Master of Planning (MPlan)

The Masters program is a 20-month program with a work term in the summer (third) semester. The program consists of 45 credit hours of required course work, and 15 credit hours of elective course work. The work term is a non-credit co-op academic requirement. The program may also be completed through part-time study over a longer period of time (maximum seven years).

Because of the interactive nature of the core studio and course curriculum, students must be present on campus during the terms they register for required courses, except for the work term.

The required courses provide the fundamental elements of a planning education. They cover planning theory, history, practice, law, and methods, and provide community-based project experience that allows students to understand the institutional, social, and environmental contexts within which planners work. Courses allow students to develop planning skills and knowledge and to apply them to real community problems.

In the second year of the MPlan program, all students take on two major research-based projects: one individual and one team project.

The elective courses enable students to pursue individual interests and areas of specialized knowledge relevant to their studies in planning. Courses offered within the School focus on community design, urban design, environmental planning, land use planning, urban and environmental history, land economics, transportation planning, housing, and land development. Students must take at least half of their elective credit hours from offerings within the School of Planning.

Electives may be taken in other Dalhousie departments, or at other universities in Halifax, with the permission of the Graduate Coordinator. In some cases, elective credit hours may be given for suitable courses taken at other universities in Canada or abroad. Students wishing to take courses outside the School need permission of the Graduate Coordinator.

Work Term

The program includes a work term (during the summer after the first academic year) that provides students with practical experience in planning. The Director of Career Services for the Faculty of Architecture and Planning assists students in preparing their search for suitable work term placements; students should note, however, that they are responsible for securing appropriate placements. In recent years, planning students have been employed throughout Atlantic Canada and most other Canadian provinces, and some have chosen to work abroad (e.g., in the United States and Europe). Students are encouraged to begin their search for work-term placements early in their first year of study in the program, and to be prepared to travel outside of the Halifax area to obtain work experience.

Professional Certification

On completion of the MPlan degree and obtaining employment in planning, graduates are eligible to apply for Candidate membership in one of the Provincial or Territorial Institutes or Associations of professional planners as the first step to becoming a registered or licensed professional planner. The certification process that follows is administered on behalf of the institutes or the associations by the Professional Standards Board for the Planning Profession in Canada using national standards for certification. Foreign applicants are advised to contact the Professional Standards Board about requirements for professional registration.