Program delivery note

Program delivery note: Fanshawe will temporarily deliver this program as listed under "locations" to the right of your screen or in the "+ more details" menu on mobile.

Get access to cutting-edge GIS technologies - 2021/2022

What will our world look like in 20, 50 or 100 years? What kind of positive influence can we have on it? If these types of questions interest you, then check out the GIS and Urban Planning program at Fanshawe.

With this GIS and Urban Planning program, you’ll learn how your training can help make the world a cleaner, more sustainable place. You’ll be provided with technical and design skills that will help you understand land use planning, land development, land conservation and resource management, in both rural and urban communities from the perspective of both the public and private sector.

As well, you’ll have access to cutting-edge technologies including GIS (Geographical Information Systems), AutoCAD, 3D Visualizations and Presentation Graphics applications. This training will be used in conjunction with our case study method that allows you to participate in the conceptualization of actual land development projects.

This two-year program also features two co-operative work terms that give you practical, hands-on experience with government, planning consultants or land development companies. When you graduate, you’ll be prepared for an exciting career as a planning, design, or AutoCAD technician or a GIS operator or analyst.

Whichever career you choose, you can bet that you’ll be shaping our world.

Students now have the opportunity to take this GIS & Urban Planning program in a blended learning format here at the main campus in London, or completely online. Choose a path that best suits your learning needs.

GIS and Urban Planning program progression chart


Fall intake 

  Fall Winter Summer
Year 1 Level 1 Level 2 Work Term 1
Year 2 Level 3 Level 4 Work Term 2



Admission Requirements - 2021/2022

Admission Requirements

OSSD with courses from the College (C), University (U),
University/College (M), or Open (O) stream WITH:
- Any Grade 12 English (C) or (U)
- Any Grade 11 or Grade 12 Mathematics* (C), (U), or (M)
Academic and Career Entrance Certificate (ACE)
Ontario High School Equivalency Certificate (GED) AND:
- Any Grade 11 or Grade 12 Mathematics* (C), (U), or (M)
Mature Applicant with standing in the required courses stated above
  • *Grade 12 Foundations for College Mathematics (C) preferred.

English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate proficiency in English by one of the following methods:

  • A Grade 12 College Stream or University Stream English credit from an Ontario Secondary School, or equivalent, depending on the program's Admission Requirements
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) test with a minimum score of 79 for the Internet-based test (iBT), with test results within the last two years
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic test with an overall score of 6.0 with no score less than 5.5 in any of the four bands, with test results within the last two years. SDS Program Requirements. 
  • Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) test with an overall score of 60 with no score less than 50 in any of the four bands, with test results within the last two years
  • Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE) with a minimum score of 53, with test results within the last two years
  • A Cambridge English Test (FCE/CAE/CPE) with an overall score on the Cambridge English Scale of 169 with no language skill less than 162, with test results within the last two years
  • An English Language Evaluation (ELE) at Fanshawe College with a minimum score of 70% in all sections of the test, with test results within the last two years
  • Fanshawe College ESL4/GAP5 students: Minimum grade of 80% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 8, 75% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 9, or 70% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 10

Recommended Academic Preparation

  • Grade 11 Introduction to Computer Science (U)
  • Grade 12 Computer Science (U) 
  • Any Grade 11 or Grade 12 Geography (C), (U), or (M)
  • Grade 11 Housing and Home Design (O)
  • Grade 11 or Grade 12 Technological Design (M)
  • Grade 12 Business and Technological Communication (O)

Advanced Standing

  • Credit for any courses in the program will be given to students who can demonstrate that they have the required skills to meet the objectives of the course.

Applicant Selection Criteria

Where the number of eligible applicants exceeds the available spaces in the program, the Applicant Selection Criteria will be:
  1. Preference for Permanent Residents of Ontario
  2. Receipt of Application by February 1st (After this date, Fanshawe College will consider applicants on a first-come, first-served basis until the program is full)
  3. Achievement in the Admission Requirements


GIS and Urban Planning-2021/2022

Level 1
Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:
WRIT-1036Reason & Writing 1-Art & Design3
This course introduces students to essential principles of reading, writing, and reasoning at the postsecondary level. Students will identify, summarize, analyze, and evaluate multiple short readings and write persuasive response essays to develop their vocabulary, comprehension, grammar, and critical thinking.
COMP-1556Presentation Graphics 13
In this course students will study graphic design principles and apply them to a variety of planning related documents. A number of software applications will be utilized to prepare presentations and custom graphics. Students will develop research skills, prepare supporting documents, and present their findings in an open forum. The key components of a comprehensive portfolio will also be discussed and students will be required to develop their own professional portfolio.
CADD-1079CAD-Urban Planning 14
Urban and regional planning involves the preparation of a broad range of maps and plans for land development and land conservation from a wide range of sources and formats. This course introduces computer aided design and mapping covering drawing, editing and plotting of maps and plans for land based development projects from a planning perspective using AutoCAD.
METH-1039Geographical Information Systems 14
This introductory GIS course will cover basic GIS theory and concepts in the lecture portion and provide an introduction to ArcGIS software in the lab portion. A series of lab assignments will cover data views, tables, map layouts, spatial data creation, cartographic elements, labeling, and legends using the ArcGIS software. In the lecture portion the structure of ArcGIS, data acquisition, processing, storage, display and analysis, and the application of GIS to Urban and Rural planning will be covered.
PLAN-1016Land Use Planning3
This is a lecture/discussion course about the fundamentals of planning and design land based development projects within a Municipal land use planning context. The meaning and rationale for land use planning, basic land uses with urban and rural environments, historical perspectives, planning institutions, tools and decision processes, the relationship with transportation planning, and current issues such as sustainable development are studied.
PLAN-1014Site Planning2.5
This course will introduce students to digital drafting, illustration techniques, and the importance of graphics for urban and regional planning applications. Exercises and studio projects will introduce the digital drawing techniques; and emphasize the effectiveness to illustrate real land planning and design problems and projects. Site design solutions for various land development projects will be explored and prepared using digital drafting methods and techniques. Each site plan will be completed to a final draft, within a case study context, using typical design standards and zoning regulations.
COOP-1020Co-operative Education Employment Prep1
This workshop will provide an overview of the Co-operative Education consultants and students' roles and responsibilities as well as the Co-operative Education Policy. It will provide students with employment preparatory skills specifically related to co-operative education work assignments and will prepare students for their work term.

Level 2
Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:
COMM-3074Communications for Design3
This course, designed for students who plan to work in the field of art and design, focuses on professional written and verbal communication skills. Students learn to prepare a variety of work-related documents. In addition, students learn about research methods and documentation formats. The principles of effective writing - organization, grammar, style, clarity, and tone - are reinforced throughout the course. The goal of the course is to prepare students for the communication tasks and considerations they will encounter in the workplace in order to meet the needs of employers and/or the communities they will serve.
COMP-3111Presentation Graphics 23
In this course students will study and prepare various types of planning related documents using professional graphic design software. Students will learn how to create custom planning report maps, graphics, and figures through the integration of GIS, CAD, Photoshop, Illustrator, and 3D modelling information. Students will finalize their portfolios in preparation for co-op work-term interviews.
CADD-3037CAD-Urban Planning 24
This course builds on previous manual and computer courses as it studies the sources, formats and use of plans and maps for Urban and Regional Planning. Using computers, students will focus on the use of intermediate and advanced AutoCAD tools/commands in the on preparation of 2D conceptual site plans. Students will also learn how to create 3D models of their site plans, while focusing on the use of various 3D visualization techniques.
METH-1010Municipal Government & Planning3.5
The land use planning instruments and processes from the Planning Act of Ontario are studied within the Municipal/Provincial public administrative context. The organizational structure, functions and amalgamations of Municipal Government are examined so as to better understand the needed multi disciplinary approach for comprehensive Municipal Land Use Planning, related government approval agencies, and steps in the land development process.
METH-3015Geographical Informatiom Systems 24
This computer lab course will build on prerequisite GIS courses. The major functions of GIS will be studied including data preparation, data transformation, data management, data display and spatial analysis and automation with a GIS. The use of GIS concepts, theories and practical examples will illustrate the significance GIS has in the field of Urban and Regional Planning.
PLAN-1036Environmental Planning3
This course will introduce the student to the natural features and natural functions that make up the landscape. Natural features such as wetlands and woodlands are discussed in terms of their characteristics and functions. The natural processes of flooding, erosion, shoreline movement and slope erosion are discussed in the same context. The role and responsibilities of municipalities and resource management agencies in planning for natural features and processes will also be discussed.

Level 3
Gen Ed - Take a 3 credit General Education elective course
Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:
PLAN-1037Subdivision Design2.5
The methods of subdividing real property according to the Ontario Planning Act are studied. Case projects are used and an actual site is employed for students to learn the research and design skills in preparing a large Draft Plan of a Subdivision and its approval process within a community context.
CADD-3025CAD Applications 14
In this course, students will how to create detailed elements of a typical urban residential subdivision in the AutoCAD environment. In conjunction with the work they complete in PLAN 1004 (Subdivision Design), the students will learn how these elements are combined to create conceptual plans. The students will also learn how to apply various software applications to create draft plans of subdivision and the required supporting documentation.
METH-3019Geographical Information Systems 34
In this intermediate course, students will build on prerequisite GIS courses through the study of key spatial analysis functions including data acquisition, data processing, data storage, data display, and data analysis. Students will explore the use of network tools for routing and service area analysis. The importance of demographic data in land use planning will also be investigated through the preparation of a detailed demographic analysis.
COMP-3112Spatial Data Acquistion3
Geographical features can be mapped and coded electronically in the field using GPS. The students will perform accurate primary data collection in the field using a GPS device. All of this data will be transferred to a GIS or CAD system for cartographic and storage purposes. The student will design mobile GIS applications and create coded attribute lists for efficient data entry. The fundamentals of GPS technology and mobile location based GIS technology will also be explored.
PLAN-3005Community Planning & Design3.5
This core course comprises two major areas of study, namely: Community Planning and Design and Community Improvement and Renewal. The course builds on all previous Urban Planning courses, bringing together the research, literature, and planning tools and techniques. It comprises the study of major concepts as sustainability, compact urban form, land resource utilization efficiency, preservation of natural and heritage environments, economic feasibility and how to plan strong liveable communities.
ARCH-3004Modern Architecture3
This survey course of 20th century architecture covers the Modern Movement and subsequent developments, from about 1850 to the present. Major period styles are presented as expressions of cultural values, impacted by social and technological changes. At the completion of the course, students will have an increased aesthetic appreciation of architecture and understanding of architecture as a reflection of the wider culture.

Level 4
Gen Ed - Take a 3 credit General Education elective course
Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:
PLAN-3015Rural Planning2.5
This course is about conserving rural / agricultural areas and their resources such as food lands, wetlands, and woodlands. The roles of hamlets and villages of agricultural areas are examined. These topics are studied within the context of municipal land use planning such that practical skills will be developed to effectively work in rural municipalities.
LAWS-3066Planning Law2
The history of Canadian law including statute law and having title to and interests in real property are explored. Municipal powers and provincial statutory authority is examined. Land Registration Systems and planning application appeals through the Ontario Municipal Board are also examined.
CADD-3034CAD Applications 23
Students will continue to develop their 3D modelling and visualization skills to prepare supporting documents for planning applications. They will complete a detailed site analysis of an urban infill site and prepare detailed redevelopment plans including site plans, cross-sections, and 3D models. Students will present their plans during a formal presentation to a professional panel of community and industry partners.
METH-3029Geographical Information Systems 44
This project based computer lab course will build on prerequisite GIS courses to study the new directions in GIS theory and in the GIS industry. Topics covered include investigating new software directions, scripting languages and a self-directed project.
METH-3030Data Collection & Research Methods3
This course is about knowing, collecting and gathering information that is relevant, accurate and useful to understanding Urban and Rural planning problems and issues. Specifically, sources of information from government, land use surveys, user surveys/questionnaires, population projections, and land supply absorption are studied in a lab/lecture learning environment.
PLAN-1020Urban Design2
In this course, studio exercises are based on a case study methodology. Students will assess historical, existing, and conceptual examples of urban design and then apply this knowledge to practical problems. This course will focus on the elements of the city design with a particular emphasis on the public realm and built form. Final projects will be presented using a wide variety of illustrative tools including CAD, GIS and other technologies.

Gen Ed - Electives
Take 6 General Education Credits -
Normally taken in Levels 3 and 4

Program Residency
Students Must Complete a Minimum of 21 credits in this
program at Fanshawe College to meet the Program Residency
requirement and graduate from this program

Careers - 2021/2022

Career Opportunities

Graduates of this program may go on to become a Planning Technician, Urban Design Technician, 3D Graphic Specialist, GIS Technician, GIS Analyst, Mobile Mapping Technologist, Geomatics Technologist, Field GPS Operator, Design Technician, Environmental Planning Support Technician, Design Technologist, Cartographer, Research Analyst, Zoning Plans Examiner, By-law Enforcement Officer, Development Technician, Planning Assistant, Transportation Technologist, CAD Technician, Spatial Database Specialist, AutoCAD Designer, Cartographic Technologist, Draftsperson, GIS and Data Technician, Survey Technician, Planning & Design Technician, or Drafting Technician.

More Information - 2021/2022

A Co-operative Education Program
A Two-Year Ontario College Diploma Program

Program Code: URP2
Campus Code: LC (LC - London)
September Admission
15 week terms
Academic Calendars available at

Program Code: URP2
Campus Code: LCL (LCL - London - Online)
September Admission
15 week terms
Academic Calendars available at


School of Design: 519-452-4227

Program Description

This Ontario College Diploma program is aimed at providing technical and design skills related to land use planning, land development, environmental design, land conservation and resource management in both urban and rural communities and from both private and public sector perspectives. Three major computer software technologies including GIS (Geographical Information Systems), CAD (Computer Aided Design) and Presentation Graphics are learned using case studies and actual land development projects. Students acquire skills to build and maintain spatial (geographic) databases; plan and design land development projects within a community context and prepare graphic presentations including 3D visualization of urban spaces. This program emphasizes work experience and is two years in length, comprising of four academic levels and two co-operative work terms.

Other Information

  • This program provides the full eligibility to become a full member of the Canadian Association of Certified Planning Technicians.
  • Graduates of this program may be eligible for advanced standing credit to the Honours Bachelor of Environmental Design and Planning Degree program at Fanshawe College.
  • This program provides part of the eligibility to become a Registered Professional Planner, through the Ontario Professional Planners Institute.
  • This program provides the full eligibility to become a full member of URISA (Urban and Regional Information Systems Association).

Co-operative Education

This two-year program has two co-op work terms.  Students who fulfill both the academic and co-op requirements of the program will be eligible to graduate with a Co-op Endorsed Diploma.  More information about Co-operative Education can be found at

Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Describe the meaning, goals, and rationale of urban and rural planning and how it contributes to conserving and restoring natural environments and enhancing built environments, culminating in sustainable communities;
  2. Plan and design sustainable land development projects for urban and rural communities, such as: a) community plans and plans of subdivision b) site plans, generalized landscape plans, building plans and elevations, sections and 3D visualizations, c) community improvement and renewal plans;
  3. Identify the participants, tools, and processes of municipal land use planning in Ontario, specifically the distinction between `policy' (Provincial Policy Statement and Official Plans) and `implementation' (Zoning By-Laws, Subdivision Control, Site Plan Control);
  4. Access and utilize data, evaluate the accuracy and meaning of the information for urban and rural planning projects;
  5. Conduct research and field surveys for planning reports/documents;
  6. Build and maintain spatial and tabular databases for Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and add value to projects through data collection, conversion, development, and management;
  7. Apply GIS analysis techniques for planning applications, projects, and case studies;
  8. Demonstrate a comprehensive working knowledge of digital design and drafting to create maps, plans, and report graphics in both 2D and 3D;
  9. Select and integrate software within the capacity of workplace and technology capabilities, to optimize workflows for urban and rural planning projects;
  10. Collaborate and contribute as a member of a multi-disciplinary team to the effective completion of a planning project;
  11. Employ inquiry and critical thinking skills for research, analysis, and design in response to urban and rural planning issues.

Program Pathways

For information about Program Pathways visit

Program Details

More details

2022/2023 academic year: Refer to the More Info tab to view offerings for the 2022/23 academic year. Canadian students can start applying in early October for programs with Sep. 2022, Jan. 2023 and May 2023 start dates through

Canadian Students

Start Dates

Full Time Offerings

2022 September
2022 September
London - Online

International Students

Start Dates
2022 September
Program Code
Academic School

Program Coordinator:

Russell Schnurr

Day Time
Ontario College Diploma
60 weeks