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Thread: Texas schools

  1. #1
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    Texas schools

    I've applied to the three schools in Texas that have accredited Master's planning programs. So far, I've been accepted to UT and UT-Arlington. I've heard that UT has the better program, but does UTA at least have a good program? I've not been able to find any good information on this subject. I'd rather live in the Dallas area than in Austin, but I'd also like to be able to find a job after I graduate. Does anyone out there have any information on this subject that they'll share with me?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian jread's avatar
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    I know UT Austin is accredited but I'm not sure about Arlington.

    Why would you rather live in Dallas than Austin? I can't imagine that.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Plus Salmissra's avatar
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    UTA is my alma mater for grad school.. It's accredited, and is ranked in the top 10 in the nation for graduate planning programs. The SUPA (School of Urban and Public Affairs) has great contacts, and the requirements of the program prepare you well for the real world.

    I only know one UT grad, and I wasn't impressed. But that could have been him, not the program.
    "We do not need any other Tutankhamun's tomb with all its treasures. We need context. We need understanding. We need knowledge of historical events to tie them together. We don't know much. Of course we know a lot, but it is context that's missing, not treasures." - Werner Herzog, in Archaeology, March/April 2011

  4. #4
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Salmissra
    UTA is my alma mater for grad school.. It's accredited, and is ranked in the top 10 in the nation for graduate planning programs.
    What publication lists this- I'd like to check it out.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally posted by Salmissra
    UTA is my alma mater for grad school...The SUPA (School of Urban and Public Affairs) has great contacts, and the requirements of the program prepare you well for the real world.
    My undergrad degree is not in planning (major in French, minor in History). Would a Master's in Planning still work for me?

    Also, may I ask how long you had to look for a job in planning before you were able to find one? Did you get a lot of hands-on experience through SUPA? If so, do you think it helped you in your job search?

    I'm very interested in the field of planning, but considering the amount of student loans I'll probably have after graduating, I just want to make sure that switching to a career in planning (versus just trying to find a way to volunteer) isn't a mistake.

    Also, do you know what percentage of your classmates were able to find jobs in the planning field? Do you know how long their job search lasted?

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Plus Salmissra's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by rae.rae
    My undergrad degree is not in planning (major in French, minor in History). Would a Master's in Planning still work for me?
    Also, may I ask how long you had to look for a job in planning before you were able to find one? Did you get a lot of hands-on experience through SUPA? If so, do you think it helped you in your job search?
    I'm very interested in the field of planning, but considering the amount of student loans I'll probably have after graduating, I just want to make sure that switching to a career in planning (versus just trying to find a way to volunteer) isn't a mistake.
    Also, do you know what percentage of your classmates were able to find jobs in the planning field? Do you know how long their job search lasted?
    Personally, I don't think that an undergraduate degree in French will hurt you in the Planning field - it just might not help you. But your degree means you can think, so that's a plus!

    My first planning job was as an intern, and I started that my first semester in school. There's always a city or county gov't looking for cheap labor - and SUPA has contacts throughout the metroplex. Plus the NCTCOG (N. Central Tx Council of Gov't) office in the same city.

    Since not all of my classmates were planning students (we mingled with MPAs and Urban Affairs for some core classes) I can't answer this question. My three closest friends and I all had jobs either while in school or right after. One was even able to transfer her required COG work (she had a scholarship with them, and they require that you work for a COG for I think it's for 2 years after graduation) to the Houston COG after graduation. SUPA also has graduate assistantships, so you might be able to work for the school while going to school.

    Hands-on experience really makes the difference. While I was at UTA, you had to take 2 hands-on type classes. Outside entities would "hire" the school to provide a service. So that semester you might work on an updated Comp Plan for a small city, or a historic preservation ordinance for another. The second time I took this class we had two projects - updating the subdivision, landscaping and parking ordinances for a city outside of Houston, (which was just one part of the project the school had been hired to do) and also creating and presenting an Urban Design project for a major corridor area of a central city (there are 3 "central cities" - Hurst, Euless and Bedford). We were pretty busy that semester!

    Feel free to PM me with any specific questions about UTA. Some things may be different now, but I can always tell you about my experience.
    "We do not need any other Tutankhamun's tomb with all its treasures. We need context. We need understanding. We need knowledge of historical events to tie them together. We don't know much. Of course we know a lot, but it is context that's missing, not treasures." - Werner Herzog, in Archaeology, March/April 2011

  7. #7
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    There are internships that are available in cities all over the metroplex. You just have to look for them in the right places. The NCTCOG is of great help.
    SUPA does offer scholarships. Assistantships are also available(but do not know if it is available for the current semester!). But you could email the profs. and find out.

    What I like best abt the SUPA program is the versatility of the program. You could easily pick one or some areas of interest and learn more. The program exposes you to a variety of topics in planning. Since people with economics, business, architecture, sociology, political science, biology and what not, backgrounds study here, the program tries to accomodate the varied intersts. The faculty backgrounds are also quite diverse.You can also pick an area of emphasis- like transportation planning, community development etc. If you plan your degree well you could get a certificate in addition to your degree.

    The DFW area is growing. This provides various opportunities for hands on expereince as another alumna has stated. Of course you can expect it to be noiser than Austin. Arlington is a quiet place though. I cannot compare the UT arlington's and Autin's program since I have no idea of the program in Austin. But I can give you more details abt the UTArlington program, since I just graduated from there. UTArlington's program is good. I liked it.

  8. #8
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    But I can give you more details abt the UTArlington program, since I just graduated from there. UTArlington's program is good. I liked it.
    Thanks for your reply, Urban Adventure! I would love to have more details.

    I'll ask you a similar question to what I asked Salmissra: have you found a job yet, and if so, how long did it take you to find it? If you just graduated, I guess it didn't take you long. I know a lot of it depends on the economy in general.

    Also, how helpful were the administration and the professors? Did they seem interested in their students, or do they have more of the "fend for yourself" attitude found at so many universities?

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Plus Salmissra's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by rae.rae
    Thanks for your reply, Urban Adventure! I would love to have more details.

    I'll ask you a similar question to what I asked Salmissra: have you found a job yet, and if so, how long did it take you to find it? If you just graduated, I guess it didn't take you long. I know a lot of it depends on the economy in general.

    Also, how helpful were the administration and the professors? Did they seem interested in their students, or do they have more of the "fend for yourself" attitude found at so many universities?
    I found the professors very interested and personable. Only one prof was a bit stand-offish and "fend for yourself", but I only had him for one class. A couple of the profs are very hands-on and accessable - it seemed like they were always in their office or in class!
    "We do not need any other Tutankhamun's tomb with all its treasures. We need context. We need understanding. We need knowledge of historical events to tie them together. We don't know much. Of course we know a lot, but it is context that's missing, not treasures." - Werner Herzog, in Archaeology, March/April 2011

  10. #10
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    I've heard nothing but good things about the UTA planning program. My brother had some complaints about the engineering program, but that's a totally different area. I believe I've said before that the one big downer about UTA is that it is in the suburbia mecca that is Arlington. However, it is very centrally located in the DFW area for locating jobs. I can tell you that there seem to be far more jobs available in DFW than in Austin-San Antonio as well as some pretty progressive planning (by Texas standards). Also, the COG up there is probably the most active in the state.

    I think the UT-Austin program is struggling to catch hold as it seems to be more of a design track in the architecture school with a lot of cross-pollenation to landscape architecture. It also has a very strong emphasis on Latin American planning.

    Do not under any circumstance go to College Station. I have not heard a single good thing about their program and seems more geared to the darkest of the dark side (apologies to those good dark siders floating around here).

    "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)

  11. #11
    Cyburbian
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    I'd only go to UT if you enjoy being beaten down every October by those Sooners... Now as far as UTA, I've heard good things about it. I work with a graduate of the program who seems to be well educated. I'd if you are working on a masters, check out your area of concentration. If you don't have a specific area you want to study, I'd say either one will give you a marketable degree when you finish. And usually before you finish you'll have opportunities if you play your cads right w/ internships, yada yada...

    GOOD LUCK, I don't think either choice is a bad one...

  12. #12
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    Thanks, Vlaude, Suburb Repairman, Salmissra, and Urban Adventure!

    This forum has been so helpful to me, and I greatly appreciate everyone who's taken the time to reply. I'll be sure to post another message to this list when I've decided which school to attend.

  13. #13
         
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    If you are considering attending UT Austin, I just finished my first year in their CRP program and have absolutely enjoyed it. If you want to visit the school, meet people, talk to profs, feel free to shoot me an email, and I'll do anything I can to help you. I love everything about the program, the city, and the talented people I have met thus far. I know making a school decision can be tough, so if you do decide to come to Austin and check it out, let me know, and I'll make sure you feel the visit was worthwhile.

    Not to deter you from UTA, I am just familiar with my own program and would love to help recruit you if you need an in-school contact.

    Kelly


    Quote Originally posted by rae.rae
    Thanks, Vlaude, Suburb Repairman, Salmissra, and Urban Adventure!

    This forum has been so helpful to me, and I greatly appreciate everyone who's taken the time to reply. I'll be sure to post another message to this list when I've decided which school to attend.
    ps my email is
    Moderator note:
    email deleted, for users own privacy - not a good idea to post your email in a public forum. Suggest a Private Message instead!
    Last edited by Tranplanner; 04 Jul 2005 at 2:49 PM. Reason: double reply

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