Want a career that makes an impact? We’ve got the plan.
Go beyond urban planning and learn to tackle the environmental and social challenges facing the world's urban, rural, and natural areas. Learn how to manage the growth of cities, design efficient transportation systems, protect parks and other natural areas, preserve heritage, and more.
This multidisciplinary program covers everything from economic and legal issues to design skills, land development, and GIS technology. Whether you choose to put your degree to work for government, academia, or the private sector, you'll be ready to create a sustainable future through smart planning.
Because this is a co-op program, you’ll graduate with 20 months of paid real-world experience. Use your five co-op work terms to explore the many areas within planning so that when you graduate, you have a network of potential employers and you know which career areas you'd like to pursue.
- Build industry connections. Expand your network through 20 months of paid co-op work experience or take advantage of Planning’s extensive alumni network that spans the globe.
- Jump start your career. As one of only two undergraduate programs accredited by the Canadian Institute of Planners, Planning meets many of the requirements you need to become a Registered Professional Planner after graduation.
- Offered as a co-op program only
- Graduate with a Bachelor of Environmental Studies
- Offered by the Faculty of Environment
Planning at Waterloo
What will you learn?
During your first year, you'll take a mix of foundational Planning and Environmental Studies courses.
In your upper years, most of the classes you'll take will be Planning courses.
Learn more about the courses you'll take for your Planning degree.
Customize your degree
You can add additional areas of expertise by including one or more of the areas of focus in Planning.
- Decision Support and Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
- Environmental Planning and Management
- Land Development Planning
- Urban Design
You can also include one of the minors available to all Waterloo student, such as Geography and Environmental Management, a popular choice among Planning students.
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Contact a student ambassador
Ask a Faculty of Environment student about their program, classes, getting involved on campus, and more!
Co-op = relevant paid work experience
Get relevant experience in urban planning and build a career network before you graduate. By alternating school terms and paid co-op work terms throughout your degree, you can explore new career areas and types of employers as your career interests evolve.
Read about how Jacklyn used her co-op term to create safer and inclusive communities on our Beyond Idea's website.
Sample co-op job titles
- Planning policy assistant
- Student planner
- Planning assistant
- Junior project manager
- Coordinator land development
- Safety research assistant
- Rail operations co-op student
- Innovation operations and outreach assistant
Sample co-op employers
- City of Windsor
- Town of Kingsville
- WSP Canada Inc.
- Regional Municipality of Peel
- Mattamy Homes
- Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs
- City of Kitchener
- EcoVue Consulting Services Inc.
What can you do with a degree in planning?
Waterloo Planning graduates have been very successful pursuing careers as planners in transportation and transit, land development, and policy for municipalities, conservation groups, as well as in the private sector as consultants, developers, project managers, and more.
- Development Planner – Town of Whitby
- Land Use Planner – Aird & Berlis
- Senior Urban Designer – FoTenn Consultants
- Transportation Planner – Metrolinx
- Senior Project Planner – WSP
- Landscape Designer – Fossil Landscapes
- Community Planner – County of Frontenac
Visit our Waterloo Stories website to learn about what Katrina is doing with her Environment degree.
Learn about the future of careers in environment, sustainability, and climate change.
While the full range of further education depends on your individual interests, these are common areas where graduates pursued a master's, PhD, or other professional program.
- Urban and regional planning
- Environmental planning
- Geographic information systems
- Local economic development
- Urban design
- Business (MBA)
Possible professional designation
Planning admission requirements
Ontario students: six Grade 12 U and/or M courses including
- Any Grade 12 U English (minimum final grade of 75% is required)
Admission averages: Low 80s
Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements.
How to apply
Apply directly to this program on your application.
Connect with us
Questions about courses, programs, requirements, or careers?
Contact Graham Barnes, our recruitment coordinator, who can answer any questions you have.