Land & Water Resources

Length of Program:  2 YearsProgram Intakes: Fall Intake (September program start)September 2020


Land & Water Resources Diploma

“My studies are teaching me to see the world differently. What I used to see as an empty pasture has become a rich landscape full of geological and environmental possibilities. This past summer I was able to job shadow with a land reclamation company and get some real-life experience. This confirmed my desire to make a difference by taking care of our environment. I love what I’m learning in the classroom about land science. The hands-on approach to education at Olds College is a great fit for my skills and is preparing me for a future full of possibilities.”

Jessica Kopp

Land & Water Resource students completing water testing

What can you expect from our program?

Do you want to have a role in shaping our living environment and its effect on the natural habitat? Get involved in Land Reclamation and Remediation or Environmental Stewardship and Rural Planning, through the only certified rural planning diploma in Western Canada. Put yourself on a career path constructing a positive and sustainable environment for future generations. Olds College campus is within an hour of many differing environments situated in rural Alberta. The Rockies are on our horizon to the west and Olds is nestled between two metropolises. Expanding residential suburbs, redeveloped industrial areas and rural energy operations are all activities on our doorstep. The world around us is your classroom allowing you to receive relevant hands-on training.

What will you learn?

The Land and Water Resources program prepares its graduates for careers in land reclamation, environmental stewardship and rural planning emphasizing environmentally sustainable land management practices. Students in this program have the option of choosing from two areas of specialization.

Land Reclamation and Remediation Major

Prepare for a career in the reclamation industry by helping to ensure disturbed or contaminated land is put back to its original state. Reclamation has become big business, especially in Alberta, B.C. and Saskatchewan. As oil and gas, mining, agricultural, forestry and urban development activities thrive all over western Canada, there are many employment opportunities waiting for you. Resource companies strive to meet government and industry regulations, which means you have the opportunity to provide the services they require.

View Program Outline

Environmental Stewardship and Rural Planning Major

Our population is continually growing. Along with that growth is a need for new developments in both the rural and urban areas. Skilled professionals are needed. Whether it’s a private company or municipality, you could be involved in decisions that affect the places people live along with the environment that surrounds them. Planners have the knowledge and put the plans into place which improve public and private developmental decisions. Prepare yourself for a career ensuring sustainability of the soil, water and wildlife resources amidst agriculture or land development activities. This unique major is accredited by the Canadian Association of Certified Planning Technicians (CACPT).Successful graduates are eligible for membership as Registered Technical Agrologist (R.T. Ag.). Graduates can also pursue a degree with full transfers into the University of Alberta.

View Program Outline

NEW - Surface Land Management Major

Take a common first year with the other Land & Water Resources majors and then specialize in your second year. Olds College is the leading educational institution in the training of surface land agents in Western Canada. You can play a vital part in negotiating land agreements while acting as a liaison between corporate or government agencies and the landowner. 

View Program Outline

Program at a glance

Credential: Diploma

Length of Program: 2 Years

Method of Delivery: Olds Campus

Program Intakes: Fall Intake (September program start)

Program Dates: Please visit our Dates & Schedules page to confirm start and end dates of your desired program and confirm campus closures.  

Applications Open: October 1 for Fall Intake

Selection Process for Admission: First Qualified, First Accepted

Tuition, Mandatory Fees, Books, and Supplies: Please refer to the current Fee Schedule for details

  • Year 1: Tuition: $5,020 / Fees: $1,290 / Books & Supplies: $1,400
  • Year 2: Tuition: $5,020 / Fees: $1,300 / Books & Supplies: $400

* Please note that international students pay 3.5 times the domestic tuition amount. These fees are provided as estimates only for the purposes of budgeting. All students should refer to the Fee Schedule for the most accurate information and all fees are subject to change.*

What do I need to apply?

Admission Requirements

  • 50% or better in English Language Arts 30-1 or 30-2
  • 50% or better in Math 20-1 or 20-2
  • 50% or better in Chemistry 20 (Mandatory Requirement)
  • 50% or better in Biology 20 OR Science 30
  • Meet the English Language Proficiency Requirement

Academic Upgrading and High School Applicants: Applicants currently in high school or who are completing academic upgrading must submit proof of enrollment and any available interim/midterm marks. Final marks must be submitted within one month following the completion of the course(s) and no later than one month prior to the program start date.

Alternate Admission Option: Alternate Admission status may be offered to applicants who have not or will not complete one of the academic admission requirements. To be considered under Alternate Admission Status, applicants will be asked to provide the following:

  1. (Required) Transcript(s) showing any completed high school and post-secondary courses
  2. (Required) Letter of Introduction and Intent, outlining the following:
    • Introduce yourself
    • Indicate why you wish to enrol in the program
    • Elaborate on your career goals
    • Detail your experience relevant to this program and the industry
  3. (Required) A resume of your work history, extracurricular activities, volunteer service, etc. for the last 5 years
  4. (Optional) Include copies of any tickets and/or certificates you currently hold (e.g.: first aid, safety tickets, etc.)
  5. (Optional) Letter(s) of reference from current or past employers/coaches/etc. (maximum of two letters)

*Submitting Alternate Admission material does not guarantee admission*

Out of Province Applicants: Please refer to the Provincial Equivalency Chart for course equivalencies.

International Applicants: Olds College welcomes applications from international applicants and those who have completed their high school education outside of Canada. Please note, it is still necessary to meet all of the noted admission requirements, including English Language Proficiency. Further information can be found on our website under International Students.

For More Information

Our Admissions office can help navigate you through the admissions process and answer any questions you have about your program of study.

☎ 403.556.8281
☎ 1.800.661.6537

Housing and Residence

Live in residence and enjoy all that our campus has to offer including social activities organized by our Residence Services team. Living in residence is the quickest way to meet new friends. 

Learn More

I have some more questions. Who do I contact for help?

Our Admissions office can help navigate you through the admissions process and answer any questions you have about your program of study.

Admitted Students

What materials and supplies will I need?

Program Dates: Find out when your term start and end dates are, so that you know when you are expected to be in attendance. For more information, please review the Program Dates & Fee Schedule.

Class Registration: You will be registered into your classes automatically. This will happen approximately 1 month prior to the start-date for your program. You will be notified once you have been timetabled into your courses. You will be able to see your class schedule in your My Olds College account. If you need to make any changes to your class registration, please contact the Office of the Registrar.

Technology Recommendation: It is required that you come to Olds College with the following technology:

  • A Windows based laptop capable of running Microsoft Office and ESRI ArcGIS Pro 2.5. Students will be using these programs extensively in lectures and classes. The software will be available for installation once you are on campus.

  • The minimum requirements for this laptop are:

    • Operating System: Windows 8.1 (64 bit) or Windows 10 (64 bit)

    • CPU: 2 cores, hyperthreaded (4 cores or more recommended)

    • RAM: 4 GB (8 GB or more recommended)

    • Storage: 32 GB of free space (Solid State Drive recommended

As part of your student accounts, all students have access to Office 365 for the duration of their time with Olds College. To access this you just need to follow these steps:

  • Go to
  • Enter your Olds College email address and password
  • Once logged in there is a button on the right that says "Install Office Apps"

This will give you access to the full Office suite on your computer, for both Windows and Mac based platforms.

Materials & Supplies:

It is recommended that you come prepared with the following items for your field experiences: 
Rain/Snow Gear, including
  • waterproof jacket & pants
  • rubber boots
  • solid hiking books (no flip flops or sandals)
  • umbrella
  • rain poncho 
  • Long Pants
  • Sunhat
  • Sunglasses (if desired)
  • Sunscreen & bug spray (if desired)

Many courses at Olds College require instructor prepared modules as a substitute for textbooks. These modules provide you with the essential course notes and laboratory exercises. They also serve as excellent reference materials for you after you leave school. Modules typically cost between $25 - 40, depending on the size.

Information on other required textbooks and any further supplies will be provided as you attend each class. All books and supplies will be available during the first few weeks of classes in the College Campus Store.

Textbook Order Form

Other Important Information:

  • Time Requirements: An exciting component to this program is you will participate in an off campus hands-on field school experience.

  • Additional Skills: Basic computer skills are recommended for all and it is certainly beneficial to have some prior experience with computers before you arrive at college. A familiarity and comfort in the use of Google products, word processing, spreadsheet and e-mailing software will be a definite asset.

  • Student Clubs: The Land and Water Resources students have a student club which you are strongly encouraged to join. The club involves both social activities and opportunities for professional networking through their annual career day.

  • Opportunities: The Land and Water Resources (LWR) program includes the opportunity to take field trips and attend conferences as part of your studies. These provide real world grounding of subjects learned at the college and allow you to begin to network with industry people.

  • Alberta Institute of Agrology: Every graduate of the LWR program (both Majors) is eligible for membership in the Alberta Institute of Agrology (Agrology Technologist In-Training - ATT).  An Agrology Technologist In-Training (ATT) must meet the educational requirements and be approved for registration by the Registration Committee. Upon completing the In-Training Program, the ATT is eligible to become an Registered Technical Agrologist (RTAg).