Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Page 1 of 10 1 2 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 232

Thread: Graduate/PhD 2011-2012 applications and acceptance notices: Canada

  1. #1
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 1996
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    14,524
    Blog entries
    3

    Graduate/PhD 2011-2012 applications and acceptance notices: Canada

    Last year's thread

    It's a new school year, and this a new grad/PhD application and acceptance thread. Enjoy, and good luck!
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Huntsville, Ontario
    Posts
    3
    Applying for a Masters at UBC, Queen's, McGill, and Dalhousie. Taking the GRE in October.
    Got a BA in Environmental Studies in 2008 and a grad certificate in GIS in 2009
    Been working as a GIS Research Assistant for the past year, no planning experience.
    Wish me luck

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Vancouver
    Posts
    45
    Giving it another shot after last years disappointing results.

    This year I will be applying to Dalhousie and Ryerson for the Masters of Planning programs, and SFU for their Masters of Urban Studies, as a backup.

    Decided not to re-apply to UBC or U of T after doing more research and realizing that although both programs are well regarded, their focus and research interests do not intrigue me as much.

    BA in Geography + Urban Studies Cert. from SFU in 2007
    Semester internship for Bing Thom Architects in 2006
    Internship for Lighthouse Sustainable Building Centre in 2008

    Been working as a consultant for the past 3 years for an international development strategy and planning firm.

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Hamilton
    Posts
    10
    Applyed to Ryerson (MPI)

    HBA In Sociology & Environmental Management - UofT, 2011
    Worked as a Transportation Coordinator at UofT one summer
    Currently an Intern in Environmental Policy at Town of Oakville

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Cambridge, MA
    Posts
    53
    Applying to UBC, Ryerson, U of T, McGill - concentrating on design/physical planning. Ryerson seems to be a popular choice.

    Also applying to Berkeley, MIT and Harvard in the States to see if some miraculous funding comes my way from any of those schools.

    BA Hon. Geography, SFU (Spring '11)

    Current intern at local planning/urban design consultancy
    05-06 Internship at nonprofit in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside
    5 years experience in special needs care/education

    Good luck all!

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Saskatchewan
    Posts
    31
    Have to say that I have been happy with my choice at U of Waterloo. Looking back I wouldn't choose any other school.

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Halifax, NS
    Posts
    1
    anyone applying to UofT or McGill for PHD?? Does anyone have idea about some previous yrs experiences? e.g., what percentage they require?? job experience etc.???

  8. #8
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Ottawa
    Posts
    26
    I've applied to McGill and Queens. I'm now waiting for my referees to submit their letters and the deadline for McGill is rapidly approaching.. eek!

    If anyone's curious:
    Undergrad in Public Policy (Carleton)
    Grad. diploma is Sustainable Development (also Carleton)
    GPA for last two years = ~ 3.86/4 (though I'm not convinced that I'm converting that correctly?)
    A couple years professional experience in social policy stuff, none in planning

    Cheers! Good luck to everyone!

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Toronto, ON
    Posts
    9
    Good luck everyone who applied. I applied to McGill, Ryerson and UofT.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Ottawa
    Posts
    26
    Quote Originally posted by Yokotron View post
    Good luck everyone who applied. I applied to McGill, Ryerson and UofT.
    Hi Yokotron / everyone - I have a quick question for anyone who applied to McGill this time around or in the past. I submitted by documents ages ago but none have been processed by the Uni. Is anyone else in the same situation? Unfortunately, I have a feeling that my (good intentioned but busy) former professors may not have e-mailed their ref letters. Now, I'd rather send them a gentle reminder if McGill were able to confirm that were the case! Do I sit back and wait, or be more proactive?

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Toronto, ON
    Posts
    9
    Hi Hhunter. I'm in the same situation. I find it completely nerve wrecking being unable to track my application. Minerva looks like it hasn't been updated yet with receipt of supporting documents.

    I called the McGill Planning department to follow-up on the note on their website:

    "Please note that due to the high volume of supporting documents that the School has received from applicants, we have not yet been able to fully update the Minerva system to indicate which items have been received and processed. All individuals who have applied online by the deadline (15 January) will be contacted by email to confirm whether supporting documents are outstanding. Applicants will then have an additional week to submit unofficial documents if necessary. Your patience is appreciated as the administrative staff are working through a great volume of material."

    I spoke with Anand Sood, the Planning administrative assistant for the department. She said that they are currently matching all applications with supporting documents. Once that is done, the school will contact applicants with missing documents that should happen within one or two weeks.

    Blargh ... I hate waiting.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Ottawa
    Posts
    26
    Quote Originally posted by Yokotron View post
    Hi Hhunter. I'm in the same situation. I find it completely nerve wrecking being unable to track my application. Minerva looks like it hasn't been updated yet with receipt of supporting documents.

    I called the McGill Planning department to follow-up on the note on their website:

    "Please note that due to the high volume of supporting documents that the School has received from applicants, we have not yet been able to fully update the Minerva system to indicate which items have been received and processed. All individuals who have applied online by the deadline (15 January) will be contacted by email to confirm whether supporting documents are outstanding. Applicants will then have an additional week to submit unofficial documents if necessary. Your patience is appreciated as the administrative staff are working through a great volume of material."

    I spoke with Anand Sood, the Planning administrative assistant for the department. She said that they are currently matching all applications with supporting documents. Once that is done, the school will contact applicants with missing documents that should happen within one or two weeks.

    Blargh ... I hate waiting.
    Thanks Yoko, good to know that I'm not alone, and that there's no use in checking minerva on a daily basis.

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Posts
    19
    Seems like they are short-staffed at the office there at McGill. I was also checking my status every day and cringing every time I saw "incomplete." They assured me not to worry. I hope they're right--that was a pretty steep application fee!

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered
    Jan 2011
    Location
    upnorth
    Posts
    1

    McGill PhD Minimum

    Quote Originally posted by grad.ambitious View post
    anyone applying to UofT or McGill for PHD?? Does anyone have idea about some previous yrs experiences? e.g., what percentage they require?? job experience etc.???
    McGill's minimum is 3.0/4.0, which seems to be very low for a PhD program.

    In last year's version of this thread, it's mentioned that they accepted 5 students. This is more than the 1 to 3 that their admissions FAQ indicates they accept.

    It's going to be a grueling 2 to 2.5 months!

  15. #15
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Saskatchewan
    Posts
    31
    If anyone has any questions about the University of Waterloo, I'm happy to help.

    Last year I was in the same position as many of you, and ultimately had to make the choice between 4 schools. I elected to go to UW and have not had any regrets with my choice. In my opinion, it is Canada's premier school for planning.

    Drop me a line if need be!

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    18
    Quote Originally posted by SKPlanner View post
    If anyone has any questions about the University of Waterloo, I'm happy to help.

    Last year I was in the same position as many of you, and ultimately had to make the choice between 4 schools. I elected to go to UW and have not had any regrets with my choice. In my opinion, it is Canada's premier school for planning.

    Drop me a line if need be!
    Which schools did you apply to last year?

  17. #17
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Saskatchewan
    Posts
    31
    University of Waterloo
    UBC
    University of Calgary
    University of Manitoba
    Queens University

    It wasn't an easy decision, but like I said, I've been quite happy!

  18. #18

    how graduate admissions assess applications

    Hello,

    This is my first time posting. I met someone who use to sit on a graduate admissions committee at a number schools in Canada. After speaking directly to her I was able to get a good idea on the very holistic approach that many graduate schools use when assessing an application. This might not be as cut and dry as it sounds... but I am posting this to give you an idea of how some schools assess the applicant. So I hope the info here is useful.

    GPA's:
    If the school you are applying to requires a 3.0 minimum gpa for your last 20 courses or last two years, THAT'S WHAT THEY WILL BE LOOKING AT, not your overall gpa. Some graduate programs explicitly look at your overall gpa and will usually say that in the application. So not to worry if your overall gpa is below 3.0 and the graduate program is asking for your last 20 or 10 courses. Once you have 3.0 in the recommended years you might not be in but you have a chance.

    Laura did stress the importance of having a high gpa in the last two years to better your overall chances of admission. She also said that a high gpa does not guarantee admission if work experience is irrelevant and weak. She recalls seeing times where applicants with 3.67 (A-) were denied because they could not fulfill the (relevant) work experience component. For instance, if you worked at the pub, call center or had any irrelevant survival job your application will not be as strong as the 3.67 suggests.

    Personal Statements:
    1. Indeed a personal statement will compensate a less competitive gpa. The main points to remember about the personal statement is that you must be articulate. For example, if the graduate committee is looking for about 500 words DO NOT SUBMIT 600 PLUS. If they are looking for about 1000 words DO NOT GO PAST 1300. I was surprised to learn that surpassing the recommended length by a great deal really works against you, especially if they cant figure out where your going with it.

    2. Laura said personal statements that rehash the resume/cv are not regarded highly. Committees like narratives and stories, but it must cover how your education/work experience are relevant to the graduate program or how that influenced your decision, how you gained interest, why you want to attend the school, research interests, and what you intend to do with a graduate degree. According to Laura, only about 50% of the applicants write personal statements in a holistic way. This is what gets you the "wow" factor.

    Work & Volunteer Experience
    Laura said relevant work experience can turn a 3.0 applicant into a 3.5 easily. Especially if the applicant can relate their work experience to the graduate program they are applying to. The survival job that got you through undergraduate study will not have any weight if it is not relevant. And last, if you worked full time, held a full course load and maintained above 3.0......As Laura said this will certainly mitigate any weak parts of the application. Only about 10-15% of applicants have undertook that amount of responsibilities. Those who undertake full time school and full time relevant work usually get in once they have over a 3.0. Graduate admission committees "Love" to see this type of dedication.

    Letters of Recommendation
    Academic referees usually outweigh the professional ones. Unless, the professional referee is from a RELEVANT field. A reference from your supervisor at your part time pub job or customer service job does not have much value to the committee. An academic and a relevant professional reference "can" outweigh two academic references. References from the same program department are also influential.

    Research Interests
    Laura said finding a professor with similar research interests also helps your application. If your research interest is in suburbanization and the creation of edge cities, and there are professors currently pursuing those interests for a bigger project....well bingo you just increased your chances of getting in.

    Diversity also makes your application stronger and sometimes scholarships as well as age.

    Here is an example of a ranking system that one school followed according Laura:

    .35 to GPA
    .25 to Personal Statements
    .20 to relevant work experience
    .10 to Letters of Recommendation
    .10 to Research interests, professor/supervisor research interests, diversity scholarships.

    And yes a school like McGill or UofT will probably weigh the GPA more than .35 and some schools will probably weigh it less. And sometimes diversity makes an application stronger.

    Considering that most applicants submit more than 3 applications to grad school, if a school has a 25-30 % acceptance rate and you meet all the requirements you have a good chance of getting on the waiting list for sure.

    Again this was to provide some info on the graduate application assessment at some schools. Hopefully this relieves some anxiety.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Ottawa
    Posts
    26
    Thanks! That's interesting and helpful.

  20. #20
    Member
    Registered
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Toronto, ON
    Posts
    9

    Ryerson provides update

    Not really big news, but it's a nice update in the waiting game. I just got a notice from Ryerson officially confirming that my application and all supporting documents were successfully received, and that the review of my application will now commence.

    Still no word on McGill. Minerva continues to display 'un-updated' information, and I haven't heard back from their Planning department as to whether my application was received in its entirety, or if I'm missing supporting documents.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Ottawa
    Posts
    26
    Quote Originally posted by Yokotron View post
    Not really big news, but it's a nice update in the waiting game. I just got a notice from Ryerson officially confirming that my application and all supporting documents were successfully received, and that the review of my application will now commence.

    Still no word on McGill. Minerva continues to display 'un-updated' information, and I haven't heard back from their Planning department as to whether my application was received in its entirety, or if I'm missing supporting documents.
    Good news about Ryerson!

    Minerva continues to be quite useless on my end as well. It's kind of amazing (or I'm being too anxious - also a possibility).

  22. #22
    Quote Originally posted by Yokotron View post
    Hi Hhunter. I'm in the same situation. I find it completely nerve wrecking being unable to track my application. Minerva looks like it hasn't been updated yet with receipt of supporting documents.

    I called the McGill Planning department to follow-up on the note on their website:

    "Please note that due to the high volume of supporting documents that the School has received from applicants, we have not yet been able to fully update the Minerva system to indicate which items have been received and processed. All individuals who have applied online by the deadline (15 January) will be contacted by email to confirm whether supporting documents are outstanding. Applicants will then have an additional week to submit unofficial documents if necessary. Your patience is appreciated as the administrative staff are working through a great volume of material."

    I spoke with Anand Sood, the Planning administrative assistant for the department. She said that they are currently matching all applications with supporting documents. Once that is done, the school will contact applicants with missing documents that should happen within one or two weeks.

    Blargh ... I hate waiting.
    I heard that if you are missing documents....Your application is incomplete....In other words you are now past the deadline date.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Ottawa
    Posts
    26
    Quote Originally posted by planetblck View post
    I heard that if you are missing documents....Your application is incomplete....In other words you are now past the deadline date.
    I don't think that's the case (with McGill) -- I wouldn't worry about it.

  24. #24
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Vancouver
    Posts
    45
    All applications and related documents in. Received notices that everything is good to go, now the waiting game commences.

    One side of me realizes that I need to go back to school and get a Masters degree to further my career, but the other side just wants to keep working in the field and get on with my professional life. I suppose it is up to the schools to decide my fate now

  25. #25
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Vancouver
    Posts
    45
    For those that applied to Ryerson this year,

    260+ applications for fall 2011 entry. Good luck to everyone!

+ Reply to thread
Page 1 of 10 1 2 ... LastLast

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 129
    Last post: 18 Mar 2014, 10:38 PM
  2. Replies: 708
    Last post: 26 Jul 2011, 6:59 PM
  3. Replies: 0
    Last post: 05 Aug 2010, 4:23 PM
  4. Replies: 240
    Last post: 07 Jul 2010, 7:57 PM