MCRP Admissions - How To Apply

Admission Inquiries:

Phone: 604-822-4422


For general information on how to apply
to a UBC Graduate Program refer to the
The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Website

Application & Admission

This includes inquiries regarding:

  • Application fees
  • Online application problems
  • Minimum academic requirements
  • Transcript requirements
  • Translations of transcripts
  • Electronic or paper references, etc

    Application and admission information specific to the MCRP program

    The Admissions Committee considers many factors in making admissions decisions. Factors include academic preparation, academic capability, experience, and fit with SCARP.

    ***Due to the volume of documents received we are unable to confirm receipt of documents by email or phone. Please check the online application supporting document checklist if you have officially applied to the program.***


    SCARP requires applicants to scan and upload digital copies of all official transcripts, including transcripts for study abroad semesters, non-degree studies, or credential programs. Please ensure that the uploaded documents are official transcripts and include a transcript key. (Transcript keys are often printed on the reverse sides of official transcripts.) Grade reports, marking sheets, and transcripts marked “unofficial” are not acceptable and will not be considered for review. Please note that degree certificates are required only if the degree conferral is not listed on the transcript. Uploaded transcripts should be in PDF format, with each transcript complied as one PDF document. Include only one copy of the transcript key. Any additional or extraneous documents will be excluded from the final application file.

    The uploaded copies of official transcripts are considered “unofficial documents”. We use the unofficial documents to evaluate applicants and make conditional offers of admission. Please note that we do not require applicants to send hardcopies of official transcripts to SCARP at the time of application.

    Transcripts in a language other than English or French must be accompanied by certified translations. If applicable, transcripts that do not have an indication of the date the degree was conferred must be accompanied by a degree certificate (and translation, if appropriate).

    For more information, see the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies webpages on Canadian Transcripts or International Transcripts.

    If you are not able to obtain an official copy of your transcripts to upload, please contact SCARP,, for further information. 

    GRE-Graduate Record Exam (General Test)

    Institution Code: 0965; Dept. Code: 4402

    The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is not mandatory, and is only recommended in situations where an applicant’s GPA is close to the minimum and does not reflect the applicant’s true academic potential. GRE scores show students' level of reasoning skills, critical thinking and the ability to communicate in writing which provides us with additional information about the likelihood of a student's success in graduate school.

    The GRE is particularly helpful in situations where applicants do not have undergraduate grades (because their program may have been ungraded), or if there are obvious gaps in an applicant’s academic record. A strong GRE score will provide the admissions committee with another data point to consider academic ability.

    The GRE is widely required for graduate school applications throughout North America. We urge applicants to carefully review the guidebook that comes with the test application. It illustrates the kinds of questions on the test and helps the student practice for the test. Please see the GRE website.

    Evidence of English Language Proficiency

    Standardized test of English language proficiency is required, unless the previous post-secondary degree is from a university where the primary language of instruction was English.

    SCARP requires the following minimum scores:


    • Overall score of 100 or higher
    • Reading & Listening: Score of 22 or higher
    • Writing & Speaking: Score of 21 or higher


    • Overall score of at least 7.0
    • Reading, Writing, Listening, & Speaking: Score of 6.5 or higher
    • More information on these tests can be obtained from their websites: TOEFL, IELTS.
    Statement of Interest, Planning Areas, & Concentrations

    Applicants to SCARP must prepare and submit a 600-word statement of interest. The statement will help us assess whether your objectives can be satisfied by SCARP. We recommend you provide this statement to your referees.

    Your statement should outline:

    • Your interest in planning and why you have chosen it as a career
    • Any previous experience that has influenced your decision to pursue a planning career (e.g., employment and/or volunteer experiences, academic background, conferences attended, etc.)
    • Why you have chosen SCARP, in particular, for your graduate planning education
    • Any other background information you feel is pertinent


    In developing your statement of interest, please think about and discuss what particular planning areas you are most interested in. These can include, but are not limited to:

    • Community development
    • Urban design
    • Housing
    • Food systems planning
    • Natural resource development and planning
    • Social justice and environmental equity
    • International and urban development planning
    • Transportation planning and policy
    • Ecological planning
    • Health and the built environment
    • Land use and environmental policy
    • Sustainable and smart growth planning
    • Community resilience and disaster management planning
    • Planning law

    As examples of possible areas of focus, recent graduates’ professional projects have incorporated the following planning topics:

    • Transit-oriented development and neighbourhood design
    • Public space design
    • Community resilience and disaster planning
    • Participatory urban design
    • Climate adaptation planning
    • Food systems and social justice
    • First Nations community planning
    • Affordable housing design and development
    • Developing high-density family-friendly housing
    • Planning for non-motorized transportation infrastructure
    • Cultural planning and historic preservation
    • International sustainable community and economic development


    SCARP also offers two concentrations that have their own required courses and program of study:  Indigenous Community Planning and Urban Design. If you are interested in pursuing one of these concentrations, please include this information in your statement of interest.


    Each applicant must submit a resume detailing educational background, work and/or volunteer experience, publications (if any), and any academic or professional awards earned. Please include any travel experience.

    Letters of Reference

    SCARP requires exactly three references. Additional references will not be considered as part of the final application file.

    References should be from individuals who can assess your academic or professional qualifications and your communication skills. In most cases, at least two references should be academic. If you have been away from school for several years, all references may be from non-academics who are capable of assessing your professional and, if possible, your potential academic performance. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that their references submit documentation by the deadlines specified. The reference deadline is 10 days after the application deadline. Contact references in advance of submitting an application to ensure they have adequate time to provide a letter. Reference letters may be addressed to the "MCRP Admissions Committee". 

    There are three possible formats for references: electronic references, paper letters of reference, and paper reference forms. SCARP strongly prefers that references utilize the electronic reference system in the online application to submit a letter of reference. Letters should be in PDF format, on letterhead, with signature. For more information, see the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website section on Letters of Reference. Again, please note that an online application must be submitted before referees receive a request to provide a reference.

    If using the electronic reference system is not possible, we will accept hardcopies. Letters of reference and reference forms submitted in hardcopy are not official without the referee's signature. Hardcopies of reference forms and/or letters must be mailed directly to the SCARP office in a sealed and endorsed envelope (signed by the referee across the seal).

    Faculty Advisor

    SCARP will assign each student a faculty advisor, taking into account interests, availability, and student preference. Please select three faculty members with whom you would be interested in working. Applicants are not required to contact potential advisors at the time of application.

    All available advisors for the MCRP are listed in the dropdown menu in the application. Do not indicate other SCARP faculty or instructors, as they will not be available to supervise MCRP students. If you are applying to the ICP concentration, select only Dr. Leonie Sandercock. 

    Deferred Admission

    It is not possible to defer admission. If you are offered admission and decline or if you are offered admission but do not register you may apply again by submitting a new application form and paying the fee. Your admission would be considered along with others applying for that year. Admission is not guaranteed.

    Time of Admission

    Students admitted to the program will commence full-time studies in September. We do not admit students at any other time of year.