Resources for Students

Urban Studies Student Handbook 2023-2024

Our Urban Studies Program Handbook for graduate students contains both general information about Simon Fraser University and specific information about the Urban Studies Program.


Policies and regulations that govern graduate programs at SFU, including the Urban Studies Program, and available here.

Applying for a leave

To apply for a leave, you'll need to fill out and submit the "leave of absence request" form.

Note: Different types of leave have different implications for how the number of terms in your program is counted, which in turn may affect your need to request an extension, or your eligibility for types of financial support that are only available within certain time limits (including graduate fellowships).

We recommend that when considering taking a leave from your studies, that you carefully read the explantions about the types of leave provided on the leave of absence form itself, and/or in the Urban Studies Graduate Student Handbook, so that you understand the type of leaves you're eligible for, on what conditions, and whether the time you take on leave is counted toward time limits.

Transferring to the master's program from the graduate diploma

Transferring from the diploma to the master’s program is a competitive process, as well as one that involves certain timing considerations. We recommend that students contemplating a transfer application first read the section on this process in the Urban Studies Student Handbook. We also recommend that seeking advice on this process from the program manager.

If you have done those things and intend to transfer, you will need to:

  • complete the Request for Program Transfer form 
  • provide an updated CV
  • provide a statement of interest
  • produce an unofficial copy of your SFU transcript
  • arrange for three reference letters to be sent to (at least one of which should be from a continuing SFU faculty member who is willing to supervise you if your application is successful)

Career resources

To ensure our students are set up for success, we complement their academic pursuits with optional career preparation opportunities. These include workshops to sharpen their skills in resume-writing, interviewing, networking and pursuing co-operative education positions. Members of the Council of Advisors are available to provide advice to students in information interviews. Contact our program manager if you are interested.

Career and Volunteer Services is a free resource for SFU students and recent graduates, where you can access one-on-one consultations with professional career advisors, career-development workshops and events, and a full range of online resources. See their website for more details and info.

Campus resources at SFU Vancouver

In addition to the Harbour Centre building that is home to the Urban Studies Program, SFU's Vancouver campus has five other buildings in downtown Vancouver. Harbour Centre is a hive of activity with many services and amenities nearby. Exploring the Vancouver campus website is good way to get acquainted with what's available.

Belzberg Library

Harbour Centre's Belzberg Library is a key resource for urban studies students. Please see the library's urban studies resource page for new books and information about upcoming research workshops. The urban studies librarian is Nina Smart.

The SFU Urban Studies Graduate Students Association

The Urban Studies Graduate Student Association (USGSA) is a caucus of the SFU Graduate Student Society. All current Urban Studies students at Simon Fraser University are automatically members. Find out more about the USGSA, its activities and how to get involved.