How to apply to the M.U.P. program

The M.U.P. program is open to students holding a bachelor's degree or equivalent in anthropology, architecture, economics, engineering, geography, law, management, political science, social work, sociology, or urban studies. Students from other academic backgrounds may also apply. Please explain in the Personal Statement why you would like to make a transition into urban planning. In the past, applicants have been accepted from backgrounds including music, chemistry, and nursing.

The deadline for submitting applications and uploading all supporting material, including letters of recommendation, is the 15th of January of each year. Admission to the M.U.P. program is only granted for the Fall term of the same calendar year (beginning at the end of August).

Applicants must have completed their first degree at the time of application: they must upload a transcript indicating that their degree is completed. For most applicants this will mean that their first degree has been completed by end of summer of the year preceding the year of entry to the program. Typically, students admitted to the M.U.P. program have worked (in a wide variety of positions) for at least one or two years prior to applying. Students who will be completing their degree before the Fall start date are nonetheless also welcome to apply.

Applicants may submit all supporting documents in either English or French.

Basic (i.e. high-school level) proficiency in algebra is expected of all applicants, as preparation for methodological courses in statistics and data analysis.

Please note that applicants who wish to pursue the concentrations in Transportation Planning or Urban Development and Urban Design must first apply for admission into the core M.U.P. program. If admitted, they will be invited to submit an internal application for the concentration at the end of their first year of study. Only a limited number of students are admitted into each concentration in any given year on the basis of an internal competition. Criteria for selection include the student's performance in the first year of study, in particular in subfield-related courses, their level of skill in subject-related research methods, and the quality of their letter of application for admission into the concentration.


Step-by-step instructions for applying to the M.U.P. program

You must prepare and submit the online application, including payment of the application fee using a valid credit card. Within 48 hours of submitting your payment, you will be able to upload the other required supporting documents. Here are detailed step-by-step instructions for ensuring that your application is complete: 

  1. Upload your current curriculum vitae, including a summary of your academic background, professional experience, and other relevant activities (e.g., community involvement, volunteer work, etc.).
  2. Upload a personal statement of one to two pages, explaining your motivation for applying to the School, area(s) of specific interest, and longer-term career goals.
  3. Upload unofficial copies of transcripts for your entire university-level academic record to date, including all programs (complete, incomplete, and/or in progress). Incomplete or inaccurate applications that are submitted can significantly delay or even prevent an admission decision. You must therefore verify the following before submitting your application :
    • Ensure that the title of the degree matches what is actually indicated on the transcripts, e.g., B.A., B.Sc., B.S.Sc., Licence. If you cannot find a complete match, please enter 'Bachelor' or 'Master'.
    • Ensure that the year each degree was granted matches what is actually indicated on the transcripts.
    • Ensure that you include a copy of the degree certificate (diploma) if the transcript does not indicate that the degree has been conferred. For degrees that follow the British system, please include the overall standing, if applicable.
    • Ensure that each transcript includes the key or legend.
    • Ensure that a separate record has been created for every institution mentioned in the transcripts that you upload, even if the grades for those institutions are already reflected in the transcript. This includes institutions from which transfer credits were received, or institutions where credits were earned during study-abroad or exchange terms. The only exceptions are high schools and Québec CEGEPs.
  4. McGill's online application system will require you to enter the CGPA for your main degree(s). You will find resources here to help you determine this. The School recognises that this is a complicated process. Please do not spent too much time on this detail; incorrect entries here will not affect your application! Please note that McGill's policues on Graduate Studies require that applicants have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0/4.0 (B)--or 3.2/4.0 (just below a B+) for the last two years--in full-time studies completed for an undergraduate degree (or equivalent).
  5. We must receive two (2) letters of recommendation, at least one of which must be from a current or past professor; these are now collected through the online system. Within 48 hours of submitting your application fee, an invitation will be sent to your referees via email. The contact information that you provide must contain a valid institutional email address for these individuals, each of whom will be required to answer a series of online questions. They may also upload an additional free-form letter at the time of submission.
  6. If your first language is not English and you have not completed an undergraduate or graduate degree from a recognised foreign institution where English is the language of instruction or from a recognised Canadian institution (anglophone or francophone), you must provide documented proof of competency in oral and written English by the application deadline. McGill University accepts IELTS (International English Language Testing Systems) and TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). The scores must be submitted electronically by an official test centre; no paper test report forms will be accepted. Applicants must ask the centre where the test is taken to send the scores directly to McGill electronically (institution code : 0935). The minimum acceptable exam results for the TOEFL are an overall score of 100 on the iBT with a score of at least 23 on each of its four components; for the IELTS, the minimum overall band is 7.0, with a score of at least 6.5 on each component. We also accept the McGill Certificate of Proficiency in English or McGill Certificate of Proficiency (English for Professional Communication: Certificate of Proficiency), but the certificate must have been awarded by the application deadline.

It is your responsibility as applicant to ensure the completeness of your application (including letters of recommendation) for each program to which you are applying. Applications may not be evaluated if they are still incomplete by the application deadline. It is your responsibility to verify that the correct documents have been uploaded! All supporting documents uploaded must be the final versions; when an application is completed before the January 15th deadline, the status may change to 'In Review' at any time, at which point no documents can be replaced or modified.

If you have questions that are not answered anywhere on the McGill website, you may admissions.planning [at] (email) us. Owing to the volume of correspondence we receive, however, please anticipate a delay of at least a week before you receive a response.

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