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

A student in the Planning program at the University of Waterloo.

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.

Program highlights

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.


Planning at Waterloo

Jacklyn loves Planning at Waterloo. She feels like she’s at home because she’s surrounded by people who share her interests in sustainability and the environment.

What will you learn?

First-year courses

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.

  • Environmental planning
  • Land use, transportation, and infrastructure
  • Urban design
  • Social planning and community development

You can also include one of the minors available to all Waterloo students, such as Geography and Environmental Management, a popular choice among Planning students. You can also choose from one of the diplomas in the Faculty of Environment.


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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

Waterloo's co-op program, the largest in North America, is an amazing way to explore potential careers, learn to interview for jobs, graduate with up to two years of valuable experience – and make money!

Read about how Jacklyn used her co-op term to create safer and inclusive communities.

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

Co-op work-study sequence

Starting in second year, you'll normally alternate between school and work every four months, integrating your classroom learning with real-world experience. You can return to the same employer for a couple of work terms to gain greater knowledge and responsibility or work for different employers to get a broad range of experience.

Year September to December (Fall) January to April (Winter) May to August (Spring)
First Study Study Off
Second Study Co-op Study
Third Co-op Study Co-op
Fourth Study Co-op Co-op
Fifth Study Study -

Your first work term will be halfway through second year (January to April 2026).

Learn more about co-op →


megaphone icon"The best thing about Waterloo is the recognition you get from employers who appreciate your high calibre education. Plus being in classes with only 90-120 students lets you get to know people who share the same interests."Alifia, third-year Planning co-op student
megaphone icon"Co-op has given me direction and confidence. I would have felt absolutely clueless upon graduation, but now I know what kind of career I want – and I have work experience from five co-op terms that sets me apart from other job applicants."Miila, fourth-year Planning co-op student (minor in Geography)
megaphone icon"Planning is a close-knit community. People are friendly and willing to help. I also love applying what I learn in class to creating more livable communities. Each co-op term is a new experience and gives me hands-on experience working in my field."Adrian, third-year Planning co-op student
megaphone icon"The best part of co-op is the real-world experience. In Planning, there are different paths to take. Co-op helped me discover what areas interest me – and helped me better understand my course material by applying it during my work terms."Abby, second-year Planning co-op student

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?

Please contact our Faculty of Environment recruitment coordinator who can answer any questions you have.


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