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Thread: Personal statement for grad school

  1. #1
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    Personal statement for grad school

    I hear that the personal statement is the big deal maker or breaker in grad school applications. Is this true? What are they looking for, specifically at Berkeley, UIC, UT-Austin and PSU?

  2. #2
    Since most students don't have an undergrad degree in planning, the personal statement is important.

    I teach at Ohio State University. In the personal statement we want to know why you are interested in pursuing a degree in planning, what you hope to specialize in (if you know), what you would like to do after you graduate etc. This information helps the admissions committee to understand how well you might fit with the program.

    You should keep it short. Typically 2 pages.

  3. #3
          roger's avatar
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    Here are a few links to get you started:

    http://www.infozee.com/indiatimes/ap...ample%20Essays

    http://www.cs.rpi.edu/~whuang/other/purposeadvice.html

    It is worth it to put some time and effort into the SOP. Since most programs can't interview applicants, they use the SOP to get an idea of your goals and why you think their program is a good fit.

    Are you applying to UT for next fall? I applied there as well.

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    Ut

    Are you applying to UT for next fall? I applied there as well. [/QUOTE]

    Thanx for the links. UT seems like a great school. Being in Austin, you probably have more insights into the planning program than what I've gleamed from the website. What do you think their strengths are? Is there much outreach in the community, like internship programs?

  5. #5
          roger's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Urbanavenger
    Are you applying to UT for next fall? I applied there as well.
    Thanx for the links. UT seems like a great school. Being in Austin, you probably have more insights into the planning program than what I've gleamed from the website. What do you think their strengths are? Is there much outreach in the community, like internship programs?[/QUOTE]

    My understanding is that the department maintains some contacts in the local community, but it is ultimately up to the student to find and pursue internships. Since the internship is required, I'm sure the Architecture school's office of career services can help in this regard.

    My impression is that they're pretty strong in Economic Development and Natural Resources planning. I'll probably do Land Use/Land Development, if I go there.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian FueledByRamen's avatar
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    I think UT is growing in the TOD area as well...the CRP school being a part of the Architecture school probably really helps with that.

    I know one of the faculty there (she is actually writing me a letter of reccomendation for PSU) and have taken one class (Im an undergrad, they usually dont offer any classes for undergraduates). The weird thing about UT is: the Urban Studies undergrad program is a part of the Geography & Environment school....yet the CRP school is a part of Arc. I, however, am a geography major who is focusing on Urban and Regional Analysis.

    IMHO, UT is in need of a restructuring and possibly the creation of a school of urban studies.

    Im applying to PSU and probably UT as well....but UT doesnt currently have a Transportation faculty...and being as it isnt really strong in transportation anyway, I dont think it would be my best choice. Good luck though, Austin can be a really cool town....although it would be better if we could keep those williamson county people from coming into the city =P

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