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Urban Development (MPl)

Students discussing while working on a project

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.

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 planning graduates with at least five consecutive full-time years of experience working directly in the field of planning.

Tuition Fees  

Tuition fee details

Professional Accreditation

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

Degree Earned

Master of Planning (MPl)

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

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 City Building Ryerson 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.

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
  • Active transportation
  • Brownfields
  • Civic technology
  • Climate change
  • Ecological design
  • Employment lands
  • Ethnocultural diversity
  • Housing affordability
  • Municipal finance
  • Urban design

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

International applicants are asked to contact the Urban Development office directly, to discuss eligibility, prior to starting their application.

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

Applicants must have a four- or five-year professionally-accredited bachelor's degree in Planning with a minimum GPA of 3.00/4.33 (B).

Applicants must also have professional experience working directly in the field of planning with progressive responsibility of no less than five consecutive calendar years of full-time employment. Note that internship and co-op experience is not counted. Applicants should be provisional or full members of a recognized provincial, state or national planning institute or regulatory body.

Applicants with a bachelor's degree and an exceptional record of practice over an established career of 5 or more consecutive years directly in planning may be considered for admission on a case-by-case basis.

All applicants must have passed a university-level course in statistics.