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Thread: Maryland's new Transportation Planning Curriculum...

  1. #1

    Maryland's new Transportation Planning Curriculum...

    The University of Maryland, College Park's school of Architecture, Planning and Preservation has a new professor who is actively expanding their transportation planning curriculum. It sounds like it could be a very interesting and challenging program, as the Washington, DC/Baltimore region has just about every kind of transportation problem imaginable.

    If they'll accept me (and maybe give me in state tuition?) I would be one of the pioneers ...

    Does anyone have an opinion one way or another on Maryland's M.C.P. program overall?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian bocian's avatar
    Jun 2003
    Raleigh NC
    I looked on their website and didn't see Transportation Planning as one of the offered specializations in MCP... Is it going to be offered in the future, as in this coming fall then? Who's in charge? R. Ewing or Knaap? I only saw one course in transportation planning in their list of courses - that's not so great...
    George Mason University has a Public Policy master degree where you can specialize in Transportation Planning - might be a good option, since it's right in D.C., or Arlington, VA actually..

    My impression: if they start a regular transportation curriculum, I'd go for it, but if they continue to offer their 1 transportation-related course, I'd go with Georgia Tech, Florida State, MIT, U of NC, U Penn or Rutgers..

  3. #3
    Yes, I too noticed the single course offering in transportation planning and the fact that it was also not listed as a specialization area. I got in contact with a new professor, K. Clifton, and she and R. Ewing are putting the program together for next fall:

    Clifton has been at U-MD for about 1 year, and holds a joint appointment in Planning and Civil Engineering. she told me about the creation of the multidisciplinary Maryland Transportation Initiative. The curriculum should be finalized soon.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian masafer's avatar
    Apr 2002
    New Brunswick, NJ
    I graduated from Rutgers, where Reid Ewing just came from, andhad the opportunity to work with him on a few projects. I can't speak for the Maryland program as a whole, but Reid is very impressive, and very demanding. He's very quantitatively oriented, and definitely knows his stuff. Good guy, who does great work, but he's often spread a bit thin, and isn't actually around that much, as his family lives in Florida. Good luck with the decision!

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Dharmster's avatar
    Oct 2001
    Arlington, Virginia
    Here's the short story about Maryland's planning program. It was almost eliminated in the early 1990s. The program itself has origins both at the University of Maryland at Baltimore where the professional masters was housed and the College Park campus where BA and a non professional MA degree was offered. Although saved from elimination, the program did lose its undergraduate and non professional masters degrees and moved from the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences into the College of Architecture (now Architecture, Planning & Preservation).

    Maryland's professional planning program is now the only full time accredited planning program in the Washington area. Virginia Tech (and before the University of Virginia) offers a masters degree in Northern Virginia, but it is a evening program. Since staving off elimination, the program has actually stabalized itself and added a Ph.D. program. In addition, the program serves as the nucleus of the unviversity wide Center for Smart Growth. The addition of nationally known faculty such as Qing Shen and Gerritt Knaap has buttressed the programs reputation.

    The fact that they are going to have a university wide transportation initiative is heartening. Maryland's civil engineering department has always had a strong transportation program and the logistics program with the business school is one of the tops in that nation. However, interdisciplinary research was never really strong at Maryland.

    As for the professional masters degree program it is a Master of COMMUNITY Planning. This is important, this is a program that is involved in the community. It also means yo have a good chance of getting a job in Maryland if that is your goal. It is also a relatively small program which had less than 50 student enrolled. Also, while the program can be completed part time the majority of the students are enrolled full time.

    Now as for transportation. GMU, has a interdisciplinary MA degree housed within it's Public Policy Program. It has the advantage of being a transportation program with multiple transportation faculty. It also is designed for the working professional with all courses held at a Metro friendly location.

    I would advise anyone wanting to do transportation to go to a more established program. MIT, contrary to popular belief does not have a full time transportation faculty member in the planning department. Programs with well regarded programs in transportation include Berkeley, UCLA, USC, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.
    Last edited by Dharmster; 09 Jan 2004 at 2:56 PM.

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