I have been offered the opportunity to enter the MPA program at the University of South Carolina. They don't have a specific transportation planning or urban planning concentration program. I have talked with a professor from the MPA program in June and he said he would work something out where I could work with the Geography department to get some GIS classes in to use as electives as part of my MPA degree. We would also work out a plan where planning would be my focus in my MPA, but it is not a specific program at USC. The MPA program also has a huge advantage since the classes are at night and is designed for working students, and with USC being the flagship school of South Carolina, they would have immense networking opportunities.
I'm currently in an MBA program Charleston Southern, but I've been interested in urban planning and felt it would more be in line with my ultimate career goals if I could take a program in planning. But I have a full time state government job in Columbia and other responsibilities which inhibit me from moving elsewhere. People have suggested Clemson (the only accredited FT urban planning program in the state), with a FT job that is not possible.
Since the urban planning track I would be taking at USC is not specifically an urban planning program, and therefore, wouldn't be "accredited", my question is would that matter down the road? Realistically, would an MPA program as described above be okay for a career step into the urban planning field? My other option is to stay in my MBA program, but I'm not sure how that would help right now.
Any insight on this would be great! (I've posted a poll too to get some opinions...)