MSc Admissions

Application Requirements

Eligibility requirements for applications to the MSc program are that you hold a four-year honors degree or equivalent, with an average standing of at least second class honors (B-) in the last four semesters or two years of work. Admission to the MSc program is competitive. Students achieving academic standing below B- with 5+ years of relevant work experience may apply under alternate admission criteria. Please contact the MSc program coordinator to discuss this admissions option.

Application Procedures

For more information regarding application to the University of Guelph, please refer to the Office of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies website at Applying to Guelph.

The following information is required to apply to the MSc program:

All university-level transcripts: You are required to provide transcripts from any institution where you have earned (or will earn) a degree, studied for one semester or more, or took courses that relate to your graduate study interests. This includes transfer credits and University exchange/semester abroad transcripts.  Your application checklist on WebAdvisor will identify which transcripts you are required to upload.

Statement of interest: You must include a statement of interest expressing your interest in the program. Your statement of research interest (separate from the one requested within the online application form) should outline the following:

  • Your motivations for studying in the Rural Planning and Development program. Why do you wish to study Rural Planning and Development?
  • Your area of research that will be pursued through the program? What do you wish to research through your program?
  • How your academic, professional, and voluntary experiences prepare you for success in the Rural Planning and Development program?
  • Your career goals. What are your professional aspirations at the conclusion of this program?
  • Identify which Rural Planning and Development faculty member(s) you wish to work with in pursuing your research. Please refer to the list of faculty members for information on their expertise and backgrounds.
  • Your statement of interest must not exceed two-pages.

Current resume or curriculum vitae: Please provide a current resume that gives a profile of your educational achievements, professional experiences, and voluntary experiences.

Please be aware that any material collected towards a graduate application, (for example transcripts, reference letters, etc.) must be dated within the past year.  Any material dated prior to a year from the application date will not be accepted

Good academic standing alone will not guarantee entry to the Program. One of our faculty members must be interested in, and willing to supervise, your research. It is therefore important that you state your research interests and goals clearly and succinctly. Work experience in a related setting is also considered especially useful in applying theory to practice and to identify research needs and topics.

International Applicants: Please refer to the International Applicants webpage of the Graduate Studies website. If your first language is not English, you will be required to submit the results of a standardized language test. Please refer to the Office of Graduate Studies website for the required English Language Proficiency acceptable tests and required scores.

Application Deadline

The Master of Science in Rural Planning and Development program admits students annually in the fall semester. 

Application Deadline Update

International applicants:  application deadline is January 30, 2023 for F23 entry. We encourage international applicants to apply early to provide sufficient time for any necessary study or travel permits. 
Domestic applicants:  application deadline is May 31, 2023 for F23 entry.  Applicants are encouraged to apply early. 

Scholarships and Funding Support

The MSc program and the University of Guelph provide a series of scholarships and funding supports to graduate students. That being said, the MSc program in Rural Planning and Development is predominantly a self-funded professional program. As such, students need to be prepared to cover the full costs of the program. Here are a few funding supports that may be available:

Entrance Scholarships: Each year the MSc program strives to provide entrance scholarships to student with strong academic performance. The value and quantity of this financial support changes from year to year.

Graduate Research Assistantships: Faculty members may have opportunities for graduate students to work on funded research projects. The funded research initiatives change from year to year. For further information please contact individual faculty members.

Graduate Teaching Assistantships: The School of Environmental Design and Rural Development typically hires a small number of graduate students to provide support to undergraduate courses. These positions are advertised in advance of each semester.

University Scholarships: The University of Guelph offers many resources to financially support graduate students. Explore your options on the Graduate Studies website 

Other funding programs you may wish to review include: