MES Planning Program

The Master in Environmental Studies (MES) Planning program in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University is at its heart dedicated to studies in environmental and social justice. It offers graduate students innovative, competitive and flexible opportunities to think critically about problems and solutions to implement change. The two-year program offers graduate students an accommodating and encouraging place to study at any point in their academic career. The Master in Environmental Studies degree is recognized as a degree in Planning by the Ontario Professional Planners Institute and the Canadian Institute of Planners.

Program Structure

At the program’s outset, students are assigned a Faculty Advisor with whom they develop an individualized Plan of Study (POS) tailored to their study interests. The Faculty of Environmental Studies is robust with an impressive range of interdisciplinary professors with expertise in many fields including but not limited to social sciences, natural sciences and humanities. The student-Advisor professional relationship is mutually beneficial in that the student can gain valuable guidance on their POS from a Faculty member who specializes in their areas of interest. The POS is intended to be exploratory in nature, allowing students to initially structure it with broad strokes and further refine it as their interests become more focused. Planning students have the flexibility to create their own program structure and complete the degree requirements outlined in the Planning Checklist in a way that best supports their unique academic objectives.

The Student Experience

Experiential education is a pillar of the Planning program and of the Faculty as a whole. As such, students have the opportunity to pursue field experience courses and practical workshops early in the program such as the Consulting Skills course which is usually offered in the summer and explores processes, techniques and various circumstances and contexts within which consulting projects are undertaken. There is constantly an abundance of outstanding work being undertaken by York Planning students, ranging from addressing pressing transportation concerns in the city, to conducting Neotropical conservation research in York’s Las Nubes rainforest in Costa Rica, to developing progressive ideas surrounding sustainable energy. Last year, one of our students, George Liu, was granted funding to participate in Toronto’s Bike Host program, working to increase the number of individuals who engage in active transportation. Recently, one of our Master in Environmental Studies alumni, Pawel Nurzynski, took on the challenge of strategizing new means of producing financial support and sustainable energy to various regions using wind energy. Another alumnus, Nabil Malik, undertook a study of two regions – one in Toronto and another in Alberta – who have experienced population increases as a result of ethnic migrant immigration. He sought to figure out whether these regions’ reactions to their respective population increases have been culturally considerate and sufficient.

Learn more about our vibrate FES Planning Community

Employment Opportunities for Planning Graduates

The Planning program also boasts a high probability of employability among its graduates, almost all of them securing meaningful employment within a short time of graduation. To that point, students in the program are presented with a plethora of networking and professional development opportunities. The Faculty encourages and supports students to seize these opportunities to facilitate a successful transition into their careers. Planning students can also become student members of the Ontario Professional Planners Institute (OPPI) and the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) which is an advantageous affiliation to have to make connections with potential employers and learn about emerging trends and career opportunities in the planning field.

To learn more about our Planning program policies:

Planning Program Coordinator