Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: Majors

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    19

    Majors

    So, I'm going to attempt a triple major. Let's all assume that I can complete mathematics, economics, and one more major without problem. (For the sake of discussion.) Which third degree is the best for applying to entry level jobs, and also graduate school? Political Science or Sociology or maybe even something else?

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    19
    Another question... I'm currently at Brooklyn College. Should I transfer to Hunter and do urban studies as the third major? Will I be able to get something better coming as an undergrad (in terms of maybe an entry level job or better grad school) than from Brooklyn? I dont know what to do and any help I would appreciate!

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Dec 2006
    Location
    midwest
    Posts
    2,780
    What exactly do you want to do after school?

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    19
    MUP. I'd like to do something in transportation but I'm not quite sure about that yet.

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    19
    Should I take studio art classes or are they unnecessary for urban planning?

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Dec 2006
    Location
    midwest
    Posts
    2,780
    Quote Originally posted by Brooklynite View post
    MUP. I'd like to do something in transportation but I'm not quite sure about that yet.
    Can you narrow that down a bit? What do you want to do in transportation? Do you want to conduct traffic studies or transportation plans, design highways, construct bridges? Do you want to work with mass transit, design bike paths? Do you want to work in policy?

    You don't need an art or design background if you don't want to do anything with design. Are you planning on going directly to grad school to earn your MUP, or do you want to work after college? If you are going directly to grad school, keep it simple, and choose just one major (personally I would recommend transportation engineering or civil engineering, these majors will be tough enough). If you want to work directly after college, a degree in engineering or planning (with coursework in transportation planning) will help you out.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian lycosidae's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
    Posts
    53
    Triple (or even double) majoring is a huge waste of time, especially if you want to go to planning school. I went to school with a lot of kids who double (or triple) majored and I always got the impression that they were kind of flaky. The two people I'm thinking of spent so much time on school work they never held a real job or internship. Most employers couldn't care less about double majoring, particularly in the subjects you are interested in.

    Major in one thing and then attend grad school. Any and all of those choices do not make you more or less competitive for grad school. If you do ultimately decide to do a masters of civil engineering for transportation, I would minor in math (and do Calc 1-3) and take physics and other hard science to fulfill your Gen-Eds. That should be good enough... I wouldn't major in civil engineering as an undergrad unless you are sure that you want to be a transportation engineer.

    Your internships, grades, GRE scores, and recommendations are much more important and by triple majoring, you won't be able to do many of those. Take the time to enjoy your studies and meet people. That is what undergrad is all about, exploring new ideas, getting involved on campus, ect. Don't take that for granted. In fact, you could totally change your mind about planning by the time you finish your program. Don't hedge your bets on grad school until your senior year - or even a year or two after school.

    The goal in undergrad is to finish as soon as possible. Don't be a Van Wilder!
    If Brooklyn College doesn't have the program you want, transfer as soon as you can without impunity.

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    19
    Quote Originally posted by nrschmid View post
    Can you narrow that down a bit? What do you want to do in transportation? Do you want to conduct traffic studies or transportation plans, design highways, construct bridges? Do you want to work with mass transit, design bike paths? Do you want to work in policy?

    You don't need an art or design background if you don't want to do anything with design. Are you planning on going directly to grad school to earn your MUP, or do you want to work after college? If you are going directly to grad school, keep it simple, and choose just one major (personally I would recommend transportation engineering or civil engineering, these majors will be tough enough). If you want to work directly after college, a degree in engineering or planning (with coursework in transportation planning) will help you out.
    I want to work with mass and regional transit. What's the difference in working in policy and not? I'm new to the field, so any help would be appreciated.

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    19
    Also, is math important?

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2007
    Location
    America's Happiest City
    Posts
    4,836
    Ditch this whole 3 major business and just focus on transportation planning or transportation engineering if that's what you want to do. Yes, math is very important.
    Men do dumb $hit... it is what they do to correct the problem that counts.

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    19
    What are the main differences in those two fields you listed? Is one policy oriented and one is more technical (as in designing new technologies)?

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Nashua, NH
    Posts
    11
    Transportation engineers focus more on calculations, problem solving and modeling streets and things of that nature. Transportation planners focus more on the land use effects and more policy types of issues. This is just what I've noticed, there might be more differences that I don't know of.

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    19
    Is it really hard to do graduate engineering programs without an undergrad degree in engineering?

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2007
    Location
    America's Happiest City
    Posts
    4,836
    heh depends on the engineering and what kind of test scores you have or place you are going to apply to. My alma mater has a joing CE/Trans Planning graduate degree which a few people i know took and are not hard core Tplanners for some top firms.
    Men do dumb $hit... it is what they do to correct the problem that counts.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian lycosidae's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
    Posts
    53
    Quote Originally posted by Brooklynite View post
    Is it really hard to do graduate engineering programs without an undergrad degree in engineering?
    I think I answered your question here. Most graduate engineering programs have prerequisites that they assumed you've taken, like Calculus, Physics, and maybe some lower-level engineering courses. If you choose to minor in math and do related Gen-eds in the sciences, you should be in good shape. You still might have to take some additional developmental courses once you enter the program, but the fact that you proved that you can do calculus and physics and other math-intensive subjects will help. I've looked into this and unfortunately, I wasn't thinking ahead when I left out the math.

    But you should also think about the utility of a graduate program in engineering. Most engineers I've talked to say they are unnecessary for most jobs and it would be better to get an MBA. Of course, this assumes they have an undergrad in engineering, but why waste 4-5 years on a liberal arts education when you are planning to do engineering anyway?

    I would try to figure out your career goals before hedging your bets on graduate school in any subject. Think about the added cost of a graduate engineering program and how it will stall your career in the short-term.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian transguy's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Midwest-ish
    Posts
    218
    In my neck of the woods if you are going to be working in any sort of planning that mentions the word "transportation" an engineering degree is very useful. This holds true even if the work you are doing doesn't require any engineering knowledge/background. Not that it can't be done, but it just removes the pressure from the idea that a planner is an underqualified engineer. I know that in other areas of the country this is not the case so you may want to get some local feedback.

    Try and find a position nearby that you think you would one day like and try and discuss this same issue with that person (assuming you want to stay in that area).

    Just my two cents....
    Much work remains to be done before we can announce our total failure to make any progress.

  17. #17
    Member
    Registered
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    19
    ^ Your handle is hilarious.

    So, what do programs for urban planning look for? What helps applicants the most to gain admission? How competitive are top programs and what do you need to get into them? I know these are very broad and subjective questions, but they're open for debate and discussion.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian lycosidae's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
    Posts
    53
    Quote Originally posted by Brooklynite View post
    ^ Your handle is hilarious.

    So, what do programs for urban planning look for? What helps applicants the most to gain admission? How competitive are top programs and what do you need to get into them? I know these are very broad and subjective questions, but they're open for debate and discussion.
    Your questions have been answered elsewhere...

    As far as going to the "top" programs, there is a lot of debate about the merits of this. Personally, I don't think it matters much, especially if you want to work in the public sector. Especially considering that so many other types of degrees (including bachelors) do planning. Search this forum for more info on Ivy League and other top planning schools.

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. What non-planning majors should know
    Career Development and Advice
    Replies: 4
    Last post: 31 May 2010, 8:53 PM
  2. Replies: 6
    Last post: 16 Feb 2008, 12:49 AM
  3. Minors and Majors
    Student Commons
    Replies: 2
    Last post: 01 Dec 2006, 10:48 AM
  4. Replies: 2
    Last post: 17 Apr 2006, 2:48 PM
  5. Any sociology majors?
    Student Commons
    Replies: 5
    Last post: 01 Dec 2005, 12:49 PM