Department of Geography and Planning

Department of Geography and Planning
Department of Geography and Planning

School of Urban and Regional Planning (SURP)

Since 1970, our rigorous and well-focused two-year Master of Urban and Regional Planning (M.PL.) program allows our students to develop the knowledge and skills they require to become leaders in the planning field and to meet the challenges of a rapidly evolving urban environment.

Our program is professionally accredited by the Professional Standards Board on behalf of the Ontario Professional Planners Institute (OPPI) and the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP).

  • Black and white of SURP students on sitting on the Montreal Chalet du Mont-Royal steps

    SURP students at the Chalet du Mont-Royal during a field trip to Montreal

  • SURP students during a sunny day in Pune, India

    The SURP international project course team with its client in Pune, India Fall 2014.

  • Rick Downes discussing with SURP students in the classroom

    Kingston City Councillor, Rick Downes at the SURP848 Community Design presentation

  • Dr. Gordon lecturing SURP students in the park on a sunny but chilly fall day

    Dr. David Gordon giving a lecture to SURP students at Don Mills in Toronto

Why Study Planning at Queen's?

A Strong and Engaging Graduate Program

You will work closely with our faculty, staff and graduate students in a close-knit and collegial environment. Our two-year MPL program is an intensive residential experience with much teamwork, active learning and real-world projects. Your degree can specialize in Environmental Services; Health & Social Planning; or Land Use & Real Estate.

Outstanding Faculty

Your instructors will be a team of exceptional professors. The core faculty combine years of professional experience with strong research skills and a passion for promoting learning. Their books are used as core texts in planning courses across Canada and several have been honoured with university teaching and professional service awards. The core faculty are complemented by highly-qualified adjunct lecturers who are practicing professional planners.

Close Contacts to the Planning Profession

You will be joining a profession dedicated to improving the future of natural and human environments. The MPL program has been accredited by the Canadian Institute of Planners for over 40 years. As a graduate, you will be eligible for professional registration across Canada and also throughout the USA, through arrangements with the American Institute of Certified Planners. Classes are rescheduled annually to encourage the entire School to attend national or provincial conferences. In recent years, we travelled to Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Niagara Falls for these events.

Good Employment Prospects

Over the past five years, more than 90% of our students have obtained paid professional internships during the summer term in the middle of the MPL program. And over 90% of our graduates have obtained planning-related employment within six months of graduation. About half of SURP graduates work in the public sector, with policy agencies at the federal and provincial levels or as planners at local and regional governments. Perhaps a third of our MPL graduates work in the private sector, as planning consultants or in the real estate industry. Other graduates work with non-profit agencies, NGOs or continue to doctoral studies.

A National School…

Your classmates will be a diverse group drawn from across Canada (literally from Victoria to Halifax in most years). The School encourages comparative study of Canadian cities, with Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa all within two hours by train. We will visit all three cities in organized field studies in your first term. Research and teaching use case studies from all parts of Canada and other countries.

… With a Global Perspective …

You will have opportunities for international learning, either through an international studio (most recently in India or Shanghai); exchanges in your fifth term (Australia, New Zealand and India); summer internships (Beijing, Shanghai) or international travel awards to other countries. In Kingston, our School is also enriched by visiting scholars, international students and exchange students from our partner institutions. We have a particularly strong relationship with China, and growing links with India.

… Located in a Charming College Town…

Kingston is a medium-sized city with three post-secondary institutions and several teaching hospitals. It has a vibrant cultural scene and high quality of life. The Queen’s campus sits on the shore of Lake Ontario, adjacent to the Rideau Canal World Heritage Site and the Frontenac Arch World Biosphere Reserve. Most planning students live within walking distance of campus and Kingston’s historic and active downtown. You won’t need a car, since your student card is a transit pass, but do bring a bicycle.

… With the Resources of a Major University

Queen’s University is one of Canada’s leading research-intensive universities, with other strong professional schools that can enrich your MPL studies. SURP's immediate neighbours are the School of Policy Studies, Queen’s Law School and School of Business. Adjacent buildings include the Stauffer Library and the new Athletics and Recreation Centre. The Schools of Environmental Studies, Civil Engineering, Public Health and Kinesiology & Health Studies are all within a five-minute walk.

A Network of Colleagues

After you graduate with an MPL from Queen's, we will help you stay in touch with your friends and classmates through our newsletters, social media and alumni events. You will also gain a Canadian and international network of almost 1000 planning colleagues. Our alumni hold senior positions from St. John’s to Vancouver to Yellowknife, and many cities in-between.

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