Master of Urban Design

We accept applications for the Master of Urban Design beginning September 1. Admissions close December 1. Admissions decisions are sent out in mid to late February. Be aware that the admissions schedule is unusual. Unlike other SALA programs, the Master of Urban Design program begins during the summer term on May 1, and ends the following April 30. 

Apply now

We ask that all application materials be sent electronically through the online application system only. Some admissions staff are working remotely and will be unable to process large volumes of incoming mail. If it is absolutely necessary to send an application document by post please send to:

School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture

Master of Urban Design

University of British Columbia

#379 - 2357 Main Mall

Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4


Admission requirements

You must meet all admissions requirements in order to be considered for entry into the program.

Previous degree

You must hold a professional degree in architecture, landscape architecture, or planning. An accredited professional undergraduate degree meets the minimum standard. We consider applicants with an academic background in a related field on a case-by-case basis.

Academic achievement

If you have completed your degree at a Canadian or American university, you must have a B+ average in your third- and fourth-year-level coursework. If you completed your degree at an international university, you must have a B+ average in all coursework.

English language proficiency

Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.

The minimum scores are:
TOEFL – 90 iBT or 577 paper based
IELTS - Overall band score of 6.5 with a minimum score of 6.0 in each component of the academic (not general) test.

Graduate record examination (optional)

While not required, you may submit GRE results as additional evidence of scholastic promise and aptitude.


Application materials

All application materials should be submitted through the online application.

Online application form

You must submit an online application form, complete application materials and the non-refundable application fee by the deadline.


A summary of your experiences in education, work, travel, volunteering, and other relevant areas. The maximum length is two pages, double spaced.

Statement of intent

Why does urban design matter in the world today? What drives you to study urban design? What has prepared you for this course of study? Where do you want it to take you? And why UBC? Please write a statement that answers these questions. The maximum length is 2 pages, double spaced.


Your portfolio is submitted digitally in your online application. The PDF can be a maximum of 20 letter-sized (8.5" x 11") pages and must be under 10MB in size.
Tip: Use 150 pixels-per-inch or even 72 ppi images, or try saving the file as a Reduced Size PDF (“Save as Other”) in Adobe Acrobat, to bring down the file size.

The intent of your portfolio is to highlight your skills related to urban design. Include six examples of creative works that demonstrate aptitude, experience, and accomplishment. Instead of providing a collection of one type of work, include a variety. Creative works may include a wide range of types, including design work and planning projects, professional work and academic work. One example should be a written piece. Showing your creative process and ability to think critically will also provide context for your work.

You should organize your portfolio into a clear, well-crafted document. The portfolio should have concise, descriptive text on each page to adequately explain the work. If working in collaboration with others or in a professional context, please clearly indicate your contribution to the submitted work.


You must upload scans of official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions previously attended, including transcripts from universities attended on exchange. Uploads of unofficial transcripts will not be accepted. If you are currently completing a degree, submit your transcripts to date. In that case, UBC will not grant final confirmation of acceptance until you have submitted the final transcripts after the degree is conferred. If offered admission, you will be asked to send official transcripts in hardcopy.

If the academic records are in a language other than English or French, you must submit scans of the official transcripts in their original language and accompany them with scans of official translations.


You must arrange for three letters of reference, two of which should be academic and speak to your past performance and ability to succeed in a graduate program. Referees submit their letters through the online application system.