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Thread: Are online MUP degrees held in high regard?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Are online MUP degrees held in high regard?

    As some of you know, I am planning on going back to school in a few years to earn an MLA (and practice both planning and LA after school). I don't want to work on a dual degree with planning if I can avoid it. Since I already practice as a planner, the MUP is really just added credentials and I would rather pick it up on the side if I needed it when going after bigger projects as a consultant after grad school.

    The Ohio State, K-State, and a few other schools offer online degrees (not certificates). Do you guys still hold these programs in high regard?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    I am wondering the same thing -

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    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Online Degrees

    I was looking into this at one point, namely Iowa State's program (when they had it, I think they don't anymore).
    I asked my (then) Director what he thought as someone who evaluates new staff based upion resumes. I was told that an online Master's degree would look pretty good to hiring directors/managers. He told me about his thoughts on the applicant's character. If he/she was worked on and received an online degree, all the while working towards a career (or another degree) and perhaps had family obligations; it would speak volumes to that applicants drive and character.

    As for the opinions of the Planning Establishment, that I do not know.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

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    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN View post
    Online Degrees


    I asked my (then) Director what he thought as someone who evaluates new staff based upion resumes. I was told that an online Master's degree would look pretty good to hiring directors/managers. He told me about his thoughts on the applicant's character. If he/she was worked on and received an online degree, all the while working towards a career (or another degree) and perhaps had family obligations; it would speak volumes to that applicants drive and character.

    .
    I would have to agree with your former boss. That being said, on the flip-side, if it was a 20-something who had no family or professional career, and still did the online thing, I may look negatively on that.

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    Cyburbian MazerRackham's avatar
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    Two thoughts -

    First, I have an MPA from a traditional classroom setting and an MS from an online program. I can honestly say that I learned at least as much in the online format. How much you learn in either setting is wholly up to you...to a degree.

    Second, that being said, I would definitely seek an online degree from a respected school with a brick and mortar campus, such as the ones you mentioned. I don't know that I would think highly of a degree from a totally online school.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    I haven't met anyone yet who has done an online university. But I don't believe your degree says Online. If you get a degree from K-State Online or not your degree will only say Urban Planning K-State.
    @GigCityPlanner

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    Thanks for the replies. I would only do a second planning degree if several potential employers (or clients) on planning projects would still prefer an MUP over a BUP + planning experience + an MLA. Most places I have seen require an MUP, MLA, MArch or something similar so I am not too too worried

    If more and more brick and mortar schools are beginning to offer online degrees, I wonder if this might eventually lead to a change in how planning is taught. Planning is a growing profession, and as schools churn out more planners and the profession becomes larger, more schools over the next 10-15 years might branch out and offer entire degree programs online to cater towards working professionals, parents going back to school, etc.

    Starting college in architecture, switching to planning, and going into landscape architecture for grad school, I still don't think planning schools have the same type of "hands-on" instruction required for these related professions. Most, but not all of my planning courses, have little to do with what I do now. I think it would also pose a challenge for PAB to accedit new online programs in universities that did not have a pre-established planning program(s).

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