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Thread: Master of science in urban design

  1. #1

    Master of science in urban design

    A number of schools are offering post-professional degrees in urban design, such as Georgia Tech, City College (NY), Michigan, Cal-Berkeley, etc.

    Does anyone know what these degrees can potentially do for a graduate? You typically need a MUP or a degree in Architecture or Landscape Architecture to be admitted.

    I have a MCRP from Rutgers and have been working for 4 years in the NJ area. My current job is great, but I see most of the interesting planning work going to more design based firms and professionals.

    What good would it be for me to take about 8 months off of my job to get this degree? Would it allow me to gain any other certifications? Would I be able to do more design work either with my firm or at a more architecture/planning based firm?

    I want to find out as much information as possible to figure out if this is something that will be worth my time professionally. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    Dec 2006
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    midwest
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    I would first talk with people in your firm (maybe they might offer you tuition reimbursement). I would also do informational interviews with other firms to get more feedback (use discretion).

    Urban design programs are a mixed batch. I have offered feedback on several design portfolios from architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design students. Most of the arch and LA folios are very similar in terms of content and will vary by quality. Urban design folios are all over the place: some students do CDs (construction documents), grading plans, stormwater, etc. and a few students included mostly photographs, artwork, sculpture, and maps (what the...).

    A "good" urban design program is really an extension of an architecture school. It is very studio intense, and will take anywhere from 2-3 years to complete. If you have an MArch you might be able to shave off a year. I would be very cautious about an 8-month program, especially for students who don't have a design background.

    Hope this helps-

  3. #3
    http://www.coa.gatech.edu/ud/

    Here is the link to the program of most interest to me.

    Personally I would like to be more involved in urban design.

    I know of some planner who only have a MCRP that work in the field of planning/design, but I would think the chances of design work would increase for me if I had a 1 year post professional degree in Urban Design. Is this assumption accurate?

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jun 2006
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    Island-State Republic of Singapore
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    Quote Originally posted by RU_Planning View post
    http://www.coa.gatech.edu/ud/

    Here is the link to the program of most interest to me.

    Personally I would like to be more involved in urban design.

    I know of some planner who only have a MCRP that work in the field of planning/design, but I would think the chances of design work would increase for me if I had a 1 year post professional degree in Urban Design. Is this assumption accurate?
    That would be accurate, although I think you would be better off with a postgraduate Architecture or Landscape Architecture degree with an Urban Design emphasis.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Illinois
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    It's my understanding that design work is usually contingent on a portfolio. As someone that's working to build the skills necessary to create and produce something portfolio-worthy, I would be wary of an 8-month program if you truly wish to break into design without a graphic arts/design background.

    I've come to understand that the 3 years for a MLA/MArch is pretty much as long as it's going to take to produce professional work.

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