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Thread: Morgan State a good safety?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Morgan State a good safety?

    As I finish my list for schools to apply to for 2009 for a dual MLA/MUP school Morgan State has made the cut for a safety school for me. But is it a really bad school? Is it worth it? There admissions for both degrees is ridiculous, no ap fee, no g.r.e.'s needed, and 2.5 gpa last 60 hours. Does that say a lot about the school? Please let me know.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by lucifer View post
    As I finish my list for schools to apply to for 2009 for a dual MLA/MUP school Morgan State has made the cut for a safety school for me. But is it a really bad school? Is it worth it? There admissions for both degrees is ridiculous, no ap fee, no g.r.e.'s needed, and 2.5 gpa last 60 hours. Does that say a lot about the school? Please let me know.

    I have no idea if Morgan State is good or bad, but if there is no application fee, go for it, all the more so when it's a safety.

    To find out if it's good, and any other schools, ask them for the names of current students and alumni to talk to. Find out where they work and what they do, if the programs there helped them or not. And think about whether or not you'd want to be doing what the alumni are doing. If they're all in dogcatching, that's not a good sign. Everyone who's graduated says to do this and people going in rarely do (including me).

    Unless you have a very clear reason for doing do, don't spend a ton of money on a planning degree. If somewhere offers you an assistantship, it's probably a good deal. You will probably get planning work experience, earn money, and not pay tuition.

  3. #3
    Hi All,

    I went to Morgan State for my planning degree. I am short on time right now but will return to provide a response.

    I will also see if I can get some other current students and grads to write about the program.

    V
    http://urbanethnic.blogspot.com/

  4. #4
    Quote Originally posted by lucifer View post
    As I finish my list for schools to apply to for 2009 for a dual MLA/MUP school Morgan State has made the cut for a safety school for me. But is it a really bad school? Is it worth it? There admissions for both degrees is ridiculous, no ap fee, no g.r.e.'s needed, and 2.5 gpa last 60 hours. Does that say a lot about the school? Please let me know.
    It's worth it. If you live in the Baltimore area or just north and do not or can not commute to College Park to the south or to schools on Philly to the north, it's worth it.

    I know that was a tepid response but the bottom line is this, the school may not have the resources of a College Park or UPenn but you will get a quality planning education from one of the two only accredited planning programs in the state. As with any school, the quality of your education will depend upon your professor, some are better teachers than others. But as far as the professors go, most of them have PhD's from Ivy league schools if that means anything to you. In fact there are 3 professors teaching right now that have come from UPenn.

    Also, despite the lower admission academic standards, most of the students were well qualified to attend other planning schools and they also worked in the planning profession. The bottom for a lot of us was, we worked in Baltimore and Morgan was close. We could not afford the time to travel to another accredited school.

    Lastly, if you want to be a planner in the Baltimore area, Morgan is a great place to make connections. The local county governments, state government and as well as local developers are filled with Morgan graduates from top to bottom. I know there is at least one Morgan graduate in almost each county planning office in the greater Baltimore/DC region.

  5. #5
    Zigb pretty much summed up everything I was going to say! Aww man, now let me see what I can contribute to Zig's assessment.

    The institutional scholarship/fellowship opportunities, if you file early enough and have a pretty good academic background, really help your bottom line. While Morgan is substantially cheaper than many of the tuition/fees I see for other planning schools, any bit of funding is great as far as I am concerned. Through institutional scholarships, a large portion of my tuition costs were taken care of during my almost 2 year attendance.

  6. #6
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    Vran, can you go into more details about your experience with Morgan?

    Do you know if Morgan offers a MUP and MLA dual degree?

  7. #7
    Urban Chic,

    Morgan offers the MCRP degree, the MLA degree and the M.Arch degree. I do not believe that there is a dual degree program in place but I can check.

    I will write back in a few to give you more info. btw...are there any specifics about the program you would like to know?

    -VFran
    urbanethnic.blogspot.com

  8. #8
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    Since it is regarded as "safety" school and it is a HBCU, I was wondering about your overall academic experience overall. Did they prepare you for the workforce? How are the studios, overall resources, and financial aid? (Does everyone get their own studio space?) What did you think of the teachers? Do they help with internships? What kind of connections do they have with landscape architecture firms in the area? Is it possible to get both the MLA/MUP at the same time..I'm assuming in like 4 years instead of 3. And with the workload of the studio time, do you think it would be possible to work full-time (or part-time atleast) while in school full-time and still do well? I will live at home during grad school, but I want to start saving up so I can move out ASAP.


    Although I have this secret desire to go to PennDesign, I'm thinking it is wise to go to Morgan since I live in Baltimore and I plan to stay in the area anyway and I'm low on cash...and Morgan is really cheap compared to other schools. I'm also a minority student and I'm hoping/assuming the program at Morgan would be diverse. I plan on visiting this summer to check out the department for myself also.

    Oh, and the one thing that I am worried about Morgan is that my friends that go there for undergrad are always complaining how Morgan is disorganized with everything, especially with financial aid and registration. But I guess that is something that I am going to have to deal with.

  9. #9
    Urban chic,

    My apologies for the delay, life got real busy real fast!

    I am going through your questions as we speak and will post my response in a while.

    -VFran
    urbanethnic.blogspot.com

  10. #10
    My response to Urban Chic:

    Did they prepare you for the workforce?

    I certainly can say that the program prepared me for the workforce. The program leans towards more practical methods in its teaching than theory (working with community groups on redevelopment planning, preparing actual neighborhood plans, holding meetings to discuss the program's work for community org representatives, etc.). In fact, I would go so far to say that the program has been extremely helpful in teaching me the skills that helped me to secure a planning position in the DC metro area that I will start next week.

    How are the studios, overall resources, and financial aid? (Does everyone get their own studio space?)


    The city and regional planning curriculum has two major studio classes which will work with a Baltimore community. During my time in Studio 1 and 2, my class worked with the Northeast Development Alliance, a umbrella community org that wanted to devise recommendations for developing a 10-acre site of property in northeast Baltimore that was formerly an apartment complex, for mixed-use development (if you know where Good Samaritan Hospital is, you are near the area of the site). Studio 2 focused on proposing strategies for the redevelopment of a portion of East Baltimore close to the new bio-tech park (Gay St. Corridor/Wolfe St.)

    The studios were great training experience (see my reply to your first question). I found those classes much more interesting than say, quantitative analysis class (required course), a necessary nuisance.

    Compared to other schools, resources are somewhat limited. Somewhat in the sense that it seems to me more resources are devoted to the architecture and landscape architecture programs (that may be my bias showing). The program which is part of the larger Institute of Architecture and Planning (IAP), has its own computer lab which has pretty up-to-date planning/architecture related software, a media center (which cannot be called a library due to some political mess between IAP and the university...thats a whole other story) and a nice size studio space. The studio space is primarily used by the architecture and landscape arch students.

    Earlier in this post I talked about my experience with financial aid. I was able to qualify for a institutional scholarship after my first semester at Morgan which, for the rest of the program covered over 60-70 percent of my tuition and fees. Being an in-state student helped a great deal as well. The university also has various scholarship and fellowship programs that are noted on the Graduate studies page on the university's website. I knew of a few students who received fellowships and worked in at the university's Urban Research Institute, located in the same building as IAP. If you ultimately decide to go to Morgan, make sure you get the applications for scholarships and fellowships in early to the graduate school and bug the hell out of the graduate school staff about your application status. I did and while the graduate school staff might have want to get out of dodge when they see me show up to their office (j/k), my paperwork was always taken care of.


    What did you think of the teachers? Do they help with internships?


    The teachers are very knowledgeable but are quite laid back and easy to talk to...until your thesis defense The professors are also very accessible. As far as internships go, they have pretty good connections with internship opportunities throughout the area. There is also a job internship "board" that is kept current.

    What kind of connections do they have with landscape architecture firms in the area? Is it possible to get both the MLA/MUP at the same time..I'm assuming in like 4 years instead of 3.


    Since I focused solely on my program, I am not in the know about the programs connections with landscape arch firms. I would suggest to get in contact with the program coordinator for landscape arch. Shoot me an email and I can give you some contact names.

    I am not totally certain you are able to an MCRP/MLA at the same time. No formal program for a dual degree exist to my knowledge. The Institute just hired a new director and I would suggest to talk with her about your plans.

    And with the workload of the studio time, do you think it would be possible to work full-time (or part-time atleast) while in school full-time and still do well? I will live at home during grad school, but I want to start saving up so I can move out ASAP.


    I actually went to school full-time and worked full-time. A good thing about the program is that its an evening program, so I did not have to disrupt my cash flow for about 18 months. Most semesters I took 3 classes but for one semester I took 4 classes. Whew, it was something else. Little sleep for me. For the last few months when I was in the process of writing my thesis, I took a sabbatical so to speak and just focused on getting the thesis done.


    I'm also a minority student and I'm hoping/assuming the program at Morgan would be diverse. I plan on visiting this summer to check out the department for myself also.

    The program is diverse in terms of the student body and the faculty.
    Check out the ACSPs Guide to Graduate/Undergrad Education in Planning for more info on that subject.


    Oh, and the one thing that I am worried about Morgan is that my friends that go there for undergrad are always complaining how Morgan is disorganized with everything, especially with financial aid and registration. But I guess that is something that I am going to have to deal with


    LOL...at the disorganization part. Morgan does have its own brand of quirkiness when it come to this part of its administration (financial aid/registration). And thats all I am going 2 say about that publicly
    Last edited by VFran; 22 Feb 2008 at 10:23 PM.

  11. #11
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    thank you so much.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian dominimami305's avatar
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    Current Morgan IAP student

    Quote Originally posted by VFran View post
    My response to Urban Chic:

    Did they prepare you for the workforce?

    I certainly can say that the program prepared me for the workforce. The program leans towards more practical methods in its teaching than theory (working with community groups on redevelopment planning, preparing actual neighborhood plans, holding meetings to discuss the program's work for community org representatives, etc.). In fact, I would go so far to say that the program has been extremely helpful in teaching me the skills that helped me to secure a planning position in the DC metro area that I will start next week.

    How are the studios, overall resources, and financial aid? (Does everyone get their own studio space?)


    The city and regional planning curriculum has two major studio classes which will work with a Baltimore community. During my time in Studio 1 and 2, my class worked with the Northeast Development Alliance, a umbrella community org that wanted to devise recommendations for developing a 10-acre site of property in northeast Baltimore that was formerly an apartment complex, for mixed-use development (if you know where Good Samaritan Hospital is, you are near the area of the site). Studio 2 focused on proposing strategies for the redevelopment of a portion of East Baltimore close to the new bio-tech park (Gay St. Corridor/Wolfe St.)

    The studios were great training experience (see my reply to your first question). I found those classes much more interesting than say, quantitative analysis class (required course), a necessary nuisance.

    Compared to other schools, resources are somewhat limited. Somewhat in the sense that it seems to me more resources are devoted to the architecture and landscape architecture programs (that may be my bias showing). The program which is part of the larger Institute of Architecture and Planning (IAP), has its own computer lab which has pretty up-to-date planning/architecture related software, a media center (which cannot be called a library due to some political mess between IAP and the university...thats a whole other story) and a nice size studio space. The studio space is primarily used by the architecture and landscape arch students.

    Earlier in this post I talked about my experience with financial aid. I was able to qualify for a institutional scholarship after my first semester at Morgan which, for the rest of the program covered over 60-70 percent of my tuition and fees. Being an in-state student helped a great deal as well. The university also has various scholarship and fellowship programs that are noted on the Graduate studies page on the university's website. I knew of a few students who received fellowships and worked in at the university's Urban Research Institute, located in the same building as IAP. If you ultimately decide to go to Morgan, make sure you get the applications for scholarships and fellowships in early to the graduate school and bug the hell out of the graduate school staff about your application status. I did and while the graduate school staff might have want to get out of dodge when they see me show up to their office (j/k), my paperwork was always taken care of.


    What did you think of the teachers? Do they help with internships?


    The teachers are very knowledgeable but are quite laid back and easy to talk to...until your thesis defense The professors are also very accessible. As far as internships go, they have pretty good connections with internship opportunities throughout the area. There is also a job internship "board" that is kept current.

    What kind of connections do they have with landscape architecture firms in the area? Is it possible to get both the MLA/MUP at the same time..I'm assuming in like 4 years instead of 3.


    Since I focused solely on my program, I am not in the know about the programs connections with landscape arch firms. I would suggest to get in contact with the program coordinator for landscape arch. Shoot me an email and I can give you some contact names.

    I am not totally certain you are able to an MCRP/MLA at the same time. No formal program for a dual degree exist to my knowledge. The Institute just hired a new director and I would suggest to talk with her about your plans.

    And with the workload of the studio time, do you think it would be possible to work full-time (or part-time atleast) while in school full-time and still do well? I will live at home during grad school, but I want to start saving up so I can move out ASAP.


    I actually went to school full-time and worked full-time. A good thing about the program is that its an evening program, so I did not have to disrupt my cash flow for about 18 months. Most semesters I took 3 classes but for one semester I took 4 classes. Whew, it was something else. Little sleep for me. For the last few months when I was in the process of writing my thesis, I took a sabbatical so to speak and just focused on getting the thesis done.


    I'm also a minority student and I'm hoping/assuming the program at Morgan would be diverse. I plan on visiting this summer to check out the department for myself also.

    The program is diverse in terms of the student body and the faculty.
    Check out the ACSPs Guide to Graduate/Undergrad Education in Planning for more info on that subject.


    Oh, and the one thing that I am worried about Morgan is that my friends that go there for undergrad are always complaining how Morgan is disorganized with everything, especially with financial aid and registration. But I guess that is something that I am going to have to deal with


    LOL...at the disorganization part. Morgan does have its own brand of quirkiness when it come to this part of its administration (financial aid/registration). And thats all I am going 2 say about that publicly
    Im currently an undergrad IAP student... Morgan is an awesome school. The admistration is a lil weird at times, but hey, were talking about human beings here!! I was also thinking about getting my MCRP at Morgan but i really wan to go back home to Florida and check out FAU. I have also been blesed with the opportunity to work for the City in the Planning Dept. so im learning SSSOOOO much about the city and i would hate to loose this network I'm slowly creating. But travel is good for the soul..

    The teachers (selected few for undergrad) are very hands on with the students from what I get to see upstairs. My life has become really chaotic over the past few years and that has affect my school work but Morgan is a great school and Baltimore a good city to get started in. Send me a PM if you want to know more
    "Good judgment comes from experience. And where does experience come from? Experience comes from bad judgment.------Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)"

  13. #13
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    Lucifer:

    Quote Originally posted by lucifer View post
    As I finish my list for schools to apply to for 2009 for a dual MLA/MUP school Morgan State has made the cut for a safety school for me. But is it a really bad school? Is it worth it? There admissions for both degrees is ridiculous, no ap fee, no g.r.e.'s needed, and 2.5 gpa last 60 hours. Does that say a lot about the school? Please let me know.
    Have you made your final decision on a MLA/MUP program?

  14. #14
    Cyburbian
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    My final list was pretty much Ohio State, Illinois, Texas, Colorado, and Cornell, so Cornell didn't make the cut really. Still looks like a decent movie.

  15. #15
    I know this thread is old, but I'm going to revitalize it. I'm starting to consider Morgan as a possible option to look at.

    I'd like to hear as much about what Morgan alumni are doing as possible..........how many Morgan alumni leave the Baltimore area, or Maryland altogether? Is it pretty much mostly a commuter school, or are there some students from around the country and around the world also?

    P.S. I thought Morgan was cheap and that was a huge reason why I was looking at it, but from what I can tell, according to the website, tuition and fees for graduate school there adds up to about $10,000 a year for in-state and $17,000 for out-of-state. Slightly cheaper than some bigger-name schools like Rutgers, Virginia Tech, and the University of North Carolina, but not a huge difference like I was led to believe.

    I guess what I want to know is, where are the CHEAP planning schools?

  16. #16
    Cyburbian
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    Cheap can come in two forms, tuition and financial aid. Like Texas A&M seemed pretty cheap for out of state at $10,000ish a year in tuition. Then you have schools like Clemson where about half the incoming students aren't paying tuition thanks to assistantships but otherwise, it isn't that cheap.

    Basically you should just check through the tuition and financial aid listings of the ACSP directory before you make your decision. Their numbers seemed pretty accurate, though the numbers can potentially change significantly from year to year.

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