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Six universities across Ontario offer accredited planning programs which allow students to develop the knowledge and skills they require to become leaders in the planning field.
Visit the Professional Standards Board (PSB) for more information on accredited programs.
These programs provide students with opportunities to engage in rigorous and well-focused education across a broad spectrum of planning issues like urban design, rural studies, community sustainability, transportation, housing, heritage, and more. Each unique program allows students to engage in teamwork, active learning, and real-world projects led by exceptional professors and lecturers with years of experience as practicing professional planners.
As a planning student, you'll contribute to innovative research, embark on travel opportunities, engage with community members, and develop your own unique areas of study. You'll enter the workforce with a professional edge, ready to navigate the challenges of rapidly evolving environments, and play an important role in achieving community strength now - and for future generations.
OPPI recognizes today’s planning students are the Registered Professional Planners (RPPs) of tomorrow and provides our student members with scholarship opportunities that award excellence and community contributions.
The deadline for scholarship applications is March 1 of each year.
OPPI's Outreach Committee evaluates submissions based on scholarship-specific selection criteria. Please note that prior to receiving the scholarship, the selected scholarship recipient may be required to provide a certified academic transcript and confirmation in writing from their planning school that they are enrolled in an OPPI-recognized undergraduate or graduate planning program for the academic year.
The Outreach Committee may choose not to award any recipient for a given scholarship or, if a recipient is found ineligible, it may choose to award a runner-up.
The Ronald M. Keeble Undergraduate Scholarship assists in furthering planning education and recognizing undergraduate student members who are making a contribution to their communities.
The Gerald Carrothers Graduate Scholarship assists in furthering planning education and recognizing graduate student members who are making a contribution to their communities.
Demonstrated in our ongoing work with OPPI’s Indigenous Planning Advisory Committee and OPPI’s Anti-Black Racism in Planning Task Force, the OPPI Opportunity Scholarship is offered in acknowledgement of the financial barriers to education that disproportionately affect Black, Indigenous and other racialized people.
This scholarship will be awarded to a Black, Indigenous or other racialized person currently enrolled in an accredited planning program in Ontario. This scholarship is a one-time award of $5,000 and may be awarded to either an undergraduate or graduate planning student.
The Justine Giancola President’s Scholarship is offered in recognition of Justine’s service and leadership as OPPI President from 2019 to 2021. Justine has provided tireless leadership to strengthen the future of planning in Ontario – engaging future planners and supporting current professionals.
This scholarship will be awarded to a student member who has demonstrated leadership in the area of racial equity as it relates to planning for communities. This scholarship calls upon the applicant to undertake an ongoing research project to better understand our history, cultures and perspectives, and the ways in which planning can be used as a tool to uplift disproportionately disadvantaged communities.
Southwest Ontario District Planning Student Scholarships are intended to promote excellence in relevant planning education, community service and personal achievement by student members of OPPI's Southwest District who are enrolled full-time in an accredited undergraduate or graduate university planning program for the academic year in which the application is made.
The successful applicants will be selected on the basis of the following criteria:
To Apply for the Southwest District Ontario Planning Scholarship a letter of application with full return mailing address, email address, and phone number must be accompanied by:
Submission Deadline: Applications must be received by the Secretary-Treasurer of the SWOD-OPPI Educational Trust Foundation on or before November 1 each year.
Only complete applications will be considered. Up to two awards will be presented at the November meeting of the Southwestern District OPPI membership. Successful candidates must supply their social insurance number to the Secretary-Treasurer to obtain the award.
Secretary-Treasurer of the SWOD-OPPI Educational Trust Foundation
Mr. Allan Rothwell, MCIP, RPP
5251 Line 81
RR#4 Listowel, ON
Jennifer is an undergraduate student at Toronto Metropolitan University, B.U.R.Pl. program.
"I am extremely honoured to be the 2022 recipient of the Ronald M. Keeble Undergraduate Scholarship. This scholarship will support me as I continue my planning studies and as I begin my career development. My educational and community involvement experiences so far have been incredibly rewarding and I am excited to continue my journey in the world of urban planning!"
Jennifer has been involved with a non-profit organization called Urban Minds, which aims to create meaningful ways for youth to shape equitable and sustainable cities. Despite the planning process involving numerous stakeholders, youth are often left out even though they have the most innovative and progressive thoughts, especially about issues pertaining to social and environmental issues. Age should not be a barrier to community engagement. After all, when we invest in youth, we also invest in trailblazing ideas.
As a program coordinator, she organizes interactive and experiential workshops and events to help students tackle existing and emerging challenges in their communities, such as through design-build projects. Given that many high school students do not know about the urban planning field, her aim is to make these opportunities accessible. Even if students do not intend on pursuing urban planning, she believes that we all have a responsibility as a citizen to shape our communities. Ultimately, she believes that when given the tools and knowledge, youth are extremely capable of mobilizing and creating impactful change.
While she has yet to figure out what career path she would like to pursue as a planner, she is extremely interested in community engagement and ensuring that voices which are often left unheard are brought to the forefront in the planning process.
"Thank you to everyone who has held me in community, provided mentorship, and supported me in my work."
Skylar is a graduate student at University of Waterloo, M.A. (Planning) program.
Community work is a guiding element for both Skylar’s commitment to the planning profession and her career objectives. During her undergraduate degree in political science and gender studies, she aimed to increase her understanding of lived experiences outside of her own. This entailed focusing her studies on the political economy, gender, racial equity, and Indigenous politics.
Through her degree she gained an understanding of the importance of governance and policy for creating meaningful and lasting community work. This understanding eventually led her to pursue a Master's degree in planning. For the past nine months she has worked for Michipicoten First Nation, where she has supported the creation of their land use plan, along with other projects related to housing and economic development.
The objective of her research is to explore how municipalities are engaging with reconciliation through land reparations. This includes an analysis of land tenure, funding and administrative mechanisms, policy, and community impact. The methodology for this research comprises an environmental scan of municipalities that have used land reparations. This research aims to produce understanding about meaningful and impactful methods of reconciliation through planning, while also creating a best practice guide for municipalities that are engaging with reconciliation through land reparations.
"Thank you very much to OPPI for providing me with this scholarship. I also want to give a big thank you to my professors and colleagues for their support in getting me this far!"
Alexandra is a graduate student at the University of Toronto in the Master of Science in Planning program.
Over the years, she has accumulated a number of experiences that not only demonstrate her leadership in furthering planning education, but also her commitment to the planning profession overall. Through her numerous personal and professional endeavours, she strives to positively contribute to her community by providing a platform for diverse voices to be heard and by leading projects that foster community capacity.
Ultimately, the diversity of her experiences directly informs her career objectives. Therefore, as an emerging professional planner, she aspires to build the cities of tomorrow using ecological and human-centred design principles and smart city policies and plans that make urban social, physical, and environmental landscapes more sustainable. Based on her various travels, she wants to work in cities in the global south where she will use an integrated approach to planning, honed from her academic and work experiences to develop vibrant and healthy communities. Afterwards, she hopes to become a chief resilience officer, where she will work on strategies that foster urban innovation and creativity while developing regional systems and infrastructure that can adapt to the fluctuating needs of population and climate.
"I am sincerely thankful to the OPPI for this scholarship award that will allow me to explore how planning can be used as an intervention to reimagine Chinatowns in Toronto and Vancouver so that residents and businesses use community-based planning approaches to build capacity, conserve their cultural histories, advocate for racial equity and build sustainable ethnocultural communities."
Brian is a graduate student at the University of Toronto in the Master of Science in Planning program.
Urban planning informs much of how he conceptualizes urban spaces and the intersections of race, class, sexuality, gender, and other social locations, particularly as a gay Chinese Canadian, whose experiences with homophobia and racism in public spaces and institutions has shaped his interests in advocacy, spatial justice, and community-based planning. Through his experiences as a department chair, teacher, and community activist, he has dedicated over 20 years to advocating for social change, racial equality, equity and just societies.
As part of his program at the University of Toronto, he is particularly interested in conducting a research project on Chinatowns in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal since these cultural communities have and continue to provide safety, placemaking, social bonds and cultural institutions for waves of Chinese and other Asian diasporic communities. Chinatowns face ongoing threats of gentrification due to increasing land values and their proximity to downtowns. He is also interested in working with Chinatown organizations to examine how community land trusts can help preserve and protect historical, cultural, social and economic assets while simultaneously planning for Chinatowns of the future.
Since 2021, OPPI has partnered with Mitacs Canada to provide planning students with research internship opportunities through the Mitacs Accelerate program. These internship opportunities allow OPPI to help employers access new talent and also allow student members to obtain meaningful employment that contributes to the planning profession.
OPPI is pleased to continue our partnership with Mitacs and encourages both employers and students to apply.
In 2022, OPPI has committed to $30,000 in funding, allowing us to support up to 12 research internship opportunities (two opportunities per accredited planning program in Ontario). Each internship will be four months in length.
OPPI will contribute $2,500 for every employer who contributes $5,000 under this initiative. Once approved, Mitacs will match the $7,500 contributed by OPPI and the employer, providing a total of $15,000 for the student internship project.
Projects may be eligible for further funding through the Mitacs Accelerate program.
This internship opportunity is open to planning consulting firms, non-profits and municipalities. All employers must be confirmed as eligible by Mitacs.
Eligible students must be OPPI student members from an accredited planning program at the commencement of research work. Students must also have an academic supervisor in their program supporting their research internship.
Projects must fall within the Mitacs eligible research guidelines.
In keeping with the commitment underlying OPPI's Anti-Black Racism Task Force, OPPI's funding will give priority to high-quality student proposals that advance equity, diversity, inclusivity, and Indigenous strategies.
For both students and employers, the application process is as follows:
Applications take about eight weeks to be reviewed.
Employers and students are encouraged to express their interest as soon as possible as there are eligibility requirements that must be fulfilled to complete the internships.
Contact your local Mitacs representative:
Contact Mitacs Canada: