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Thread: Dual degrees?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Dual degrees?

    Hey guys, wondering if I could get some of your viewpoints for this dilmena I am having. I am a junior at DePaul right now majoring in Sociology. I plan to go to grad school for Urban Design. I have seen that many schools that offer a Master's in Urban Design alone require some architecture, LA, or urban planning degree for their bachelor's which is something I will not have. So I have thrown out that idea out the window, and have preferred to go study Urban Planning, with an emphasis on Urban and Community Design. I find my self always drawing and sketching, college campuses, or drawing maps of how I would organize a city (Love Sim City, and it is the Design aspect that I love about it). Hence, I really like the design aspect.

    So here is my problem. My #1 school for grad school would be the University of Illinois. Here's is why: First it has a good program, and offers a concetration in design. It's close to home, and the BIGGEST factor is that I would go their completely for FREE as long as I maintain a certain gpa (my parents work for Illinois politicans and pretty its under the table stuff that would allow me to go there for free). So then I see that I could get a dual degree with Landscape Arch. Which would further enhance my design background and make me a more attractive candidate. The question is it really worth it? I honestly see myself being four years in grad school if I were to pursue that, just because I lack a design degree. I don't mind going to school for another four years, esp. when it is free, but I can't tell you I am excited that I would either. The whole ideas on another four years is so so. I just want to know if it would be a waste of time? Are that many more doors going to open for me? Is it better just to go two years for school for U.P. and then start working? Please give me your comments and advice! Thanks guys!

    By the way, while I would enjoy Landscape Architecture, I would never want to pursue a degree in it alone. I could see myself doing a lot more with an Urban Planning Degree. Landscape Arch. seems too specific.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally posted by lucifer View post
    So here is my problem. My #1 school for grad school would be the University of Illinois. Here's is why: First it has a good program, and offers a concetration in design. It's close to home, and the BIGGEST factor is that I would go their completely for FREE as long as I maintain a certain gpa (my parents work for Illinois politicans and pretty its under the table stuff that would allow me to go there for free). So then I see that I could get a dual degree with Landscape Arch. Which would further enhance my design background and make me a more attractive candidate. The question is it really worth it? I honestly see myself being four years in grad school if I were to pursue that, just because I lack a design degree. I don't mind going to school for another four years, esp. when it is free, but I can't tell you I am excited that I would either. The whole ideas on another four years is so so. I just want to know if it would be a waste of time? Are that many more doors going to open for me? Is it better just to go two years for school for U.P. and then start working? Please give me your comments and advice! Thanks guys!

    By the way, while I would enjoy Landscape Architecture, I would never want to pursue a degree in it alone. I could see myself doing a lot more with an Urban Planning Degree. Landscape Arch. seems too specific.

    I'm looking at taking a similar educational route (perhaps for slightly different reasons). I'm not very informed on any of this so I'll right what I think and see if people disagree.

    I'm thinking that Landscape Architecture (or Architecture) would prepare one better for urban design and from what I can tell LA is not necessarily a super-specific discipline (work at a variety of scales on a variety of projects). So you could go for a MLA degree (or March) alone if it is mainly design that you are interested in (though not all LA schools focus on design) and then get a post-professional degree in urban design.

    I'm not sure you'd get enough design education or develop the necessary design skills for urban design through urban planning alone. Then again, I'm not sure that anyone really agrees on what urban design is or what education is necessary, etc...it will all likely continue to evolve (or devolve?). I've heard dual degrees makes one a little more employable since you're able to work across disciplines...I heard James Corner say that most people at Field Operations have dual masters in some combo of Arch, LA, Urban Design, and Planning. It also might be hard to get a job solely doing urban design, but I may be wrong.

    It seems that there's a lot of ambiguity in urban design (as in urban planning) likely due to the interdisciplinary nature of the profession. You might want to just think specifically about what you want to accomplish through "urban design" and what you think is important about it and then see where that leads you.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Dashboard's avatar
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    Originally posted by Lucifer:
    It's close to home, and the BIGGEST factor is that I would go their completely for FREE as long as I maintain a certain gpa (my parents work for Illinois politicans and pretty its under the table stuff that would allow me to go there for free).
    I bet there are tons of Illinois residents that would love to know who your parents are, as well as the politicians for whom they work. Taxpayers are not usually fans of "under the table stuff," especially the stuff that allows you to attend a Big 10 school for free.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    ^^^^Yeah I know, but I would be stupid not to take advantage of it. Illinois is really not the school I desire to go to, I would love to go to Washington or Michigan for school, but honestly Illinois is just as good, if not better than those schools (in urban planning and LA), and would be free, so reallistically Illinois would be a smart choice. I figured I might as well get two degrees while I can while it's still free. Then again, who knows, I might not even get into Illinois, so the whole idea might get thrown out the window. Thing is I might not decide to get a dual degree if I have to pay, or I might I dunno. Sry guys, I know this sounds bad, all the corruption and crap, but hey what can you expect my family works for Chicago, and Illinois.

  5. #5
    I realize that this thread is 2 years old, and I am not implying anything. However, I thought it was ironic that after reading this news story, I immediately remembered having read this thread a while back:

    http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0923/p02s25-usgn.html

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