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Thread: Urban Studies

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Urban Studies

    Would getting my bachelors in Urban Studies be a good start for later obtaining my masters in City and regional planning?

  2. #2
         
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    Quote Originally posted by Future_Planner
    Would getting my bachelors in Urban Studies be a good start for later obtaining my masters in City and regional planning?
    It would absolutely be a good start but planners come from all different backgrounds. Like anything else, you'll get out of your degree what you put into it.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Yes, I co-majored in geography and urban studies. Urban studies has some major benefits in terms of public policy, which is only glossed over in most other non-mpa programs.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

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    Cyburbian supergeek1313's avatar
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    I majored in History but did my focus within the major in Urban History; luckily my school had enough courses in the subject for me to okay this with the department (most people focus at a time period or place in their specialization). My school has an Urban Studies program but I didn't know about it when I declared my major, and by the time I found out more about the program I was very far along in History and didn't want to swap.

    I think Urban Studies is a great major if you want an interdisciplinary major. At my school there's a core of Urban Studies classes that majors have to take accompanied by a specialization - like Economics, PoliSci, Sociology, History - with classes that relate to cities. The major culminates in a thesis that can be anything from a comparative look at two cities to doing field work in NYC.

    Since I didn't have this major, I mentioned relevant coursework - such as GIS and Land Use Planning - in my application to show that I was genuinely interested in the subject other than my work in the history dept. I don't even think that you need to do that much - when I spoke to schools basically any major was okay.

    So to be extremely wordy for a simple point - if you want to major in Urban Studies because you're very interested in it, then do so. But if you want to major in English or Anthropology do that. Either way you can get into an MUP program.

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    Cyburbian fructa's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by supergeek1313
    So to be extremely wordy for a simple point - if you want to major in Urban Studies because you're very interested in it, then do so. But if you want to major in English or Anthropology do that. Either way you can get into an MUP program.
    Agreed. My majors were Theater and Philosophy, and they're no hindrance to getting into an MUP thus far.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    My undergraduate degree is in Political Science and Public Administration with a heavy dose of economics and I have been admitted to MURP programs easily.

    If you want to major in Urban Studies because it's what you like then do so, but don't just do it because you plan to take an MUP/MURP/MCRP in the future. You may find something far more interesting to study in your undergraduate career. I'd recommend taking your general studies classes which usually cover a broad range of disciplines and then decide what to major in.

    It's entirely acceptable to apply to a master's program of a different discipline than your undergraduate degree. Many grad programs like to admit people from different backgrounds for the diversity and different perspectives it brings to the program.

  7. #7
    Member CosmicMojo's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by kjelsadek
    It's entirely acceptable to apply to a master's program of a different discipline than your undergraduate degree. Many grad programs like to admit people from different backgrounds for the diversity and different perspectives it brings to the program.
    Yeah, you might think about what would broaden your knoweldge more than 2 degrees in similar disciplines. A background in economics, for examle, would increase your knowledge once you get the MURP and fewer of the grad couses would be repeats of classes you took in undergrad.

  8. #8
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    Definitely true. But as a passionate urban studies major about to graduate from college I would have to say that what makes urban studies so great is that you can take a few economics courses and have it count towards your major. You can also take law courses, sociology courses, anth courses, etc and have them count towards your major as well. Urban studies is interdisiplinary, and it seems to me there's no worry about focusing too much (unless you choose to focus "too much") when you take that route. Of course, maybe other urban studies programs are more restrictive and not so interdisplinary...

    On the flip side, should you decide you don't want to get a MURP at a later date, an urban studies major prepares you and exposes you to a lot of other things and you can choose something else that you found. In my opinion college should be about learning all sorts of things, and not specializing much, so that you can be confident about what you want to do afterwards. If you end up going for a MA in something "similar," at least you know that's what you want to do.


    Quote Originally posted by CosmicMojo
    Yeah, you might think about what would broaden your knoweldge more than 2 degrees in similar disciplines. A background in economics, for examle, would increase your knowledge once you get the MURP and fewer of the grad couses would be repeats of classes you took in undergrad.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    It's the old argument of whether efficiency or inefficiency provides a better education

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
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    Well my urban studies programs requires courses in planning,sociology, public adminstration, urban politics, and rewuires a minor up to 18 hours whic is great to broaden mt knowledge as mentioned before. It is also great that a rewuirement is an internship.

  11. #11
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Laredo Urbanist
    Well my urban studies programs requires courses in planning,sociology, public adminstration, urban politics, and rewuires a minor up to 18 hours whic is great to broaden mt knowledge as mentioned before. It is also great that a rewuirement is an internship.
    Jack of all trades and master of none problem?

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