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  1. #1
         
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    Florida

    Hi all! I live in Florida, will be graduating from the Univ. of Florida this December '04 with a Bachelor's in Political Science (unfortunately my GPA is pretty low!). I am interested in Urban Planning and have taken a few undergrad classes in Urban Planning and focused on Policy within in my major. I know that having a Master's is pretty much industry standard, so I have researched the Master's programs in the state, as staying in state would be cheapest. I still have yet to take the GRE and was wondering:

    1) Has anyone on the site attended and/or graduated from a Master's Program in the state (UF, FSU, or FAU) and how was your experience with admissions, the program and life after graduation.

    2) Does anyone have any advice for a graduating undergrad with a low GPA (o.k. I'll go ahead and broadcast it - 2.2), besides acing the GRE.

    Please, don't hold back!!!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian H's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by akb1710
    Hi all! I live in Florida, will be graduating from the Univ. of Florida this December '04 with a Bachelor's in Political Science (unfortunately my GPA is pretty low!). I am interested in Urban Planning and have taken a few undergrad classes in Urban Planning and focused on Policy within in my major. I know that having a Master's is pretty much industry standard, so I have researched the Master's programs in the state, as staying in state would be cheapest. I still have yet to take the GRE and was wondering:

    1) Has anyone on the site attended and/or graduated from a Master's Program in the state (UF, FSU, or FAU) and how was your experience with admissions, the program and life after graduation.

    2) Does anyone have any advice for a graduating undergrad with a low GPA (o.k. I'll go ahead and broadcast it - 2.2), besides acing the GRE.

    Please, don't hold back!!!
    I am a current doctoral student at FSU and have worked both in the private and public sector of planning in the state. I dont know the admissions, but it should be on all respective websites.

    GPA & GRE are weighted, but you should really make apts and speak with the faculity to get a better understanding of what is all required.

    Feel free to ask me any q's, but that is about all I can say about the above two.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian FueledByRamen's avatar
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    There is a thread, two posts down, talking about GPA that I started....check it out.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Hmmm....

    Quote Originally posted by akb1710
    Hi all! I live in Florida, will be graduating from the Univ. of Florida this December '04 with a Bachelor's in Political Science (unfortunately my GPA is pretty low!). I am interested in Urban Planning and have taken a few undergrad classes in Urban Planning and focused on Policy within in my major. I know that having a Master's is pretty much industry standard, so I have researched the Master's programs in the state, as staying in state would be cheapest. I still have yet to take the GRE and was wondering:

    1) Has anyone on the site attended and/or graduated from a Master's Program in the state (UF, FSU, or FAU) and how was your experience with admissions, the program and life after graduation.

    2) Does anyone have any advice for a graduating undergrad with a low GPA (o.k. I'll go ahead and broadcast it - 2.2), besides acing the GRE.

    Please, don't hold back!!!
    I did not attend a local Florida University for my Masters, but work with several that went to FAU and enjoyed that experience...
    1. You could try to attend one of the major universities that you mention as a non-degree student (probationary) until you prove yourself able to maintain a 3.0, then get admitted...(Call each department head to see how realistic this is....)
    2. or you could do what a lot of planners have done.....go get a masters in anything....business, sociology, geography, chemistry, early childhood education, physics, geology, english, history or any other subject you can find....because, any one can be a planner.....
    3. or you could save a whole heap of $$ and get an entry level job as a planner, even an internship while taking a grad class....then latch on and work your way up with a Bachelors....
    4. obtain a certificate in environmental or GIS studies while working as an entry level planner....
    Skilled Adoxographer

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally posted by H
    I am a current doctoral student at FSU and have worked both in the private and public sector of planning in the state. I dont know the admissions, but it should be on all respective websites.

    GPA & GRE are weighted, but you should really make apts and speak with the faculity to get a better understanding of what is all required.

    Feel free to ask me any q's, but that is about all I can say about the above two.
    Let me see if i can add this up;
    doctoral at FSU
    +
    Degree at UT @ Knoxville
    =
    10th grade level intellence of a high school student from colorado

    HARHARHAR

  6. #6
    Cyburbian H's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by acchhhoooo
    Let me see if i can add this up;
    doctoral at FSU
    +
    Degree at UT @ Knoxville
    =
    10th grade level intellence of a high school student from colorado

    HARHARHAR
    I hope it is not that low, I would like to think it would at least be a 10th grade level from a Southern State...

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Belle's avatar
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    Trolling?

    Quote Originally posted by H
    I hope it is not that low, I would like to think it would at least be a 10th grade level from a Southern State...
    H, good for you for responding with humor!

    I hope that H took that comment in the spirit in which it was intended.

    acchhhoooo, are you new to Cyburbia? I didn't see an introduction....

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    Quote Originally posted by H
    I hope it is not that low, I would like to think it would at least be a 10th grade level from a Southern State...
    That is funny H, everyone knows the education system stops at the 6th grade in the south....

  9. #9
    Cyburbian H's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Belle
    I hope that H took that comment in the spirit in which it was intended.
    Dont worry, he did

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Trail Nazi's avatar
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    Welcome new Florida person from a Florida person.

    Have you thought about maybe going the public administration route? The PA route maybe a little more accomodating with your gpa but you will still get some planning classes. Then you can get your gpa and switch to a school with planning. Plus, the three schools you mentioned are a little different in their own way. Most planners that I have worked with went to FSU with a couple of FAU people thrown in here and there. UF is more architecturally based from my understanding but they do have a good professor that teaches land use law for both the planning and law depts. Good luck.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I had a low undergrad GPA (2.6), largely because I was in the wrong major several times. When I returned for my masters two years later, I was worried how that would affect me. I did take a course before applying and got to know the faculty. I also scored 2170 on the GRE. I also had relevant work experience. Between those things, I had no problem getting in.

    As others have suggested, do not limit yourself to planning programs. I found geography to be much better-suited to my needs, and of all the interns I have had, including some from public administration and planning, the geography students were best. They teach a thought process as well as technical issues.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  12. #12
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    My GPA was incredibly average.
    What got me in was the combination of Letters of Recommendation (heavy weight class), Work Experience (very related), and Letter of Intent.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
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    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
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  13. #13
    Cyburbian Man With a Plan's avatar
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    Whoa!

    I respectfully disagree with the opinion that "any one can be a planner", therefore your coursework does not matter. How could a Master's in early childhood ed adequately prepare someone to be an effective planner? Are you a professional planner? My first week as a municipal planner, I was told to write a ZBA Report, conduct a demographic analysis, and complete a buildout analysis. If I did not have formal training from planning school, it would have been embarrassing.

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    Quote Originally posted by Man With a Plan
    I respectfully disagree with the opinion that "any one can be a planner", therefore your coursework does not matter. How could a Master's in early childhood ed adequately prepare someone to be an effective planner? Are you a professional planner? My first week as a municipal planner, I was told to write a ZBA Report, conduct a demographic analysis, and complete a buildout analysis. If I did not have formal training from planning school, it would have been embarrassing.
    Hey "H", did they teach you how to to write a ZBA Report, conduct a demographic analysis, and complete a buildout analysis at knoxville? Or were you too busy studying for your class on how to get out of awkward circumstances "EWWWW, i didn't realize you were my 1st cousin"

  15. #15
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Specific Planning Details....

    Since when do planning programs teach the in's and out's of current planning? The only current planning "class" I had or have ever heard of anyone having was an internship in a Planning Department.....that is where I started learning the day to day current planning stuff:

    1. How to review a Building Permit.
    2. What is a zoning code and how does it really work.
    3. How to deal with an upset tax payer who thinks your a communist devil.
    4. How to write a staff report.
    5. How to write a memo the director will like.

    Not to mention the psychologists, sociologists, geologists and all the other gists I've worked with as "planners" over the years.....also Historians, political scientists, public administrationists and above all business administrators....

    If there was a class in current planning, it would be called "current processing"
    Skilled Adoxographer

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally posted by The One
    5. How to write a memo the director will like.

    "
    Heck. I sometimes think I STILL don't know how to write a memo the director will like

  17. #17
    Cyburbian H's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by acchhhoooo
    Hey "H", did they teach you how to to write a ZBA Report, conduct a demographic analysis, and complete a buildout analysis at knoxville?
    Actually, they did.

    And just what high and mighty school did you attend?

  18. #18
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Man With a Plan
    I respectfully disagree with the opinion that "any one can be a planner", therefore your coursework does not matter. How could a Master's in early childhood ed adequately prepare someone to be an effective planner? Are you a professional planner? My first week as a municipal planner, I was told to write a ZBA Report, conduct a demographic analysis, and complete a buildout analysis. If I did not have formal training from planning school, it would have been embarrassing.
    Actually there is a very competent planner here in Massachusetts with a degree in education (not me ). The person served on various town boards, including chair of the planning board for many years. Applied for the job when the position became available and was hired ahead of many "degreed" planners. UMass did not teach me how to read a site plan, did not teach me how to draft a zoning by-law, all that came to me through hands on experience as a local board member and planning intern. Been at it 24 years now and can vouch that my internship and undergraduate Political Science background are every bit as useful as my graduate work.

    I would stress getting an internship to get the hands on experience. If any of the schools allow you to, start the program through continuing education enrollment, thus lessening the impact of the undergraduate GPA go that route. Getting your feet wet in the program and showing you can do the work will make a big impression on those having to review your application for full or part-time admission later.
    Planning is much like acting, as my old theater professor used to say, "If you sin, sin boldly, only you know if you are ad libbing." I follow this adage almost daily.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Man With a Plan's avatar
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    Not Even an Issue

    The topic of planning schools not preparing students for the field would not even come up if everyone went to URI.

    Go Rams! Go Sox!

  20. #20
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Yeah but....

    Quote Originally posted by Man With a Plan
    The topic of planning schools not preparing students for the field would not even come up if everyone went to URI.

    Go Rams! Go Sox!
    I remember a visit from a URI prof./consultant during a neighborhood design charette review in grad school....the guy new his site planning and design....but couldn't for his life understand the deep neighborhood issues and relationships involved with the decision making process that came out of months of neighborhood discussion and meetings with the public..Demanded "good" design over the needs expressed by the neighborhood and simply would not budge......(Plus, he tended to frame everything as either conforming with his ideas or being crap...no in between....)
    Skilled Adoxographer

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally posted by H
    Actually, they did.

    And just what high and mighty school did you attend?
    My classmates had all their teeth and I didn't refer to any of them as.."KIN".

  22. #22
    Cyburbian H's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by acchhhoooo
    My classmates had all their teeth and I didn't refer to any of them as.."KIN".
    Ladies and gentlemen, just so you all know, Mr. Acchhhoooo is a UT alum from my program. He is a little sad because we all used to tease him about having no teeth and dating his cousin, not because he was from Tenn, but just because that was his 'style'

    I was waiting for someone from somewhere to recognize me.

    That is enough.

  23. #23
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    I am an alum of FSU's URP program. Overall a very strong program, especially if you are interested in the policy side. On the GPA front, how are your grades in your planning-related classes? The admissions committee might look a bit closer at those grades. I would suggest going to the open-house that FSU holds every year for prospective students and talking to faculty about your situation. Good luck!

    (H, when did you start your PhD work at FSU?)

  24. #24
    Cyburbian H's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by plannerkat
    (H, when did you start your PhD work at FSU?)
    August of this year (04).

    So far, so good. I also teach intro to urban and regional planning hear at FSU to the undergrads...

  25. #25
         
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    Quote Originally posted by plannerkat
    I am an alum of FSU's URP program. Overall a very strong program, especially if you are interested in the policy side. On the GPA front, how are your grades in your planning-related classes? The admissions committee might look a bit closer at those grades. I would suggest going to the open-house that FSU holds every year for prospective students and talking to faculty about your situation. Good luck!

    (H, when did you start your PhD work at FSU?)
    Plannerkat, let's just say my grades were basically B's and C's across the board! I did focus in public policy in my undergrad poli. sci. studies, though. I did better in those classes than in most others. I wonder if that will hold more weight?

    I want to thank everyone for replying.

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