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Thread: Environmental planning degree?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Cambridge, MA
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    Environmental planning degree?

    Hello all,
    I'm currently working at a university as the LEED and Sustainability Coordinator. However, my contract here is set to end in June 2010, so I am planning to apply to schools this fall for 2010 admission. My question is about the kind of program and schools that would suit my interests. Through my work here, I have figured out that I am really interested in the environmental uses and wastes of a given area (region, campus, neighborhood). I am drawn to the ways in which we can look at systems to pare down energy imports and waste exports (think LCA for an area). So, with that... any suggestions for schools? I have been looking at Environmental Planning (under that name or something similar..) at MIT, Tufts, Michigan, Berkeley?, Duke, CMU... but I am really looking to see if anyone has any other suggestions? I am open to anything and everything that might fall into a Masters or PhD category. Thanks!! (For the record- my last 2 yrs undergrad were 3.67GPA and I'll take my GREs this summer- if SATs are any indication, meaning another std. test situation, I'll probably be middle of the road 1200 ish).

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    You look like you have the credentials to get into some top schools but do you have any geographic preferences of where you would like to end up? While I only have limited experience with environmental planning so far, I'm sure different parts of the country approach it in slightly different ways.

    As for your specific question, I'd look into University of Virginia. Their program looks to have a strong emphasis in environmental planning.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    Thoughts...

    Thanks for the note. I've been going through my potential choices for application fall '09 and I thought I'd list them to see if anyone has any thoughts for me about courses, professors, approaches to the application? Here are the favorites for an Environmental Planning concentration:
    MIT
    Tufts
    U. Michigan
    UVA
    UMass Amherst
    MS at Duke (?) not really planning so much as energy/nat'l resource mgmt.

    More ideas? Obviously these are tough schools to get into. Does anyone have any experience with these?

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    I've got very similar credentials to what you have listed and I got into Tufts, Michigan, and Duke. So without knowing anything other parts of your background I'd say you are shooting for a good range of targets. You can focus on planning at Michigan SNRE while The Nicholas School at Duke is more policy/ environmental management focused. I'll tell you I'm having a heck-of-a time deciding!

  5. #5
    Cyburbian kalimotxo's avatar
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    You might also want to look into UNC-Chapel Hill. Their planning program is one of the oldest in the country, and their specialization in environmental and land use planning seems the be the core curriculum from which the rest of the program has developed. I just visited there this weekend and was more than impressed with the environmental faculty that I spoke to. Plus, there's an added bonus of being able to take classes outside of the department at no added charge, including engineering/landscape arch. at NC State and environmental classes at Duke's Nicholas School.

    I'm editing to add one more suggestion... Virginia Tech has one of the better reputations among environmental planning programs, and seems to be doing some really interesting things on the technology/GIS/modeling side of things.
    Last edited by kalimotxo; 30 Mar 2009 at 10:05 AM. Reason: grammar correction, add'l info
    Process and dismissal. Shelter and location. Everybody wants somewhere.

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