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Thread: Denver Ranks?

  1. #1
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    Denver Ranks?

    Hello Again,

    In response to one of my previous posts, it was mentioned in passing that UC Denver is ranked top 10 in terms of its respectability in the planning community. Does anyone agree/disagree or can anyone comment further. I am interested to know how everyone feels about the issue since planning schools aren't really ranked by US News etc.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
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    Not the Right Question

    Quote Originally posted by CommonGood
    Hello Again,

    In response to one of my previous posts, it was mentioned in passing that UC Denver is ranked top 10 in terms of its respectability in the planning community. Does anyone agree/disagree or can anyone comment further. I am interested to know how everyone feels about the issue since planning schools aren't really ranked by US News etc.
    I wouldn't say its a "Top 10" school, whatever that means in planning. But I don't think that matters much. The top priorities in choosing a planning school should be:

    1. Price (do they give you aid that ideally also gives you work experience through an internship?)
    2. Location (do you like the area and is it a good geography to learn what you want to about planning? Would you want to stay there after graduating?)
    3. Overall reputation (not "Top 10" but more related to whether it is accredited, has good programs in what interests you, etc. The problem with the "Top 10" is they usually score badly on #1 above and sometimes on #2 as well...)

    Good luck.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Rankings.....

    I've never seen the Planning program at UCD ranked. I wouldn't be able to compare it to anything but the U. of Calgary and U. of Northern Colorado, since those are the only other universities I've attended....But one thing I can say is that judging by people I've worked with and where they obtained their planning degrees, it is possible that it is a top "10" school. But that's just me:

    Other seemingly good schools:
    Iowa State University(just plain solid education I think )
    Kansas State (Grads sell themselves loud and often)
    Ohio State University (kills me to say it- very analytical bunch )
    Portland State University (This school sells itself even better than Kansas State )
    University of Virginia (proud and with noses held high )
    University of North Carolina (Strong Networking Makes for Famous Planners )
    Cornell University (Some Great Attorney's/Planners)
    University of Minnesota (Policy Geeks abound )

    So to sum up, I think UCD does well in this group.......

    Oddly enough, I don't remember working with many Ivy League types......where do these planners work??? Do they stick to the New England states?? or go corporate?? The few I've come into contact with were attorney's first then planners second (Show me the $$ syndrome I guess)
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  4. #4
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I have never seen any ranking of planning schools, and I would personally not put CUD on that list if it were up to me. I think the problem in putting together any such list would be that there are really so many specialties in planning. One department may do very well in design while another focuses on urban revitalization while another is better for policy, and so on. How can you really compare them by some single set of standards? You would end up with the not the best, but the most generic planning department.

    I will offer a few ideas to go along with Masswich's. If there is a place where you want to practice, then go to the school which produces most of the planners working there. In the Chicago region, for instance, it used to be that if you wanted to work in city management, you went to Northern Illinois University. The other approach is that if there is a particular facet of planning that appeals to you, then go to one of the schools that has a reputation in that field. I have mentioned before that for urban renewal, Portland State and the University of Wiscosnin at Milwaukee are good choices.

    Overall, I think college rankings are pretty meaningless. Other than prospective students, they appear to be meaningless to everyone. I have never known an employer to give the university a job candidate went to anything more than a passing interest. It is going to be your abilities and your work history that are meaningful.
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  5. #5
    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
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    Ivy Types

    Quote Originally posted by The One
    Oddly enough, I don't remember working with many Ivy League types......where do these planners work??? Do they stick to the New England states?? or go corporate?? The few I've come into contact with were attorney's first then planners second (Show me the $$ syndrome I guess)
    Ivy League types work all over the place, but not much in local or regional government. They tend to work in state or federal government, internationally, as private consultants, or in second career doing something else.

    Having said that, I know many "Ivy League" types who are working in local or regional government and many who are very down-to-earth. I don't think an Ivy degree counts for much in local government, though. There are more of them around here in New England than I saw elsewhere, it is true.

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    Thanks for the Ranks

    Thanks for the insight and for taking the time! Much appreciated. I will take this as further indication that school reputation is not as important in planning as with other disciplines such as business, law, medicine etc.

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