Master of Environmental Studies (MES) in Planning

The program information below is valid for the fall 2018 term (September 1, 2018 - December 31, 2018).

The Graduate Studies Academic Calendar is updated 3 times per year, at the start of each academic term (January 1, May 1, September 1). Graduate Studies Academic Calendars from previous terms can be found in the archives.

Fields (areas of research)

  • Human and Built Environment
  • Physical/Natural Environment
  • Admit term(s) 
    • Fall
  • Delivery mode 
    • On-campus
  • Length of program 
    • Full-time: 2 years - 6 terms
    • Part-time: 5 years - 15 terms
  • Program type 
    • Master's
    • Research
  • Registration option(s) 
    • Full-time
    • Part-time
  • Study option(s) 
  • Minimum requirements 
    • A four‐year honours bachelor degree (or equivalent), with a minimum overall average of 78%, from a recognized university; the undergraduate degree may be in planning or other fields relevant to planning including: architecture, biology, civil engineering, economics, forestry, geography, geology, landscape architecture, law, political science, sociology, or other resource disciplines or social sciences.
    • The name of one or more School of Planning faculty member(s) who would be a suitable advisor.
  • Application materials 
    • Résumé/Curriculum vitae
    • Supplementary information form
    • Transcript(s)
      • Two official academic transcripts from each post-secondary institution.
    • Writing sample
      • At least one substantial example of work completed during the last two years of academic study. Students with professional experience may submit a professional report of which they were sole or senior author.
  • References 
    • Number of references:  3
    • Type of references: 

      at least 2 academic

  • English language proficiency (ELP) (if applicable)

    Thesis option:

  • Graduate Academic Integrity Module (Graduate AIM)
  • Courses 
    • 5 700‐level required one‐term courses for a total of 2.50 units:
      • PLAN 700 Planning Paradigms and Theory
      • PLAN 701 Land Use Planning Fundamentals*
      • PLAN 703 Planning Professional Practice
      • PLAN 704 Methods of Planning Analysis
      • PLAN 710 Research Design
    • 2 700‐level required studio courses for a total of 2.00 units:
      • PLAN 720 Introductory Planning Project Studio
      • PLAN 721 Advanced Planning Project Studio
    • 3 600‐level elective one‐term courses selected from a list of quantitatively oriented environmental courses identified by the School of Planning for a total of 1.50 units.
    • Some elective graduate courses may be taken in other departments but the supervisor's advice and approval should be sought before registering. One half course may be a reading course.
      • *Students with a prior degree in planning may request to substitute an extra elective in place of PLAN 701, subject to approval by the Associate Director, Graduate Studies. Requests should be emailed to the Graduate Program Administrator.
  • Link(s) to courses
  • Graduate Studies Internship
    • Required during the first spring term.
    • The internship is intended to provide students who have not had prior planning work experience with the opportunity to work as paid or unpaid interns in professional settings. Internships will normally occur in the summer between the first and second years of the program, and are usually three to four months in duration. Internships may be with community‐based organizations, corporations, government agencies, consulting firms, public interest groups, district health units, and planning departments of all levels of government, among other potential employers.
    • Although the School of Planning cannot guarantee a placement to every student who requires an internship, assisting students in securing valuable work experience during their program is a priority.
    • Students who have already completed a minimum of 10 weeks of work (min. 20 hours/week) in planning or a planning‐related field will be considered to have met the internship requirement and will receive credit for the milestone (subject to approval by the Associate Director, Graduate Studies). Requests should be emailed to the Graduate Program Administrator.
  • Project Proposal Development Workshop
  • Master’s Research Plan
    • An oral presentation must be completed in April of first year.
  • Master’s Thesis
    • Students must write a thesis (2.00 unit weight) which contains evidence of research, analysis and synthesis. The thesis is supervised by a faculty advisor, examined by a committee of three or more members and is made available for anyone in the university or general public to use. The thesis must be defended successfully before an Examining Committee composed of a minimum of the student's Supervisor, one Committee member and one Reader.
  • Other requirements 
    • Transfer between programs: permission to transfer from the Master of Planning (MPlan) program to the Master of Arts (MA) in Planning or Master of Environmental Studies (MES) in Planning programs, or from the MA or MES programs to the MPlan program, may be granted after the end of the first term of year one by the Associate Director, Graduate Studies (Graduate Officer) providing the student fulfills the requirements of the program they want to transfer to. A key requirement for MPlan students transferring to the MA or MES program is the written agreement of an appropriate faculty member to advise the students and of another appropriate faculty member to act as a committee member. The transfer does not imply any financial commitment by the School of Planning to support the student after the change in program of studies. However, this does not preclude a faculty member providing research support from grants or contract funds.