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Thread: Hands-on MUPs in Canada and northeastern US?

  1. #1
    Member
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    Hands-on MUPs in Canada and northeastern US?

    I'm putting some thought into where to pursue a master's in planning in Canada or the central/northeastern US, and would value any insight anyone here could give.

    My broad interests lie in sustainable cities and equity issues in development, and I also want to leave the door open to international ("development") work. I would prefer a hands-on program to a theoretical one.

    So far, in terms of US schools, I've heard good things about NYU, Clark, Portland State and Rutgers for community-oriented programs. In Canada, I hear mixed reviews of U of T and UBC, and I'm curious about Dalhousie. I'm looking hard at McGill for its hands-on approach and the opportunity to take courses in French, but I've also heard it focuses more on design than on policy and decision-making processes.

    Any thoughts? (Don't worry, I realize I'm cutting it close to the application deadlines--it's just how I work best.)

  2. #2
    I was really impressed with NYU, and their focus is on policy (the program is connected to the Law School) . Clark is a community development program right? I'm sure they're interesting because Worcester as a city has a lot of need and a lot of potential.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    Oct 2007
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    Cambridge, MA
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    Cdn. schools

    I certainly know what you mean about cutting it close to the deadline, seeing how I need to finish all of mine in the next week and mail it all out.

    I can't tell you much about the US schools you've mentioned since I'm more interested in design-heavy programs, but I certainly know a little about the Canadian schools.

    First of all I think you are right about McGill--it is a pretty design-oriented program, being co-located with the School of Architecture. I'm also not sure about classes in French--McGill shares some urban design courses with U. de Montreal but classes at McGill proper are conducted in English.

    UofToronto might warrant a second look. From what I could take away by talking to the people in the program it appears to be a very broad program (much like UofT itself) with a solid concentration in policy.

    I don't know if you looked into Queen's at all? I know a graduate from there and he has very good things to say about the program--and it definitely has a policy bent. You probably need to apply soon though since admission is on a rolling basis.

  4. #4
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    thanks!

    Big Green Scott and Torontopian, thanks for replying!

    I'm definitely looking at NYU--the kicker for me will be whether I can afford international tuition and living expenses in NYC! It won't be worth going into large-scale debt for... The drawback to Clark's program is that it looks to have about 50% overlap with my undergrad program (international development studies).

    Torontopian, you're mailing out now for Feb 1 deadlines? You're more than on the ball! The shared courses at UdeM, Laval etc would be the French-language opportunity at McGill. I'm not looking at Queen's at all, only because that's where I went for my undergrad and I'd like to branch out. (Plus, large chunks of campus are going to be under constant major construction, blasting and all, for the next few years, so it'll be a terrible working environment.)

    U of T is looking tops right now in terms of focus, course options and practical opportunities...

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