Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Questions from a wannabe urban planner

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Chicago, Illinois
    Posts
    2

    Questions from a wannabe urban planner

    I just saw the thread that bruin005 made regarding schools w/ a strong focus on community development. I don't want to hijack the thread so I will make my own. This will be a little specific to my needs though. I live in the Chicago area and UIC is very convenient and is the ONLY urban planning program in Chicago. I have also looked @ Ball State because it is close to Illinois. My first questions is, from those that have gone to Ball State and UIC, what are the positives and negatives? Second- are there any other schools in the midwest region that are know for their community development focus. Third (and a little off topic)- I graduated w/ a marketing degree and I am sorta kicking myself because I was young and just wanted to make a decision on a major to appease the folks. I currently have a GIS internship in hopes that it will give me some experience and help me get into a program. Can my undergraduate studies somehow be tied into an urban planning program? Am I at a disadvantage because of it? Well that's all. sorry for the long rant.

  2. #2
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hang on Sloopy...land
    Posts
    9,845
    Well first of all, I don't think that your undergraduate studies will put you at a disadvantage. Planning is good at accepting all walks of life, and making them better at understanding the big picture (sort of).

    Ball State is a great program (I go there). But it isn't for everyone. The grad program is growing at a pretty steady rate, and now has more classes to choose from. I think the biggest positive that BSU can offer you is the faculty. I find that in terms of knowledge base, it would be tough to find a faculty that could be Ball State's.

    As for community development, I cannot think of anything closer to Chicago that I know of, but I know the University of Cincinnati and Ohio State University both have Master's programs in Urban Planning. Hope that helps a bit.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  3. #3
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 1996
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    7,598
    Quote Originally posted by Hink_Planner
    Ball State is a great program (I go there). But it isn't for everyone. The grad program is growing at a pretty steady rate, and now has more classes to choose from. I think the biggest positive that BSU can offer you is the faculty. I find that in terms of knowledge base, it would be tough to find a faculty that could be Ball State's.
    As a BSU grad, I'll echo the comments above. The faculty at BSU is top notch, and the program is great for preparing you for life in the profession.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  4. #4
    I didn't go to either UIC or BSU but I'd say go to UIC, it's convenient for you. Also, your interest is in community development, you and Chicago, what a great match!

    Btw, no, like said earlier, your major is not a prob. You be surprised by the majors you find in the planning field.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2003
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    7,061
    Quote Originally posted by benat
    Third (and a little off topic)- I graduated w/ a marketing degree and I am sorta kicking myself because I was young and just wanted to make a decision on a major to appease the folks. I currently have a GIS internship in hopes that it will give me some experience and help me get into a program. Can my undergraduate studies somehow be tied into an urban planning program? Am I at a disadvantage because of it? Well that's all. sorry for the long rant.
    The vast majority of planning degrees across the U.S. are Master's degree programs. It is hard to find a bachelor's in planning. So the majority of folks in planning have an ungraduate degree in something else. You may have to work a little at closing the gap if your background is too different, but it can be done. I have an Associate of Arts in Humanities and was told that might be a problem when applying to my Bachelor of Science in Environmental Resource Management. Then they saw my grades, SAT scores, yadda yadda and welcomed me with open arms. However, I did have to take some "extra" science classes that I was "missing". I now have a Certificate in GIS -- which is graduate level work -- and still have not finished my bachelor's. Oh, the irony!

    Uh, of course, it isn't like I have an actual job.

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Vancouver, Canada
    Posts
    28
    I am a UIC grad - go for it. The school may have its faults, but the community organizing stream was fantastic (I could tell even though I didn't even take it) - tons of history and momentum that you can tap into. And the city itself is an amazing lab, for all planners at the school.

    Don't worry about your undergrad degree. I had a business degree and it gave me a great perspective that not many of my classmates had.

    And finally, always remember that your best outcome from a planning degree is a foothold in the job market - you learn WAY more on the job than you ever will in the classroom, so focus on all the intangibles when choosing a school.

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 4
    Last post: 27 May 2011, 3:51 PM
  2. Replies: 0
    Last post: 25 Apr 2011, 8:08 PM
  3. Replies: 5
    Last post: 11 Aug 2009, 6:05 PM
  4. Replies: 6
    Last post: 16 Oct 2008, 9:42 AM
  5. Wannabe planner
    Student Commons
    Replies: 2
    Last post: 08 Aug 2005, 11:54 AM