The School of Environmental Design and Rural Development (SEDRD) brings together major academic fields concerned with creating strong communities, in Canada and around the world. The four highly respected programs in SEDRD share many common goals but approach them in different and complementary ways. This model reflects the imperatives in building authentic communities where planners, leaders, communicators, landscape architects, the citizens and politicians all play important interdependent roles in community strength.

Capacity Development and Extension

Capacity Development and Extension is a unique program in Canada that develops the core competencies of students for facilitating social and environmental change. Our program focuses on processes of learning, advocacy, leadership, communication and capacity development for rural/remote and small communities in Canada and around the world. Our “students without borders” engage with society through service learning projects during their course work, and through applied research and a range of professional development activities.

Landscape Architecture

Using creativity and innovation, Landscape Architects aim to meet the needs of people while improving the environment.  They design memorable places that are attractive, functional and sustainable and that affect the way our cities, suburbs, rural and wilderness areas are planned, designed and managed.  If you have creative abilities and are interested in problem-solving and communication, then consider studying landscape architecture at the University of Guelph.

Rural Planning and Development

Graduates of our program contribute to the generation of knowledge and the development of plans to advance the welfare, sustainability and integrity of rural communities. As a graduate you will be able to work globally in the public and private sectors for national and international NGOs’, as planners, researchers and project managers. The University of Guelph is internationally recognized for its high quality professional programs in rural planning and development and attracts students from all over the world, including the United States, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the European Union. 

Rural Studies

The Rural Studies PhD provides opportunities for advanced studies and research on the integration of socio-cultural and bio-physical components of capacity development, design, or planning of landscape systems and rural communities. Graduates become leading specialists in addressing sustainable landscapes and issues related to rural communities. Interdisciplinary research is emphasized, building on disciplines within the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development (SEDRD) which include: Capacity Development and Extension, Landscape Architecture, and Rural Planning and Development.