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Thread: BA Benefits: Ryerson vs. U of Saskatchewan

  1. #1

    BA Benefits: Ryerson vs. U of Saskatchewan

    I've applied to both Ryerson and University of Saskatchewan, but since I live all the way over in B.C., I can't really make a trip to either school to gauge the respective benefits of each undergrad planning program. Are there any alumni or current students of either school that can give me the low-down on content, focus, cost, overall experience, etc.? Right now I'm like a babe in the woods! Thanks.

  2. #2
    maudit anglais
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    I did not go to either school (U of Waterloo '96 here). I know nothing about the U. of Sask. program, but live and work in Toronto and know a bit about Ryerson. I would say on of the primary benefits to going there would be the atmosphere - the campus is right smack in the middle of downtown Toronto. Of course, if you're interested in rural planning that might not be what you're looking for...

    I think Ryerson offers a decent curriculum. The people I know who went there seem quite happy with the program, unlike a number of people (like me) who don't have much good to say about Waterloo - so that must mean they're doing something right. The only issue with Ryerson may be getting work experience.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian abrowne's avatar
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    Jan 2005
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    Well I can comment a bit here, given that I'm from BC, too, and also had an admission dilemma. I'm currently enrolled at Waterloo's School of Planning, and while I'm not exactly thrilled with it, I did turn down Ryerson and with good reason. I've seen some of their student work and it is very underwhelming - 3rd year projects that showed little to no evidence of any knowledge gained. Ryerson has also been criticized for making you effectively unemployable outside of Toronto. Personally, I would avoid it. Style over substance. Ryerson's main claim to fame is that its signage is very pretty.

    As for Sask, I've no idea... all I know is that I know a few people here at Waterloo planning that fled Sask.

    I'm of the opinion that Canadian planning education is largely garbage. Depending on your interests you'd be better served with an architectural education leaning towards urban design specialization with a community planning graduate thesis. I don't even want to get started on how much garbage I've had to deal with here at Waterloo. It's a bizarro world of entrenched professors with strange opinions where nothing ever gets done or changes. Drives me and most of my undergraduate class crazy. And the course calender has been hermorrhaging since about 1995, only now is it starting to turn around and add a few more. Can you believe we don't even have a regularily running transport planning class? It's offered as a special topic on the rare occasion it runs.

    If someone could transplant UWaterloo School of Planning into Ryersons geographic location, while leaving behind a few of the professors, I would be very pleased.

    In conclusion, I would not recommend Ryerson, I would not recommend Waterloo, and I've no idea about Sask.

    PS Take some photos of the cherry blossoms! I miss home!

  4. #4
    Quote Originally posted by Luxurious George
    I've applied to both Ryerson and University of Saskatchewan, but since I live all the way over in B.C., I can't really make a trip to either school to gauge the respective benefits of each undergrad planning program. Are there any alumni or current students of either school that can give me the low-down on content, focus, cost, overall experience, etc.? Right now I'm like a babe in the woods! Thanks.
    I am currently enrolled in Ryerson, but I have a prior degree from Laurier (Economics), and walked into the 3rd year of the Planning program. This is the second year that Ryerson has accepted mature students into the program, and it seems to have elevated the program a notch, as those in my situation are all extremely bright and motivated. You might want to consider doing another undergrad and then applying to Ryerson for this two-year Post-bach program.

    While there were a lot of issues with integration of those of us in my stream, overall, I'm pretty pleased with the program. My only concerns are the lack of selction in electives, and the extremely wide range of student abilities. There are some really bright people, and some who show very little interest in being there.

    The term projects are great in that we work with real clients on real projects, so you have plenty of opportunity to build a set of contacts.

    As for finding a job, perhaps my prior degree helped, but I had no problem finding a summer internship, which is in Alberta. And from what I gather, finding a job upon graduation is fairly easy, so long as you accept the fact that you aren't going to land a position with the City of Toronto.

    The atmosphere certainly adds to things too, and the renaissance going on with civic engagement (Spacing, TPSC, Newmindspace etc), certainly makes it an exciting time to be in the city, learning Planning.

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