Capable of designing, preparing and implementing projects, and of working in a multidisciplinary team, the engineer-surveyor-topographer specializes in measuring objects on every scale (1D, 2D, 3D, 4D), both outdoors and indoors.

The engineer surveyor is a versatile professional who may be in charge of projects in a variety of fields: 3D imaging, cadastral surveying, space geodesy, industrial metrology, geographical information systems, cartography, urban and rural planning, photogrammetry, remote sensing, la lasergrammetry, etc.

The engineer surveyor can be called upon to work in industry, the management and surveillance of existing structures, the observation land movements at continent level, archeology, spatial planning and management, digital mapping and image processing. The course opens the way to a wide range of careers. For example, after two years of postgraduate study, he/she can qualify to become a self-employed surveyor.

The surveying engineering specialization was created in 1897. The department’s experience and constant adaptation to the latest techniques mean that it has won the trust of many companies and surveyors’ offices.


The teaching in the department aims to train engineer-surveyor-topographers with good general knowledge as well as the scientific and technological skills enabling them to access a wide range of careers and adapt to all present or future situations.

The training and the experience students gain in professional settings give them a command of the main disciplines involved in surveying engineering as well as a good grounding in related sciences and techniques.

The training includes:

  • teaching in the fundamental disciplines: surveying instruments and methods, general topometry and error analysis, general and applied computer science, geographical information systems, geodesy, photogrammetry and remote sensing;
  • an introduction to research and the most recent technologies;
  • classes in civil engineering and urban planning enabling future engineers to take part in projects in multidisciplinary teams;
  • training in legal and human issues: law, land appraisal, human sciences, business management, foreign languages.

engineer and architect

INSA Strasbourg’s dual architect and engineer surveyor’s training begins at baccalaureate + 1 year level (after the INSA Strasbourg first year course for the engineers, after the competitive entrance exam for the architects).

Students can also train in architecture at the same time by choosing the 6-year dual engineering and architecture course. They will gain a bachelor’s in architecture and engineering (a degree issued by the school equivalent to a “licence” (bachelor’s degree) in architecture) on top of their INSA diploma in engineering.

Following the bachelor’s in architecture and engineering, the students can apply to spend an extra three years on a single course to prepare the two INSA Strasbourg diplomas, in surveying engineering and architecture (7-year course)

Internships and final course project (PFE)

  • End of Years 1 and 2: a mandatory “discovery” placement in a company (4 weeks minimum)
  • End of Year 3: a mandatory “application” placement in a company (4 weeks minimum)
  • End of Year 4: a mandatory “technician” placement in a company (8 weeks minimum)
  • During semester 9: a technological research project

These internships provide the opportunity to carry out projects and work in direct contact with the professional environment. The aim is for the students to acquire professional experience to complete the practical and theoretical training given at INSA Strasbourg and to introduce them to human relations within companies and the role and responsibilities they will hold as future engineers.

As they complete these internships, students move on from a role of observer to that of operator and then assistant to the person in charge of the project, all the while taking advantage of opportunities to apply the knowledge acquired in their specialist field.

The last semester of the course is devoted entirely to the final course project (PFE). This is done individually and will culminate in a dissertation defended at a viva before a panel of specialists. It is an in-depth study intended to make an original contribution to the development of techniques in fields related to the professional specialization. It is completed either in a company or in one of the INSA laboratories in collaboration with the professional environment.

Professional training contract

Surveying engineering students who have passed Year 4, completed their period abroad and passed the TOEIC exam to the required level, and who are not enrolled on a special course (sport, arts, dual course) can undertake their 5th year on a paid  12-month fixed term work contract, during which they will have salaried worker status.

Double degree

A dual degree course “Geodäsie und Geoinformatik/Topographie” has been set up with the University of Karlsruhe, which requires three semesters of study at INSA Strasbourg, followed by three semesters in Germany. At the end of the course, the student is awarded degrees by both institutions and will find it easier to practice in Germany.


During the final year of the engineering course, students can gain an insight into the research world by preparing a simultaneous research master’s.

The surveying specialization’s teacher-researchers are grouped together in the TRIO (remote sensing, radiometry and optical imaging) team at the ICube laboratory. Every year this team of researchers takes students completing final course/master’s projects or doctoral theses. The subjects covered by the research work and transferred directly to the teaching concern the acquisition, 3D modeling and management of topographic features generally in the heritage field (underground tunnels, castles, archeological sites, etc.).

The research and teaching are conducted on the surveying engineering platform, which manages the contracts and agreements relating to collaboration with companies. With the three resource centers (surveying engineering, photogrammetry, computer science), teachers and students have at their disposal all the equipment indispensable to the training and the conducting of research projects.

Examples of projects conducted by the TRIO team at the ICube laboratory, on the INSA Strasbourg research blog and on the Youtube channel.


  • Service companies in many different sectors of activity: agriculture, business, industry.
  • Local authority technical departments
  • Practise as a surveyor employed by a firm of surveyors or as a self-employed surveyor. After two years in a firm of surveyors being trained in management and business administration, the surveying engineer can register with the professional body and set up or take over a firm of surveyors.

Surveying Engineering Days

Since 2003, in collaboration with the students, the surveying engineering specialization at INSA Strasbourg has been organizing a nationally recognized event, the Surveying Engineering Days, when students defend their final course projects in front of members of the professional world.

For more information see the INSA Strasbourg surveying engineering blog.


Gilbert Ferhat, head of the surveying engineering specialization

Anne-Gaëlle Albert, secretary of the civil engineering – surveying engineering department office