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Thread: Grad school options and future plans

  1. #1
    Cyburbian cellophane's avatar
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    Grad school options and future plans

    Hi there (hey there, ho there!)

    I have my undergrad degree in architecture (B.Arch) and am currently slogging through the IDP requirements so I can sit for the exams and legally be an architect. I also am not completely satisfied with being an architect. I would like to go back to school and study something planning / design related and ideally stay in academia and teach and research sustainable cities and neighborhood design. To clarify - I am not to interested in 'green' products and design as a field of study. I am interested in the life cycle of a neighborhood / city and how people friendly it is. Are neighborhoods designed for the life cycle of the resident rather than many of the current configurations that are car centric and non person centric. That type of thing.

    This is where the problem comes in. In looking at grad schools I can see several different options for both a field of study and where to go. I can get an M.Arch or an MS.Arch in as little as one year and up to three years depending on where I go. This obviously would be the cheap way to go and if all I really need to make it to where I would like to be is a masters then it is probably a good way to go. I can also get an M.UP from UofL. This is a good program and is close to home (5 minutes or so.) My concern with the UofL program is that it is VERY heavily policy oriented. Policy bores the snot out of me and I don't know how it would translate into future goals. I could also go the geography route. UofL is starting a graduate program in geography and has several good resources for sustainable neighborhoods and urban and regional design / issues.

    I am looking for any advice on the various school paths (M.Arch, Geography, M.UP) and how they may or may not apply to the long range goals of teaching, researching and some lite design work.

    Thanks
    -chad

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    If academia is your goal, it seems like going with Geography would make the most sense. Planning is more of a professional degree than an academic one. Like I've had a couple of geography professors who focus on Urban Studies that have similar research interests to you. Some schools like Portland State even offer Urban Studies degrees that seem to be a bit more interdisciplinary.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    have you thought about getting a ph.d in architecture? i go to berkeley and it seems to me like a few of the ph.d students here are more interested in the wider implications of buildings (bordering on urban planning) than they actually are in architecture itself as a design profession. of course, as a ph.d program it is all research all the time. on top of it, many/most students throw in an m.s. in architecture on the way. i think i remember reading that most students apply for the m.s. and then during the year they do it, they just naturally go forward into the ph.d program without any hurdles.

    if you want to teach in the future, this would be an excellent program for you because it offers a lot of teaching opportunities.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian cellophane's avatar
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    at the moment i want to just worry about grad school and doing something other than what i am currently. if at some point going back looks like a good idea i would certainly consider it.

    i would also like to stay fairly local - so that limits my school choices to basically UK, UofL or UC. UK and UC would require either commuting or moving for the time i am in school.

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