Population growth is among the most important priorities of every society if it is to achieve health and development. Proper education, by means of creating a change in individual’s attitudes and thought patterns, is considered a fundamental step in achieving the goals of family planning. In order to succeed suitable educational methods should be chosen. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of active learning method on engineering students in a population and planning course. This was a quasi-experimental study with two groups in a pre-test post-test design. Convenient sampling was used to choose 48 students from Shahid Rajaee Teacher Training University. These participants were randomly divided into experimental and control groups. After the pretest, the control and experimental groups received training using the traditional and active learning method respectively for 17 sessions during 4 months. Then the post-test was administered. The achievement test consisted of two parts. One part evaluated the student’s knowledge and the second part measured meaningful learning in the population and planning course. In order to analyze the results the SPSS was used to run t-tests and ANOVA. The results showed both educational methods were useful in enhancing students’ knowledge and meaningful learning. But there was a significant difference between the experimental and control groups in meaningful learning. Considering the statistically significant effect of active learning method on students’ meaningful learning, it is recommended that the active learning method be used for courses that require deep learning that will contribute to the health and development of society.