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Thread: UT Austin MCRP

  1. #1
    Mar 2006
    Houston, TX

    UT Austin MCRP

    Hi everyone, new here. I've just finished my undergrad and am looking to go into a planning program. Anyone have opinions/advice/warnings/whatever on UT Austin's planning program and their general reputation? Thanks in advance....

    Edited to add: any opinions on UT Arlington are appreciated as well. Thanks!
    Last edited by momerath; 15 Mar 2006 at 2:34 PM.

  2. #2
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
    Jun 2003
    at the neighboring pub
    You might do I quick search on the Student Lounge forum for University of Texas, Austin, Arlington. I think we've had about a dozen threads that talk about it.

    In general, I favor Ut-Arlington over UT-Austin for education. Austin is much, much cooler than Arlington though.

    "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)

  3. #3
    Cyburbian FueledByRamen's avatar
    Oct 2003
    A Dog in a Hat
    I am just finishing up my first year of the UT MSCRP program.

    I also looked at UT Arlington, but the impresion that I got from it was that I would be taking night classes with a bunch of 40-50 year old bureaucrats--besides, Arlington is a city that is the antithesis of modern planning theory and the largest city in the world without public transit.

    About UT Austin...

    General Reputation: It is in the School of Architecture, which was recently ranked as one of the top 5 (or something) schools of architecture in the nation. It is a part of UT-Austin, which, to the non-planner/architect that will hire you, means alot.

    Opinions: As for the program itself...it isn't the most organized outfit in the world (it is run by architects, after all ) but it is in a great location with lots of resources. Students are really free to study whatever interests them, and doing dual degrees (valuable degrees) is deffinitely a reality. Even though it is in the SoA, the program tends to focus more on the social side of planning. We have alot of involvement with Katrina and Rita stuff and there are many connections with state and local government (I, for example, am working through SoA's Center for Sustainable Development as a facilitator for open houses for the Texas Commision on Environmental Quality's Galveston Bay Estuary Program).

    The program is strong in community development, water resource planning, and is really building a sustainability component.

    Transportation is probably the weakest area of the school (it is my specialization) but I feel like I am getting a great education because I am taking the initiative to do my own thing (and I am supported in this). So far, the school has sent me to Madrid (for free) to participate in the SuperCities 2006 International Planning Charette which was put on by the Fundacion Metropoli, U Penn, and the RPA of New York...they have also given me money to do independant research (for my professional report) in Copenhagen, Denmark and Malmo, Sweden.

    Advice: Visit the school and talk to some faculty. If you want, I can give you the info on some people to talk to.

    Also, be prepared to take the initiative. The program isn't highly structured (or structured all that well), but that doesn't mean that you can't get as good of an education here as you can anywhere else.

    Warnings: Be aware of some of the students in the program if you ask them about their opinions...many people think that it is too hard and too demanding. IMO, I don't think some of them should be here. (sorry if that's rude )

    PS...below is something that I wanted to say about why I chose UT.

    I looked at two schools for doing my masters (UT Austin and Portland State University). My decision on UT over PSU was based on two things:

    One, for a state school, PSU's tuition is absolutely ridiculous...even in-state. (PSU's in-state tuition is higher than UT's out-of-state tuition)

    Two, and this is incredibly cynical, but very true... Unless you are going to be applying for a job in the Pacific Northwest, no one is going to have ever heard of Portland State University. The University of Texas at Austin is known around the world.

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