REM Undergraduate Planning Program - FAQ

What do planners do?

Planners play important roles in ensuring environmental sustainability, economic resilience, and social justice in society.

Planners…

  • Create strategic plans and visions that will help cities and regions address sustainable development
  • Tackle global and local problems like climate change, food security, affordable housing
  • Support efforts towards reconciliation and decolonization by learning more about Indigenous planning
  • Help develop equitable and inclusive communities so that people feel a sense of belonging
  • Participate in creative and innovative community engagement to protect public interests

Why should I pursue planning in REM?

The REM undergraduate planning program is the first and only professional accredited undergraduate planning program in the Lower Mainland! Graduating with an accredited planning degree will help you in your journey to be certified as a Registered Professional Planner.

If I’m pursuing a different major program, can I still pursue a planning career?

There are different ways of obtaining planning-related jobs without graduating from a planning degree. However, it may be best to consider pursuing either a second bachelor’s degree in planning or a master’s degree in planning to increase your chances of obtaining a planning position.

Do students with accredited undergraduate planning degrees have the same eligibility as those with master’s in planning degrees to become Registered Professional Planners?

Yes! There are two pathways to becoming a Registered Professional Planner (RPP).  

Pathway one:

  • complete a planning degree from an accredited planning school
  • complete two years of professional planning work experience
  • pass an RPP exam

Pathway two:

  • Need 5 years of professional planning work experience
  • Pass an RPP exam

For more information about becoming a Registered Professional Planner, click here.

Are there benefits to transferring to the REM planning program if I have a majoring in Geography?

Yes! If you are interested in a planning career, then graduating from an accredited planning degree will give you specific knowledge and skills that potential employers are looking for in a planner. Those who graduate with a planning degree have a competitive advantage over those who do not have planning degrees when it comes to planning positions.

Is it too late to switch my Major program if I’m already in my 3rd or 4th year?

You can still switch your Major program in your 3rd or 4th year. Please contact the REM Advisor to review how many more courses are needed to complete the planning program.

I already have Co-op work experience in another area – can that count towards the planning program?

While we encourage students to obtain planning-related Co-op experience, we will still accept prior Co-op work experience towards the planning program.

Does REM have a master’s in planning program that is also accredited?

Yes! Please check out the Masters in planning program (MRM Planning and other REM graduate programs) here. Have more questions about the master’s program? Contact Vanessa Cowley at gradasst@sfu.ca.

Would the courses that I’ve taken at SFU so far still count towards the planning degree if I switched Majors?

Yes! The units that you’ve completed so far will still count towards your total or upper division units. If your courses have W, Q, or B designations, they will also count towards your WQB requirements. If you have taken environment courses, check with the REM Advisor to see if any are eligible to count towards the planning program.

Are you open to considering applications to the planning program past the May 31st deadline?

Yes! Since our program is fairly new, we will be accepting applications each term for now.

How long would it take to complete a second degree in planning?

Second degree students are required to only meet a minimum of 45 upper division units, an upper division 3-unit W course and a 3-unit Q course, and any course requirements for the program. If students are enrolled in full-time studies, it’s possible to complete a second degree in approximately 2.-2.5 years.

Can I apply directly to the REM Major Planning Stream or do I need to enter the REM Major Management Stream first?

You may apply to the REM Major Planning directly if you meet the minimum application requirements. If you do not meet the application requirements, you may enter the REM Major Management Stream first if you have a CGPA of 2.00 and completed at least 9-units at SFU.

Can I still take planning courses even if I don’t want to pursue the planning program?

Yes! Students may take elective courses outside of their major program that will count towards the total units required for their degree program. If you’d like to gain some knowledge and skills in planning, consider taking our courses.