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Faculty of Community Services

Urban Development (MPl)

Program at a glance

Program formats:

  • Two-year Regular Stream: For university graduates with a four-year bachelor’s degree.
  • One-year Accelerated Stream: For professional planners and recent planning graduates with a bachelor’s degree in Urban Planning and at least two years of planning experience.

Tuition fees range: Tuition fee details

Degree earned: Master of Planning (MPl)

Professional accreditation: Ryerson’s Master of Planning (MPl) in Urban Development is fully accredited by the Canadian Institute of Planners.

Ryerson’s Master of Planning (MPl) in Urban Development combines holistic examination and analysis of economic, socio-cultural, political, ecological and spatial elements in reimagining our communities, structured around the intertwined dimensions of urban culture and nature. Students explicitly address the principles of inclusivity and sustainability in designing for development.

Career opportunities

Prepare for a planning career in the private, public or not-for-profit sector. Typical roles include:

  • Environmental planner: Promotes environmental protection through planning and design
  • Planning caseworker: Addresses planning disputes
  • Municipal land-use planner: Reviews applications for development or redevelopment; advising proponents, staff and citizen groups
  • Site planner: Develops urban design concepts and ideas in three-dimensional forms
  • Development planner: Coordinates subdivision approvals, development permits and building inspections
  • Community planner: Works with community groups to enhance their participation in development
  • Planning analyst: Coordinates a wide variety of studies, including statistical, fiscal, and land use analyses and transportation studies
  • International development planner: Helps agencies in developing countries to produce plans and policies
Why Urban Development at Ryerson?

Urban Development at Ryerson will challenge you to incorporate urban culture, nature, inclusion and sustainability frameworks into urban development and design.

Our program is unique in Canada. It opens the door to advanced practice and leadership in the urban development field:

  • Our two-year stream supports university graduates without prior experience in planning to launch their planning careers
  • Our one-year stream gives professional planners and recent planning graduates a competitive edge and a fresh perspective

Toronto will become your living laboratory. Studios, internship placements and research opportunities maximize connections with the city we live in.

Multidisciplinary centres such as the Ryerson City Building Institute and the Centre for Urban Research and Land Development will engage you with critical urban challenges, alongside a community of experts, citizens and advocates.

Our graduates work at the cutting-edge of contemporary urban design and planning, actively shaping the future of our cities.

Curriculum

Rapidly growing urban populations, deteriorating environmental conditions and complex demands from culturally diverse groups — coupled with constrained resources — create pressing challenges for today’s cities.

Ryerson’s Urban Development (MPl) program offers a new holistic process for addressing the design and development of contemporary cities and regions.

Our approach — unique in Canada — combines analysis of economic, sociocultural, political, ecological and spatial elements with attention to urban culture and nature. You'll learn to address inclusivity and sustainability in your practice, while drawing upon multicultural and ecological frameworks.

A rich blend of core courses, design studios, electives and a Major Research Paper/Project will support you to:

  • Apply theory to practice
  • Develop competitive skills and knowledge
  • Advance your career
  • Create meaningful change
Sample research areas
  • Active transportation
  • Brownfields
  • Civic technology
  • Climate change
  • Ecological design
  • Employment lands
  • Ethnocultural diversity
  • Housing affordability
  • Municipal finance
  • Urban design
Program structure

We offer full-time study only for the Two-year Regular Stream and One-year Accelerated Stream. Due to the intensive nature of our program, part-time study is not available.

Required courses typically consist of 35 students, while elective courses consist of 25 to 30 students. In studio, students tend to work in groups of seven or eight.

Most classes meet for three hours per week, on campus, during the day from Monday to Friday. Studio courses require additional lab time to complete assignments. Expect to spend time on campus completing group work with your colleagues.

Our program is demanding. While it is possible for you to work while completing the program, we advise that you devote no more than ten hours per week to your job.

Ryerson Urban Development life

There is more to the Ryerson Urban Development experience than just class, studio and research.

Ryerson offers countless opportunities to get involved.

Opportunities to address urban challenges will support you to have a real-world impact:

Student groups such as the Ryerson Planning Graduate Student Association and Sustainable SURP, coupled with small classes, outstanding faculty and supportive staff, create a strong sense of community.

Dedicated graduate student spots such as GRADSpace and the seventh floor of the Student Learning Centre provide hubs to relax, socialize and study.

Admissions requirements

Ryerson’s Urban Development (MPl) program is challenging and intensive. We enroll approximately 35 students every year, selected from a highly competitive applicant pool.

To be considered for admission to Ryerson’s Master of Planning (MPl) in Urban Development, you must meet the minimum program requirements:

Two-year Regular Stream

A four-year honours bachelor's degree (or equivalent) with a minimum GPA of 3.00/4.33 (B) in the last two years of study from a recognized university.

A significant majority of our students do not have a previous degree in urban planning.

All applicants are expected to have passed a university-level course in statistics.

 


 

One-year Accelerated Stream

A four or five-year accredited bachelor's degree in urban planning, or its equivalent, with a minimum GPA of 3.00/4.33 (B).

Planning degree holders must have planning experience of no less than two calendar years.

Applicants with a bachelor's degree (four- or five-year) in a related discipline (non-Planning degree) who show evidence of a significant number of years of relevant professional experience in planning will be considered for admission on a case-by-case basis.

All applicants are expected to have passed a university-level course in statistics.