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Thread: Advice on choosing urban planning schools?

  1. #1
    Member
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    chicago, IL
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    Advice on choosing urban planning schools?

    Alright-
    So I know that I'm walking well treaded territory here but I really need better direction on how to choose a school for Urban Planning. I have a BS in Economics and am pretty set on wanting to study in a school located in or very near an established urban environment. I need access to good internships and I guess I want something that's accredited. I also would love to have the ability to work in different parts of the world. My questions are:

    a) Is picking an "accredited" program extremely important?

    b) What kind of tests do I need to take to be accepted into a grad program?
    (GRE?)

    c) Should I have a better idea of what I want to concentrate on within Urban Planning before I seek out to get my MUP like transportation planning, economic etc?

    d) What kind of academic factors affect what kind of scholarships I can get?


    e) Does anyone have any other advice that would help me or recommendations on schools?

    f) Is there someplace I can go to that can answer general questions like these for me (like a book or organization) so that I don't have to keep bothering people?!

    Any help is appreciated!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    May 2007
    Location
    Portland, OR
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    98
    Quote Originally posted by tallmf View post
    Alright-
    So I know that I'm walking well treaded territory here but I really need better direction on how to choose a school for Urban Planning. I have a BS in Economics and am pretty set on wanting to study in a school located in or very near an established urban environment. I need access to good internships and I guess I want something that's accredited. I also would love to have the ability to work in different parts of the world. My questions are:

    a) Is picking an "accredited" program extremely important?

    b) What kind of tests do I need to take to be accepted into a grad program?
    (GRE?)

    c) Should I have a better idea of what I want to concentrate on within Urban Planning before I seek out to get my MUP like transportation planning, economic etc?

    d) What kind of academic factors affect what kind of scholarships I can get?


    e) Does anyone have any other advice that would help me or recommendations on schools?

    f) Is there someplace I can go to that can answer general questions like these for me (like a book or organization) so that I don't have to keep bothering people?!

    Any help is appreciated!

    A: Yes. If you want to work in a city.
    B: At most, the GRE.
    C: Probably. If you are a strong candidate maybe not, but if you have a weakness, knowing what you want to might counter that.
    D: See C, above.
    E: Find someone who does what you want to do. Go where they went to school.
    F: There is the Planetizen guide, but it's not terribly handy at describing programs. Reading websites and trolling old posts on this board is probably the way.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    the old north state
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    It kind of sounds like you already know what you want out of a program. Some may disagree with me, but you might want to check not only these boards, but maybe invest in Planetizen's latest guide. That can give you a good general idea of specializations, gpa/gre requirements and other information about all the programs in the US.

    If the program is accredited you can get your AICP faster after school, so if you want that to move up in your career you might want to consider that. As far as internships go, you dont have to go to schools in an 'urban' area to get them. I went to school in a bona-fide college town and there were plenty of internships/assistantships/part-time planning gigs available if you wanted them. Best of Luck.

    P. S. Make sure you search the student forum well, lots of good information available for free!
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

  4. #4
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    Location
    chicago, IL
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    Thanks a lot people. I was thinking about the planetizen guide but have heard mixed reviews and based off of its price tag (even used) I wasn't sure if it was worth it. However, since I'm trying to get information from as many sources as possible-I guess I should do it.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Dec 2006
    Location
    midwest
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    2,784
    Try the ACSP website. They usually provide a brief 1-2 page description for each of the accredited planning programs, including their specialities.

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