Ok, so let me give you some profile of myself, then cross my fingers someone might have some unique and helpful advice for me.
I am 26 years old, graduate of a well respected state college with my five year bachelor's of landscape architecture and have two years of work experience in a large landscape architecture and what I like to call "land" planning firm (no policy all design based). I have been at a bit of a crossroads as to what direction I would like to further advance my career and cannot relinquish the idea of pursuing my post graduate education.
Through my research I have leaned mostly towards Urban Planning, with that I have found sub interests in Historic Preservation, Growth Management, and Urban Design/Architecture. In conclusion I see myself benefiting from a master's degree in Urban Planning the most; either in the specialization of historic preservation, environmental planning / land use, or urban design. Ultimately I would like to someday work for a consultancy agency whose work would consist of urban preservation and growth management (national trust main street program, global green, etc.). While I would like to hold on to my design background as much as possible I would like to become almost a hybrid between the planning and design professions.
So my questions for the Cyburbia world would be this. Do you see a degree in urban planning benefiting me? Is this a route I could take without more education or is my background in Landscape Architecture significant? Top programs I have looked at are Columbia, U Penn, and Harvard. Do you feel the additional money needed for tuition is really worth it or should I just keep with public state programs (there are a lot in Florida)?
Any help is appreciated