regulations of the School of Graduate Studies at the University of Toronto. The requirements include:

  • bachelor’s degree, or its equivalent, with high academic standing
  • degree in planning, geography or social science, or a closely related field is acceptable
  • degrees in the life sciences, humanities, or professional programs, provided this preparation includes significant coursework in the social sciences prior to entry (normally equivalent to at least five courses)

We view professional planning or related experience favourably during the admissions process and encourage applications from those belonging to groups that are currently underrepresented in the academic and professional worlds of planning. The application process includes submission of a statement of intent, transcripts, three confidential reference letters (at least two from university instructors), samples of the applicant’s written work (where appropriate), and a curriculum vitae.

Academic Achievement

  • minimum academic standing as indicated
  • due to limited enrolment capacity, meeting minimum standards does not guarantee admission
  • minimum requirement is a B+ average in the final year (3.3 on a 4.0 grade point scale) of a Bachelor’s  Degree