Professional planners direct the development of cities, towns, neighbourhoods and regions. They are frontline workers on many of society’s most engaging issues including climate change, suburban sprawl and planning with Indigenous communities. Planners work with citizens, developers and elected officials to create great places that optimize the use or preservation of society’s environmental, economic, social, cultural and aesthetic assets. The USask Regional and Urban Planning Program prepares students to work toward achieving several of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to create a more sustainable and better future for all, especially Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.  

Planners direct and coordinate the allocation of land, resources, infrastructure, facilities and services in order to create distinctive, resilient places and healthy, vibrant, sustainable cities, towns, reserves and regions.  They revitalize aging neighbourhooods and commercial areas and undertake economic development planning and place-marketing for rural and urban communities. Their work includes maximizing travel mode choices and access to homes, work, retail, social and community services.  Planners proactively address climate change issues, energy conservation, protection of water source and supplies and conservation of natural areas. Planners bring life to cultural and heritage features, facilitate social integration and ensure safe, comfortable and enjoyable public spaces for all by working with diverse communities of citizens and especially with First Nations and Métis peoples.

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 lead challenging conversations that link knowledge with action. Planning is an exciting vocation and a rewarding profession. Many planners have meaningful 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. Some planners pursue further education and careers in areas such as architecture, public policy and environmental management.

To prepare students to become strong planners equipped to meet the challenges of society,  the Regional and Urban Planning (RUP) Program has distinguished itself as a strong interdisciplinary professional program. Our students are a creative, connected, talented and versatile group. They have to be in order to assume leadership roles in tackling society’s most important and complex issues that stretch well beyond the boundaries of any single discipline. We encourage RUP students to take advantage of international study and exchange programs 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 established in 1968 by J. Howard Richards and John G. McConnell with student leaders Gordon Tweddell and Kent Gerecke, and has contributed ever since to building the planning profession in Saskatchewan, across Canada and around the world.  The RUP program proudly celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2018.

Consider making a charitable donation to the Founders’ Enrichment Fund, where money raised will be used to support student program enrichment initiatives that enhance experiential learning and engagement with the profession and community.  The Fund is named in honour of Dr. J. Howard Richards, Dr. John McConnell, and the other influential student and faculty leaders who founded the RUP program.

Our Goals

The first goal of the RUP Program is to prepare its 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. In achieving our first goal, we maintain the high standards of the Professional Standards Board of the Canadian Institute of Planners.

The second goal is to prepare graduates to challenge the current state of planning practice and bring their 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 planning.

The RUP Program embraces the promise of an engaged university through its interdisciplinary curriculum and maintains a high level of commitment to active learning through project-based assessment, guest lectures, field trips, and applied studio work focused on solving real problems in communities throughout Saskatchewan.


Interested in Regional and Urban Planning?


Dr. Bob Patrick, MCIP, RPP

Associate Professor and Chair, Regional and Urban Planning
Department of Geography and Planning
University of Saskatchewan
Rm. 116, 117 Science Place
Saskatoon, SK  CANADA  S7N 5C8

Regional and Urban Planning Program Committee

Dr. Ehab Diab (Department of Geography and Planning)

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

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

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

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

Dr. Joel Bruneau (Department of Economics)

Dr. Michael Gertler (Department of Sociology)

Dr. Suren Kulshreshtha (Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics)

Dr. Jon Bath (Department of Art and Art History)

Eric MacDougall, MCIP, RPP (Saskatchewan Professional Planners Institute)

Olivia Tomcala (Planning Students' Association)

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

Tim Steuart, MCIP, RPP (Professional Associate)

Planning Students' Association

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

2020-2021 PSA Executive 
President: Olivia Tomcala
Vice President: Matthew Kuziak
SPPI Representative: Josh Campbell
Communications Director:  Mikael Hepburn
Academic and Student Affairs Director: Carson Mackonka

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).  

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 meet the admission requirements to apply to the College of Arts & Science.  There is no special application or acceptance procedure for the RUP program.  

Urban Design Certificate

How to get the Urban Design Certificate?

The new Urban Design Certificate offers a micro-credential to supplement your degree. It will appear on your transcript. Regional and Urban Planning (RUP) majors and Art and Art History majors, and students across campus, can take a suite of courses from Interdisciplinary Studies, Art, Geography, and Planning to complete this certificate (18-21 credit units). RUP majors can double-count the courses toward their Planning Major and toward the Urban Design Certificate. Details on requirements can be found here.

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.

2020-2021 Term 1

PLAN 346.3(01) Introduction to Urban Design MWF 9:30-10:20 Akkerman, A.
PLAN 390.3(03) Research & Field Methods in Planning Diab, E.
Aug 25 to 28 and 31, 2020 9am to 3pm
September 29, 2020 T 8:30-11:20am
October 27, 2020 T 8:30-11:20am
December 1, 2020 T 8:30-11:20am
PLAN 395.3(01) Planning History and Theory TR 2:30-3:50pm Blakley, J.
PLAN 413.0(01) Practicum in Planning Patrick, R.
PLAN 442.3(01) Regional Planning W 1:30-4:20pm Patrick, R.
PLAN 495.3(01) Professional Planning Practice T 7:00-9:50pm Grismer, G.


2020-2021 Term 2

PLAN 343.3(02) Legal Issues in Planning TR 1:00-2:20pm Steuart, T.
PLAN 350.3(02) Transportation Planning and Geography MWF 11:30-12:20pm Akkerman, A.
PLAN 360.3(02) Urban Data Analysis TR  11:30-12:50pm Diab, E.
PLAN 392.3(02) Early History of Geographic & Planning Though T 1:30-4:20pm Akkerman, A.
PLAN 413.0(02) Practicum in Planning Patrick, R.
PLAN 445.3(02) Planning with Indigenous Communities W 1:30-4:20pm Blakley, J.
PLAN 446.3(02) Advanced Urban Design W 6:00-8:50pm Lau, H.
PLAN 490.3(02) Senior Planning Studio M 1:00-3:50pm Diab, E.

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 Student Employment and Career Centre website for postings.

CIP’s Student Membership package is here. Membership is free for students.

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 Chair with job ads for continuing or graduating students robert.patrick@usask.ca 

Scholarships and 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 $2,000 annually.

Selection for the Award is based on an original 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, 
Saskatchewan Professional Planners Institute, and the City of Saskatoon, determine the winning candidate. All competition entries must be submitted electronically to asg.studentawards@usask.ca. Urban design entries involving art work are allowed to be submitted on a single panel. Deadline for submissions is the last working day of March in each academic year. The RUP Program does not commit itself to grant the Award if no deserving submissions are made in a particular year.

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 funded through annual earnings of a trust established by the Donors on behalf of the University of Saskatchewan. The value of the Scholarship is $2,000.

Selection for the Award is based on three pieces:
 1. an original project or paper, not previously submitted for any planning course, dealing with planning or development in Canada, north of the 53rd parallel,
2. overall academic achievement of the applicants, and
3. on their community involvement.

Applicants for the Scholarship award may include individuals or groups of students in their third or fourth year, full-time in RUP. The Selection Committee for the Award is comprised of the Dean of the College of Arts and Science (or designate), a representative of the RUP Program Committee, and of the Saskatchewan Professional Planners Institute. All competition entries must be submitted electronically to asg.studentawards@usask.ca. The deadline for submissions is the last working day of March in each academic year.  The RUP Program does not commit itself to grant the Award if no deserving submissions are made in a particular year.

Planning 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.