I currently live in Washington, D.C. and I am strongly considering applying for The University of Maryland's Masters of Community Planning program. I got a BA in History from the University of Michigan in 2004 and want to really delve into planning before pursuing a PhD. Overall I liked the professors I met at their recent open house and very hands-on, community based approach to planning. I would like to eventually teach. I've got a few questions about the program I thought I would post here to see if people had any thoughts:
1. What is the overall reputation of the program? From what I can determine it seems to be solid but not in the same league as UPenn or MIT. What will it mean to people in the profession?
2. Money. I would be paying out of state tuition and although they talked a lot about assistantships and grants, there wasn't many specifics. I believe I am a very strong candidate (I taught a class as an undergraduate, have had other teaching experiences) - does anyone have experiences? How much aid/teaching/research positions can I expect to get? I don't want to come out of it loaded with debt if I am going to do a PhD soon afterwards.
3. Technology. I am very interested in technology but the entire program seemed to be lacking both in facilities and expertise in this department. I mentioned "Community Broadband" to a professor and got a blank stare. Are there people who know how to use computers, GIS applications, etc? It didn't help that the program's website looks pretty bad.
4. Anything else I need to know?