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Thread: Cal Poly Pomona MURP Program reputation outside of CA

  1. #1

    Cal Poly Pomona MURP Program reputation outside of CA

    I've been poking around threads in Cyburbia, and I've been seeing that the CPP MURP program is well regarded in CA/ west coast. However, do agencies and firms outside of CA know of the CPP MURP program? If I graduated from CPP and wanted to look for entry level planning positions outside of CA (let's say Midwest or East Coast), would I have a hard time doing so? Or does school reputation barely matter at all? Thanks!

    FYI I'm looking into Cal Poly Pomona because I heard they had a really strong Environmental Policy specialization track and also because their tuition is very low compared to that of USC and UCLA.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Plus
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    As many here have said many times before, besides the degree that you are getting, do you have / are you getting any internship/part-time work experience ?

    Some believe/know/value this order of importance
    1 - internship/part-time work experience
    2 - name of the degree - that it is an accredited program
    3 - name of school

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    You'll just have to work harder in seeking out alumni who have gone out of state, internships out of state, make national contacts by attending conferences, etc.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally posted by JNA View post
    As many here have said many times before, besides the degree that you are getting, do you have / are you getting any internship/part-time work experience ?

    Some believe/know/value this order of importance
    1 - internship/part-time work experience
    2 - name of the degree - that it is an accredited program
    3 - name of school
    I recently came back to CA after having worked on a political campaign in the Midwest as a researcher for a little over a year, and have had 2 non profit internships under my belt in project management and fundraising. Right now, I'm just researching which schools I should apply to for grad school and am currently looking into getting relevant work/internship experience to help me with my resume.

    I'm looking into becoming an environmental planner, and I read that CPP is one of the top schools (and one of the most affordable) for that career tract. I'm not sure if I have the GPA to aim for schools with brand names like Berkeley or UIUC, though (BA Sociology from a top 25 school, 3.26 GPA)
    Last edited by jmun; 09 Feb 2017 at 7:24 PM.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian tbagato's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jmun View post
    I've been poking around threads in Cyburbia, and I've been seeing that the CPP MURP program is well regarded in CA/ west coast. However, do agencies and firms outside of CA know of the CPP MURP program? If I graduated from CPP and wanted to look for entry level planning positions outside of CA (let's say Midwest or East Coast), would I have a hard time doing so? Or does school reputation barely matter at all? Thanks!

    FYI I'm looking into Cal Poly Pomona because I heard they had a really strong Environmental Policy specialization track and also because their tuition is very low compared to that of USC and UCLA.
    I graduated from Cal Poly SLO in 2001, and recently moved to the Midwest by accepting a Director job. The California experience and schooling helped me here.

  6. #6
    I'd recommend going to a college in the Midwest or East if that is your end goal.

    While chasing the $ and the strong program is very intriguing, you want to build your local network - the best way to do that is by going to a school in the area that you see yourself living!


    Unsure if you were aware of all of the PAB accredited schools in/around midwest (APA Region IV):
    Univ. of Minnesota
    Iowa St. Univ.
    Missouri St. Univ.
    Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison
    Univ. of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
    Univ. of Illinois - Chicago
    Univ. of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign
    Ball St. Univ.
    Michigan St. Univ.
    Univ. of Cincinnati
    Eastern Mich. Univ.
    Ohio St. Univ.
    Cleveland St. Univ.
    Last edited by lmacniven; 12 Feb 2017 at 12:13 AM.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    talk to current students/alumni

    I assume you've already applied. If not, first step is just to do that. Once you've been accepted, visit the program during their Open House for admitted students and ask these questions. Ask to see a list of where alumni have ended up. Talk to current students about where they are interning.

    Ultimately it really depends on your abilities to network and put yourself out there, but that can be a lot easier if you go to a program that has connections with alumni living in the region you want to work in.

    Figure out where it is that you want to end up. Also realize that people move all the time and it's not that big of a deal. There are other ways of maintaining ties back in your home state. For example, I went to both undergrad and grad planning school out of state but chose to do half of my internships in my home state as a way to build experience and relationships in both places should I ever decide to move back.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Plus dvdneal's avatar
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    It's sad to hear, but your school reputation holds less weight outside of your home state. Like JNA said, as long as it's an accredited program and not from the New South Arizona School of Drawing you're okay. If you're picking a college, I would find a college in the region I want to work. If you want to work in Montana, go to school in Montana. They'll have more networking opportunities and alumni support to get you hired.

    The other way to look at it, if I wanted to work for NASA I'd figure out where everyone is getting their degrees that NASA is hiring and go there. That school must have something they want.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

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