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The Undergraduate Calendar

School of Planning

Bachelor of Environmental Studies

Honours Co-operative Planning
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† PLAN 102 must be completed with a grade of 65% or higher. Please see the English Language Proficiency Requirement section for the Faculty of Environment if you fail to meet this requirement.

Year One

Required Courses (4.0 units)

PLAN 100 The Evolution of Planning 
PLAN 102 Professional Communication
PLAN 103 Planning, Administration, and Finance 
PLAN 104 Perspectives on Planning
PLAN 105 Introduction to Planning Analysis
PLAN 110 Visual Approaches to Design and Communication 
ENVS 178 Introduction to Environmental Research Methods 
ENVS 195 Introduction to Environmental Studies

Year One Elective Courses (1.0 unit) 

Students must complete any two elective courses (1.0 unit) at the 100- or 200-level.

Note: Required and elective courses together will total 10 courses (5.0 units) – all courses must be at the first- or second-year level. Before making a final selection in these courses, students must check that prerequisites have been met for courses that they might take in years two,three, and four.

Year Two

Required Courses (3.5 units)

PLAN 203 Transportation Planning and Analysis
PLAN 210 Urban Planning Design and the Environment 
PLAN 233 People and Plans 
PLAN 261 Urban and Metropolitan Planning and Development 
PLAN 281 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) 
ENVS 200 Field Ecology 
ENVS 278 Advanced Environmental Research Methods

Year Two Elective Courses (1.5 units)

Students must complete any three elective courses (1.5 units) at the 100- or 200-level.

Note: See Note 4 below regarding 100-level course restrictions before selecting elective courses.

Year Three

Required Courses (2.5 units)

PLAN 300 Planning Theory 
PLAN 346 Advanced Tools for Planning: Public Participation and Mediation
PLAN 350 Research Methods for Planners 
ENVS 201 Introduction to Canadian Environmental Law

One of:
PLAN 340 Canadian Environmental Policy and Politics
PLAN 453 Urban Stormwater Management

Year Three Elective Courses (2.5 units)

Students must complete any five elective courses (2.5 units) at the 300- or 400-level.

Year Four

Required Courses ( 3.0 units)

PLAN 341 Conservation/Resource Management of the Built Environment
PLAN 401 Planners and Planning Tribunals 
PLAN 403 Professional Practice, Public and Private Administration
PLAN 405 Integrated Planning Project
PLAN 471 Planning Law
PLAN 483 Land Development Planning

Year Four Elective Courses (2.0 units)

Students must complete any four elective courses (2.0 units) at the 300- or 400-level.


  1. Minimum Required Courses
    Total: 20.0 units. Planning core: 13.0 units; electives: 7.0 units
  2. Average Requirements
    Students must obtain a cumulative overall average (all courses) of 65%, and 75% in their major average (all PLAN and all ENVS courses). All courses must be passed.
    If a student does not meet the required average(s), a conditional standing may be granted at the discretion of the School, which permits a student to proceed to a subsequent term on a conditional basis. Should the student be permitted to continue on the basis of "conditional" due to average and/or course standing, and if, subsequently, the required averages are not met this second time (term) or course deficiencies not cleared, withdrawal from Planning may be required.
  3. Course Load
    Students are expected to carry a minimum load of five courses (2.5 units) in each term. Students interested in taking a higher course load require approval from the Undergraduate Advisor. A student may take up to one course during a co-op work term. Planning students are not allowed to fast-track to complete the program earlier, since graduating on a work term is not permitted.
  4. First-Year Courses
    No more than ten courses (5.0 units) at the 100-level will be counted toward the 40 courses (20.0 units) required to graduate.
  5. Transfer Students
    Transfer applicants with post-secondary background may be considered for admission to the Planning program. In order to meet the appropriate degree requirements for this program, specifically the proper sequence of courses and co-op terms, transfer students will be required to begin their studies at the first year (1A) level. Applicants should be aware that transfer credit may not be granted for courses completed in other University of Waterloo programs or at other universities/colleges. Transfer students will only be admitted in the fall term.
  6. Honours Co-operative Plan
    Co-op plan requirement details are stated in the Faculty of Environment, Academic Plans, Overview of Co-op Plans section of this Calendar.
    Students are expected to follow the academic/work sequence noted in the Co-operative Education and Career Action section of this calendar.
    Planning students are strongly encouraged to participate in at least one out-of-province work placement.
  7. Double Counting
    A course can be used to satisfy requirements for a maximum of two credentials. There will be no triple counting of any course for any academic credit in the Faculty of Environment. Double counting of courses applies as follows: once for the plan and once for any option, minor, diploma, or specialization. There is no limit on the number of courses that may be double counted, unless otherwise stated.
  8. Diplomas, Options, and Minors
    A number of diplomas, options, and minors are available to Planning students. For more information, please refer to the Academic Plan section of this calendar.
  9. Concurrent Degrees, Joint Honours, and Minors
    The School does not offer a concurrent, joint honours, or minor plan to other departments. However, Planning students can participate in joint honours, minors, or options offered by other departments. Students choosing minors should refer to the regulations of those departments. Satisfying minor or joint honour requirements may demand more than the normal number of academic terms. See other faculty and department sections in this calendar regarding available minors.
  10. School of Planning Specializations
    Planning students have the option of adding a specialization to their plan in third year. For specialization requirements, please refer to the School of Planning Specialization section of this calendar.
  11. Oxford Brookes Field Trip
    PLAN 480 - Theory and Practice of Planning in the United Kingdom: This elective course is offered to fourth-year Planning students and is conducted at Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, England. Since much planning theory and practice in Canada draws on U.K. roots, PLAN 480 has been developed to give students a first-hand experience of planning in the U.K. Topics covered in seminars and field trips include (but are not limited to) Garden Cities and New Towns, housing, transportation, heritage, and waterfront redevelopment. Waterloo students also work on specific projects comparing North American and U.K. planning practice. During free time, the students have the opportunity for travel in the U.K. and Europe and there is an opportunity to remain in the U.K. following the Oxford course for further travel.
  12. Planning Program Undergraduate Manual
    A number of important guidelines and regulations are available online in the School’s Planning Program Undergraduate Manual. Areas covered include: admission, academic standing, certificates, co-op, courses, English Language Proficiency Exam requirements (ELPE), Oxford Brookes field trip, leave-of-absence, senior honours essay, teaching assistants, etc.
  13. The School reserves the right to make changes to the curriculum as necessary.


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