Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Questions about applying graduate schools

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered
    Jul 2008
    Location
    new york, ny
    Posts
    2

    Questions about applying graduate schools

    I am a student in NYU, becoming junior this coming fall, double major in economics and urban design. I havent took any urban design courses during my first two years, but I am really interested in attending some graduate program of urban planning in ivy leagues. I am confused about how to reach that goal.

    I know the career discover summer program in harvard, and quite interested. But I wonder if i can get in, or if its gonna be helpful for applying harvard GSD. Also, I know the NYParis one-year program in Columbia, same question as for the harvard one. Shall I attend both of them, or just the harvard one? Is there anything else I can do for preparing the graduate school? How competitive is for getting in those ivy/top graduate school as urban planning? And whats the most important thing to get in those schools?
    Any suggestion/information would be really appreciated!

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Anchorage, AK
    Posts
    291
    The GSD Career Discovery program (which I am currently doing) sounds like a good option for you. If you want to know what graduate school and working life in the design fields is really like, this program will show you. I wouldn't worry about getting in; it doesn't seem very competitive. The main drawback is that it's very expensive, so keep that in mind.

    As for grad school, what they've told us here is that the GSD's planning program has an acceptance rate of around 25%. For the graduate architecture program having done Career Discovery gives a definite advantage in chances for admissions, but they said they didn't have enough data about the other graduate programs, which are much smaller, to tell if the same is true for them as well. Since the planning program doesn't require a portfolio, the GRE is more important than it is for the more design-based programs, and the personal statement is important too.

    In terms of overall competitiveness of top planning programs, my impression is that Harvard is among the most selective. Admission rates at many other highly regarded schools are higher. I'd say the personal statement is the single most important thing for admission most places, though there is some variation in what schools require you to submit.

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered
    Jul 2008
    Location
    new york, ny
    Posts
    2

    thx teofilo, and sorry for more questions

    thank you very much, teofilo!

    As you said, I am sure the career discovery program is awesome, but I wonder if it will be enough for me. I was also considering about attending the NYParis Program at Columbia due to following reasons:
    The planning courses at NYU are not as professional as other top planning schools. The department is attached to the art history department. And half of the courses are more for architecture. So i guess i cant learn much professional stuffs from nyu. The columbia program sounds full of information and studio works. And it's a one-year program, pretty long. So I guess I can definitely learn about from that program and get some studio works done, and also get some recommendation letters from columbia profs.
    But at the same, I dont want to waste one year and tons of money if i have similar chance to get in top graduate schools without attending that program. I would love to attend graduate right after my undergraduate. And I dont think I can get some good intern or work experience during my undergraduate. So all I have would be a not bad gpa (i have 3.65 now, but 4.0 in my econ major), and a good gre score (i hope i can get more than 1450), and also some recommendation letters from nyu profs, and my personal statement (i will definitely work hard on it). If with all those things and one more Career Dicovery in junior summer, do you (or anyone else) think i have enough big chance to get in those top graduate schools? Or shall I do the columbia program? Or something else shall I do?

    Thanks again!!

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Anchorage, AK
    Posts
    291
    Given the stats you mention, I doubt you would have much trouble getting into at least one top planning program. Planning programs take people with all sorts of backgrounds, so you wouldn't be at a disadvantage not having had any specific experience in the field. I don't know anything about the Columbia program; I'm sure it couldn't hurt, but I don't think you need it to get into grad school, especially if you do Career Discovery next summer.

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    19
    I'll probably have a poor GPA when I graduate college and apply to these programs. It's most likely to be between 3.1 and 3.4 (Due to a serious personal issue). Do I have a chance at the program at Columbia or Harvard?

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Montreal/Quebec/Canada
    Posts
    67
    You might. GPA isn't everything.
    A 3.3 GPA is not amazing but good enough. Schools will want to know if you're passionate about your major, have leadership skills and are able to take initiatives. Those don't necessarily come from the classroom. Volunteering, competitions and organizing events are good ways to differentiate yourself.

    I joined my University as an engineering student. The school of engineering there is one of the top in Canada. But then I switched to planning, a department that is unfortunately neither well funded or certified at the undergrad level.
    But I volunteered at a few events, became an urban planning student association officer, got a few competitions under my belt and scratch and clawed to get in the Honors program. Now I'm looking at some pretty good schools for my Masters.
    GPA is important but it ain't everything.

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    19
    What schools are good choices for me with a 3.1-3.3 gpa and 1550 GRE?

    I have taken the test (practice) several times and scored well. Too bad the gpa will be garbage.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Wherever
    Posts
    1,177
    That's a pretty vague question and pretty much impossible to answer without more information. You probably could get in most places but getting funding would be more difficult at some of the top schools. It ultimately depends on what you want to do and how much you want to go into debt.

    You could get into some lesser known programs and come out with paying very little. I get my tuition completely covered by an assistantship at a school with a 3.19 gpa, 1100 GRE, and no experience. Got into higher ranked programs with no aid but I didn't see it being worth the debt.

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    19
    Would you mind to tell us which schools did you get into?

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Wherever
    Posts
    1,177
    Sure, applied to four and got into Clemson, Virginia Tech (Blacksburg), and Texas A&M. Clemson gave me an assistantship.
    Last edited by Blide; 06 May 2009 at 8:56 PM.

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 0
    Last post: 29 Aug 2011, 8:13 AM
  2. Replies: 8
    Last post: 01 Nov 2010, 1:34 PM
  3. Replies: 2
    Last post: 16 Sep 2010, 1:39 AM
  4. Replies: 12
    Last post: 25 Nov 2008, 6:56 PM
  5. Still applying to schools?
    Student Commons
    Replies: 6
    Last post: 04 Apr 2005, 5:45 PM