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Thread: Michigan M.U.D.

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Michigan M.U.D.

    I have just browsed threads back to October '05 and did not see this topic, so here goes.

    Can anyone give firsthand accounts (or second or third, for that matter) of the Master of Urban Design program at Michigan Taubman School? I am finishing up my first year M.S.U.P. @ Columbia and realizing that I will not be able to get an urban design education in this program. Thinking about doing a second masters... Michigan is the only UD program I have come across that admits people from a UP background rather than just Architecture. One more year of school to learn Urban Design, rather than 3 for an Arch or Landscape Arch degree, is appealing.

    But, I am wondering what the value of this degree will be - will having UP and UD degrees, but no Architecture degree, actually allow me to get employed in design? Or should I just forget the MUD and go on for a M.Arch or MLA? (and swallow three more years of school?)

  2. #2
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Well, I got my MUP from TCAUP in 2002, which was also the first year for the MUD degree. I did not have initimate knowledge of the internal workings of the degree program, but I believe is was more of a hybrid of Arch & UP with more theoritical basis in UP and much more studio time than the typical UP program.

    As for your desireability for design job with a MUD over an M.Arch, I can't really answer that one.
    Last edited by mendelman; 25 Apr 2006 at 10:00 AM.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Wannaplan?'s avatar
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    The MUD is a good program. Good for urban planning students who want another year of graduate level education. You will learn quite a bit. However, I think an LA or Arch grad program is more rigorous and employers know what those degrees are about.

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    Does Michigan Taubman have a good Urban Planning department?

    Is it well-respected as Harvard, MIT, and Berkeley?

  5. #5
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    mendelman explains things pretty much from where I see their program. I started out in architecture, but abandoned it completely for the policy side, so I chose schools that highlighted policy theory, and race, not so much in the way of design.

    U of M does have a good program, its just rather insulated. I always liked how they made the kids go to Detroit every year to help save it. I found it kind of funny that Wayne and U of D both have similar programs as Taubman, most of its students live in the City or inner ring suburbs, but these outsiders with only design and marketing training would put toogether presentations that in some cases would not invovle the neighborhood residents, and include odd things such as *$ coffee shops in neighborhoods where you can't even buy underwear.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner
    U of M does have a good program, its just rather insulated. I always liked how they made the kids go to Detroit every year to help save it. I found it kind of funny that Wayne and U of D both have similar programs as Taubman, most of its students live in the City or inner ring suburbs, but these outsiders with only design and marketing training would put toogether presentations that in some cases would not invovle the neighborhood residents, and include odd things such as *$ coffee shops in neighborhoods where you can't even buy underwear.
    Would you say that Michigan is more design-oriented or policy-oriented?

    Even though I have some background in studio art and design, I prefer policy. Michigan Taubman needs more black students, especially Detroiters. As a Michigan resident, do you think I would benefit more school-wise at places such as Penn and MIT ? I don't want to take out massive loans for a graduate degree in Urban Planning if I can receive a similar education for less at Michigan.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    You would have to ask mendleman for sure, but he seems to validate that it is.

    Penn and MIT are great schools, but is it worth it to go through that kind of program? Urban Planners do not make big money. Don't get me wrong, they can live a pretty good life, but you're never going to see me wear an Armani suit to a public meeting (a Pangborn tie, sure, but not the Armani).

    If you're looking for policy schools, you might want to try Wayne or Michigan State; and keep your expenditures down even more. For a bit more coin you could try UDM or LTU; but they are not really urban planning driven, more architectural design with the advantage of being able to take some law courses with UDM.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  8. #8
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by anonbhmres
    Would you say that Michigan is more design-oriented or policy-oriented?
    Urban Planning, as a profession, is generally more policy, than design oriented. And TCAUP's MUP program is more policy/theory based, but has great opportunities for design training, being part of architecture school.

    If policy is what you desire, then go for TCAUP's MUP and take a couple of the design studios for basic design experience, plus you could dual degree with the Public Policy school and also get a master's of public policy (MPP).

    If you have any other questions about TCAUP's MUP, let me know.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

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    Thanks guys, I'm looking at Michigan's TCAUP because I don't plan to live in Michigan for the rest of my life. I also have aspirations to do a PhD (History -- hopefully at the University of Pennsylvania!). I'm still not sure how an MUP or MUP/MPP would fit into my overall career goals. Therefore, I need a nationally-recognized school that can/will open career doors for me.

  10. #10
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by anonbhmres
    Thanks guys, I'm looking at Michigan's TCAUP because I don't plan to live in Michigan for the rest of my life. I also have aspirations to do a PhD (History -- hopefully at the University of Pennsylvania!). I'm still not sure how an MUP or MUP/MPP would fit into my overall career goals. Therefore, I need a nationally-recognized school that can/will open career doors for me.
    If you ultimately desire a PhD in History, I see little benefit of a MUP/MPP, unless as a fall back, in case being a professional PhDed historian doesn't pay the bills.

    Good luck, though. It sound like you have aspirations to be a professional student.
    Last edited by mendelman; 08 May 2006 at 3:13 PM.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  11. #11
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by anonbhmres
    Thanks guys, I'm looking at Michigan's TCAUP because I don't plan to live in Michigan for the rest of my life.
    What?? Leave Shangri-La of the Snowbelt?

    I figured mendelman would have a better answer than mine was. I don't know the U of M program all that well. I only know it through observation of students. As I mentioned earlier, that Grads from it seem to know what they are doing through my work contacts.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  12. #12
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    Hi Mendelman, I saw this thread in the archives.

    I am considering Michigan Taubman. What are the pros and cons of the program??

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Dashboard's avatar
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    Originally posted by unless
    But, I am wondering what the value of this degree will be - will having UP and UD degrees, but no Architecture degree, actually allow me to get employed in design? Or should I just forget the MUD and go on for a M.Arch or MLA? (and swallow three more years of school?)
    This is the exact question I have. I have been contemplating a 2nd masters for a while and I go back and forth. I already have a MURP. For the MUD to only take one more year, it is quite appealing...or would the three-year MLA be better? Mainly, I am just trying to figure out if either would be worth it.

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