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Thread: Where to go

  1. #1

    Where to go

    Hi,

    My name is Dan, I'm 17, I am a senior in High School, and live in the north NJ area. This summer i was stuck home without a car and discovered mass transit's power to get me to the city (there is a bus from my block to NYC, and I'm 10 minutes from Newark) and the power of mass transit to get me around the city. All of this has led me to a new interest in.... the lay out of things like trains, subways, bus routes..... Now that the summer is over i am back in school and looking into college,prior to this summer i had been interested in politics, law, public policy, and computers (networking and less so programing, not engineering). What is the best, school, degree, and in the long run carrier path\profession for me? I have mediocre skills in math (I have spent most of my life holding on for dear life and just making it in honors math classes, but when it comes to programing logic i have no problem) which really seems to me to rule out any degrees in engineering.

    Thank you for the input,

    Dan Irwin

  2. #2
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Planning of course! But as an undegrad I would study political science, economics, public administration, environmental issues, or urban studies. Then go for a master of planning, many programs have a transportation emphasis w/o killing you with engineering courses. Some schools offer an undergrad degree in planning but most places require a graduate degree, majoring in something different as an undergrad helps bring different perspectives to a grad planning program. Rutgers in your backyard offers a joint BA in Urban Studies/MCRP in Planning.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

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    Cyburbian bocian's avatar
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    Transportation Planning would work best for you. My choice would be undergraduate in whatever interests you and graduate degree in Transportation Planning -- Rutgers in New Brunswick offers a professional City Planning degree + you can specialize in Transportation AND in addition also obtain a Transportation Civil Engineering certificate as long as you take one course in the engineering department. (and that's what I did -- and can inform you which course is the 'easy one' to take for us, planners... )

  4. #4
    Quote Originally posted by kjelsadek View post
    Planning of course! But as an undegrad I would study political science, economics, public administration, environmental issues, or urban studies. Then go for a master of planning, many programs have a transportation emphasis w/o killing you with engineering courses. Some schools offer an undergrad degree in planning but most places require a graduate degree, majoring in something different as an undergrad helps bring different perspectives to a grad planning program. Rutgers in your backyard offers a joint BA in Urban Thank you for the help.
    Does Rutgers program cut off any years? I cant find

    Does anyone know anything about Wagner (NYU's school)? If i wanted to go there should i bend over back should i start tyeing myself in knots to try and go to NYU undergrad?

    The other campuses that I've looked and liked have thought of are GW, NYU, Binghamton, U. Maryland, and maybe Brandies or anything in the CUNY system - are any of them notable in these area (up till now the only one worth shelling out $$$ over was GW because of its location if i went into politics or NYU because of its education [and location], maybe...)

    Thanks again,

    Dan

    One last thing: has anyone seen people going to NYU's Gallatin school (you form your own degree) and then going into these feilds?
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 19 Nov 2006 at 7:49 PM. Reason: double reply

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    Cyburbian njm's avatar
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    My response (as someone who has not yet entered grad school but will be next fall) is that of a former professor: one degree at a time.

    It's hard for us to give concise recommendations becuase you are the one who best knows what kind of environment you excel in. With that in mind, visit a few schools of particular interest, talk to some faculty in key departments (geography, econ, sociology, poli sci) about students who've gone on to MURP programs and any feedback those students gave. almost any incoming MURP class will have people from big name schools sitting next to alums of regional colleges. What you do (i.e. activities, acadmeic success, diversity of curriculum, and rapport with profs who will eventually write your reccomendations) is more important than the name of the institution on top of the transcript.
    What luck! A random assemblage of words never sounded less intelligent.

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    Cyburbian The District's avatar
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    i agree with bocian. do whatever you want for your undergrad, then specialize in your graduate studies. chances are that your choice for undergrad will have some relation to your graduate work, but avoids excessive overlap. also, don't get a ton of loans for your undergrad. if your parents can afford to send you to NYU, fine, but otherwise, go somewhere cheaper for your first degree. save your money for your graduate degree. i don't know much about NYU's program, but if you want to work in NYC, it's probably a good place to be.

  7. #7
    I agree with that, to get into NYU is a verry large strech for me and i'm afrid that when i get there i will find everything the city has to offer beside education. Rutgers is close enfough (30-45 min train ride going from 4am till almost 2 am) and chaeap enfough.

    What are the undergrad requirments for most urban planing programs?

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    What I would suggest is that you start, before talking about university and masters programs, is physically talking to planners in the area. Get to know some of them and see if that is really what you want to do. If you find out that you really like planning, and have a good relationship with some planners locally, skip going to some pretensious university. I went to four, and found out that if you want to get a job in planning, it's not what you know, but who you know. Sure, people are looking for a good education, but to get your foot in the door you have to know people.
    I suggest that you find out if you really want to be a planner or not. If so, go to college, if you are not 100% sure then go to university. Either way, keep talking to people you are doing the right thing.
    Good luck

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    As an NYU grad...My two cents

    NYU is a great school, but you really have to be proactive in seeking out opportunities and making the effort to find some sort of community - it is not remotely like a university experience - basically you live in New York and take classes...which is why I think it's a better place for graduate school. It's a lot to handle at age eighteen (of course I was too stubborn to admit that maybe somewhere else would have been better for me!)

    I know the College of Arts & Science has a Metropolitan Studies major, which is obviously very New York centric, and yes, you can design your own major at Gallatin and take courses across the university - of everyone I went to college with, the Gallatin kids definitely enjoyed their experience the most. Just have a designed major that people can make sense of like "Urban Studies and Regional Economics" and not, say "Implications of Historical Narrative in Latin American Literature" because marketing that degree if you ever want a job is kind of a challenge.

    I'm also from DC and am quite familiar with GW - even though it's an urban campus, there's more of a sense of community there - you're traveling three blocks from your dorm to class, instead of multiple subway stops. And the advantage of being in school in DC during the academic year is that you can intern on the Hill and other policy organizations during the school year instead of competing with people all over the country for summer internships.

    I am very fortunate in that financing such a pricey education wasn't such a concern, but expensive college tuition + cities with high cost of living is certainly difficult and no college is worth student loans that cripple your choices once you graduate. If you have a choice though, I'd advocate leaving New Jersey for college - if only to widen your backyard a bit.

    My boyfriend went to University of Wisconsin Madison and had the time of his life and he said the urban planning classes he took were great, if difficult to get an A in, as they are "weed-out" courses. Also, University of Maryland has a good planning program and is close enough to DC to take advantage of the city as well.

    Hope this helps, good luck!

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Cal_Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by bocian View post
    Transportation Planning would work best for you. My choice would be undergraduate in whatever interests you and graduate degree in Transportation Planning -- Rutgers in New Brunswick offers a professional City Planning degree + you can specialize in Transportation AND in addition also obtain a Transportation Civil Engineering certificate as long as you take one course in the engineering department. (and that's what I did -- and can inform you which course is the 'easy one' to take for us, planners... )
    you'll probably need a couple years of calculus and linear algebra for the transportation engineering - well at least that is the case at Berkeley....

    since when does one get into honors math with "mediocre skills"?
    Cheers!

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