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Thread: Picking a major

  1. #1
    Apr 2005
    Brooklyn, NY

    Picking a major

    After completing my associates I am now applying for admissions to four year colleges. I am having difficulty deciding what would be the best undergraduate major to prepare me to eventually pursue a Masters in Planning (not sure what specialization yet). My choices are:

    Urban Planning
    Urban Studies

    In addition to wondering which would be best preparation for my masters, I have a few other concerns. Will urban planning as undergraduate major be too redundant. Is GIS as a major overkill if I can take GIS courses with geography. Which will give me job opportunities in the field (or at least a related feel) prior to and during my masters program. Any feedback on these majors would be greatly appreciated!!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Flying Monkeys's avatar
    Sep 2005
    North Florida
    None of the above... Get a degree in something that will pay for the cost of the degree. Just kidding....

    Urban Planning is one of the 'hot' jobs to have according to some recent poll. I was redundant and got an undergrad in planning, and a masters in planning. It was a lot of the same material, but that was my interest. Are you that interested in GIS, or Geography?

    If I did it over I might get the undergrad in Planning, and go on to a law degree (land use). Another track would be the undergrad in planning, then an MBA.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
    Dec 2005
    Wishing I were in Asia somewhere!
    Blog entries
    The beauty of a master's in planning is that many students come from different undergraduate majors. It only makes you more versatile and provides a different perspective on planning.

    Sift through some of the older threads and you will find quite a variety of undergrad majors represented here on Cyburbia. In my current program we have a wide range of majors represented: German, Political Science, Sociology, Education, Engineering, Economics, History, Art, Geography, just to name a few.

    Take what you like, what you have a passion for.
    "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

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
    Apr 2006
    Promoting synergies...
    MAjor in what you love, its your job for the next 2 to 4 years. If you know you are going to get a masters in planning then explore and find something you will enjoy. If thats Urban Planning then your choice is simple.
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
    Jun 2003
    De Noc
    Quote Originally posted by kjelsadek View post
    Take what you like, what you have a passion for.
    Quote Originally posted by Brocktoon View post
    Major in what you love, its your job for the next 2 to 4 years.
    Agree with both of these.
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)

    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
    Jul 2003
    San Diego, CA
    From the list that you have, I would suggest geography. A lot of planners have bachelor's in geography, environmental studies, GIS, or some other related major and a master's in planning. However, a bachelor's in planning could be a shorter path to actually getting a planning job and then you could major in something else for your master's, like public administration, law, or whatever seems appropriate after a little experience in the field gives you insight into what your personal strengths, weaknesses and (above all) interests are.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Clore's avatar
    Mar 2006
    Pub Ad major here... This was my undergrad and grad major... I think it is serving me very well and preparing me in a broad sense for either govt or nonprofit management, which I don't think can hurt )except my social life!)
    I looked at planning as a grad program, but was advised by a career planner to stick with public admin. I prefer flexibility and the ability to move around in similar positions while keeping my eye on the future.
    I've also found that a lot of my coursework prepared me for working with citizen groups, finding/managing funding and dealing with people in general.
    Best of luck!
    ...Moving at the speed of local government

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