Research Masters (MAP/MScP)

Program Overview

This strong and robust degree program is designed:

  • For students who are interested in a career in planning or a possible interest in doctoral studies
  • As a platform for high-level planning and public-policy work
  • To provide a richer theoretical understanding of complex issues in city and community planning, environmental planning, and international development planning, as well as intensive study of instructive case studies.
  • To be completed within 24 months, incorporating a selection of course work (including a theory course and thesis workshop), and a thesis prepared with the guidance of a supervisor and second committee member. Successful applicants will work closely with a faculty supervisor, who should be identified in your application. 


MAP and MScP represent the same degree program, described below. Upon graduating, you receive a Master of Arts in Planning (MAP) if you entered the program with a Bachelor of Arts degree, or a Master of Science in Planning (MScP) if you entered the program with a Bachelor of Science degree.

Research Masters degree programs are not formally accredited by the Canadian or American boards. Those seeking a degree accredited by professional accreditation boards would apply to the School’s Master of Community and Regional Planning (MCRP) program.

Should I choose a SCARP Research Masters program or SCARP's Master of Community and Regional Planning Program?
Number of students admitted annually35-406-8
Credits required for degree completion6034
Core course requirement1810
Thesis/projectpracticum report12-credit thesis
AccreditationsAccredited by UBC, and by Canadian and American professional planning boardsAccredited by UBC
Other program requirements / information
  • Students develop a customized plan of coursework based on identified areas of interest, or request the Indigenous Community Planning concentration
  • Internship (3 credits)
  • Planning studio (6 credits)
  • Students identify a thesis topic prior to admission elective coursework is based on research interests and thesis topic, and is planned out in collaboration with their advisor. 
  • MAP/MScP students can access all elective courses available to MCRP students with the exception of core MCRP courses and studios reserved for MCRP students only. An exception can be made for students who want to audit Foundations of Planning Theory and History
Cross-benefitsCan lead to further research (through PhD)Can lead to professional planning practice, and accreditation
Program Structure and Requirements
PLAN 558: The Role of Theory in Planning Research 3



PLAN 559: Design of Planning- and Policy-oriented Research3
PLAN 560: Master's Thesis Workshop1
Any non-SCARP UBC course re: qualitative research methods (if approved first by supervisor)3
12 credits of approved courses tailored to your interest, in careful consultation with your advisor.1212
PLAN 549C: Master's Thesis1212

Note you must spend your first year in residence taking required and elective courses.