Why study urban design here?

Top reasons to study urban design at UBC.

Tradition of excellence

The University of British Columbia is a global centre for research and teaching, ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world.

The place

Vancouver is consistently named as one of the top five cities in the world for livability and urban design. With diverse geographic regions and climates, a rich, multi-cultural history, a dynamic arts and culture scene, and world class civic spaces, Vancouver is an amazing place to work and study urban design. 

Award-winning faculty

Our faculty are internationally renowned experts in their fields and have chosen to teach here in part because of our school’s reputation for excellence in research. Join us and you will learn from the people who are changing the way we think about design.

Tight-knit community

With low faculty to student ratios, at SALA we get to know you by name. We are proud of our small studios, intimate seminars, and personalized learning opportunities.

Urban design affiliates

As an urban design student, you will have access to an impressive roster of affiliates, including some of the most prominent urban design professionals in Vancouver. Our affiliates are not only involved in teaching and design reviews, but are also available for one-on-one mentoring as you move through the program.

One year to gain the degree

Our curriculum is condensed into an intense 11-month program, making it half the length of most North American programs. Study with us and you will be out designing smarter cities sooner.

International experiences

You will travel abroad as part of your studio sequence. This will allow you to think globally about urban design, while having the opportunity to develop real-world solutions in places that need it the most. Past trips have included Mexico City and Chandigarh, India.

Employment opportunities

We have a wide variety of employment opportunities. We currently offer 90 annual teaching assistantships and nearly as many research, administrative, and technical positions. Whether it is leading an undergraduate seminar, analysing data in the lab, or assisting in the workshop, you will find a position that is right for you.