Master’s Program in Aménagement du territoire et développement régional (Essay)

About the program

A Master’s program in Aménagement du territoire et développement régional (M.ATDR) is a practice-oriented, 2-year accredited graduate program offering specialties in land use planning, regional development, environmental management, ecology, transportation and mobility. While gaining an interdisciplinary perspective on the profession, students acquire the necessary skills to support the decision-making process at the planning and development stages. The program culminates with a written essay, and a project development which addresses an original topic relating to one or several of the speciality areas offered at ÉSAD.


Candidates must have a 3- or 4-year bachelor’s university degree (or equivalent) in architecture, geography, biology, political science, international studies, urban planning or related discipline. Although many required readings are in English, all classroom lectures and interactions are carried out in French. Students must therefore be fluent or nearly fluent in French. Candidates requiring remedial language courses may be admitted on a case-by-case basis.

Career Opportunities

An ATDR degree grants the graduates the title of Urban Planner (urbaniste in Quebec), recognized by several provincial and national organisations, including the Ordre des urbanistes du Québec, Canadian Institute of Planners (CIU), and also recognized internationally by the APERAU . Graduates benefit from diverse career opportunities in government and para-governmental organisations, private companies and non-governmental organisations.Degree holders are employed mostly in:

  • Public or para-public agencies (transport, municipalities, regional county municipalities, provincial and federal ministries, etc.)
  • Private firms (consulting firms)
  • Non-governmental organisations, notably in environment.

Several alumni work abroad, for example in large international agencies. Some students continue their studies at the doctoral level, either at ÉSAD or elsewhere in Quebec, Canada or abroad.

The interdisciplinary nature of the programs offered at ÉSAD places graduates among the most sought-after candidates in the job market. In 2007, for example, the hiring rate was at 93% for recent graduates (according to the study Relance des diplômés universitaires conducted by the Ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport)

Program Particulars

  • A practice-oriented, full-time degree can be completed in 20 months
  • Admission: Fall, Winter (depending on availability)
  • The possibility to conduct a credited internship during the summer session
  • The possibility to conduct a portion of the studies at a foreign institution
  • Personalised program structure
  • The opportunity to undertake the program simultaneously with a Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Architecture.

Teaching Philosophy

As with many students in North American universities, the students in the Master’s program in Aménagement du territoire et développement regional (essay) can personalise their education through a generous selection of elective courses. Although everyone follows the same required courses, no two ÉSAD graduates have the exact same experience. In this context, collaborative work in the classroom is as much an opportunity to learn from other classmates as it is to apply knowledge acquired through elective courses. Opportunities to study abroad and conduct a professional internship, contribute to developing graduates who are well-rounded and who possess a global perspective.Bridging the gap between the academic and professional worlds is central to the practice-oriented Master’s program at ÉSAD. Involvement in teaching activities on the part of practitioners with backgrounds in diverse fields such as biology and traffic engineering, prepares students for the multidisciplinary nature of the urban planning profession. At the same time, a wide range of students’ backgrounds (from geography, history or architecture, for example) ensures a diverse student body.

The essay, which constitutes the final project of the professional Master’s program, challenges students to integrate the knowledge acquired over the course of their studies, and its application, to real world problems. Whether it is through a professor, a research group or their own initiative, students address complex problematics facing the profession, and propose courses of action in collaboration with other participants either inside or outside the academic environment. Although the propositions remain hypothetical, solutions developed by students at ÉSAD are frequently met with great enthusiasm by decision-makers and practitioners.

Learning Path (FR)