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.

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 both the Canadian Institute of Planners and the Ontario Professional Planners Institute 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 an accelerated professional degree in urban and regional planning. This combined degree 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: urban spatial structure, transportation policy, public transit
  • John Andrew: commercial real estate; especially development, sustainability, brownfield redevelopment, green buildings, financial analysis
  • Rachael Baker: feminist and critical race theory, activism and social movements, critical and insurgent planning, inequality in urban space and systems, qualitative and participatory action methods
  • 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
  • Graham Whitelaw: environmental assessment, land use planning, community based and multi-party monitoring and First Nations
Funding, Academic Prerequisites & Deadline

Funding Information

There is no guaranteed funding for MPL students.  That said, many students typically receive Queen’s Graduate Awards, based on class standing. Additionally, students may apply for Teaching Assistant and Research Assistant positions in the Department of Geography and Planning.  Most students also undertake a paid professional internship in the summer between first and second year. For more information, see the School of Graduate Studies’ information on awards and scholarships.

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

 If English is not a native language, prospective students must meet the English language proficiency requirements in writing, speaking, reading, and listening. The School of Urban and Regional Planning requires the following minimum scores: (1) TOEFL (paper-based): 600 (2) TOEFL iBT: Writing (25/30); Speaking (25/30); Reading (25/30); Listening (25/30), for a total of 100/120 (applicants must have the minimum score in each test as well as the minimum overall score), or (3) IELTS: 7.0 (academic module overall band score and a 7.0 for each test band), or (4) PTE Academics: 65, or (5) Canadian Academic English Language (Computer Edition) (CAEL CE): 70 (minimum overall score)..

Key Dates and Deadlines

Application Deadline for ALL applicants, including Canadian citizens, permanent residents, landed immigrants, and international applicants:

- March 1 for admission consideration with grants and financial awards.

- After March 1, applications MAY be considered on a rolling basis if there are spots still available.

Notification of Acceptance:

- For complete applications received by March 1: April 1

- For applications received after March 1: 6 weeks or longer

Formal Acceptance by Applicant on SGS portal:

- May 1 OR four weeks from receiving a notice of acceptance from SURP Admissions Coordinator, whichever is earlier, unless otherwise mentioned in the notice.

Payment of Acceptance Deposit

- In order to secure an offer of admission to our program, a student must pay a $500 acceptance deposit in the first week of June. The Graduate Assistant will inform accepted students of the exact due date for the acceptance deposit and how to make the payment.

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