Planning

Program Overview

The Department of Geography and Planning offers facilities for research leading to the Master of Science in Planning (MScPl) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees. Faculty work involves social, economic, cultural, and other vital considerations. In spatial scale, it ranges from the design of individual communities to policy planning at the national level to international development. Planning specializations include land use, transportation, urban design, social policy, public health, economic development, international development, and the environment.

Quick Facts

Domestic International
Application payment deadline MScPl, PhD:

15-Jan-2021

MScPl, PhD:

15-Jan-2021

Supporting documents deadline MScPl, PhD:

1-Feb-2021

MScPl, PhD:

1-Feb-2021

Minimum admission average MScPl:

B+ in final-year

PhD:

A-

MScPl:

B+ in final-year

PhD:

A-

Is a supervisor identified before or after admission? MScPl:

After

PhD:

Before

MScPl:

After

PhD:

Before

Is a supervisor assigned by the graduate unit or secured by the applicant? MScPl:

Graduate Unit

PhD:

Applicant

MScPl:

Graduate Unit

PhD:

Applicant

Program length (full-time only) MScPl:

6 sessions

PhD:

4 years

MScPl:

6 sessions

PhD:

4 years


Master of Science in Planning​

Program Description

Students normally enrol for two years of full-time study, although part or all of the requirements of the program may be met by part-time study, with the approval of the Program Director.

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Geography and Planning's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • An appropriate bachelor's degree from a recognized university, with a minimum final-year standing in the social or life sciences, the humanities, or the professions, equivalent to at least a University of Toronto B+. Knowledge of introductory economics and statistics, as well as word processing and spreadsheet skills, is preferred prior to entry.

Program Requirements

  • The program consists of 8.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) plus the PLA 4444Y internship, taken over two years, as follows:

    • 4.0 FCEs in core courses

    • 4.0 FCEs chosen from the list of electives and from the offerings of other departments, centres, and institutes. At least 2.5 FCEs of these electives must fit into an approved concentration in one of the following six fields:

      • Economic Planning and Policy

      • Environmental Planning

      • Social Planning and Policy

      • Transportation Planning and Infrastructure

      • Urban Design

      • Urban Planning and Development

    • PLA 4444H Internship (0.0 FCE). Students are required to pursue a planning internship between Years 1 and 2 of the program. Part-time students who are currently employed in a planning environment may be exempted from this requirement; however, the Planning Director retains final discretion in the decision.

  • Progress into Year 2 of the program is normally dependent upon the achievement of an overall B average in the first year. Equivalent provisions apply to the part-time option.

Program Length

6 sessions full-time (typical registration sequence: F/W/S/F/W/S);
12 sessions part-time

Time Limit

3 years full-time;
6 years part-time

Doctor of Philosophy​

Program Description

The PhD is primarily a research degree. A program of study is designed for each student to ensure competence in a field of research and to facilitate the preparation of a dissertation.

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Geography and Planning's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • An appropriate master's degree in planning or a related field, or its equivalent from a recognized university, with a minimum standing equivalent to at least a University of Toronto A– and demonstrated competence in analytical methods or successful completion of one of two methods courses in the current master's program.

Program Requirements

All PhD students must:

  • Take 3.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs), if they hold a master's degree in planning comparable to the U of T MSc in Planning, as follows:

    • ​​​1.5 FCEs in core courses

    • 1.5 FCEs in electives (at least 0.5 elective FCE must be outside the Planning program).

Students who enter with a master's degree in a related field may be required to take up to an additional 1.0 FCE depending on their background and experience.

  • Submit a research statement concerning the proposed PhD topic and the scope of the PhD examination by the end of April in Year 1.

  • Pass a PhD examination in the general field in which research is being undertaken between June of Year 1 and no later than December of Year 2. The scope and areas of concentration of the exam are to be determined jointly by the supervisory committee and the student. There are two components of the PhD exam:

    • a written exam (options are an eight-hour closed room exam on campus in one day or over two days, or a five-day off-campus exam); and

    • an oral exam to take place within one week of the written exam.

A student who fails the PhD examination may retake the exam once within six months. A failure of the second exam may result in recommendation for termination of the student’s program.

  • Acquire knowledge of a foreign language necessary for their research upon the recommendation of their committee.

  • Submit a research proposal that is acceptable to their research committee, normally by the end of June of Year 2 and no later than September of Year 3.

  • Be in residence for two years, unless otherwise specified, during which the student is required to be on campus full-time and consequently in such geographical proximity as to be able to participate fully in the University activities associated with the program.

  • Complete a thesis embodying the results of original investigation, conducted by the candidate, on the approved topic from a major area of study. The thesis shall constitute a significant contribution to the knowledge of the field and must be conducted while the student is registered in the PhD program.

  • PhD degree program details are fully described in the Graduate Geography Handbook and the department's website.

Program Length

4 years full-time

Time Limit

6 years full-time

Mark Bloom

“The graduate school experience has taught me to take calculated risks and be brave when it comes to being an explorer of science.”

Mark Bloom
PhD (2018), Cell & Systems Biology
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