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Thread: New future planner with a grad school question

  1. #1
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    New future planner with a grad school question

    Hello-

    Great site! After years of debating going back to school for planning I finally applied and got into two schools. I couldn't be happier. My two choices are UNC Chapel HIll (which I just visited and loved) and Cornell (which I've been to but unfortunately their open house bc it was the same weekend as UNCs).

    Can anyone speak to the opportunities they think one might bring me more then the other? Does "Ivy League" really hold more weight in Urban Planning?
    My concern is by not going to Cornell I'm passing up an opportunity to go to a great school with a great name but will be in more debt and will that be worth it?

    Which school is better for adaptable reuse and the local food movement (bringing local food into schools?). UNC has no agriculture classes or anything about retrofitting but I doubt i'll find anything like that in any program unless it was engineering. Cornell has a wonderful agriculture program but I'm worried the program will focus mainly on NYC? thoughts?

    Thanks!

    Moderator note:
    (Gedunker) Hi, izzie23 and welcome to Cyburbia. Since your post is specific to education, and not a general introduction, I've moved the thread from the Introduce Yourself sub-forum to the Student Lounge.I think you'll get more and better replies here. Thanks and carry on!
    Last edited by Gedunker; 29 Mar 2009 at 10:52 AM.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    HI Izzie. Those are two pretty great options so congrats! I just returned from the Cornell open house and there were a number of current and prospective students who mentioned food issues as an area of interest and several who seemed to have backgrounds involving community gardens and that sort of thing. Ithaca is pretty big on the local food movement as well. I would think it would be a good place if that's your area of interest but I don't really know much more beyond that. I also did not get the impression that Cornell is NYC-focused in the least. I personally love how preservation-related issues like adaptive reuse seem like they fit into the planning program and was less excited about UNC's design and preservation concentration (I applied to both schools but haven't heard from UNC).

    I don't know about UNC with regards to food issues, though they seem to be pretty big on sustainability issues in general. I'm sure you've talked to people there about your interests so maybe once you get some more Cornell info you'll be able to weigh them better. Both schools are highly regarded for planning (and UNC is currently ranked 3rd by Planetizen and Cornell is 6th) so in this case I don't know how much I would let the Ivy name influence you. If you pick the one that best fits your interests and is the place at which you feel personally comfortable and supported, you'll be just fine.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    Izzie,

    I was at the open house and probably met you as well. What's selling me about the program (in addition to the spirit the students represent) is the multidude of jobs some of the alums got from the '08 class. These were spread across the country (in one case, the world). I can't answer your questions about local food, but that sounds like such a niche interest that you yourself could be a driving force into research in the topic at either place. Good luck!

  4. #4
    Cyburbian kalimotxo's avatar
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    I was at the UNC Open House I've actually considered some of the same concerns you express here. These are my thoughts at the moment...

    In terms of adaptive reuse or retrofitting, I think there may be more to the program than meets the eye. Dr. Campanella is certainly interested in adaptive reuse and I would think that is reflected in his curriculum, even if none of the course names suggest a focus on that. If you have concerns about how well the curriculum addresses that, I wouldn't see any harm in emailing him with some specific questions.

    In terms of food/ag policy, I was very encouraged by the opportunity to take classes at Duke or NCSU. I know NCSU has an Ag. Sciences program with a focus on Food Science, which would probably provide some good opportunities for exploring some aspects of this. There's probably a disadvantage in taking these classes in a different department or school, and the commute might suck, but the opportunity is probably there if one's willing to put in the extra effort.

    Good luck. I'm a little torn about my opportunities right now, but UNC is looking like a good option to me after the Open House.
    Process and dismissal. Shelter and location. Everybody wants somewhere.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally posted by bessymarch View post
    HI Izzie. Those are two pretty great options so congrats! I just returned from the Cornell open house and there were a number of current and prospective students who mentioned food issues as an area of interest and several who seemed to have backgrounds involving community gardens and that sort of thing. Ithaca is pretty big on the local food movement as well. I would think it would be a good place if that's your area of interest but I don't really know much more beyond that. I also did not get the impression that Cornell is NYC-focused in the least. I personally love how preservation-related issues like adaptive reuse seem like they fit into the planning program and was less excited about UNC's design and preservation concentration (I applied to both schools but haven't heard from UNC).

    I don't know about UNC with regards to food issues, though they seem to be pretty big on sustainability issues in general. I'm sure you've talked to people there about your interests so maybe once you get some more Cornell info you'll be able to weigh them better. Both schools are highly regarded for planning (and UNC is currently ranked 3rd by Planetizen and Cornell is 6th) so in this case I don't know how much I would let the Ivy name influence you. If you pick the one that best fits your interests and is the place at which you feel personally comfortable and supported, you'll be just fine.
    HI Bessymarch-

    How was the Cornell Open House? Can you tell me a little bit more about it? Did current students seem happy with the program? Were professors receptive to students and working on interesting projects? I'm heading up this week to visit but will only get to meet with a few people and unfortunately not get the open house vibe for better or worse. Do you think you'll go to Cornell? Good luck!

    Izzie23

    Quote Originally posted by wvhoo View post
    Izzie,

    I was at the open house and probably met you as well. What's selling me about the program (in addition to the spirit the students represent) is the multidude of jobs some of the alums got from the '08 class. These were spread across the country (in one case, the world). I can't answer your questions about local food, but that sounds like such a niche interest that you yourself could be a driving force into research in the topic at either place. Good luck!
    So do you think you're going to UNC? What other schools are you looking at?
    Last edited by Gedunker; 30 Mar 2009 at 9:26 AM. Reason: seq. replies

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