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Thread: Canadian undergraduate planning schools

  1. #1

    Canadian undergraduate planning schools

    Hello Everyone!

    Does anyone here have any information on the Undergraduate Planning degrees offered at any of the school across Canada? I've applied Ryerson, Dalhousie and U of Sask. I didn't apply to Waterloo because if I'm going to live in a small town, I might as well be close to home (Edmonton). I would like to focus my career on urban design, so if anyone knows whether a certain school offers a better design program that would be helpful. Also, some information on whether the planning degree offered prepares you for the job would be great .

  2. #2
    maudit anglais
    May 1997
    I'm a bit out of touch with current planning school pros/cons but Waterloo did have a good urban design program when I was there (15 years ago). And it's not that small a town anymore.

    As to whether the degree prepares you for a job, that really depends on what you want to do. I doubt you would be able to move directly into any sort of urban designer job right out of undergrad unless you are truly exceptional. If you want to end up in a role where you are actually doing design work your best bet is to consider architecture or landscape architecture and pursue employment in the private sector. You can get there with a planning degree but you are likely going to need a grad degree (urban design, architecture or landscape architecture) to move into a design role. Otherwise you are likely working as a community planner, reviewing other peoples' designs.

    The above is just based on my experience...your mileage may vary.

  3. #3
    uSask lost their accreditation on their planning program. That leaves Waterloo, Dalhousie (if you do the 4yr honours degree) and UNBC. I'm in the UNBC program and am enjoying it.

  4. #4
    What are you going to be majoring in? The Natural Resource Management option at UNBC seems interesting. I may have to consider that program. U of Sask still has there accreditation, according to the faculty I've been corresponding with. They seem to have a good program as well, some of the courses sound neat. Did you consider any other schools when you "shopping" around?

  5. #5
    Jan 2010
    Waterloo, ON
    I'm just finishing up my undergrad degree at Waterloo, so I can give some more current advice hopefully.

    There is a good urban design component to the program, and in fact an Urban Design Specialization here that can be pursued....in total I think there are 7 urban design courses offered, which I think is pretty good! And about half of them I believe are double-weighted, so you get double credit for them. They're mainly studio work, in groups, with design charettes and guest critiques. Pretty interesting, and you get experience with drawing, SketchUp, wood work and modelling, Illustrator/InDesign, but also really competitive and I think not as academically strong as some other courses offered by the school, just in terms of the amount of stuff that you're actually taught. You're basically just left to your own devices with design, which can be fun but also frustrating when no one actually taught you HOW to use a certain program or how to draw a certain view for a plan.

    Hope this helps!

    ps: to me, Waterloo still is a small town, haha....I like to be somewhere where there are actually people on the streets after 6 PM and where the 'downtown' isn't littered with parking lots, but, that's just me!! Definitely a major drawback for me with coming to Waterloo was not getting the urban experience of going to school in a larger city.

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