PhD Program Requirements

Course Requirements

Students typically take fifteen to twenty-four credits of course work in the first two academic years.

Required Courses

  PLAN 602 Planning Theory Advanced Seminar (3 credit one term course)
  PLAN 603 PhD Colloquium (6 credits; taken in both 1st and 2nd year)
  PLAN 649 Doctoral Dissertation (0 credits but required throughout the program to maintain active registration status)

Advanced Research Methods - Advanced Research Methods is not offered at SCARP. An appropriate research methods course must be selected from another department with approval from the student's committee.

Introduction to Planning Theory - Students who do not have a Master's in Planning and/or have not taken an Intro to Planning Theory course will be required to audit Plan 508 in their first semester of the doctoral program.

Additional courses

All Planning courses in the 500 and 600 levels are open to doctoral students.

The student may select other appropriate courses in consultation with their Supervisory Committee. The exact form and structure of the program-related course work is left to the discretion of Committee and depends on the student's background preparation and research focus. PhD students generally use these courses to develop their expertise in a discipline relevant to their area of research.

Western Deans' Agreement Courses
  Students may take courses offered by other universities in BC and Alberta under the Western Deans' Agreement. Courses taken under the Western Deans' Agreement will not be credited to their degree programs. More information here.

Policies & Procedures


The Faculty of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies

The SCARP PhD Program is governed by the general policies and procedures of the UBC Faculty of Graduate Studies (Handbook of Graduate Supervision) and their more specific elaboration by the School as detailed below.


The School of Community & Regional Planning

Residency and Time Limits

The University requires two years of residency as a full-time student and permits three (3) years for completion of Candidacy requirements and six (6) years for completion of the PhD degree. Recommendations for extensions beyond this regulation period must come firstly from the Research Supervisor on behalf of the Committee, and be submitted to the Chair of the PhD Program. Such recommendations must include a rationale and a reasonable schedule for completion of the student's work. Upon recommendation of the Chair, the Director will make an appropriate recommendation to the Dean of Graduate Studies or ask the student to withdraw from the program.