Planning Internship

What is the Planning Internship

The planning internship is an essential and integral part of the Planning program. Professional work experience in a Canadian planning environment is a valuable part of a student’s education. Students will normally be expected to obtain this experience between the first and second year of the Program. Internships may be paid or volunteer work experiences that relate to any field of planning and with any kind of public/private/nonprofit or academic organization.

If you find a paid internship position, great! If you don’t, please let the department know as we will be able to support your volunteer work and reimburse you for up to 80 hours at a minimum wage. Students will need to register for the internship course, PLA 4444H (summer session). You should be automatically enrolled, but if not, please add this ‘course’ to your summer timetable. The course is non-credit and on the academic transcript will show as having a 0.00 weight, but it is mandatory to complete. Once completed, it will be marked as such and a CR will show on your transcript.

Internship Requirements 

Your internship must be planning related and at least 80 hours. However, the chances are that your summer placement will last longer as most positions run from May to August. Some students complete two separate placements, some extend their placement and continue work during their Fall semester. The internship may also provide an opportunity for students to develop the basic background data needed for Current Issues Paper (PLA1107Y), a second-year core course.

Check with the department if Planning for Change (JPG1812Y), a year-long service-learning course is being offered. In this course students will among other stuff, complete a major project designed by and for a community organization, and could use that experience to fulfill internship requirement. This course Is not offered every year, but if it is and if you wish to do this, please confirm talk to planning director.

Internship Review Process 

Once you complete your internship, you will be required to do two things. You will need to fill out the Internship Form by the end of August. This is a form for students to briefly outline their internship experience and offer advice to first year students that are starting their internship search. You will also be required to present your internship experience to first year students. The presentations are brief, informal and offer a chance for first year students to ask questions about the work experience and interview process.

Resources and Support

The Geography and Planning Department provides support through a variety of methods and events:

Internship Spreadsheet

FileCopy of Employers

Summer Internship Booklets

Please see our 2022 and 2023 Planning Internship Booklet to read more about past students' internship experiences. 

Career Exploration and Education

Career Exploration & Education — Student Life

Professional Development Program

The Professional Development Modules program is a combination of panel discussions, large-group discussions, and one-on-one sessions with students over the course of the school calendar year. The program is designed to support student internship and career entry, with the following objectives:

  • Expose students to the range of careers and focus areas that are available to people with Planning degrees
  • Connect students directly with professionals, to showcase career options and help students expand their networking skills
  • Share best practices and information on what industry professionals seek in interns and entry-level professionals
  • Share information based on past student experience
  • Provide guidance on job/internship-search approaches and timing, resume writing, and interview preparation
  • Provide one-on-one coaching for students based on their particular interests or challenges

Unpaid Positions

If you find a paid internship position, great! If you prefer to work in the community-based/social planning sector with an organization or movement that does not have the capacity to compensate you, please check with the department about whether there is funding available to support your volunteer work. This possibility needs to be confirmed each year, but where possible the Program will seek to reimburse students for up to 80 hours at minimum wage.

Concentration Advisors

Concentration Advisors will host two meetings, one each semester to discuss your planning concentration, but also to share advice about employers in the Concentration’s field. Feel free to reach out to your concentration advisor with questions related to their field during your program

Job Opportunities by Email

The department will share upcoming job opportunities to you directly via listserv. These are jobs that are circulated directly to the department for current MScPl students.

PAC Mentorship Program

PAC pairs students and MScPl alums to each other to share professional insight into their coursework or to provide experience from the "working world". Mentors in turn gain from their mentees’ fresh perspectives and new ideas. Join the program by emailing

Pizza with Planners

PAC hosts extracurricular student learning modules led by alum of the MScPl program. This allows students to meet with practicing planners and gain perspectives on their planning experience on a given subject. Keep an eye out on email invitations and reminders on social media for these specialized modules.

For More Information

Contact Marija Wright
Planning Program Advisor,
Department of Geography & Planning
University of Toronto
100 St. George Street, Room 5053