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Thread: Decision assistance

  1. #1
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    Decision assistance

    Tufts University's MA in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning

    vs.

    Pratt Institutes MCP

    I'm looking for any objective advice anyone can offer me. Pros, cons, any pertinent information would be greatly appreciated...

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by IPlanU View post
    Tufts University's MA in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning

    vs.

    Pratt Institutes MCP

    I'm looking for any objective advice anyone can offer me. Pros, cons, any pertinent information would be greatly appreciated...
    I don't know much about either program but my friend went to Pratt about 4 years ago. She told me she regretted it like crazy. She said the courses were not at all practical. She couldn't get a job in NYC afterwards, and then moved to the UK to work as a planner. She's also like STILL $60k in debt.

    I don't know about Tufts program but it certainly has a better reputation overall as a school....sorry I can't be of more help....

  3. #3
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    Every Little Bit Helps

    Keep them coming...

  4. #4
    Cyburbian JeM08's avatar
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    IMO, Tufts.

  5. #5
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    Anyone else have something that could help me out???

    I'm really stressing this decision

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    Tufts is more social justice oriented. It seems like a great program, and you could take courses at the GSD and MIT. I have a friend in Tufts and he gets to work on some really cool projects while he's still in school.

    The only downside - which I have to face since I will be attending Harvard - is that competition for internships and jobs is fierce. Three planning schools are producing dozens of grads every year.

    Good luck - let us know what you decide.

  7. #7
    II'm in a similar situation, trying to make the deciscion between Pratt and NYU right now.

    It's good to note Pratts undergraduate school is chiefly an art school (with the MCP being part of the Architecture program) so there is a very different vibe there than other places I visited. I liked it though it seemed open and exciting.

    I don't know much about Tufts but Pratt is a school that has a lot of "on the job" type of experience while you're getting your degree. Classes are small and all are taught by people in the field who apparently have you do a lot of work in specific communities. Tufts may be more like NYU which has been described to me as chiefly academic, theoretical and assignment based for the first three semesters with a one semester "practical" of fieldwork.

    Check into class sizes, I was told a large class at Pratt was 30 and a small one about 15. at NYU I was told a small class was 30 and a large can be up to 60 so you should check class sizes at Tufts, and decide if you want to be able to get lost in the crowd or not in your academics.

    Chiefly though Pratt is a community based planning program, a lot of focus is based on outreach to individual communities. Many people with a Pratt degree don't go to work for city governments but find a job in the not for profit world instead. This isn't universally true however, I met someone who does legal advising for a development corp who has a MCP from Pratt and another who is big wig in the NYC Planning dept. (he has been with the city since Ed Kotch was Mayor with only his degree from Pratt). I also want to note that contrary to the post of hl248 I have a friend who claims she was hired at a higher pay scale because of her 3 years of field experience that pratt gave her. When I talk to people I know in my field (which is Affordable housing), it seems there is a lot of respect that a Pratt Degree carries in the Greater NYC area.

    Also note that Pratt is a longer program than most MUP's it's a 60 credit masters and most programs are a 40 credit masters, that means a whole extra year of study and Money... but also of practical experience.

    I come from a Community Organizing and Housing Advocacy background so Pratt seems to fit me well. I'm leaning toward them and that may show in this post, but you have to figure out what you want. Which school will fit better in your resume and in the path of your career.

    Good luck with the deciscion.
    Last edited by Big Green Scott; 14 Apr 2008 at 11:33 PM. Reason: grammer

  8. #8
    Oh one more thing, apparently Internships and/or Job placement at Pratt is common an administrator told me if I go to the right office a job is basically guaranteed.

    "We don't call it Job Placement anymore" she said "but that's effectively what it is. Not only do we have great connections with Alumni and our Professors in the field but Pratt has their own Community Development and Visioning Non Profit that hires 30 of their Planning Students every year."

    Hope this Helps.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Big Green Scott View post
    II'm in a similar situation, trying to make the deciscion between Pratt and NYU right now.

    It's good to note Pratts undergraduate school is chiefly an art school (with the MCP being part of the Architecture program) so there is a very different vibe there than other places I visited. I liked it though it seemed open and exciting.

    I don't know much about Tufts but Pratt is a school that has a lot of "on the job" type of experience while you're getting your degree. Classes are small and all are taught by people in the field who apparently have you do a lot of work in specific communities. Tufts may be more like NYU which has been described to me as chiefly academic, theoretical and assignment based for the first three semesters with a one semester "practical" of fieldwork.

    Check into class sizes, I was told a large class at Pratt was 30 and a small one about 15. at NYU I was told a small class was 30 and a large can be up to 60 so you should check class sizes at Tufts, and decide if you want to be able to get lost in the crowd or not in your academics.

    Chiefly though Pratt is a community based planning program, a lot of focus is based on outreach to individual communities. Many people with a Pratt degree don't go to work for city governments but find a job in the not for profit world instead. This isn't universally true however, I met someone who does legal advising for a development corp who has a MCP from Pratt and another who is big wig in the NYC Planning dept. (he has been with the city since Ed Kotch was Mayor with only his degree from Pratt). I also want to note that contrary to the post of hl248 I have a friend who claims she was hired at a higher pay scale because of her 3 years of field experience that pratt gave her. When I talk to people I know in my field (which is Affordable housing), it seems there is a lot of respect that a Pratt Degree carries in the Greater NYC area.

    Also note that Pratt is a longer program than most MUP's it's a 60 credit masters and most programs are a 40 credit masters, that means a whole extra year of study and Money... but also of practical experience.

    I come from a Community Organizing and Housing Advocacy background so Pratt seems to fit me well. I'm leaning toward them and that may show in this post, but you have to figure out what you want. Which school will fit better in your resume and in the path of your career.

    Good luck with the deciscion.

    Hi IplanU, I notice that Big Green Scott has had a different experience to what my friend experienced at Pratt. I do agree that Pratt was all about community based planning though. My friend specifically wanted to work for private developers post-grad and maybe that's why she was unable to secure one. She was really annoyed that all the courses were about community outreach and consultation, etc. and didn't provide a well-rounded perspective on planning. If you like, I don't mind passing her information to you if you want to ask her questions. I'm sure she wouldn't mind shedding some light on the situation, that is assuming you are still undecided!

  10. #10
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    I Can't thank everyone enough for their valuable input. I haven't made a final decision yet, but I am leaning towards Tufts because of the faculty.

    I'm a little concerned about the absence of a true studio class at Tufts, but know that I can take classes at Harvard or MIT if need be.

    Pratt's main selling point, to me, is the opportunity to maintain a full time job while going to school. I'll be working in Boston if I attend Tufts, but I know I'll need to find something much more flexible than at Pratt.

    I'm also concerned about Pratt's "reputation." Outside of the NYC area, I find that few people really know that Pratt has programs other than Art/Architecture (if they've even heard of the school to begin with...)

    Class-wise, I've come to realize that the schools are extremely similar. They both have strong community development programs, environmental focuses, and the typical required planning courses. Tufts is much more flexible than Pratt and more of a typical planning program in the sense that it is only 40 credits instead of 60.

    My fear with Tufts is the Policy-heavy course work. Don't get me wrong, I'm attracted to Policy, but I want to make sure I get the technical knowledge necessary to initially work as a planner.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally posted by hl248 View post
    Hi IplanU, I notice that Big Green Scott has had a different experience to what my friend experienced at Pratt. I do agree that Pratt was all about community based planning though. My friend specifically wanted to work for private developers post-grad and maybe that's why she was unable to secure one. She was really annoyed that all the courses were about community outreach and consultation, etc. and didn't provide a well-rounded perspective on planning. If you like, I don't mind passing her information to you if you want to ask her questions. I'm sure she wouldn't mind shedding some light on the situation, that is assuming you are still undecided!
    Certainly! Please PM me with her information (If she agrees, of course)

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