Master of Arts in Planning


Program Description

The restructured Master of Arts in Planning is a thesis-based research program of study, which is differentiated from SCARP's accredited, professionally oriented Master of Community and Regional Planning (MCRP) and is intended to provide learning opportunities for:

  • Practicing professionals who want to strengthen their research skills;
  • Those with undergraduate planning degrees from accredited programs;
  • And students (with or without a master's degree) interested in eventually doing doctoral research;
  • To undertake graduate-level study leading to a non-accredited, research-based master's degree.

Research Masters (MAP)

This degree program is designed to provide a stimulating opportunity for students who have an interest in planning as a career, and who seek a strong and robust graduate educational experience as a platform for high-level planning and public policy work. Specifically, our program will appeal to students desiring a richer theoretical understanding of complex issues in city and community planning, environmental planning, and international development planning, as well as intensive study of instructive case studies.

The program may also be of particular interest to students with a possible interest in doctoral studies.

The program is designed to be completed within eighteen months, incorporating a selection of course work (including a theory course and thesis workshop), and a thesis prepared with the guidance of a supervisor and second reader. Successful applicants will work closely with a faculty supervisor, who should be identified in your application. 

Applicants should note that the Research Masters (MAP/MScP) degree programs are not formally accredited by the Canadian or American boards. Those seeking an accredited degree are encouraged to apply to the School’s Master of Community and Regional Planning (MCRP) program.

Research Focus

Community Development and Social Planning, Comparative Development Planning, Disaster and Risk Management Planning, Ecological and Natural Resources Planning, Transportation Planning, Urban Development Planning.


Minimum Academic Requirements

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies establishes the minimum admission requirements common to all applicants, usually a minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC). The graduate program that you are applying to may have additional requirements.

Each program may set higher academic minimum requirements. Please review the program website carefully to understand the program requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitive process.

English Language Test

Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.

Minimum requirements for the two most common English language proficiency tests to apply to this program are listed below:

TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language - Internet-based

  • Overall score requirement: 100
  • Reading: 22
  • Writing: 21
  • Speaking: 21
  • Listening: 22

IELTS: International English Language Testing System

  • Overall score requirement: 7.0
  • Reading: 6.5
  • Writing: 6.5
  • Speaking: 6.5
  • Listening: 6.5

Other Test Scores

Some programs require additional test scores such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Test (GMAT). The requirements for this program are:

  • The GRE is optional.
Last updated Dec 2020

About the School

The Faculty of Applied Science oversees administrative procedures for the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, the School of Community and Regional Planning, the School of Nursing, and a ... Read More

The Faculty of Applied Science oversees administrative procedures for the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, the School of Community and Regional Planning, the School of Nursing, and all engineering activities at the Vancouver campus and the School of Engineering at the Okanagan campus. Read less