M.U.P.--Urban Development and Urban Design

The School is pleased to announce the launch of its concentration in Urban Development and Urban Design as of the Winter 2018 academic term.

The concentration in Urban Development and Urban Design aims to produce graduates who are skilled in analysis and design for development in existing (sub)urban landscapes and urbanizing contexts, whether in North America or elsewhere. A series of courses on urban design, real estate, the politics of development, and urban governance enhance the core curriculum of the professionally-accredited M.U.P. program. Additional courses address innovative approaches to urban development, contemporary urban form, community-based design, globalization and development, and the adaptive redesign of suburban contexts, in addition to enduring topics such as housing, public space, cultural landscapes, and environmental planning. Students seeking to specialize in Urban Design apply at the end of their first year of study; admission into the concentration is based on performance in the first year of study and demonstration of spatial literacy, numeric competency, skills in graphic communication, and understanding of complex development processes.

Details of the program structure are outlined below. As with the core M.U.P. degree, the concentration comprises a total of 66 credits completed over a two-year period. Students must register for at least four terms and earn satisfactory grades (i.e., a minimum of B-) in all courses. Central to the educational experience is group work in a studio setting, in which students collaborate in multidisciplinary teams to address 'real-life' opportunities and problems, generally in the Montréal metropolitan region.

Students in the concentration devote their first two terms to fulfilling the basic requirements of the program--two studios and other core courses--while also exploring one or more areas of specialisation through complementary and elective courses. These can be taken within the School of Urban Planning, in other academic units at McGill University, or at any of the three other major academic institutions in Montréal.

At the end of the first year of studies, a competitive application process enables the School to select a small number of students for admission into the concentration. Interested students have to submit a detailed account of achievements and skills that pertain to Urban Development and Urban Design and a statement of purpose for the rest of their M.U.P. program and their career after graduation.

The summer internship between the two academic years must be related to Urban Development and Urban Design.

In the second year of study, students in the concentration take their remaining core and complementary courses as well as preparing their Supervised Research Project. The latter, which is worth 15 credits, must be in the domains of Urban Development and Urban Design and must demonstrate the student's mastery of skills necessary for a career in the field. The project will generally take the form of policy-relevant research and can often lead to a publication in an academic or professional journal.

Do I qualify?

Students wishing to pursue the concentration in Urban Development and Urban Design must apply for admission into the regular M.U.P. program. They will be able to apply for the concentration itself at the end of their first year of studies. Only a limited number of students are admitted into the UDUD concentration in any given year, on the basis of an internal competition. Criteria for selection include students’ performance so far in the program, in particular in UDUD-related courses, their level of skill in UDUD-related research methods, and the quality of their letter of application for admission into the concentration.

For qualified M.U.P. students already in the current M1 and M2 cohorts, it will be possible to graduate with this official specialisation, but admission to the concentration will be determined through an application process in January 2018; details are outlined in separate correspondence from the School.

Details on courses


URBP 551 Urban Design and Planning (3 credits) *
URBP 609 Planning Graphics
URBP 612 History & Theory of Planning
URBP 622 Planning Studio 1
URBP 623 Planning Studio 2
URBP 624 Planning Studio 3
URBP 628 Practical Experience
URBP 630 Supervised Research Project 1
URBP 631 Supervised Research Project 2
URBP 632 Supervised Res Project 3
URBP 633 Research Methods for Planners
URBP 635 Planning Law



A minimum of 9 credits are selected from Group A; the remaining 6 credits can be selected from Group A or Group B as indicated below.

Group A (9-12 credits)--At least 9 credits (three courses) from the following:

URBP 553 Urban Governance
URBP 555 Real State and Planning
URBP 557 The City in History
URBP 604 Urban Design Seminar

Group B (0-6 credits)--0-6 credits from the following or other 500- or 600-level courses (see note below):

ARCH 515 Sustainable Design
ARCH 517 Sustainable Residential Dev
ARCH 521 Structure of Cities
ARCH 564 Design for Development
ARCH 566 Cultural Landscapes Seminar
GEOG 525 Asian Cities in the 21st C
URBP 501 Principles and Practice 1
URBP 504 Planning for Active Transp.
URBP 506 Envrnmntl Policy and Planning
URBP 514 Community Design Workshop (4 credits) *
URBP 530 Urban Environmental Planning
URBP 541 Selected Topics in Planning
URBP 542 Select. Topics:Visual Analysis
URBP 556 Urban Economy: A Spatial Persp
URBP 616 Selected Topics 1
URBP 617 Selected Topics 2
URBP 618 Selected Topics 3
URBP 619 Land Use and Transp. Planning
URBP 625 Principles and Practice 2
URBP 626 Principles and Practice 3
URBP 629 Cities in a Globalizing World
URBP 641 Selected Methods for Planning
URBP 651 Redesigning Suburban Space
URBP 656 Urban Innovation & Creativity

* Courses currently being updated on the McGill eCalendar 

Students may also take courses at the 500 or 600 levels in academic unit at McGill or another university, subject to the approval of the School.

Last updated: 18.12.2017