Queen's University

School of

Urban and Regional Planning


Urban and Regional Planning

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School of Urban and Regional Planning and
Geography Department Accelerated Degree Program


The coordinated degree program is intended to help geography students who want a fast-track professional degree in urban and regional planning. The coordinated degree program makes it possible for geography students to finish their BA / B.Sc. and MPL. degrees in less time than it would take to pursue the degrees independently.

Geography and city planning are related fields. Geographers often consider the spatial implications of urban and regional issues and have a special focus on place. It is quite natural, therefore, to consider the integration of the two related fields. Today urban and regional planning is a broad field and people with different backgrounds are needed for the different work that is done by planners. The multi-disciplinary dimensions of urban planning provide students with a breadth of options to pursue in their studies.

Having both the geography and planning degrees offers the practical advantage of increasing professional qualifications that will broaden employment prospects. The skills gained by taking both programs will prepare graduates for work in urban planning, GIS, transportation, environmental studies, social planning and urban development. Many planning graduates who have geography backgrounds have found responsible and rewarding positions in municipal or provincial governments, and consulting practices across Canada.

The coordinated degree program allows students to finish the M.PL. degree requirements in about 15 months after receiving their geography degree provided they take two of their Geography electives in planning and an additional two planning courses while they are still in the Geography program.

Academic Requirements

The coordinated program is suited to highly motivated students who have at least an 80% grade average in Geography courses in the previous year. The combination of planning and geography skills will be especially useful for those hoping to work in urban planning, GIS, transportation, environmental studies, social planning and urban development. Students are required to maintain at least an "A" average in Geography courses and at least a "B+" in Planning courses.


Eligible students from Geography can get a Master of Urban and Regional Planning (M.Pl.) degree by extending their studies 15 months instead of the usual two years. Successful applicants to the fast-track program will be expected to have taken four Planning courses (all half-term courses) during their third and/or fourth year in Geography.

  • Two SURP courses would be taken as electives as part of the Geography program.
  • Two other SURP courses could be taken as additional electives.

This increase in your fourth-year workload can help you save one academic year in the Master's degree program.

Students taking an Honours seminar in Geography may find it advantageous to develop a topic related to urban and regional planning.

Have a Question?

If you think you might be interested in the program, please contact:

Professor Leela Viswanathan (613-533-6000 ext. 75038; e-mail: leela.viswanathan[@]queensu.ca)

Professor David Gordon, Director (david.gordon[@]queensu.ca)