Doctor of Philosophy in Planning (PhD)
SCARP is interested in attracting students to its PhD program who are interested in topics broadly related to the transition to sustainability through the democratization of planning approaches. Under this broad umbrella, our faculty have diverse interests, ranging from sustainable transportation studies to disaster preparedness, community development and social planning, poverty alleviation at home and abroad, negotiation and mediation of land and resource conflicts, the ecological footprint, risk analysis, managing multicultural cities and regions, cross-cultural and indigenous planning, community based urban design, urbanization and its challenges in East and Southeast Asia to name just a few of our faculty's research interests. Our research approach is inherently interdisciplinary and spans qualitative and quantitative methodologies.
Admission Information & Requirements
In order to apply to this program, the following components may be required.
All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.
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. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitve process.
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.
English Language Proficiency
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:
Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Depending on program, applicants either reach out to faculty members directly or the program supports this process in different ways.
This program has not specified whether applicants should reach out to faculty members. Please review the program website for additional details.
Test Scores (GRE / GMAT or similar)
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:
Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.
Deadline to submit online application. No changes can be made to the application after submission.Transcript Deadline
Deadline to upload scans of official transcripts through the applicant portal in support of a submitted application. Information for accessing the applicant portal will be provided after submitting an online application for admission.Referee Deadline
Deadline for the referees identified in the application for admission to submit references. See Letters of Reference for more information.
September 2020 Intake
Application Open Date06 December 2019
All full-time students who begin a UBC-Vancouver PhD program in September 2018 or later will be provided with a funding package of at least $18,000 for each of the first four years of their PhD. The funding package may consist of any combination of internal or external awards, teaching-related work, research assistantships, and graduate academic assistantships. Applicants receiving an offer of admission will be given information about the details of their funding package in their offer letter.
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.
We encourage all applicants to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund your 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.
In addition to scholarships and awards, applicants may be eligible to apply for financial aid or other benefits in the form of loans, bursaries, tax credits, or similar.
22 students graduated between 2005 and 2013. Of these, career information was obtained for 22 alumni (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016):
RI (Research-Intensive) Faculty: typically tenure-track faculty positions (equivalent of the North American Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor positions) in PhD-granting institutions
TI (Teaching-Intensive) Faculty: typically full-time faculty positions in colleges or in institutions not granting PhDs, and teaching faculty at PhD-granting institutions
Term Faculty: faculty in term appointments (e.g. sessional lecturers, visiting assistant professors, etc.)
Sample Employers in Higher EducationUniversity of British Columbia (3)
University of Glasgow
Ben-Gurion University of the Nagev
University of Toronto
University of Manitoba
British Columbia Institute of Technology
Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University
Universite de Montreal
Sample Employers Outside Higher EducationUnited Nations - Development Programme
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher EducationResearch Consultant
PhD Career Outcome SurveyYou may view the full report on career outcomes of UBC PhD graduates on outcomes.grad.ubc.ca.
DisclaimerThese data represent historical employment information and do not guarantee future employment prospects for graduates of this program. They are for informational purposes only. Data were collected through either alumni surveys or internet research.
Tuition / Program Costs
|Fees||Canadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / Diplomat||International|
|Installments per year||3||3|
|Tuition per installment||$1,698.56||$2,984.09|
|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)||$944.51 (approx.)|
|Costs of living (yearly)||starting at $16,954.00 (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.
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, Alexander York (active transportation, bicycles, air quality, motor vehicle emissions, travel behaviour)
Chang, Stephanie (natural disasters, risk, resilience, climate change adaptation, infrastructure systems)
Frank, Lawrence (health and environmental impacts of transportation and urban planning (land use) decisions. transportation, transit, public health, sustainability, sprawl, neighbourhood walkability, physical activity, urban planning, Sustainable transportation)
Gurstein, Penelope (Housing)
Honey-Roses, Jordi (environmental planning, water resource management, and impact evaluation)
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 (Indigenous sovereignty , Reconciliation, Indigenous community planning )
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)
Recent Doctoral Citations
- Dr. Lyana Marie Patrick
"Dr. Patrick explored what urban Indigenous community planning looks like at the intersection of health and justice. She found that frontline workers in one organization create spaces of belonging for Indigenous peoples through relational practices that emphasize personal accountability, integrity, trust, and the importance of culture and ceremony." (November 2019)
- Dr. Lilia Anverovna Yumagulova
"Dr. Yumagulova examined how cities and regions can build their resilience to disasters and climate change using the Metro Vancouver region as her case study. Her research shows the importance of collaboration and learning to ensure coordinated, multi-level governance of risk." (May 2019)
- Dr. Magdalena Ugarte Urzua
"Dr. Ugarte examined the evolution of Indigenous policy in Chile, and how it has enabled Indigenous dispossession and ignored Indigenous legal orders. Her research suggests that the tensions between the state and Indigenous peoples today are the visible face of different legal orders clashing, making a call for planners to engage in legal pluralism." (May 2019)
- Dr. Victoria Jane Barr
"Dr. Barr examined how community planners and public health professionals are working together to improve health and foster social equity within BC communities. Her work focused on the best ways to support collaboration among diverse fields. This research is useful to policymakers seeking to build healthier and more vibrant communities for all." (November 2016)
- Dr. Leonard Machler
"Dr. Machler investigated whether people who lived in areas of Metro Vancouver that have a greater variety of housing types were more likely to settle in their preferred neighbourhoods. This research is important for policymakers who seek to combat the housing affordability problems of our region." (May 2016)