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Thread: General questions about urban studies & grad school

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Seattle, WA USA
    Posts
    70

    General questions about urban studies & grad school

    Hello, new to the forums here.

    I have recently been accepted to the University of Washington's Urban Studies program @ their Tacoma campus and I'm pretty excited.

    I also plan to get a GIS certification. I love the city and hopefully one day I can be apart of the process that helps make the city what it is.

    I am nervous though. At the community college I took lots of math and computer science courses. I really didn't take too many research or writing intensive courses except for a technical writing class and English 102 (<- the 20 pages research class everyone in WA has to take) - talking with my advisor she advised me most of the courses in the Urban Studies program are pretty writing intensive. Curious, are we talking big 20 - 30 pages research papers?

    What I liked about my Micro and Macro economics courses were the applications of theories using graphs to predict and explain things - is their a lot of that, graphs, functions and formulas to apply things to?

    and a few people who've taken GIS courses say my computer background will help when it comes to GIS courses - is this true?

    (sorry for all the questions)

    and finally...I'm 33 and I'll be done when I'm 35. Is it a good idea to go straight to grad school (Hopefully the UW's MUP program) right out of undergrad? Or maybe work for a year or two and see what's really going on?

    Thanks, and I appreciate any and all help I can get. I look forward to contributing more when I can

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  2. #2
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Aug 2007
    Location
    SC
    Posts
    133
    I have an Urban Studies degree from a public liberal arts college. Many of the courses were writing-intense. The writing requirements were different for each class. I think I only had one or two classes that required a 20-30 page research paper. Most of my courses had a mix of 5 and 10-page papers. Most of my courses had 2-3 tests and 2-3 papers.

    If you are not accustomed to writing, the exams may pose more issues for you than the papers. The papers you may have 3 weeks or longer to complete. Many of the exams I took were all essay or 2/3 writing. Answering 2 or more essay questions in an hour can seem daunting.

    One of the skills I learned early on was to outline. For any question requiring more than a paragraph of response, I would sketch a quick outline of 3-4 topics I wanted to hit on in the essay and I would jot down a few key names/figures/points that I knew the professor would be looking for. That way I would be sure to incorporate the important stuff instead of just rambling on.

    Most universities have some sort of tutoring program or other academic support system. Urban Studies is a very interesting field. Don't let the writing requirement psych you out!

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Seattle, WA USA
    Posts
    70
    Quote Originally posted by anf View post

    Most universities have some sort of tutoring program or other academic support system. Urban Studies is a very interesting field. Don't let the writing requirement psych you out!

    I appreciate the response. Good call on utilizing tutoring centers for exam prep and essay test taking skills. Probably one of the first things I'll look into when fall quarter starts

    thanks

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