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Thread: UT- Arlington MCRP questions

  1. #1

    UT- Arlington MCRP questions

    I found several informative threads about the MCRP program at UT-Arlington but most seem to be a few years old and wanted to see if anyone has more current information. I am still in the early stages of researching the MRCP program and the career as a whole, so all information is appreciated. Here are some basic questions I have:
    -What is the average class size? (both graduating class and in the individual courses)
    -Thoughts on the land use/physical planning emphasis area? Supportive faculty? Manageable class schedule? (as in ability to get all the courses you wanted)
    -Is it possible/realistic to get an internship (paid preferably) during the first year?

    And any other words of wisdom you want to pass on. Thanks for any information and insight!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian poncho's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
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    Texas
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    UT Arlington

    UT Arlington is pretty good in the Social Aspect of planning. IMO it is a little weak in the Physical Planning aspect. Some of the professors are working to improve this part.

    Classes are around fifteen people per class and i am not sure about the Graduating Classes, maybe someone else can help you out on that. Classes are pretty easy to get, i have had a couple canceled lately but I don't think that is normal. I am working full time so no day classes for me. I am on the slow schedule.

    Overall pretty good program.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    I've had classes as small as 4 and as many as 30ish.

    Usually they are about 12-16 on avg.
    Small classes with 4 are those elective courses (those closer to graduating), the 30ish are the cross listed courses with other SUPA students from public admin. and affairs that are apart of the core.

    There is a lot of freedom when to take a course assuming it is being offered.

    As far as land use/ physical planning it is a weak spot, we students often lament we've yet to see a site plan or know what to do with one if we did. The social science faculty influence in the department I think has unfocused the planning program.

    Barbara Becker is the new Dean of SUPA and I hope since having come from planning will help to change that.

    There are professors (typically those from planning) who want the school to strengthen the physical side as well as make the course work more "real world", but UTA is in a transitional period.

    I've not had a problem getting classes, but keep in mind many are offered on a set schedule!!!

    Yes it is possible to get a paid internship in the first year. I have not seen one that wasn't paid. Expect $9-12 an hour working 20-30 hours a week.

    The GRA/GTA positions are also available but don't pay well 500-900 a month and depending on who you work for could be easy or a nightmare.

    Faculty are supportive.

    What I wish I had done differently:
    Not been a GRA.

    Got an internship ASAP. (apparently everything you'll need to know you learn as an intern or your first job- so I've been told. re. the MCRP is a credential you need to be a planner, the ed. will be what you make of it, although it can be challenging.)

    Do a project planning course in the first year.

    Take the courses required from Anjoumani in your first fall and spring semesters.

    Online courses suck.

    UTA IT support sucks (this is a university wide issue).

    You want to have your own computer and printer and internet access and you will be a much happier person (the one thing I did right).

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    May 2008
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    Thanks for the info javajuice!

    I'll also be attending this fall, and enrolled in the 3 foundation courses, but maybe wiser to take the courses offered by Anjoumani this semester instead, Thanks!

  5. #5
    Appreciate the information and always nice to hear it from students.

    Just a couple followups... Did the school help in finding an internship? Or are you just on your own? I haven't really seen many openings advertised on city websites, so I was wondering about the process.

    I never thought about the Urban Affairs/social influence on the planning program and the consequences of being in the same school until now. Its unfortunate but I guess its comparable to the complaints of planning programs in Arch. schools.

    Thanks yall and best of luck in your studies

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    Durango Bob, I'd still take some foundation courses this fall, but one of the required one's is also Anjoumani's 'Techniques for administrative analysis', it is tuesday night 7-10pm.

    John, the school doesn't really help with internships. Professors know of internships and some post them on the listserv which you'll have access to when you have an email account. A lot of the internships though are out of state and not for planning, go figure. But lots of students have internships.

    You might also try the private consulting firms for planning. I wouldn't be too concerned about the internship for the fall, you might prefer getting settled in.

    The planning program used to be a part of the Architecture dept. and got moved into the urban and public affairs I think when it was a school of social work, not sure why. SJSU used to be the same way I believe. But the architecture dept. weighed in on our Dean search, so not sure what the relationship is, but the planning dept is in the supa school and we are in a lovely (said with sarcasm) 60s modern brick building. You might prefer to hang out at the swanky architecture building instead.

    BTW, Classes are typically 7-10 pm although they have started offering some 4-7 classes.

    If anyone is still looking for an apartment there are several small complexes on Abram and UTA Blvd. between Davis and Cooper. This is a safe and convenient area. Campus apartments have issues with crime and the apartments south and east of campus are not very safe either.

    You ought to go to the orientation and try to meet proffs and see who interests you, some of them also have info on their faculty pages that may help too.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
    Registered
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    Orientation!

    Orientation is next friday at 3:00 p.m. how exciting!!


    Drinks to follow afterwards

  8. #8
    How's UTA treating you guys (or girls) now that you're a couple months into the program, how's it going? Any info would me much appreciated. Any feeling on how the transportation concentration is compared to at the other Texas schools.

    I've been thinking about taking a couple GIS courses at UTA as a non-degree student in the spring and was considering either the History of Planning or Urban Design course as well. Any feedback regarding specific profs to seek out?

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
    Registered
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    thoughs on UTA

    i just finished my first semester. I took two online courses and passed them both. The amount of reading and required work was adequate... pretty easy stuff. Both professors were available and helpful as needed. I had one night class that many agreed was often times not very organized but the professor was knowledgeable and willing to offer advice and insight into the field of planning. I'm excited for next semester although i heard it will be a bit much more work

    I know its late but hope this helps.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
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    Transportation emphasis I can't compare. Not very many students are in the Transportation emphasis, so getting classes in Transportation can be a challenge. Although the emphasis is loose enough that it won't keep you from finishing. But in my case I had two actual Transportation courses, the others were GIS and had nothing to do with Transpo.

    History of Planning is just that, it is very similar to the Planning Theory class. Few students enjoy that class, it is a core class. Urban Design, not sure which one you are referring to.

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