Master of Planning Program Structure

The Master of Planning is a first professional degree at the master's level. It is a course-based degree, which means no research thesis is required. The curriculum incorporates the breadth of Canadian Institute of Planners accreditation requirements and is fully accredited. 

Degree Requirements

The Master of Planning program is structured around a core studio sequence. Required courses and electives make up the remainder of the program. The two-year curriculum is expected to be completed in five consecutive terms. In addition to the Faculty of Graduate Studies requirements, successful completion of the MPlan must include the following academic requirements:


a) 57 units of core required courses:

Complete ALL of the following Courses:

  • ARCH675 - Urban Systems
  • PLAN600 - Landscape Ecology and Planning
  • PLAN602 - Computer Modelling for Urban Design
  • PLAN604 - Planning History and Theory
  • PLAN606 - Site Planning Studio
  • PLAN608 - Geographic Information Systems for Environmental Design
  • PLAN610 - Community Planning Studio
  • PLAN612 - Urban Infrastructure and Land Use
  • PLAN616 - Urban Design Studio
  • PLAN618 - Regional Planning Studio
  • PLAN620 - Planning and Public Engagement
  • PLAN622 - Project Management for Planners
  • PLAN626 - Urban Design Theory
  • PLAN628 - Professional Planning Practice
  • PLAN630 - Advanced Professional Planning Studio

b) 3 units of elective credits from:

Complete ANY of the following Courses:

  • PLAN614 - Real Estate Development and Finance OR PLAN624 - Housing and Neighbourhood Change

c) 3 units from:

Complete ANY of the following Courses:

  • PLAN670 - Experiential Learning in Planning OR PLAN672 - Experiential Learning in Planning OR PLAN674 - Experiential Learning in Planning OR PLAN676 - Experiential Learning in Planning

d) 3 units of elective credits from other courses offered by SAPL or the University of Calgary at the 500-level or higher that relate to individual interests in Planning.

Curriculum Features

The Master of Planning (MPlan) is a form-based program which uses design studio pedagogy as the primary context for integrating spatial and physical planning with social, environmental and economic dimensions of planning practice and theory. 

  • Form-based approach to planning, interdisciplinarity, and experiential learning: The Master of Planning is characterized by a form-based approach to planning and the opportunity for planning students to take interdisciplinary courses, especially in the program's first year when they share several courses with the Master of Landscape Architecture.
  • Block Week Courses: SAPL offers a signature teaching/learning format, SAPL Block Week courses, which allow students to work with prominent practitioners and educators, architects, planners, and landscape architects from the local and international context in an intensive study. The block courses are a vital and essential aspect of SAPL professional graduate programs. During Block Week courses, SAPL students can participate in a wide variety of intensive workshops related to their fields of study and interests. To learn more, please visit:
  • Community-Based Learning studios: SAPL students have an academic experience that attempts to mirror many aspects of professional practice. The Advanced Professional Planning Studio in the MPlan program fulfills this mandate. Through collaboration with community-based organizations, students engage with citizens in a comprehensive urban planning project that addresses pressing current and future challenges for growth and development. This final studio has operated on the basis of an ongoing agreement with the Federation of Calgary Communities. For additional information, visit the following SAPL webpages:,, 
  • Study Abroad: A well-rounded design education includes practical, real-world engagement with ideas, systems, and precedents around the world. Study abroad opportunities range from one-week field study courses in cities like Los Angeles to semester-long programs in Switzerland and Japan. The study abroad locations are recognized for their expertise areas like growth management, transit-oriented communities, district revitalization, sustainable infrastructure, public space design, and urban design.

Projects developed within the studio are featured here: