I have just discovered this site and am excited to have found an audience for my many planning related questions. First off though, I am interested in learning more about how planning graduate programs compare and what you all would advise I consider in choosing where to apply.
I'd like to focus on physical planning and design, though I am also interested in land use and sustainability. Do programs that are a part of an architecture school differ greatly from others that are not?
I have a BA in American Studies and only recently was seduced by the field of urban planning, so needless to say I have no planning background besides a six week career discovery program at Harvard Design School. How hard is it to get into a grad program with little background experience? Should I try to find a job in the field or volunteer to first get some experience?
Are there rankings of programs? I have not found anything of this sort. But also, how important is the program you go in terms of job marketability afterwards? How much does the prestige of a program matter to employers, or is just having a degree all they care about?
So lots of questions, please respond to any or all of my quandries.
Thanks for the help!