Master of Science in Planning (MSCP)
The restructured Master of Science 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.
Contact the program
Admission Information & Requirements
SCARP requires that students applying to the MScP submit a pre-application questionnaire prior to being invited to submit an official application.
1) Check Eligibility
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. Please review the specific requirements for applicants with credentials from institutions in:
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
IELTS: International English Language Testing System
Overall score requirement: 7.0
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.
Prior degree, course and other requirements
Prior Degree Requirements
Bachelor of Science undergraduate degree.
2) Meet Deadlines
September 2023 Intake
Application Open Date15 December 2022
3) Prepare Application
All applicants have to submit transcripts from all past post-secondary study. Document submission requirements depend on whether your institution of study is within Canada or outside of Canada.
Letters of Reference
A minimum of three references are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications.
Statement of Interest
Many programs require a statement of interest, sometimes called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar.
Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.
Instructions regarding supervisor contact for Master of Science in Planning (MSCP)
Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.
4) Apply Online
All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.
Community Development and Social Planning, Comparative Development Planning, Disaster and Risk Management Planning, Ecological and Natural Resources Planning, Transportation Planning, Urban Development Planning
Tuition & Financial Support
|Fees||Canadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / Diplomat||International|
|Installments per year||3||3|
|Tuition per installment||$1,767.18||$3,104.64|
|Tuition per year|
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
|Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible)||$3,200.00 (-)|
|Other Fees and Costs|
|Student Fees (yearly)||$1,057.05 (approx.)|
|Costs of living (yearly)||starting at $17,366.20 (check cost calculator)|
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students. New students may see higher increases in tuition. Admitted students who defer their admission are subject to the potentially higher tuition fees for incoming students effective at the later program start date. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.
Applicants to UBC have access to a variety of funding options, including merit-based (i.e. based on your academic performance) and need-based (i.e. based on your financial situation) opportunities.
Scholarships & awards (merit-based funding)
All applicants are encouraged to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund their graduate education. The database lists merit-based scholarships and awards and allows for filtering by various criteria, such as domestic vs. international or degree level.
Teaching Assistantships (GTA)
Graduate programs may have Teaching Assistantships available for registered full-time graduate students. Full teaching assistantships involve 12 hours work per week in preparation, lecturing, or laboratory instruction although many graduate programs offer partial TA appointments at less than 12 hours per week. Teaching assistantship rates are set by collective bargaining between the University and the Teaching Assistants' Union.
Research Assistantships (GRA)
Many professors are able to provide Research Assistantships (GRA) from their research grants to support full-time graduate students studying under their direction. The duties usually constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is a form of financial support for a period of graduate study and is, therefore, not covered by a collective agreement. Unlike other forms of fellowship support for graduate students, the amount of a GRA is neither fixed nor subject to a university-wide formula. The stipend amounts vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded. Some research projects also require targeted research assistance and thus hire graduate students on an hourly basis.
Financial aid (need-based funding)
Canadian and US applicants may qualify for governmental loans to finance their studies. Please review eligibility and types of loans.
All students may be able to access private sector or bank loans.
Foreign government scholarships
Many foreign governments provide support to their citizens in pursuing education abroad. International applicants should check the various governmental resources in their home country, such as the Department of Education, for available scholarships.
Working while studying
The possibility to pursue work to supplement income may depend on the demands the program has on students. It should be carefully weighed if work leads to prolonged program durations or whether work placements can be meaningfully embedded into a program.
Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals
Canadian residents with RRSP accounts may be able to use the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) which allows students to withdraw amounts from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance full-time training or education for themselves or their partner.
Please review Filing taxes in Canada on the student services website for more information.
Applicants have access to the cost calculator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.
Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats
These statistics show data for the Master of Science in Planning (MSCP). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.
Completion Rates & Times
This list shows faculty members with full supervisory privileges who are affiliated with this program. It is not a comprehensive list of all potential supervisors as faculty from other programs or faculty members without full supervisory privileges can request approvals to supervise graduate students in this program.
Angeles, Leonora (Gender analysis, gender mainstreaming and other gender planning related tools, including feminist critiques and perspectives on the intergration of gender and other social axes of difference and diversity in community planning and international development work)
Bigazzi, Alex (Civil engineering; Transport planning; active transportation; Air quality; bicycles; motor vehicle emissions; Transportation Systems; travel behaviour)
Campbell, Heather (Urban and regional planning; how academics can work more effectively with non-academics to enhance impact of research; how academics can work more effectively with non-academics to enhance the relevance of research; how ethical values can be incorporated into public policy relating to city and regional planning)
Chang, Stephanie (All other social sciences, n.e.c.; natural disasters; risk; resilience; climate change adaptation; infrastructure systems; earthquakes; coastal hazards)
Leaf, Michael (urbanization and social change in Third World countries, particularly southeast Asia and China, Analysis and planning for societies in the midsts of their urban transitions, with particular attention to cases in Asia, Infrastructure and urban environments in developing countries)
Low, Margaret (Urban and regional planning; Indigenous community planning; Indigenous sovereignty; Reconciliation)
Sandercock, Leonie (multiculturalism and cities, urban policy, integration of immigrants, cross-cultural planning, First Nations collaborative community planning)
Senbel, Maged (Urban design, environmental planning, climate change planning, public engagement, urban agriculture, multi-media, social media and youth engagement)
Stevens, Mark (evaluating the effectiveness of local and regional government land use planning efforts, with a goal of producing new knowledge that can help communities anticipate and adapt to changes according to the principles of sustainable development; plan-making and implementation, growth management, natural hazard mitigation, and legal issues in planning; (1) a study of municipal climate change planning in BC, (2) a meta-analysis of environmental policy adoption, (3) a plan evaluation study of award-winning plans, and (4) a study on the content and delivery of quantitative methods courses in urban planning programs)
Tran, Martino (systems science, predictive modelling and simulation for understanding and tackling societal challenges in energy and sustainability)
Planning emphasizes an integrated approach that encompasses urban policy and community development, international development, environmental and natural resources, urban design, and planning processes and methods.