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Thread: Grad school 2009/2010 applications and acceptance notices

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Grad school 2009/2010 applications and acceptance notices

    Alright, fall is almost here, you know what the means, school. I miss school, I'm dying to go back. With that, let's get this thread going. Where are you applying, your stats, etc, all that fun stuff.

    I'm thinking of applying to UBC, UoM, UoT, York, Ryerson, and McGill. AA/BA - Geog, Dip. ULE, 1.5 yrs municipal planning experience.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    Okay, I'll go next. I'm applying to UNC, UVA, UMD and Tufts; UVA's online application isn't available, but I've already started the online applications for the other three. I might also apply to Rutgers, but I haven't decided yet.

    I have a BA in linguistics and no planning experience beyond the Harvard GSD Career Discovery summer program. I intend to spend a lot of time on my personal statement. I'll also be taking the GRE on September 16.

  3. #3
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    I am applying to Tufts as well as UMass Amherst, Clark U, Boston U, and SUNY Albany. I haven't started my apps because I feel it's too early nor have I signed up for the GRE's but I intend on taking them in mid-November.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    I'm applying to UNC. Mostly because my wife and I are moving there so she can attend law school, I'll only attend if they give me some financial aid.


    I was Phi Beta Kappa and graduated Summa Cum Laude from my undergraduate school, with majors in economics and government. I also have an MPA.
    I scored 760 on the quantitative part of the GRE (can't remember the other parts right now).
    I currently work at a national housing research center.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    Well I am going for my MLA and boy do I have a lot! I am dying to get back in school and want to make sure I will be somewhere next year: Illinois, Ohio State, Michigan, California, Harvard, UPenn, Colorado-Devner and Texas.

    My bad forgot about my stats:

    BA in Geography, currently work for a real estate magazine (but I got a second round interview tomorrow for an Urban Planning Editor position, keep your fingers crossed!). I take the GRE in late Ocotober.
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 17 Feb 2009 at 1:20 PM. Reason: double reply

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    Applying (for certain) to: UCLA, MIT, UPenn.
    Applying to two or three of the following: CAL, UNC, Harvard, Michigan.

    3.7 GPA from top 25 undergrad in Business. Taking GRE in mid October. Three years of IT consulting/other experience. Superficial experience in Transportation planning (undergrad interning and IT auditor in the USDOT).

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    3.5 undergrad BA in Philosophy/BS in Psychology and I'm taking the GRE in Nov. I currently work for the AIA doing green building programming and managing our exhibits.

    I'm applying to: Portland State, UW (Washington), Berkeley, MIT, UT-Austin, Rutgers, UBC (British Columbia) and maybe a school in Europe.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian
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    Well, I applied to planning programs last fall and nearly enrolled at Cornell, but I landed a fantastic job as an associate/manager with a RE development company in NYC and decided to defer my studies for an extra year. I graduated with a 3.8 from a competitive liberal arts college (concentrated in economics and architecture) and scored 1100 on my GRE.

    Last fall I was accepted at Columbia, Cornell, UT-Austin & Maryland, rejected by Harvard and Penn. My applications were a bit rushed and I didn't have my current job until I started hearing back from schools, so I'm hoping my app will be a bit more competitive this year. I'm also going to take the GRE again in October.

    This round I'm definitely applying to MIT, Berkeley and Cornell, and then to one or two of the following: UNC, Harvard, UCLA & USC.

    If anyone on here is interested in Cornell, Columbia, or UT Austin I'd be happy to share my thoughts. I visited all 3 programs last year and did quite a bit of research/soul-searching before deciding to defer for another year.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
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    giving columbia a premature shot this Fall, as i have not had a chance to study for GRE. (columbia does not require it)

    Any thoughts you have from your visit would be greatly appreciated!

    I plan on visiting soon. Any idea of the locations of the MsRED classes in relation to the campus?
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 17 Feb 2009 at 1:21 PM. Reason: double reply

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
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    I have really mixed feelings about Columbia. If you look back about 9 months or so, you'll see a thread or two with some fairly lengthy discussions on Columbia's planning program.

    I don't want to steer this forum in a completely different direction, but I'm happy to offer my general thoughts. First off, I've been living in or on the periphery of NYC for close to 6 years now, so the idea of studying in NYC doesn't excite me all that much (quite the opposite). Columbia's program is incredibly NYC-centric, which can only be expected, and the same can be said for NYU-Wagner, Pratt and Hunter. From the open house I got the impression that the program is very heavy on theory. Also, among the NYC schools, there seems to be a general consensus that Columbia is best at preparing students for a career in academia, whereas NYU-Wagner and Pratt are more vocationally oriented.

    I'm going to censor myself a bit here, but my criticisms of the program are quite widespread. When I was applying, Columbia was more or less my first choice, but after visiting the campus and talking to students & faculty I changed my mind. First, the price: something like $35,000 or 36 in annual tuition + the cost of living in NYC + slim chances of getting housing through the school. Columbia was the only school I applied to last year that didn't offer me any merit or need-based assistance, and it was also the most expensive. Second, they have some really impressive faculty members (Robert Beauregard, Peter Marcuse, Elliott Sclar, and Saskia Sassen over at the sociology dept), but in general the program appeared incredibly understaffed. Facilities are very cramped, and there appears to be very, very little collaboration within GSAPP among the architects, planners and real estate students. I don't mean to offend any current students and I think Columbia attracts a very bright crowd, but their planning dept appeared to take a back seat to the architecture program, which happens to be phenomenal.

    In other words, the program seems to be in a strange place, and it was very clear that the dept is aware of its shortcomings... I had some candid conversations with students and faculty, all of whom were very loyal to the whole 'Mother Columbia' thing and honest when it came to the dept's weaknesses. Really, I couldn't convince myself that it would be money well spent, whereas I'm strangely comfortable taking out close to six digits for, say, Cornell or MIT, I'm more confident the investment will pay off. NYU seems to be a great choice if you're interested in policy, and don't rule out Hunter - there's something really special about that program.

    The MsRED program is part of GSAPP, so the planning and real estate courses are all taught in the same building. An associate at one of our consulting firms in NYC only had praise for the real estate program.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian
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    Started applications at: Berkeley, UCLA, UNC, Rutgers, and UVA
    Probably also applying to: Viriginia Tech, University of British Columbia, University College London, UIUC
    Maybe also applying to: Texas A&M, University of Washington

    Stats: graduating in May '09 with a BA in History and Geography from a respected/respectable state school, 3.8 in majors, 3.5ish overall, pretty much average GRE scores for the programs I'm applying to, water management/environmental management internship summer '08, I think 3 stellar recs (I still have to ask one) and one pretty good rec

    Questions: I really want to apply to Viriginia Tech, but I'm slightly confused. I know the program in Alexandria is targeted for working professionals, and Blacksburg for your typical full-time grad student. I would rather attend Alexandria, but I've also heard that they only accept working professionals and someone like myself can't apply. Is that true?

  12. #12
    Member
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    I really want to stay in New York, so right now I'm planning on applying to these urban planning MAs: Pratt, Hunter, NYU, and Columbia (in order of preference, I think)

    Is applying to 4 programs too few? I'm thinking of adding MIT and Harvard to my list, what the hey. I like their programs and I suppose I could handle relocating to Cambridge just for two years.

    Also toying with the idea of applying for joint Arch/UP degrees at Pratt and Columbia.

    About me: 3.8 GPA, Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Chicago. Double majored in English and Gender Studies. I think my GREs will be pretty good. I have a second-round interview this week for a position at a distinguished nyc urban planning non-profit--crossing my fingers.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Warning: Long!

    The Backstory
    I was actually going to start this a couple weeks ago as I have begun my process and I am almost finished.

    While many of you seem to be looking for many schools, my situation is a little different.

    My wife and I currently live and work in Northern Colorado, near the Fort Collins area. I only say this because I appear to the be Cyburbia "veteran" in this thread while many of the student area visitors are newbies or do not venture out to the FAC. Anyways, my wife has been dying to move back to Eastern Washington/North Idaho (where she grew up and where her mother lives) for some time. Myself? I am Hungarian-gypsy descendant who sufferes from chronic wanderlust but has never moved more than 95 miles away from the Denver metro area (where I grew up) so along with my wife's desire to move back home and my stagnation by not moving really anywhere, we have been looking into various avenues through which a relocation can take place.
    I have been working as a planner for local government in Colorado for over 4 years now and have recently begun to want something more creative, or at least hands on. Recently, I have harkened back to my experience working in the family landscape business and taken in liking to landscape architecture. So with that in mind, I have set my sights on the non-accredited Washington State-Spokane program for a MSLA. Because my undergrad is in Geography and I lack formal design training, I will be applying for the 3 Year program for which I will be taking undergrad courses for the first two semesters at the main campus in Pullman, WA to bring me up to speed for the grad level courses in Spokane.

    So there you have it.

    The Background
    4 years of planning work.
    Interest and work in the landscaping realm
    Poor undergrad grades (minor in "malted hops research (with nightly lab)"
    No GRE required
    Working professional program
    I have gumption and desire not only to succeed but also the prove to myself I can work hard in school
    It is non-accredited, but I think that works to my advantage (fewer people applying). They are seeking accreditation currently, but graduating from a non-accredited program means that I must wait longer to become certified, but I also have an itch to remain in academia for a time too.


    What has Been Accomlished thus Far
    In May, my wife and I went to visit her family for 5 days in North Idaho. One day, I went to Spokane and met with the admissions coordinator for the program as well as the head MSLA professor. The meeting went well, the prof and I hit it off and despite my being honest about my lackluster academic record, he and I discussed a future thesis topic as well as how he would write a recommendation on my behalf. My record in the working world is outstanding and should be a help to other students who haven't been working. So I got that goign for me.

    I have already turned in my application and ordered undergrad transcripts. One of my recommendations has been recieved by the school as well.

    I am working on my modest portfolio right now and putting the final touches on my letter of intent. I am also drafting a resume highlighting my work and volunteer experience.

    This should be complete by the end of the week.

    Then I wait.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  14. #14
    Member
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    I'm new to Cyburbia...

    I'm a "career changer" applying to UVA, UNC, GA Tech, Berkeley, Harvard, UIC, and NYU. A little all over the place, I guess. I had a 3.6 GPA from a good undergrad school, majoring in Economics. I've been working in litigation/economics consulting for two years. I'm taking the GRE in October.

    So, I'm also a little terrified about my chances at getting in anywhere, having NO planning experience whatsoever. I know it will come down to having a good personal statement - but does anyone think I even stand a chance? Should I apply to some lower-tier schools?

  15. #15
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by al912008 View post
    So, I'm also a little terrified about my chances at getting in anywhere, having NO planning experience whatsoever. I know it will come down to having a good personal statement - but does anyone think I even stand a chance? Should I apply to some lower-tier schools?
    I wouldn't worry about it; people go into planning from other careers all the time. I'm in the same boat as far as having no experience, and I'm applying to some of the same schools you are.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian FueledByRamen's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by riotproofcity View post
    If anyone on here is interested in Cornell, Columbia, or UT Austin I'd be happy to share my thoughts. I visited all 3 programs last year and did quite a bit of research/soul-searching before deciding to defer for another year.
    As a recent alumnus of UT Austin, I'd be interested in hearing what your perceptions of the program are!

  17. #17
    MLA
    Clemson (soon to be accredited)
    UMass Amherst
    UGA
    Virginia Tech
    Illinois Institute of Technology (soon to be accredited)
    Rutgers (soon to be accredited)

    Historic Pres.
    College of Charleston/Clemson

    Liberal Arts/Geography undergrad, 3.2ish GPA state school
    Chicago Planning intern for a summer
    GRE will be taken in October

    I think my letters of rec and portfolio will sell me before my GPA/GRE sells me.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian
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    I have already finished my applications to Ohio State, U of Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, U of Maryland, and UCLA. I'm graduating in May 09 with a deal degree in Public Admin and Criminal Justice, minors in planning and business. 3.76 GPA, 1250 on the GRE. Really counting on at least one of these schools to give me a really good financial aid package, so we will see. I don't have any planning experience, although I am currently working on that... I might have to send an updated resume to each of the schools if I do find an internship or job... but we will see. I was able to visit Ohio State and U of Cincinnati and was very impressed by the people I met at both schools, but I have yet to visit the other three.
    Last edited by crrfl; 05 Oct 2008 at 1:47 PM.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian
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    Just started the online application for Rutgers. Looks like I'm up to five schools.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian
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    Hi, everyone. I'm new to this forum but I've been reading along for a bit.

    I'm getting my applications together now for planning programs and I'm taking the GRE this Saturday. I have a BA in history and I currently work for a historic preservation consulting firm as a historian. I'm not looking for schools with specific preservation planning concentrations but I'm definitely interested in how existing areas can work with new developments and ideas. Not so much with the details of preserving an individual building.

    Definite schools are UIC, UT-Austin (though I was born and raised here in Austin and went to UT-Austin for undergrad so I think it's time to get away), Pratt, MIT, Penn, UNC, and Maryland. I think I've decided not to apply to Columbia and I'm up in the air about Harvard and Portland State.

    So, hi.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian
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    26 years old

    UCLA / B.A. History 3.3 gpa

    I have been working in land development for the last two years.

    I haven't taken the GRE yet, so my school list is based on the assumption that I'll come in around 1200.

    MIT, Harvard, Cornell (still debating), Penn, Berkeley, Portland State University, UVA (maybe)

    UCLA would be on my list for sure if their deadline wasn't (at least) a month earlier than all the other schools.

  22. #22
    Cyburbian
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    I'm curious as to how many of the schools on all of your lists you've already visited prior to applying. I've visited a few but certainly not all. It's hard trying to make a visit work with my work schedule and budget. I might have a opportunity to visit a couple more in November and December but then I wonder if I shouldn't save my money to visit the school(s) I'm accepted to in order to make a decision.

    Obviously being able to work a positive visit and discussion with faculty into a personal statement is helpful but surely schools accept people they've never met.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by al912008 View post
    I'm new to Cyburbia...

    I'm a "career changer" applying to UVA, UNC, GA Tech, Berkeley, Harvard, UIC, and NYU. A little all over the place, I guess. I had a 3.6 GPA from a good undergrad school, majoring in Economics. I've been working in litigation/economics consulting for two years. I'm taking the GRE in October.

    So, I'm also a little terrified about my chances at getting in anywhere, having NO planning experience whatsoever. I know it will come down to having a good personal statement - but does anyone think I even stand a chance? Should I apply to some lower-tier schools?
    Hey all (I'm a first year at UNC btw. Good luck to everyone!) I had no experience before applying, and I got into a pretty good school. So I do think you stand a chance. That being said, do think about the state of the economy-people are getting laid off left and right, and lots and lots of people are applying to grad school now. I'm not saying that you shouldn't apply to the top tier schools, but I am saying that you might want to apply to some "safeties".

  24. #24
    Cyburbian JDC's avatar
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    Good call, Bookworm. I think grad schools will see an uptick this year across all disciplines... except maybe in finance.

    Good to see some of you are applying to Tufts! I'm a first-year student there, so hit me up if you've got any questions about the program.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian zaphod's avatar
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    Good luck to everyone who is applying. I am a current first year student at UT Austin. If anyone has any questions about it I would be happy to answer. I will have to echo bookworms statements. Also, look for the thread "The school you go to does not matter" or something like that. I don't agree with all the primary poster of that thread has to say, but its good to keep you honest in your applications/expectations.
    "He was a dreamer, a thinker, a speculative philosopher... or, as his wife would have it, an idiot." Douglas Adams

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