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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 deadline MScPl, PhD:

Fall 2023 entry

10-Jan-2024

MScPl, PhD:

Fall 2023 entry

10-Jan-2024

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

Are any standardized tests required/recommended? MScPl, PhD:

NA

MScPl, PhD:

NA


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.

Applicants may enter the PhD program via one of two routes: 1) following completion of a master’s degree or 2) direct entry after completing a bachelor’s degree.

 

Fields:
Environmental Geography and Resource Management;
Historical/Social/Cultural Geography;
Urban/Economic Geography

PhD Program

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 from a recognized university, with a minimum standing equivalent to at least a University of Toronto A–.

Program Requirements

  • Complete a minimum of 3.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) in coursework including:

    • 0.5 FCE core course GGR1110H Issues in Geographic Thought and Practice.

    • 1.0 FCE in geography courses or from a list of approved courses available from the department.

    • At least 0.5 FCE but not more than 1.5 FCE courses in other departments.

    • In exceptional cases, at the discretion of the department, up to 1.0 FCE of graduate courses completed at the master's level at the University of Toronto may be counted towards meeting some course requirements.

    • Students who hold an appropriate master's degree but are changing disciplines or require further preparatory work may be required to complete additional coursework.

  • 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).

    • 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. Failure of the second exam may result in a recommendation for termination from the program.

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

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

  • Unless otherwise specified, two years of residence are required whereby 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.

  • See the Graduate Geography Handbook and visit the department's website.

Program Length

4 years

Time Limit

6 years

 

PhD Program (Direct-Entry)

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.

  • In exceptional cases and at the discretion of the department, admission to the PhD program by direct entry may be approved for applicants with an overall A average and appropriate bachelor's degree from a recognized university.

Program Requirements

  • Complete a minimum of 3.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) in coursework as follows:

    • 0.5 FCE core course GGR1110H Issues in Geographic Thought and Practice.

    • 1.0 FCE in geography courses or from a list of approved courses available from the department.

    • at least 0.5 FCE but no more than 1.5 FCE courses in other departments.

  • 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. Failure of the second exam may result in a recommendation for termination from the program.

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

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

  • Unless otherwise specified, two years of residence are required whereby 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.

  • See the Graduate Geography Handbook and visit the department's website.

Program Length

5 years

Time Limit

7 years

Master of Science in Planning (MScPl)

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.

 

MScPl General Program (No Concentration)

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 PLA4444Y 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 1.5 FCEs of these electives must be from the following list:

      • PLA1525H Urban, Regional, and Community Economic Development

      • PLA1601H Environmental Planning in a Changing Climate

      • PLA1652H Introductory Studio in Urban Design and Planning

      • PLA1656H Land Use Planning: Principles and Practice

      • PLA1703H Transportation Planning and Infrastructure

      • PLA1813H Planning and Social Policy

    • PLA4444H Internship (0.0 FCE). Students must 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 normally depends on the achievement of an overall B average in Year 1. 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

 

MScPl General Program (With a Concentration)

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 PLA4444Y 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. 2.0 FCEs of these electives must be completed in one of the following concentrations:

      • Economic Development Planning

      • Environmental Planning

      • Social Planning and Policy

      • Transportation Planning and Infrastructure

      • Urban Design and Spatial Planning

    • PLA4444H Internship (0.0 FCE). Students must 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 normally depends on the achievement of an overall B average in Year 1. 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 Planning Handbook and the department's website.

Program Length

4 years full-time

Time Limit

6 years full-time

Carly MacEacheron

“It means a lot how involved and supportive the Irvings have been. It has made a huge difference knowing someone believed in my work and where I’m from”

Carly MacEacheron
PhD Student, Department of Geography & Planning
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