In conjunction with the core curriculum, students are expected to enhance their professional expertise in the real world of planning by undertaking a summer internship upon the completion of the first year of study. While faculty and staff of the program will assist students to find a summer internship appropriate to their concentration in planning and career interests (the program maintains a file on previous internship contacts), students are expected to take the primary initiative in searching for a rewarding practical experience in planning. Often the summer internships help students identify potential research topics for their Current Issues Paper and prepare the plan of study for the second year; they also provide useful networking opportunities within the planning community, which may translate into employment prospects.
The planning internship is an essential and integral part of the Planning program. Students will be expected to obtain this experience between the first and second year of the program. Internships may be paid or volunteer work experiences that relate to any field of planning and with any kind of public/private/non-profit or academic organization.
Please see below for more information. If you have questions, please contact the Planning Program Advisor.
It is expected that the length of the internship will consist of at least 80 hours. It is likely your placement will be longer, through the months of May to August. The internship may also provide an opportunity for students to develop the basic background data needed for Current Issues Paper (PLA1107Y). If you take Planning for Change (JPG1812Y), a year-long service-learning course, you may use that experience to fulfill your internship requirement. If you wish to do this, please confirm with the planning director.
Students will need to register for the internship course, PLA4444H (summer session). The course is non-credit and on the academic transcript will show as having a 0.00 weight, but it is mandatory for the MScPl degree.
If you find a paid internship position, great! If you don’t, please check with the department if there is funding available that can support your volunteer work. This needs to be confirmed each year, but so far we were able to assist our students and reimburse them for up to 80 hours at minimum wage.
Internship Review Process
Once you complete your internship, you will be required to fill out the Internship Form by the end of August. This is a form for students to briefly outline their internship duties/experience and offer advice to first year students who are starting their internship search. As part of the internship evaluation, students will be required to present to first year planning students. The presentation sessions dates will be announced later in Fall semester. The presentations are brief, informal, and offer a chance for first year students to ask questions about the work experience.
Resources and Support
The Geography and Planning department provides support through a variety of methods and events:
U of T Career Resources
The department has hired job strategy and interview technique consultants. They will design and execute modules to provide professional advice to planning students in advance of them entering into internships (year 1) or entry level positions (year 2). They will offer 4 modules (two in the Fall and two in late Winter term). They will also organize additional sessions that would include guest speakers. Their network includes a range of professionals in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, so they will be able to curate and moderate working sessions, and invite speakers based on what would best address students’ interests.
Concentration advisors will host a coffee hour to share advice about employers in the Concentration’s field. More details coming soon.
PAC Mentorship Program
The Planning Alumni Committee (PAC) pairs students and MScPl alums to each other to share professional insight into their coursework or to provide experience from the “working world.” Mentors in turn gain from their mentees’ fresh perspectives and new ideas. Join the program by emailing email@example.com .
Pizza with Planners Programming
PAC hosts extracurricular student learning modules led by alum of the MScPl program. This allows students to meet with practicing planners and gain perspectives on their planning experience on a give subject. Keep an eye out for email invitations and reminders on social media for these specialized modules.
Job opportunities by email
The department will share upcoming job opportunities to you directly on the listserv. These are jobs that are circulated directly to the department for current MScPl students and new graduates.
Information for Employers
The Planning Program at the University of Toronto provides students with a fully accredited two-year Master’s degree with concentrations in Urban Planning, Urban Design, Environmental Planning, Economic Planning, Social Planning and Policy or Transportation Planning and Infrastructure. As part of the fulfillment of this two-year degree, students are required to complete an 80-hour internship, which is normally taken in the summer months after their first year of academic studies.
If you are interested in sponsoring an internship opportunity, please complete and submit the Internship Opportunity Form or contact the Planning Program Administrator at 416-946-0269 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.