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

About the program

A Master’s in Aménagement du territoire et développement régional (with a Thesis) (M.ATDR) is a research-oriented, 2-year accredited graduate program which offers specialties in urban dynamics, regional vitality, sustainable development, environmental protection, transportation and practice innovation. While gaining an interdisciplinary perspective on the profession, students acquire the necessary skills to inform the decision-making process at the various planning and development stages. The program culminates with a written Master’s thesis, which addresses an original topic relating to one or several of the areas of specialties offered at ÉSAD.


Candidates must hold a 3- or 4-year bachelor’s university degree (or equivalent) in architecture, geography, biology, political science, international studies, urban planning or a related land use planning discipline. Prior to applying, it is compulsory that candidates contact a professor whose research interests best correspond with theirs. Although many required readings are in English, all classroom lectures and interaction 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

Students are encouraged to participate in research activities at the Centre for Planning and Development (CRAD), and publish scientific articles so as to facilitate the transition to a career in research or consulting, or in doctoral studies. As most research projects are conducted in collaboration with decision-makers and residents, students learn to directly apply classroom knowledge, making them suitable candidates for positions in governmental or para-governmental organisations, private companies and non-governmental organisations. Completing the research program in ATDR also grants graduates the title of urban planner, which is recognized by several provincial, national and international 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

  • Research-oriented degree program
  • Financial aide available through bursaries, grants or work contracts
  • The possibility to conduct a research internship abroad
  • 2- year program
  • Admission: Fall, Winter, Summer

Teaching Philosophy

The pedagogical approach to the research Master’s program emphasizes the various research methods and necessary tools to understand and investigate the problems facing the urban planners of tomorrow. An individualized degree path allows the student to develop his or her own research area in conjunction with the professors at ÉSAD, as well as professional practitioners. As a member of a research group at the Centre de recherche en aménagement et développement (CRAD), students engage with other researchers in a multidisciplinary environment and benefit from access to data and laboratory equipment.

A Master’s thesis is developed over two years. Through interactions with their peers, various course electives, and other researchers at the CRAD or abroad (through the possibility of conducting a research internship in a foreign laboratory), students are exposed to, and work with, the latest tools, methods and research results in order to make an original contribution to the field of urban planning.

Learning Path (FR)