Link to the University of Waterloo home page Advanced Search or
The Undergraduate Calendar

Faculty of Environment

School of Planning

Printable Version Printable Version

Planners are professionals who guide the orderly development of communities. Their work touches each of our daily lives, whether we live in major metropolitan areas, smaller rural villages, or sparsely populated northern regions.

The term "planning" refers to the scientific, aesthetic, and orderly disposition of land, resources, facilities and services with a view to securing the physical, economic and social efficiency, health and well-being of communities. Responsible planning has always been vital to the sustainability of safe, healthy, and secure communities.

In addition to resolving land use issues, the profession involves:

  • planning social and community services
  • designing community elements
  • managing cultural and heritage resources
  • planning for environmental health
  • creating economic capacity in local communities
  • working internationally

In Canada, planners contend with issues that include air quality, public safety, transit provision and intensification, redevelopment of brownfields, and gentrification. Globally, increasing urbanization and population growth present mounting challenges including loss of natural spaces, land conversion to urban uses, designing effective infrastructure and water quality.

The School of Planning at Waterloo is a professional school that is accredited by the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP). Graduates of accredited university planning programs may apply to the CIP’s regional affiliates – the provincial and territorial institutes and associations (PTIAs) – for membership and recognition as a professional planner: the Registered Professional Planner (RPP) or equivalent title. All candidates for membership must complete a certification process managed by the Professional Standards Board (PSB). 

The curriculum of the School’s undergraduate Planning program is designed to provide students with the knowledge, skills, experience, and perspectives necessary for successful careers as professional planners – whether they choose to work in a private or public sector, or to further their education with post graduate study in planning or several related disciplines. Planning at Waterloo is an Honours Co-op program, reflecting the importance of our applied orientation and vital connection with the profession. This connection takes many forms from involving professionals in the classroom to students engaging with communities as part of their course experience.

Core courses cover key topics like planning history, theory, policy, ecology, design, transportation, law, statistics, and planning methods. Electives allow students to pursue special interests. Students may also decide to choose a suite of courses that allow them to earn one or more of the following specializations offered by the School: Options and minors are also attainable through strategic course selection.


Office of the Registrar
University of Waterloo
2nd Floor, Needles Hall
200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1
519 888 4567

contact us | UWaterloo home | privacy | powered by InterGlobal Solutions