I'm a newbie to Cyburbia and the world of urban planning. In the course of evaluating the type of work I'm passionate about, the issues that I care about, and the job skills I'm most interested in acquiring or already have, I've stumbled upon the field of urban planning. I've been out of my undergrad program for just over five years, and have been working in charitable/social service nonprofits since - mostly doing management things.
I'm prepared to apply for graduate schools this fall, to begin studies in Fall 2009. I'm narrowing down my short list of schools that seem to offer the types of concentrations that interest me most, but I've got this nagging feeling that perhaps graduate programs aren't very interested in career changers who do not have explicit urban planning experience.
Any thoughts? What have your experiences been? Are there ways of transitioning into the field without a masters degree (my BA is a dual-degree in Peace, War, and Defense, and Political Science, although I did take some geography courses that are relevant, including one that pulled from the work of Andres Duany and James Howard Kunstler), and eventually going to a planning masters program? Or would you recommend trying to convince a grad program now in my personal statement why they should take me?