Professional planners direct the development of cities, towns and regions. They are frontline workers on many of society’s most engaging issues. Planners work with community members, developers and elected officials to create great places that optimize the use or preservation of society’s environmental, economic, social, cultural and aesthetic assets.

Planners direct the allocation of land, resources, infrastructure, facilities and services in order to create distinctive and resilient places. This work includes community land-use planning that maximizes travel mode choices, access to homes, work, retail, social and community services, and contributes to climate change solutions, energy conservation, protecting water supplies, and caring for natural areas. Planners bring life to cultural and heritage features, work with diverse communities of citizens and especially with First Nations and Métis peoples to create great places and distinctive communities. They revitalize neighbourhoods and commercial areas and undertake economic development planning and place-marketing for rural and urban communities. 

Professional planners use their skills in design, community engagement, policy analysis and government processes, economics, planning and development law, geomatics, conflict resolution, public speaking and applied research to link knowledge with action. Planning is an exciting vocation and a rewarding profession. Many planners have rewarding careers in the public sector, such as at urban or rural municipalities, provincial or federal government departments and conservation authorities. Many also pursue careers in the private sector, working for planning consulting firms or real estate development companies. Others start their own development or planning consulting companies and thrive on the challenges of entrepreneurship. 

To prepare great planners for meeting these challenges the Regional and Urban Planning (RUP) Program has distinguished itself as a strong interdisciplinary professional program. Our students are a creative, talented and versatile group. They have to be in order to take a leadership role in tackling society’s most important challenges that stretch beyond single disciplinary boundaries. We encourage RUP students to take advantage of international study and exchange programs to Europe, USA and Mexico to learn about planning in other places. 

The RUP Program is accredited by the Saskatchewan Professional Planners Institute and the Canadian Institute of Planners and is one of only three professionally accredited undergraduate planning programs in western Canada. It is also one of the longest established planning degrees in Canada. It was started in 1968 by J. Howard Richards and John G. McConnell and has contributed ever since to building the planning profession in Saskatchewan, across Canada and around the world.

Our Goals

The first goal of the RUP Program is to prepare graduates to step into the current state of planning practice with the disciplinary knowledge needed to meet the demand of public and private sector employers for competent and creative community planners. By achieving our first goal, we maintain the standard of professional planning practice in Saskatchewan, Canada and internationally. 

Our second goal is to educate students who are prepared to challenge the current state of planning practice and bring their interdisciplinary education and critical thinking skills to bear on a profession that needs to continuously improve the quality of public and private development decisions affecting our environment and society. By achieving our second goal, we ensure that the planning profession in Saskatchewan and across Canada does not stagnate and miss out on the considerable innovations occurring internationally in community planning. 

The RUP Program embraces the promise of an engaged university with its interdisciplinary curriculum, commitment to active learning through project-based assessment, guest lectures and field trips led by alumni and community stakeholders, and applied course work focused on solving real problems in Saskatchewan communities of all sizes.


Interested in Regional and Urban Planning?


Dr. Jill Blakley, PhD, MCIP, RPP

Chair, Regional and Urban Planning Program

Department of Geography and Planning &
School of Environment and Sustainability
University of Saskatchewan
Rm. 115, 117 Science Place
Saskatoon, SK  CANADA  S7N 5C8

Regional and Urban Planning Program Committee

Avi Akkerman, PhD, MCIP, RPP (Department of Geography & Planning)

Samantha Mark
BA-honours (Saskatchewan Professional Planners Institute)

Bonnie Gorelitza
MCIP RPP (Saskatchewan Professional Planners Institute)

Loleen Berdahl, PhD (Department of Political Studies)

TBA (Planning Students Association)

Michael Gertler, PhD (Department of Sociology)

Glen Grismer, MA, MCIP (Professional Associate)

Henry Lau, Registered Architect, MSAA., MRAIC., LEED A.P. (Professional Associate)

Lenore Swystun, MA, RPP (Professional Associate)

Jill Blakley, PhD, MCIP, RPP (Department of Geography & Planning)

Bob Patrick, PhD, MCIP, RPP (Department of Geography & Planning)

Ryan Walker, PhD, MCIP, RPP (Department of Geography & Planning)

Planning Students Association

To become a member or to contact the PSA, please email rup.psa.usask@gmail.com

2017-2018 PSA Executive 
President: Nyle Segovia
Vice President: Veronica Wallace
SPPI/MOMENTUM Representative: Carissa Donaldson
Communications Director: Dallen Osachuk (rup.psa.usask@gmail.com)
Academic Affairs Director: Chelsea Kocsis
Student Affairs Director:  Abigail Weger

Prospective Students

Information for Prospective Students

1. Who can take the Regional & Urban Planning (RUP) Program?

The RUP program is offered by the Department of Geography and Planning.  Any student admitted to the College of Arts and Science can be in the RUP program, simply by choosing to major in RUP and taking the required courses. You can declare this major in Year 2 by going to the Undergraduate Office (Arts 265).  However, to continue taking courses and eventually graduate with a degree in Regional & Urban Planning, you will have to meet the Promotion and Graduation standards of the College of Arts & Science (see Guides & Procedures at http://artsandscience.usask.ca/students/academics/).

2. Do I need a certain average to get into the Program?

No, you do not need to have a certain average specifically for the RUP program but you must be the admission requirements to apply to the College of Arts & Science.  There is no special application or acceptance procedure for the RUP program.  However, like all Arts & Science students, you must meet the Promotion and Graduation standards of the College to continue in your program (see above).

General Information on Advising and Courses

1. What courses should I take?

The courses that are required in RUP are listed in the University of Saskatchewan Course and Program Catalogue. You should follow the program that is in place in the year you start the program or declare your major. If you have questions about any changes that are made to program requirements, contact the Undergraduate office (Arts 265).

In March and April, the Departments offer Spring advising. You should make an advising appointment every Spring to determine what courses you have left to take, so you can organize your upcoming year. This also is a good opportunity to discuss your progress up to that point, and ask any special questions you may have.

2. When are the courses offered?

Some senior level GEOG and PLAN courses are only offered once in the academic year (September - April). In the spring, you can check the online Course Offerings for both terms through PAWS (or go to students.usask.ca) to determine your schedule for the next year. Obtaining Spring advising will also help you find out more about the upcoming year’s schedule.

Note: It is the student’s responsibility to consult the Course and Program Catalouge and/or obtain advising to apprise him or herself of the program requirements and class schedule. This is important so as to avoid scheduling conflicts or problems in the final years of the program.

3. Can I take Spring/Summer classes?

Students can most definitely take courses in the Spring and Summer, it is a great way to get credits and possibly finish early.  Such courses would likely be prerequisites, or electives needed to fill requirements, as most PLAN or GEOG courses that are specific to the RUP program are only offered in the regular session (September - April).

Note that Spring and Summer courses do count towards your academic average. Consult with the Undergraduate Office (Arts 265) for more information on your average. For information on Student Loans during the Spring and Summer, contact Student Central (966-1212).

4. Who should I contact if I have questions about the program?

Email contact.rup@artsandscience.usask.ca, or see the People link on this site.

5. Who should I contact for academic advising?

At any time during the year, you can phone 966-4231 for more information, or email contact.rup@artsandscience.usask.ca, or student-advice@artsandscience.usask.ca to set up an appointment. Due to high volume, there may be a wait for advising of up to a few weeks, depending on availability. Spring Advising is done on a sign-up basis only and begins in March.


The following is for information purposes only; for the official course offerings, go to students.usask.ca. The following are subject to change and are not a comprehensive listing of the courses you need. Courses are not guaranteed to be offered every year, or may be offered at different times from year to year.

2017-2018 Term 1

PLAN 342.3(01)   (28) Community Planning in Canada MWF 9:30am - 10:20am Akkerman, A
PLAN  343.3(01) (40) Legal Issues in Planning TR 1:00pm - 2:20pm Steuart, T.
PLAN  346.3(01) (25) Introduction to Urban Design MWF 10:30am - 11:20am Akkerman, A
PLAN 390.3 (01)(30) Research & Field Methods in Planning
August 28 - Sept. 1, 2017 MTWRF 9:00am - 2:50pm Blakley, J.
September 25, 2017 M 9:00am - 11:50am
October 23, 2017 M 9:00am - 11:50am
November 27, 2017 M 9:00am - 11:50am
PLAN  413.0 (01)(12) Practicum in Planning Blakley, J.
PLAN  413.0 (01)(12) Regional Planning W 1:00pm - 3:50pm Patrick, R.
PLAN 495.3(01)(30) Professional Planning Practice T 7:00pm - 9:50pm Grismer, G

2017-2018 Term 2

PLAN 341.3(02) (40)

Urban Planning


11:30am - 12:50pm


PLAN 350.3 (02) (50)

Transportation Planning & Geography


10:30am - 11:20am

Akkerman, A.

PLAN 395.3 (02) (30)

Planning History and Theory


6:00pm - 8:50pm

Akkerman, A.

PLAN 413.0 (02) (12)

Practicum in Planning

Blakley, J.

PLAN 445.3 (02) (20)

Planning with Indigenous Communities


1:00pm - 2:20pm

Fawcett, B.

PLAN 446.3(02)(30)

Advanced Urban Design


6:00pm - 9:00pm

Lau, H.

PLAN 490.3(02) (40)

Applied Planning Project


2:00pm - 3:00pm

Patrick, R.

Career Opportunities

All students majoring in Regional and Urban Planning should apply for Student Membership in the Saskatchewan Professional Planners Institute. 
Student members of SPPI should keep an eye on employment postings on both the SPPI website and the website of the Canadian Institute of Planners  Also refer to the SECC website for postings.

All employers wishing to post positions for graduates of the RUP Program or summer employment positions for continuing RUP students should use the services of the Student Employment and Career Centre.  They can be contacted by phone at (306) 966-5003.  You may also contact the RUP Program Chair with job ads for continuing or graduating students jill.gunn@usask.ca

Scholarship & Awards

The McLeod-Jourdin Award

The McLeod-Jourdin Award is an endowment from Mr. George McLeod of Calgary, matched by a contribution from the Noble Foundation of Admore, Oklahoma. The prize, officially referred to as The Carl McLeod & Art Jourdin Award in Regional and Urban Planning, has provided for an annual student prize in RUP since 1992. The Award is intended to be funded in perpetuity through annual earnings of a trust established by the Donors on behalf of the University of Saskatchewan. The value of the Award will be determined from time to time, based upon the University practices regarding trust value preservation, and is presently estimated at approximately $1,000 annually. Selection for the Award is based on an origianl project or paper not previously submitted for any planning course. Applicants for the Award may include individual students, or groups of students, full-time in RUP, who submit an urban design project, or research paper in urban, regional or community planning. A Selection Committee usually comprising representatives of the RUP Program Committee, SPPI, and the City of Saskatoon, determine the winning candidate. All competition entries must be submitted to the RUP Chair in three copies. Only urban design entries involving art work are allowed to be submitted on single panel. The RUP Program does not commit itself to grant the Award if no deserving submissions are made in a particular year. The deadline for submission of entries in the McLeod-Jourdin Award competition is the last working day of March in each academic year. Award presentation takes place in the spring.

The Fraser - Gatrell Memorial Scholarship

The Fraser - Gatrell Memorial Scholarship has been endowed in memory of two Saskatchewan community planners who were tragically killed in northern Saskatchewan in 1993. The late Darren Gatrell was also our student, graduating from the RUP Program in 1992. The Fraser - Gatrell Memorial Scholarship Award is intended to be funded for fifteen years through annual earnings of a trust established by the Donors on behalf of the University of Saskatchewan. The value of the Scholarship has been established at $1,200, based upon the University practices regarding trust value preservation. Selection for the Award is based on three pieces: 1. an origional project or paper, not previously submitted for any planning course, dealing with planning or development in Canada, north of the 53rd parallel, 2. on overall achievement of the applicants, and 3. on their community involvement. Applicants for the Scholarship award may include individual or groups of students in their third or fourth year, full-time in RUP, who submit an urban design project, or research paper in urban, regional or community planning in Northern Canada (the propject or paper must not have been previously submitted for any planning course). Selection Committee for the Award comprises one representative each of the Dean of the College of Arts and Science, of the RUP Program Committee, and of SPPI, and it is the Selection Committee that determines the winning candidate. All competition entries must be submitted to the RUP Chair in three copies. The RUP Program does not commit itself to grant the Award if no deserving submissions are made in a particular year. The deadline for submissions of entries in the Fraser-Gatrell Memorial Scholarship Award is the last working day of March in each academic year. Award presentation takes place in the spring.

Planning and Practicum

Planning Practicum – PLAN 413.0

The PLAN 413.0 Planning Practicum is a non-credit course enabling RUP students to engage in an applied program of practical planning work under the supervision of a planner who is a member of SPPI. Participation in the Practicum, by both students and planners, is on a volunteer basis. The Education Chair of SPPI coordinates the Practicum by finding placements for students in planning offices throughout the province. The Practicum is aimed at upper year RUP students to involve them in applied planning environments as well as to enable them to create informal contacts with practicing planners throughout the province. 

The course consists of an approved work program 39 hours in length over a period of no more than one academic term. The work hours are scheduled by mutual arrangement between the student and the supervising planner. 

The Practicum is hands-on exposing the student to a range of planning work carried out in a planning office. The Practicum is not of a clerical nature, beyond what is reasonably necessary to carry out the assigned work. 

Students can apply any time for seasonal or part-time planning jobs towards the Practicum, through SPPI. Upon approval of a student's application for the Practicum, students must register in PLAN 413.0. The student must complete the Practicum and provide the RUP Chair with a Work Study Program Report during the term in which the student is registered. PLAN 413.0 is not a required course and is not for credit. As a general rule, the work undertaken during the Practicum is not paid.