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).

  • Group photo.

    SURP Class of 2018 gathers for a class picture.

  • Group standing around glass-covered model city.

    First year students gather around a downtown model during a trip to Toronto City Hall.

  • Group photo.

    SURP students during orientation week.

  • Conference photo.

    SURP students at OPPI 2017 conference in Collingwood.

  • Group photo of SURP Alumni at Reunion in Toronto in October 2018

    SURP Alumni Reunion, Toronto, October 25, 2018.  From left to right, Arthur Lo MPL’12, Andrew Misiak MPL’15, Will Plexman MPL’10, Dave Gordon MPL’79, Mladen Kukic MPL’13, Sarah Brown MPL’10, Hans Reikko MPL’05, Vanessa Covello MPL’10.

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.

SURP students during a field trip to Toronto.

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.

Adjunct Professor Carl Bray helps out on a SURP walking tour.

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.

SURP students, professors, and alumni gather at the 2017 OPPI conference in Collingwood.

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.

SURP student Anna Geladi wins Peer Leadership Award.

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.

SURP students on a field trip to the nation’s capital.

… 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.

This video produced by SURP students Vanessa Smith and Carling Fraser entitled "The Next Generation of Planning in Canada" won a CIP Centernary award.    Vanessa and Carling were part of a team of students who undertook the international project course to India in December 2018.

SURP celebrates World Town Planning Day 2017.

… 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.

First Year students gather during a walking tour of Historic downtown Kingston.

… 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 GIS Lab, Geography research labs, the IT Support Centre, Global Development Studies, Civil Engineering, School of Policy Studies, and the Queen’s Law School. Adjacent buildings include the Stauffer Library and the new Athletics and Recreation Centre. The Schools of Environmental Studies, Business, Public Health and Kinesiology & Health Studies are all within a five-minute walk.

As part of a project course, SURP students gather in the school’s boardroom.

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.

SURP students meet with Royce Fu (City of Ottawa) and Hugh Gale (Kingston) to discuss upcoming project report.

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