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Thread: Best graduate programs for housing/comm dev (US and Int'l)

  1. #1
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    Best graduate programs for housing/comm dev (US and Int'l)

    The forums have helped me incredibly as I've been planning my applications for Fall 09, so first: thanks everyone! Between here and Planetizen, I've (hopefully!) narrowed my search to a few programs. That said, I still have a few specific questions that I hope the collective can help me with.

    A bit of background: I majored in History at Yale, 3.6 GPA (though closer to 3.9 in my final two years), haven't taken the GRE yet. I worked for the City of New York for a year and am currently in my second year with a well-respected planning and real estate consulting firm.

    I want to study housing issues, most likely related to affordable housing, urban renewal and reconstruction. After a few years in the private sector, I've realized that I'm much more interested in policy and public interest work than working with private developers. I'm also thinking about continuing for a PhD, and am as much interested in urban history as current practice.

    My questions: It seems like MIT, UCLA and Berkeley are the best programs for my extremely particular and peculiar interests. Are there any others that should be on my horizon? I'm also considerably to the left-wing within the field, so Penn planning seems to be a bit too close to Wharton for my interests. Is that true, or am I just jaded and skeptical?

    Also, I'm considering applying to a few international schools as well. LSE, UCL and Cambridge seemed to pop up on here occasionally, but does anyone have any more specific ideas about these programs or suggestions about programs on the continent? Do they offer any advantage over top American programs if I want to work abroad after graduation?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Sure.....

    Tufts University for Housing Issues and a professor named Rachel Bratt:

    http://www.tufts.edu/~rbratt/
    Skilled Adoxographer

  3. #3
    Cyburbian drjb's avatar
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    UCLA is very regarded for this particular sector of urban planning.

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    Cyburbian lycosidae's avatar
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    Harvard has an excellent social policy PhD program if you want to try that out.
    A PhD in sociology has more value than one in planning if you are looking to get into academia or research, as there is more you can do with it. Plus, I would think you would become frustrated by planning, in which working with private developers is more common than not.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian planr's avatar
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    I can only comment on MIT, as that's where I am now.

    I would highly recommend looking into the HCED group within the MCP program (http://dusp.mit.edu/p.lasso?t=2:3:0). If you enroll in the program at MIT, you can take courses at Harvard and Tufts also, so if Rachel Bratt or someone from Harvard strikes your fancy, you can get the best from each world (though the commuting might suck).

    MIT is also very active in the community in places like Lowell, Springfield and others, helping with redevelopment and offering communities multiple forms of assistance; the CoLab (http://dusp.mit.edu/p.lasso?t=2:3:4) is one of the driving forces.

    Good luck and let me know if i can help with anything
    "Try to be in two incredibly successful bands. If not, that's okay." -- Words to live by, courtesy of Dave Grohl

  6. #6
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    I recently graduated with an MA from Clark University's Community Development Planning program. I focused on housing. The program is very broad and students intrests range from housing to health to community particpation. I would urge you to cotact Mark Tigan (my advisor) tiganm@aol.com or Laurie Ross (program coordinator) lross@clarku.edu. Clark University is known for its involvement in Worcester and surrounding communites.

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