School of Graduate Studies

School of Graduate Studies
School of Graduate Studies

Urban & Regional Planning



“I couldn’t be happier with my decision to become an urban planner. My experiences at Queen’s University opened many doors for me, and prepared me for entering the industry with a solid background of planning theory and practical applications.”

Michelle Taggart , M.Pl., 2007

Program Contact

Research & Graduate Assistant
Amanda Miller,
School of Urban & Regional Planning
Department of Geography and Planning
MacIntosh Corry Hall, Room E208.
Kingston, ON, Canada K7L 3N6

Phone: 613.533.6000 ext. 77057


Program Overview

The School of Urban & Regional Planning in the Queen’s Department of Geography and Planning emphasizes excellence in teaching, with high faculty-student engagement and courses that capitalize on the considerable planning experience of our energetic faculty. This is a professional education program that also has a significant research component. It is officially recognized by the Canadian Institute of Planners as a key stage toward earning the Registered Professional Planners designation.

We also offer a combined degree program for geography, kinesiology and health, environmental studies and civil engineering students looking for a fast-track second professional degree in urban and regional planning. The program allows Queen’s students to finish their M.PL. degree in less time than it would take to complete it separately.


Our internship program offers students the opportunity to work as paid interns with public and private sector organizations across Canada.

The International Experience Awards Program provides funding for up to three students per year to travel abroad. We also have international exchange agreements with China's Ministry of Natural Resources, the University of Western Australia, Otago University in New Zealand and others.

Career paths – employment opportunities

  • city planner, environmental planner, industrial planner, land use planner, municipal planner, recreation and park planner, regional planner, social planner, strategic planner, and transportation planner
  • community development officer
  • conflict resolution mediator/negotiator
  • economic development officer
  • geographic information system planner
  • heritage coordinator
  • housing analyst
  • planning consultant
  • policy analyst
  • resource development officer
  • urban designer
Degrees Offered/Method of Completion

Degrees Offered

M.PL.: 2 years

The Department of Geography and Planning also offers M.A., M.Sc. and Ph.D. programs in Geography.

Method of Completion

Three paths to the M.PL.: 

  1. Course work and thesis;
  2. Course work and research report; or
  3. Course work only.

Most students also complete a paid summer internship.

Fields of study and Supervisors

All M.PL. students are assigned a faculty academic advisor in first year.  Students select research supervisors in the second year, based on the proposed topic of the report or thesis and the availability of a faculty member to supervise. Approved fields of study include:

  • Land Use and Real Estate Development
  • Health and Social Planning
  • Environmental Services


  • Ajay Agarwal: metropolitan spatial structure, urban transportation
  • John Andrew: commercial real estate; especially development, sustainability, brownfield redevelopment, green buildings, financial analysis
  • Patricia Collins: healthy communities, healthy public policy, health and place, liveability
  • David L.A. Gordon: planning history, suburbs, waterfronts, Canada’s capital city, community design, public development
  • John Meligrana: local government institutions and how they respond to urban growth and development, especially within the rural-urban fringe
  • Leela Viswanathan: social planning, equity, healthy communities, cultural diversity
  • Graham Whitelaw: environmental assessment, land use planning, community based and multi-party monitoring and First Nations
Funding, Academic Prerequisites & Deadline

Funding Information

Top students may be offered funding that may consist of a combination of Queen’s Graduate Award or Fellowship, and/or external scholarships or awards (such as SSHRC or Ontario Graduate Scholarships) that they may receive.  Although most MPL students receive some funding for their second year of study, the total amount will not be determined until the start of their second year.

Academic Prerequisites

Our students come from a variety of disciplines in the social sciences and humanities, as well as engineering, architecture and the natural sciences. We also encourage applicants who have been working in planning.

Candidates with either four-year bachelor or honours degrees may be admitted with full graduate student status. Grade requirements: minimum of B+ average with preference for those with an A- average or better in the final two years of undergraduate study.

Other Requirements

  • Statement of Interest, two letters of reference
  • Numeracy skills and the ability to solve basic math problems using algebra and geometry are expected.

Test Requirements

For international students, if required, a TOEFL total score of at least 600 (paperbased) or TOEFL iBT minimum scores of: writing (25/30); speaking (25/30); reading (25/30); listening (25/30), for a total of 100/120. Applicants must have the minimum in each test as well as the minimum overall score.

Key Dates and Deadlines

Application Deadline:  January 31 (Domestic and International), which must include all supporting documents.  However, late applications from domestic students may be considered on a rolling basis until all spots are filled.

Notification of Acceptance: typically 6 weeks after we receive your full application.

Learning Outcomes

Grad Maps

View the Grad Maps for this department and all graduate degrees on the Career Services website


Tara SpearsTara Spears
Urban & Regional Planning
Inaugural Sue Hendler Fellowship
Kevin HouseKevin House
Urban & Regional Planning
The first to go on an exchange to Australia