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Thread: How is MSU for MA in Urban and Regional Planning?

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    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    How is MSU for MA in Urban and Regional Planning?

    Who can tell me what about the MA in Urban and Regional Planning from Michigan State? Also, I have been having a problem trying to get information from Western Michigan University about their MPA in Planning and Regional Affairs. Can anyone give me any information on these programs? If I am going to receive any assistance from my employer, I need to have the proposal in by 4 PM, (for next fall and winter).

    Please Help!!!
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    Cyburbian PlannerByDay's avatar
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    I got my BS (no pun intended) in planning from MSU. I do not have a very high opinion of the graduate program there.

    Quite a few times, the grad students were in the undergrad classes - with only VERY slightly more intense requirements, which isn't saying much, since I glided right through that program with nary a problem. I just didn't see the grad students ever working too hard, not like any of the engineering grad students in the building next door - so my assumption is that it wasn't very demanding and therefore not exactly a great program.

    My impression is that if you come to planning from another field, it might be slightly informative, but if you've already got a planning degree, forget it. Unless, of course, you want an easy Masters, in which case, go for it.

    Also, Grand River (aka downtown East Lansing) has become a glorified strip mall, which would be another count against MSU, if you were planning to move to the area for schooling.

    Is that any help??

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    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Thank you for the information so far…

    Here is the other thing, I would only take night classes (being that I would still work full time for the City of Portage), and State is about an hour or so away. WMU is only 15 min away...

    All the info does help so far, and I know people here who have gone to one or the other... they all say that the one that they went to is better.

    What would you choose?
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    Cyburbian Dashboard's avatar
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    Michigan State's Master of Urban & Regional Planning program is a very good program. The program has a great faculty and many of the courses incorporate real planning projects with Michigan communities. As for Grand River Avenue in downtown East Lansing, it is hardly a glorified strip mall. It is actually a really nice, pedestrian-friendly business district.

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    Originally posted by Dashboard
    Michigan State's Master of Urban & Regional Planning program is a very good program. The program has a great faculty and many of the courses incorporate real planning projects with Michigan communities.
    True, there were a lot of chances to actually get involved with real cities and their issues, which was a nice step away from the usual isolated academia.

    As for faculty, I believe it was in a bit of a flux when I was there - there were vacancies and brand-new professors still honing their lesson plans, etc. But I still had some favorite professors and all.

    I didn't mean to be too hard on the place - I'm satisfied with the education I recieved, but I also know that a lot of people came away with a lot less than I. You get out of it what you put into it. I was just trying to compare it to some of the other "biggies" out there (Columbia, U-M, etc.). The fact that I would even compare it with nationally-renowned schools shows that I do have a good opinion of the place, just maybe not a shining opinion.

    Given the choice between MSU and WMU, I would not hesitate a second to go with MSU.



    As for Grand River Avenue in downtown East Lansing, it is hardly a glorified strip mall. It is actually a really nice, pedestrian-friendly business district.
    Sure it is, and a very pleasant one at that, what with the tree-filled campus and beautiful old halls facing the shops and all. I suppose I was talking more about the retail make-up, particularly how it has changed in the past 5 years or so. Its great if you like chains, but where are the local businesses nowadays?

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