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Thread: Choosing a specialization

  1. #1

    Choosing a specialization

    I'm torn! So how did you choose your specialization? I would dual specialize in growth management and transportation planning in a second but 'community and development' planning deeply intrigues me.

    Any resources out there that would help me and others in the same boat decide?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian notabigcitygirl's avatar
    Feb 2005
    Southern California
    Well, I refused to choose a concentration. Although I am relatively new to the planning profession, I am still old school in thinking that a good planner is by necessity a comprehensive planner, and that specialization, is by definition, not comprehensive. Good planning requires a comprehensive view of the world. However, that is not to diminish the need for experts in the various specialties, who are more expert in that subject area than I am. A good comprehensive planner synthesizes that expertise from other, allied professions in order to make good plans and recommendations.

    So here is how I did it:

    The university required that I choose a concentration at the time of application. I made the above argument, only much more elegantly, and they let me in anyway. My program was filled with land use, sustainability, economic development, social planning, urban design, architectural history and computer programs, urban history, economics in planning, statistical analysis, and policy analysis, as well as assistantships in neighborhood school planning and health planning. I feel very well-rounded, as my undergraduate degree was in public policy, managment, and planning.

    I guess you should consider what kind of planner you want to be and choose the appropriate foundation. But I do highly recommend a broad approach to your planning education.

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