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Thread: Geography or Community Development??

  1. #1
    Member
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    Geography or Community Development??

    Hey all-
    I recently enrolled to Portland State University as a transfer student because of interest in urban studies and planning. I declared myself as a community development major in aims to pursue a career in urban design and issues related to downtown revitilization.
    Approaching the end of this term I have talked with advisors and tracked my schooling progress and have one year left, three terms of classes before I can graduate with a degree in community development. Through taking classes in this program I have realized that it isnt all I thought it to be unless you plan on moving forward to attend a graduate program in urban planning and the classes have become more and more community based, such as working with non-profits and neighborhood organizations, which really has drained my motivation for the program.
    I have taken a few geography courses in relation to my program and I have never used the program GIS but it is very intriguing to me because of its much more visual style of learning and planning. I could finish out my community development major and go for a minor in geography to take a few GIS courses or I could switch my major to Geography, which would be the last term in which this choice would make any sense as far as my progress and how far along I am in school. If I switched my major to Geography I would still have about three terms left maybe having to take one more, but I would also already have to requirements for a minor in community development.
    For all the people who are involved in GIS and to the people who work more on a design approach to urban planing and downtown revitilization I would love suggestions on this issue. I love maps and am so intrigued by this program, and have lost a lot of motivation to continue this community based learning I have got myself into.
    I also have been looking for internships dealing with GIS for this coming summer of 07', preferably in San Francisco, so if anyone knows of particular places in that city that would be advantageous, or has any other suggestions, or more questions to gain a better understanding of my situation it would be much appreciated.
    Thanks guys...

  2. #2
    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
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    would it be possible for you to switch from the Community Planning track to a Land Use track? that way you might be able to use many of the same classes yet still get some exposure to GIS and possibly not have to stick around around for an additional semester. i would suggest taking a GIS class or two before switching majors.

    check out GIS Clearinghouse for available jobs/internships.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    Psu

    Sorry this doesn't answer your question. I am wondering how you like PSU? I am applying to their MURP program for next fall.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Ah....

    Whatever you do, don't get both an undergrad and graduate planning degree, mix it up a bit with geography, ancient sumerian mythology or something really useful like Phrenology
    Skilled Adoxographer
    I have two emotions....Silence and Rage

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally posted by zplan View post
    Sorry this doesn't answer your question. I am wondering how you like PSU? I am applying to their MURP program for next fall.
    I'm not going to lie, it's a great program. The professors in the Urban Studies programs are great, really engaging and all of them love it. Portland is an awesome city to study and the facilities are real nice, fairly new building where your classes are at. I have taken a couple of the USP grad split undergrad courses and they all were great classes. What are you trying to do after the grad program, because going to PSU also depends on what your loking for out of it, youll most likely find your job locally and never leave if you like it. Me, I've lived in Portland all my life and I'm ready for something new, I recently visited New York and Chicago and fell in love with how big the cities are and just how different people are.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian munibulldog's avatar
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    Get your undergrad done in as short of time as you can, then go explore the world a bit. Then get a masters in whatever feels right at the time.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    MrKing -
    Contact Anatolio Ubalde in San Francisco. He's with a company called GIS Planning. They've been around now for close to 10 years. He could talk to you about the GIS industry and maybe internship opportunities there in SanFran. The reason he would be a good person for you to talk with is he actually used to be a land use planner in the public sector before going to work for this company & he would probably be helpful.
    GIS Planning, Inc.
    333 Bryant Street, Suite 340
    San Francisco, CA 94107
    Main Phone: (415) 294-4775

    Good luck to you!!

  8. #8
    Gunfighter Mastiff's avatar
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    I have a Landscape Architecture degree with a Geog minor, and I ended up as a Community Development Director. I agree with MuniBulldog, get the degree and the minor as quick as you can, then worry about a grad degree later.

    In fact, as much as I see "masters degree preferred", I find they'd rather have the real world experience.

    Just my $0.02
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