Teaching philosophy

Building on tradition and responding to current concerns, the School approaches urban planning first and foremost as an effort to guide the physical development of human settlements. An emphasis on the physical environment enables students to understand the concrete meaning and impact of the cultural, economic, and political processes that shape contemporary society.

In each program, our aim is to give individuals the intellectual and practical skills needed to excel in the field and thereby to improve human settlements around the world. The School also provides students with opportunities to explore Montréal as a living laboratory for urban planning, policy, and design. Students arrive from a diversity of backgrounds, life experiences and identities, from Québec, Canada, and internationally.

Our professionally-accredited Master of Urban Planning (M.U.P.) degree program trains planners for the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors with an attention to acceptability, equity, resilience, and spatial justice in cities. The two years of intensive study for the degree entail studio courses with real-life group projects based in the Montréal metropolitan region, other planning and complementary courses, a summer internship, and a one-term independent capstone project. The core program offers courses covering environmental, social, political, economic, and design aspects of urban planning, with options to focus in Transportation Planning or Urban Development and Urban Design. 

The Master of Science (M.Sc.) degree program in Urban Planning Policy, and Design is research-intensive, entailing coursework and preparation of a thesis over two academic years. Students with an interest in urban research, consulting, policy formulation, or further academic study will find that our M.Sc. allows them intellectual breadth and the opportunity to focus on a specific critical urban issue

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree program in Urban Planning, Policy, and Design is a multi-year research program for those who want to make original contributions to urban scholarship.

The School fosters the integration of theory and practice. Courses present practical questions within critical theoretical frameworks that inform goal-setting, analysis, and the crafting of policies, plans, and strategies. The M.U.P. curriculum emphasises professional development and leadership, with the critical synthesis of theory and practice as the goal of studio work and individual research projects; it also enables students to pursue theoretical and historical lines of inquiry, which are more fully the focus of the M.Sc. and Ph.D. programs.

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