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Thread: California-Irvine and Cal Poly

  1. #1

    California-Irvine and Cal Poly

    I have not read anything about these two schools except from their website and their brochures. I have applied to these two programs. Does anybody have any input on these two schools?

  2. #2
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    Cal Poly seems to have a good reputation from the people I've talked to. I'm actually starting there this fall. My impression; good professors, a focus on the practical over the conceptual, 2-3 years to complete, decent reputation in the planning community, night classes, people who graduate from there seem to think fondly of it.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Cal Poly versus everyone elese

    Ok, considering i am a graduate from there, my view of the program might be a little skewed, so here goes nothing:

    Cal Poly is one of the better planning schools in california, if not the top. A lot of employers like cal poly grads because they don't have to train them very much right out of the chutte. As a matter of fact, my current company has a pretty good standing with the department (at my office in my planning group, 4 out of 6 of us are cal poly grads, including the principle of the office, not to mention the company was actually founded by cal poly students).

    It does teach a lot of valuable planning knowledge, and dabbles in theroy, although not as much as ucla or uc berkely. If you are doing the undergrad bs, expect a lot of long hour hours in 2nd and 3rd year lab, which are hard core planning labs running the gammet of site planning, sketching, perspectives, and land use plans. Although i hear fro my minions that they toned down the 3rd year lab a bit, still, it would consume approximately 70% of your work load (includes other non-major courses). It gets a lot better by about 4th year lab, which is still time consuming. Also expect to work on real world projects. We worked on a regional planning project for San Luis Obispo county, and then went down to the niddy gritty as a final product we chured out a specific plan for the downtown corridor. The professors there are pretty good and i still keep in touch with a few of them to send good grads my way, but the head of the department in my view does jack.

    If your going after into the grad program, look around instead. There are better grad programs then CP like ucla, cal, and San Jose State.

    Oh and by the way, slo town isn't that bad either with a good bar scene, pismo / avail beach only 15 mins away, great hiking and parks, and a suberp downtown with a lot of cheap eats for students.

    The program does require an internship, and those are hard to come by in slo with only the City, the County and a few companies (including mine) offering very limited internships. I would recommend going home for that (if it is a big city). Good Luck and hope this helps. (sorry for the long winded discussion, beer me please...

  4. #4

    thanks for the replies!

    I applied for the Master's program at U of Washington, Portland State, Cal Poly and UCI. Were you in the master's program at Cal Poly?

    I want to get into International Planning. I've been told if I did ever want to work in Socal I should go to grad school in Socal and not at an out-of-state university. Does anyone agree or disagree?

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Cpsu & Crp

    I graduated with the BS CRP in the undergrad program. The grad program is good if you haven't had any planning experience (excluding any schooling in arch, la, engineering, etc then it is a really good complement as a grad school), but if you have, i would recommend exploring other options, especially if your planning school of thought involve a lot of hands on training and real world experience.

  6. #6

    questions about UCI...

    I'm a current MURP student at UC Irvine. If you do plan to work in SoCal after graduation, it is VERY helpful to go to school here. Planning in CA is different than in other parts of the country, and grad school here connects you with the endless number of jobs are available in this area. The department is diverse and strongest in policy, land-use, transportation, international development, and community development. The weakest area is urban design. You can contact me if you have any specific questions (talula815@yahoo.com).
    Good luck!

  7. #7
    Thanks guys! That is helpful.

    I will email you later.

  8. #8
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    Curious about Cal Poly...

    I usually wouldn't ask this, but since you're talking about schools in the SoCal area... Are you referring to Cal Poly SLO, or Cal Poly Pomona?

  9. #9

    Cal Poly

    I am talking about Cal Poly Pomona.

  10. #10
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    Cal Poly Pomona...

    I went to Cal Poly Pomona for undergrad. I can't compare it's cirriculum to other schools, but i can tell you what I learned (which may be different for graduate school).

    As a student, I studied urban design, policy, and planning history, and I learned basic urban planning principles (variances, EIRs, everything associated with development), while taking classes in research methods class, a community development class, a historic preservation class, a class planning project for a particular site, and a bunch of electives including transportation planning, international planning, more classes on policy, environmental planning, etc. You will be doing a lot of projects and assignments that require going to different cities, including planning departments, city council/planning commission meetings, site visits, etc. You'll probably be going around Pomona a lot, which isn't that fun because Pomona isn't the nicest city out there.

    Of course, my classmates and I had our share of teachers we liked and didn't like. You'll find that out right away. Ha ha The building isn't the nicest, and parking is hard to find. Pomona is such a commuter school, and the area around it isn't that exciting.

    OK, I hope this helps.

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