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Thread: Planning and Policy

  1. #1
    Member Lizerbita's avatar
    Jan 2004
    Chicago, IL

    Planning and Policy

    Any comments on the usefulness of getting dual masters in planning and public policy? Is it something that really makes a difference? Is there enough of a distinction between the two? I'm thinking that I want to work for a non-profit in the long run, so I am wondering if it will be useful. Also, who besides Michigan has this option? Some schools have urban planning in the same school as policy. I keep looking and definitely not finding.


  2. #2
    Cyburbian H's avatar
    Feb 2003
    You dont need them both to work in the field but it would be a great background. Poilicy teaches you public admin skills and planning teaches you theory of development (basically). They are quite different in my opinion. You find many people with P.P. degrees in planning local departments (at least in FLA).

    Get the ciriculum form the dept. head and see the difference for yourself and decide if it is worth it then.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
    Feb 2002
    I see some advantage in both as the policy guide may give you good background on the finance/budget side of things--as well as some management concepts background.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Aug 2001
    The Cheese State
    I have my BS in public administration and my MS in urban/economic geography. I can't think of anything in particular that I learned in any of my public administration classes that has been helpful. Still, the environment of the department and exposure to PA probably helped condition me. The reality is that there is a good deal of administration involved in planning, especially at more senior levels. If you are planning to go on for a masters, then maybe it will be helpful. If you want to get a bachelors and go out into the workplace, then concentrat on planning.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  5. #5
    Ohio State University offers a dual degree with public policy.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
    Aug 2001
    South Milwaukee
    I think it is especially helpful if you plan to move into a high ranking position.

  7. #7
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
    May 2003
    Staff meeting
    University of Pittsburgh has a planning concentration within the Public Policy school (I'm pretty sure: Rumpy, Biscuit??)
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Every day is today. Yesterday is a myth and tomorrow an illusion.

  8. #8
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
    Jun 2003
    at the neighboring pub
    I'm working on a MPA with concentration in planning at Texas State [/shameless plug]. I think the dual degree is a good move as long as you have the time and energy to do it. I think it will help you move up quicker and get to work more on planning policy, such as ordinance revisions and annexation plans, instead of stuff like plat review.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  9. #9
          roger's avatar
    Jul 2004
    austin, tx
    The University of Texas and Florida State University both have the dual degree. There are many others. Check the bigger universities; they're more likely to have separate programs.

    I'm not entirely convinced of the usefulness of it though. You would pick up those admin skills during your working life anyway. I know a guy here in Austin (in a senior planning position) who got his MPA at UT; he says in retrospect he would have gone for the planning degree.

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