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Want a career that makes an impact? We’ve got the plan.

Go beyond urban and regional planning and learn to tackle the environmental and social challenges facing urban and rural areas. Learn how to manage the growth of cities, design efficient transportation systems, protect natural areas, preserve heritage, and more.

This multidisciplinary program covers everything from economic and legal issues to design skills 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. 

See planning in action

Field trips let you see good — and bad — planning across Southern Ontario. You’ll even have the option of taking a 3-week field course at Oxford Brookes University, one of the U.K.'s most highly regarded urban planning schools.

Build an awesome résumé

Because this is a co-op program, you’ll graduate with 20 months of real-world experience. And because it’s accredited by the Canadian Institute of Planners, you’ll already meet many of the requirements to become a Registered Professional Planner.


About Planning at Waterloo

BreifCaseGain 20 months of work experience through co-op 

ClickApply directly to the Planning program on your application

Graduation Cap Earn a Bachelor of Environmental Studies degree

1 of 2Programs in Ontario recognized by the Canadian Institute of Planners

EnvironmentOffered by the Faculty of Environment


In Canada for integrating sustainability issues in planning


Planning admission requirements

  • Ontario students: 6 Grade 12 U and/or M courses including
    • Any Grade 12 U English (final grade of 75% is required)
    • Recommended courses (these may help you succeed at Waterloo but will not affect admissions if you choose not to take them): Canadian and World Studies, Mathematics, Science, preferably Biology or Earth and Space Science
  • Admission averages: Low 80s
  • Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements

First-year Planning courses

September to December

PLAN 100 - The Evolution of Planning
PLAN 102 - Professional Communication
PLAN 104 - Perspectives on Planning
PLAN 105 - Introduction to Planning Analysis
ENVS 195 - Introduction to Environmental Studies

January to April

PLAN 103 - Planning, Administration, and Finance
PLAN 110 - Visual Approaches to Design and Communication
ENVS 178 - Environmental Applications of Data Management and Statistics 
2 elective courses


After first year

Most of the classes you’ll take will be Planning courses. With your remaining classes, you can choose electives from many of the 100 subject areas at Waterloo.

View a list of all the courses required for your degree.

Sample upper-year Planning courses 

PLAN 203 – Transportation Planning and Analysis
PLAN 210 – Urban Planning Design and the Environment
PLAN 320 – Economic Analyses for Regional Planning
PLAN 432 – Health, Environment, and Planning


    Customize your Bachelor of Environmental Studies in Planning degree

    Add additional areas of interest and expertise by including a minor (or minors) as part of your degree. Or choose a specialization within Planning.

    • Decision Support and Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
    • Environmental Planning and Management
    • Land Development Planning
    • Urban Design

    Gain relevant work experience through co-op

    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.

    Sample co-op job titles

    • Student Planner
    • Assistant GIS Technician/Draftsperson
    • Land Use Planner
    • Renderer/CADD Technician
    • Urban Forestry Project Coordinator
    • Planning Assistant - Employment Surveyors
    • Planning Policy Assistant
    • Student Planner

    Sample co-op employers

    • MMM Group
    • District of Mission
    • Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
    • Hendrik Optroot Architect
    • The Regional Municipality of York
    • City of Windsor
    • Town of Kingsville

    Careers with an urban planning degree

    Waterloo Planning graduates have been very successful pursuing careers as planners in transportation and transit, land development, and policy for municipalities, counties, and cities. Others have found careers with the private sector as consultants, project managers, and more.

    Recent graduates

    • Community Planner, Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs & Housing
    • Development Planner, City of Mississauga
    • Land Development Project Manager, Branthaven Homes
    • Planner/Urban Designer, Malone, Given, Parsons Ltd. 
    • Strategic Advisor in Transportation, City of Mississauga
    • Environment Planner, Ontario Ministry of Transportation
    • Land Development & Policy Planner, Dillon Consulting Ltd.
    • Transportation Demand Management Coordinator, City of Kitchener
    • Associate Lawyer, Stikeman Elliott LLP

    Further education

    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)
    • Architecture
    • Law

    Possible professional designation

    Learn more about Planning at Waterloo