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Thread: BES at University of Waterloo for planning

  1. #1
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    BES at University of Waterloo for planning

    Anyone know anything about it? It seems like the best Planning school in Canada, but it is very far away from home (Alberta), and the UofS has an accreddited planning school for a B.A in Regional and Urban Planning. Would it be worth it to go to Waterloo because the university there offers more prestige and the program contents seem much stronger there. Plus, I get a BES and not a BA, which is looked down upon in Canada in comparision to science, engineering, business, education and post grad degrees?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    Aug 2001
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    Elmira, Ontario, Canada
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    I went to Waterloo about 10 years ago. Yes it does have a good reputation and is well known across Canada. It is very much a theorectical, very broad based, not very hands on... but does offer a Co-op program, and does have events to get students involved and interact with Professional Planners through the Ontario Professtional Planning Institute. If you want your Regististered Professional Planning status in Canada - you would be a bit further ahead as they help you to that goal.

    Not having gone to other schools I cannot compare it to the US.
    "your lack of planning does not constitute an emergency on my part!"

  3. #3
    maudit anglais
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    I also attended UW...1991 to 1996. Not sure I'd call it the best planning school in Canada. There isn't exactly a lot to choose from out there and I really don't think prestige enters into it at all. I will admit that I do like having a B.E.S. after my name (not that I use it much) rather than a B.A.

    I did the co-op option, which I think greatly enhanced my experience (and employability). Not sure about now, but at the time the school was heavily design-oriented - which is great, except for the fact that everyone who came out of the program expecting to be hired as an urban designer was sadly disappointed. Housing policy (yawn) was the other strength at the time. I had to pretty much make up my own curriculum as transportation planning was not an option or a strength of the school.

    Bottom line for me is this: It doesn't matter which school you go to, it is what you put into it and what you come away with. I don't know anything about U of S. Doesn't U of Calgary have a planning program?

    Living in another part of the country can be a great experience, but if you really don't want to be that far from home don't go.

  4. #4
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    Actually the UofC doesnt have a Planning School, at least at the Undergraduate level that is accredited by the CIP. Only the UofS and UNBC and Winnipeg or manitoba (not sure which one) are accredited in the west, and the UofS is the only one that would make sense cause i have family there and itd still be relatively close in comparison to UNBC, Winnipeg, Waterloo, it wouldnt really make a difference how far, id be home the same amount of time. I still am attracted to the idea of a Bachelor of Commerce though so I'm having a hard time deciding

  5. #5
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    Waterloo, ON
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    I'm currently doing geography at UW, but I'm taking a lot of cross-listed courses in planning. I also know a lot of people in the program and it seems like the urban design specialization is really popular. However, you can also specialize in urban development, GIS, or environmental planning. Most of the faculty staff is very friendly and computing facilities are nice! You should definitely come here!

  6. #6
    Cyburbian supergeek1313's avatar
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    Oct 2005
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    A number of people in my current Master's program went to Waterloo for their undergrad planning degree. All I can say is that they knew quite a lot about planning and urban design coming into our program... the co-op also is a major asset and they had much better internships in undergrad than some of my classmates got a year into the masters. I'm not Canadian and therefore didn't even look at UW when I was applying to school, but it seems pretty good from a planning perspective.

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