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Thread: Hunter for Planning NYC

  1. #1
         
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    Hunter for Planning NYC

    Greetings.

    I'm looking at Hunter College in NYC to start a Planning Masters next year.

    Do you go there? Did you go there? Have a friend who went there?

    What's it like? Good reputation? Tough curriculum?

    I'd be grateful for any feedback.

    Good Vibrations!

    Rufus P.

  2. #2
    im in the urban affairs grad program at hunter... the entire urban affairs and planning dept is small. has only 2 class rooms on the 16th floor.
    urban planning is a 60 credits masters, affairs is 36.
    i am halfway done with the affairs program, i think its an easy program.
    feel free to email me with any questions.

  3. #3
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    I have a feeling I'll be going to Hunter for grad school. I have a limited budget and it's the only school near me that offers a decent program. I'll be applying to other schools in the event I get some financial aid...but I'm not holding my breath on that one....

    I'm in a department right now that is small and I love it. I have good relationships with my professors, as opposed to if I was in a larger department. Definitely a Positive.

    NP-F

  4. #4
    Cyburbian tsc's avatar
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    My only experience with Hunter is taking some AICP courses there. The have a decent reputation in our area...I work for the county directly north of NYC.

    Great opportunity to live in NYC and be in Manhattan.
    "Yeehaw!" is not a foreign policy

    Renovating the '62 Metzendorf
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    Good to read that! I live in Rockland County so I am close enough to commute or use public trans to any of the colleges in the city.

  6. #6

    Hunter

    I'm also looking into Hunter. The only other programs I've found in the NYC area are Columbia, NYU and Rutgers. How does Hunter rate in comparison. It appears to be a great program, and great bang for the buck.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian tsc's avatar
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    Pace University has a program in environmental science and the law department has specialties in Land Use Law.

    http://www.law.pace.edu/landuse/index.html
    "Yeehaw!" is not a foreign policy

    Renovating the '62 Metzendorf
    http://metzendorf.blogspot.com/

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Dave F's avatar
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    The Pratt Instittue in Brooklyn also has an accredited Masters in Planning program. I looked into it once, and was fairly impressed with what I saw.

  9. #9
    Anything more specific about Hunter out there?

    I'd really appreciate as much info as possible. Thanks!

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by smatt1973
    Anything more specific about Hunter out there?

    I'd really appreciate as much info as possible. Thanks!
    http://maxweber.hunter.cuny.edu/urban/

    Check the website yourself. Click on the link.

  11. #11
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    For those at Hunter, I also am going to apply their but looking at the curriculum it leaves me wondering if it's more academic as opposed to practical. I don't just want to be learning theory. I want to be in the field doing projects. Does Hunter have a specific emphasis? Or is it more broad based?

    I really like that it's a small program. I tend to learn best in the that environment. Thanks for any help you can be!

  12. #12
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    Looks like they require two studios. I'd say most programs require less (if at all), so if you're looking for more practical curriculum, that wouldn't be that easy to find.

  13. #13
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    Urban Affairs

    Quote Originally posted by rondubbs View post
    im in the urban affairs grad program at hunter... the entire urban affairs and planning dept is small. has only 2 class rooms on the 16th floor.
    urban planning is a 60 credits masters, affairs is 36.
    i am halfway done with the affairs program, i think its an easy program.
    feel free to email me with any questions.
    I attended the Hunter open house which was for both the Urban Affairs/ Planning Programs. I was wondering what do people who graduate with a masters in urban affairs wind up doing? I am intersted in Planning however those 36 credits sound better (considering the planning program is more geared to day time students not fulltime workers)


    As for more specifics about Hunter's urban planning program. THe best source is Lynn Mccormick (she is the chair) and extremly helpful.

  14. #14
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    I'm also looking into Hunter for my masters in planning and was wondering if any grads had input on what getting a job like was after graduation? Do the studios tend to facilitate that process?

    Also, any comments on the quality of the MUP program and how it is regarded by those in the planning community would be great...specifically helpful if from current students and graduates.

    Thanks!

  15. #15
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    I went to Hunter for a planning masters, and these are my comments based on the concerns articulated above:

    When it comes to finding work after graduation, your contacts in the field are far more important than the program you graduated from. However, one of the attractive features of the Hunter MUP program is the high quality of adjunct lecturers the program hires: active planners in professional practice in both the public and private sectors. It was one of these adjuncts that connected me to my first job. Interships are also extremely important in building both experience and contacts. At Hunter, one internship is required, but many students take several as I did.

    The Urban Affairs degree (36 credits) is not a planning degree. It is geared toward professionals in the non-profit social service and public administration fields. The two programs share a department because of the significant overlap between the two disciplines, but if you want to work as an urban planner, it doesn't make sense to do the Urban Affairs degree.

    I would say the course work at Hunter is actually moderate when it comes to an emphasis on theory vs. practice. There really aren't any hard-core theory courses offered at all. Rather, the courses focus on attaining the knowledge professional planners are expected to have, developing ways of thinking and working that are consistent with professional practice, and exploring how the work of planners fits into a larger political and social context. I was able to develop many technical skills as well, but honestly, that will depend on one's motivation and internship experiences. In my opinion, every entry-level planner should know microsoft office, arcGIS, and ideally adobe illustrator and/or photoshop, but obviously those can be learned at any program. When I was in the program, one studio was required, but that may have changed since.

    As far as being grounded in real-life planning projects goes, beyond the studio and internships, many classes require hands-on projects in the community or research that gets students out in the field. They also organize field trips and such. New York is a great laboratory for planning studies.

    Affordable tuition and a flexible schedule were the chief reasons I chose the Hunter program (I took extra time to finish my degree), but I don't regret it. Students who take ownership of their own education by developing relationships with faculty, seeking out jobs that will augment their studies, and simply taking their studies seriously will do well in just about any program. Furthermore, I'm not at all convinced that a brand-name degree makes any difference when it comes to success in the planning field.

    This makes me sound like a real booster for Hunter, so just a few words on the down side : disorganized bureaucracy, classes with too many students, some fairly lame faculty. . . but all in all it was a good experience.

    Good luck all!

  16. #16
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    Right now I'm choosing between NYU and Hunter's MUP programs... I was accepted for the spring semester and I honestly don't know what to do. I've been weighing the pros and cons but it really comes down to one main question which hopefully someone can help answer...

    Does the name/reputation of NYU Wagner outweigh the very affordable CUNY tuition at Hunter? NYU would cost me approximately 5x more than Hunter.

    Thanks in advance for any advice or insight.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian MacheteJames's avatar
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    I didn't graduate from either school but I can tell you that name/reputation means less than you think when it comes to landing a job. As long as you have good internships you will be able to get your foot in the door somewhere and once you have experience in the trenches, that's all that counts. Save your $$ and go to Hunter. Our intern here is a student in their planning program and seems to be getting a lot out of it. If the tuition difference is that large, then your choice is obvious. It's not like you'll be making money hand over fist after you land a gig so make the practical choice and go with Hunter.

    Make sure you take a GIS class while you're there (not sure if it's part of a standard course load or not). You'll be glad you did.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally posted by MacheteJames View post
    I didn't graduate from either school but I can tell you that name/reputation means less than you think when it comes to landing a job. As long as you have good internships you will be able to get your foot in the door somewhere and once you have experience in the trenches, that's all that counts. Save your $$ and go to Hunter. Our intern here is a student in their planning program and seems to be getting a lot out of it. If the tuition difference is that large, then your choice is obvious. It's not like you'll be making money hand over fist after you land a gig so make the practical choice and go with Hunter.

    Make sure you take a GIS class while you're there (not sure if it's part of a standard course load or not). You'll be glad you did.
    Thanks... I really appreciate the response, your advice is certainly a big help. After looking into it I've basically come to the same conclusion and it's good to see my gut feeling validated. Also I definitely plan on knowing as much GIS as possible before I start applying for jobs. Thanks again!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally posted by flyer10 View post
    Also I definitely plan on knowing as much GIS as possible before I start applying for jobs.
    Unless you plan to specialize in GIS (there is a GIS certificate at Hunter through the geography program that works with the MUP), don't overdo it. One or *maybe* two GIS classes will be fine. That is enough to learn the logic of the program and the basic tasks that you'll probably be asked to do as a planner.

    Almost every planner I went to school with that I'm still in contact with uses GIS, but no one uses it for much more than map-making and pretty straightforward analysis. GIS is a fantastic tool, but there are more important things to learn in grad school once you've mastered the basics of the program.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally posted by Future Planning Diva View post
    Unless you plan to specialize in GIS (there is a GIS certificate at Hunter through the geography program that works with the MUP), don't overdo it. One or *maybe* two GIS classes will be fine. That is enough to learn the logic of the program and the basic tasks that you'll probably be asked to do as a planner.

    Almost every planner I went to school with that I'm still in contact with uses GIS, but no one uses it for much more than map-making and pretty straightforward analysis. GIS is a fantastic tool, but there are more important things to learn in grad school once you've mastered the basics of the program.
    Good to know... thank you!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally posted by flyer10 View post
    Right now I'm choosing between NYU and Hunter's MUP programs... I was accepted for the spring semester and I honestly don't know what to do. I've been weighing the pros and cons but it really comes down to one main question which hopefully someone can help answer...

    Does the name/reputation of NYU Wagner outweigh the very affordable CUNY tuition at Hunter? NYU would cost me approximately 5x more than Hunter.

    Thanks in advance for any advice or insight.

    What program were you accepted to for the Spring NYU or Hunter?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally posted by rent8104 View post
    What program were you accepted to for the Spring NYU or Hunter?
    Both... still waiting to see the numbers before I make my decision. Any advice? haha

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally posted by flyer10 View post
    Both... still waiting to see the numbers before I make my decision. Any advice? haha
    You have received a decision for Spring Admission from Hunter?? Thats odd I haven't.

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    I'm currently a student at Hunter for Political Science program. Does anyone has any experience regarding pursuing Masters in Urban Planning while previously being an undergraduate here? How easy/hard is it to get accepted into the graduate program? Is there anything besides GPA that they look at and what kind of GPA is "safe" in this instance?

    Thanks in advance.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally posted by flyer10 View post
    Thanks... I really appreciate the response, your advice is certainly a big help. After looking into it I've basically come to the same conclusion and it's good to see my gut feeling validated. Also I definitely plan on knowing as much GIS as possible before I start applying for jobs. Thanks again!
    I agree with the previous post. Many (most) planning jobs want you to graduate from an accredited college. After than, most muni's don't care because it's all civil service. Either you did well on the test or you didn't.

    After you first job, no one really cares where you degree is from at all. I do community development consulting. No one has EVER asked me where my degree is from (or even what it's in). Actually, I don't think anyone has even asked me if I have one. Hmmmm.

    If you want to go into academia it might matter.

    Contacts are paramount. Some school might give you a better bet on getting contacts or alums, but that's the limit to the advantage. So work on building you Rolodex. Conferences and trade shows help there.

    BTW, this might keep you up at night, but outside of the NY metro area (and there is a world outside of there), very few people will know the difference between NYU and CUNY. "Hunter College" mean nothing to people in Kansas.

    Go to the place where you feel most comfortable. That's the highest priority. Academic "reputation" cost after that and after affordability.

    I went to grad school on an assistantship. Things like that make make price much less relevant.

    Anyway, break time is over. It's back to work ....

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