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Thread: Worth getting a dual-degree?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Worth getting a dual-degree?

    Okay so let's say your are interested in working for a private firm when you get into your career, and also want to work on the creative side of urban design. Does getting a degree in Urban Planning, with a concentration on Urban Design fufill that?

    My big question is, would getting a Dual Master's in Urban Planning (concentration in Urban Design) and also a Master's in Landscape Architecture fufill it even better? What I want to know is would it be worth it? Can I get close to the same job with just a degree in Urban Planning?

    Also, how long would it take to get a dual Master's for those two, if you don't have a BA in either one? I am curious because it is something that I might want to do. I am not particularly interested in LA all that much, but would give it a shot. Don't get me wrong, I think LA would be great but it is not a degree that I would go for all by itself. Thanks for all the help.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    You can get into a master's planning program without a planning BA. A graduate LA program may be nearly impossible without a similar bachelor's. Check some LA schools.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    Actually I already checked and there are a lot of schools, esp. the two that I want to attend that do not require you to have a BA in LA. However they do say that you can add an extra year for your MA in LA if you don't have a BA. That's why I am wondering if it is worth it.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian The District's avatar
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    landscape architecture is highly underrated if you want to do urban design. my advice would be to only pursue an MLA (not a dual degree) and be sure to seek out the urban/hardscape design classes that will probably be offered as architecture classes. talk to someone at the school and explain your dilemna. seriously, landscape architecture is going to serve you REALLY well as an urban designer. an MUP will undoubtedly require classes like economics or statistics that you won't use as a designer. MLA's often look like a horticulture-type degree, but it doesn't have to be that way. and landscape doesn't just mean the natural landscape, it includes ALL types of landscape.

  5. #5
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    Well this may not help much, but I do know that Virginia Tech has a dual master's program for MURP and MLA. I know because I graduated from their undergraduate environmental planning program. I spoke at length with professors about it, and while it advertises the time taking 3 years one faculty member said it ends up closer to 4. Ultimately, I think The District's right about the MLA being more useful from a design standpoint.

    I'm considering the exact same options for the exact same career goals. I recently thought I'd decided on a MURP degree with course substitutions in LA and Architecture, but I've slowly been reconsidering, especially with advice like The District's (and also because I've just gotten an entry level position in a private engineering firm, which may find a MLA degree more useful). Tech has always been good to me with scheduling courses and substitutions, hopefully you'll find a school that'll work with you and be flexible if you consider the one degree route. It varies between departments though. My wife got a finance degree from the VT business school and they were nothing but inflexible for her.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    I guess where I am getting at is that if I pursue a master's in urban planning with a strong focus on urban design will it ever grant me the same type of of work that a degree in Landscape Architecture would? I think I would enjoy doing landscape architecture but it is not what I primarily want to do. Please help with anymore info. Have any of you had an Urban Planning degree with a focus on design? Where did that get you? I know both degrees vary and one will grant more design than the other, but I am just am curious.

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