Degree Program Degree Requirements Program Duration
Master of Arts in Planning (MA)
  • five 700-level obligatory one-term courses: 700, 701*, 703, 704, and 710, for a total of 2.5 units
  • three 600-level elective one-term courses for a total of 1.5 units
  • two 700-level obligatory studio courses: 720, 721 (2.0 units)
  • internship required during first spring term
  • thesis (2.0 weight)
  • in addition, students must complete two program milestones (satisfied in PLAN 710):
    • project proposal development workshop
    • research plan - oral presentation (April of first year)

* Students without a background in planning are required to take 701. Students not required to take 701 must take an extra elective course.

2 years - 6 terms of full-time enrollment

5 years - 15 terms of part-time enrollment

Master of Environmental Studies in Planning (MES)
  • five 700-level obligatory one-term courses: 700, 701*, 703, 704, and 710, for a total of 2.5 units
  • three 600-level elective one-term courses, taken from a list of approved courses, for a total of 1.5 units
  • two 700-level obligatory studio courses: 720, 721 (2.0 units)
  • internship required during first spring term
  • thesis (2.0 weight)
  • in addition, students must complete two program milestones (satisfied in PLAN 710):
    • project proposal development workshop
    • research plan - oral presentation (April of first year)

* Students without a background in planning are required to take 701. Students not required to take 701 must take an extra elective course.

2 years - 6 terms of full-time enrollment

5 years - 15 terms of part-time enrollment

Alumni Success

Our MA and MES graduates have gone on to work in a variety of positions, including:

  • GIS System Manager, Planning Department, Government of Bermuda
  • Sales and Technical Representative, Solinst Canada Ltd., Georgtown, ON
  • Senior Research Officer, Marketing Research, Parks Canada, Cornwall, ON
  • Planner, Economic Development and Planning Consulting Services, Edmonton, AB

Recommended program sequence

Term 1 (Fall)

Courses: PLAN 700, 701* (if required), 704
*Students not required to take 701 should enroll in an elective course this term instead

Thesis:

  • Refine thesis topic area and explore relevant literature
  • Undertake discussions and draft research question

Term 2 (Winter)

Courses: PLAN 703, 710, 720, and one elective

Thesis:

  • Through efforts in PLAN 710, establish research question and develop thesis proposal, including a literature review (Research Proposal Plan milestone)

Milestones: The Project Proposal Development Workshop, and Research Proposal Plan milestones will be satisfied in PLAN 710.

Internship: Develop internship strategy including resume preparation, potential professional development activities, and being searching for work placements for spring term (see note).
 

Term 3 (Spring)

Courses: If not doing an internship, it is advisable to take electives in this term. If doing an internship, a reading course (PLAN 675) may also be taken as an elective.

Thesis:

  • Plan and initiate data collection

Milestone: Internship

Term 4 (Fall)

Courses: PLAN 721, remaining electives (typically two)

Thesis:

  • Data collection and analysis (complete by November)
  • Begin structuring thesis document and writing

Term 5 (Winter)

Thesis:

  • Target for completed draft by end of term
    • Submit draft of chapters to supervisor (March-May, terms 5 and 6); supervisor provides timely feedback (turnaround of two weeks should be expected)
    • Work on revisions as required (terms 5 and 6)
    • Draft to committee member in late April (at the latest)

Term 6 (Spring)

Thesis:

  • Final version of thesis approved by supervisor in early June
    • If supervisor approves, send final draft of thesis to committee member for comments (May-June); committee member provides timely feedback (turnaround time of approximately two weeks)
    • Student incorporates committee member's comments, if recommended by the supervisor
  • Student and supervisor establish thesis completion logistics and timeline; identify reader https://uwaterloo.ca/graduate-studies-academic-calendar/environment/school-planning/master-arts-ma-planning
  • Supervisor contacts Graduate Program Administrator to initiate defence scheduling process (minimum 3 weeks prior to defence date); May-June defence date recommended
  • Student sends final thesis defence copy and necessary paperwork, including the MA-MES Thesis Completion Form, to Graduate Program Administrator
  • Oral defence completed and revisions as required as part of the defence decision
  • Upload approved thesis and complete formatting revisions (if required)
  • Notify Graduate Program Administrator that thesis is approved and archived; Intention to Graduate will then be submitted
    *For current tuition refund and convocation deadlines, please see the Calendar of Events & Academic Deadlines.

Elective courses

Students should consult with their supervisor(s) to determine which electives to take.

One of the electives may be a reading course (PLAN 675 - developed in consultation with supervisor/School of Planning faculty member and subject to approval by the Associate Director, Graduate Studies).

MES electives must be selected from a list of environmental/quantitative courses.

However, there are also possible choices of electives in other schools and departments in the Faculty of Environment. For example, the Department of Geography and Environmental Management (GEM), the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development (SEED), and the School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability (SERS) offers courses that are quantitative, science and environmentally focused.

Should you find a course that is of interest to you in another department, and after consultation with your supervisor, a formal request should be submitted to the Graduate Administrator in the School of Planning. Final approval will be determined by the Associate Director, Graduate Studies to determine if the course meets the MES course elective description.You can visit the following links to review the course information. With this information please then visit the Schedule of Graduate Classes to check course availability.

https://uwaterloo.ca/graduate-studies-academic-calendar/graduate-course/subject/GEOG

 https://uwaterloo.ca/graduate-studies-academic-calendar/graduate-course/subject/GEMCC

 https://uwaterloo.ca/graduate-studies-academic-calendar/graduate-course/subject/ERS

 https://uwaterloo.ca/graduate-studies-academic-calendar/graduate-course/subject/SUSM

Internship

Students without prior work experience in planning are required to complete an internship during term 3 (spring). Students are responsible for locating suitable employment or volunteer opportunities on their own. However, the Partnership Coordinator and the Associate Director, Graduate Studies, will connect with students regularly to help identify opportunities and provide guidance throughout the internship process.