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Thread: Portland State University prestige vs. program reputation

  1. #1
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    Portland State University prestige vs. program reputation

    Overall Portland State is a Tier-4 University. The Planning program is ranked as one of the 25 best programs by Planetizen.com. Portland is considered one of the best cities to work and get experience for planners in the country. Does this mean a great school to get a master's and be a professional planner, NOT a PhD and be a professor/researcher? thoughts/insights/comments welcome

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    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
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    I think its a fine school to get a planning degree. Especially because Portland is a good urban workshop.

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    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Well....

    I haven't heard anything but good words about the school for nearly 15 years now.... If you have the control, go where YOU want to go, not where some book tells you to go
    Skilled Adoxographer

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    Cyburbian FueledByRamen's avatar
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    I think its a good school. For me, it was a choice between PSU and U of Texas. I chose Texas partially because tuition was less than half of PSU's.

    The only problem with PSU is that it doesn't have the name recognition of other schools.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by FueledByRamen View post
    I think its a good school. For me, it was a choice between PSU and U of Texas. I chose Texas partially because tuition was less than half of PSU's.

    The only problem with PSU is that it doesn't have the name recognition of other schools.
    I went to PSU as an undergrad. They have a good program and good professors. They have comically low amounts of funding to provide, and you also have to put up with Portland State the university as a whole. If you've got the money, it's not really a problem, but I currently rather enjoy having a proper campus with a gym/pool/art gallery etc.

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    If you go to Portland State, be sure to ask Prof. Dueker about that letter he wrote to Planning a few months ago. Poor guy. He's been taking a beating over it.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally posted by AiRunXC View post
    Overall Portland State is a Tier-4 University. The Planning program is ranked as one of the 25 best programs by Planetizen.com. Portland is considered one of the best cities to work and get experience for planners in the country. Does this mean a great school to get a master's and be a professional planner, NOT a PhD and be a professor/researcher? thoughts/insights/comments welcome
    I just came across this thread and (while 5 years later) I'm in the same boat. I am considering Portland State and the University of Texas (along with NYU, Columbia and UI-Chicago). I like the looks of the PSU program, and I can get in-state tuition, and the urban planning program seems to have a pretty great reputation. But I'm worried about the reputation of the university as a whole, compared to schools like Texas and New York University.

    Past-posters, any new thoughts on this subject?

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    I strongly believe that you should pick a program that is right for you, rather than getting hung up on the reputation but in this case I would love to hear other peopleís opinions. I am really interested in Portland Stateís program and love the location but as a Canadian resident I am concerned about the price. I think Portlandís program is a great fit for me but I am not sure if just this justifies another $30,000 in tuition.

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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Alicia View post
    I strongly believe that you should pick a program that is right for you, rather than getting hung up on the reputation but in this case I would love to hear other peopleís opinions. I am really interested in Portland Stateís program and love the location but as a Canadian resident I am concerned about the price. I think Portlandís program is a great fit for me but I am not sure if just this justifies another $30,000 in tuition.
    Well said. I went to PSU for part of my undergraduate degree and have no complaints about the institution of the quality of education I received. I finished my degree at another school in a different state due to a job relocation and went on to complete a dual masters in yet another state/university. I did apply to the grad planning program and was accepted but didn't receive enough aid to make it worthwhile to move back to Portland.

    If the program suits your needs and interests and seems to be of reasonable cost (tuition, living expenses, etc.) to you then that is where you should go regardless of what the Planetizen ranking is. In the end, your future employers don't care if your program is #1 or #100. What they do care about is if you have the knowledge, skill, and experience needed for the position.

    Portland is a great city, PSU is a decent school with a diverse student body. They aren't known for robust aid packages or campus services/amenities and housing options can be challenging since its not your typical college campus.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

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