MSc (Planning) Admissions

Application Requirements

As outlined in the Graduate Calendar, the minimum requirements of the office of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies for admission to graduate studies is 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.  These are minimum standards for entry into the Rural Planning and Development program.  Note that applicants with degrees from some countries, including Pakistan, Bangladesh, or India are required to hold a Bachelor degree and a Master's degree at the First Class/First Division Level to be eligible to apply for a Masters program at the University of Guelph.  Students with lower averages and more than 5 years of work experience may apply under alternate admission criteria.

The RPD program also participates in a shared collaborative option with International Development Studies (IDS).  Please consult the International Development Studies listing within the Graduate Calendar for a detailed description of the collaborative program including the special additional requirements for each participating Department.

International Students

To study in Canada, all students must apply for a Study Permit at the nearest Canadian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate. A student authorization is commonly called a student visa. For you to be considered for a student visa, the Canadian immigration officer will need to see your letter of acceptance from the University of Guelph, proof of citizenship and proof of funds for one academic year. The University of Guelph and Immigration Canada expect international students to have enough funds for the duration of their study in Canada, and especially during their first year. The issuance of a student visa is strongly based on your ability to finance your education. The student visa is usually issued for the duration of your academic program. Please note that you will not be allowed to register at the University of Guelph if you do not have a valid Study Permit.

If your first language is not English, and you do not have a degree from an English speaking University, you must provide an official English Testing score from an acceptable source.  The Rural Planning and Development program requires an overall IELTS test score of 6.5, with no score lower then 6.0. 

More information is available on the Graduate and Posdoctoral website under English Language Proficiency

Students who are neither Canadian citizens nor landed immigrants need to secure sufficient financial support for their graduate studies.   It is very important that you secure financial support and provide the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, with evidence of sufficient funding for two years of study in Canada.  The Rural Planning and Development program has NO special forms of financial support available for international students.  Total annual expenses for overseas students amount to a minimum of approximately $22,000 Canadian per annum.  Estimates for tuition and fee costs are summarized under Cost of Tuition/Living.  Specific costs related to tuition and fees are listed on the Student Financial Services website.

Without this kind of financial support, there can be no doubt that your studies would suffer and you would be at considerable risk in terms of successfully completing your program.

Application Procedures

For more information regarding application to the University of Guelph, we suggest that you refer to the office of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies Website at Applying to Guelph.

Statement of Interest

Your statement of research interest (separate from the one requested within the on-line application form) should outline:

  • your career goals
  • the particular area of research you wish to pursue at the University of Guelph (what is it you want to research?)
  • its relationship to faculty expertise


Please provide a current resume that gives a profile of your background and experience.

Application Summary

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.

Your application is not considered complete until all of these documents have been submitted.

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.

The program offers Fall admission, full or part-time study, with a thesis or major research paper option.

Limited funding assistance is available for students admitted to the program and as such this is a self-funded program.

Application Deadline

Entry into the Rural Planning and Development program (MSPL RPD) is in the Fall semester of each year only.  The deadline for submission of applications is March 31 every year.  

Update:  The deadline for completed applications for Fall 2019 admission has been extended to June 30.  We encourage you to apply at your earliest opportunity as space is limited. We in turn will review applications on a regular basis informing applicants of our decision as soon as possible.

Scholarships and Funding

Please refer to the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website regarding Scholarships and Awards.