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Thread: Harder to get accepted? Harvard or MIT?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Harder to get accepted? Harvard or MIT?

    I know these two schools in Boston are the tougher ones to get into for MUP.....but which one is more difficult to get in?

  2. #2
    Harvard based upon rate of admissions.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    what are their rates?

    Quote Originally posted by warderjack View post
    Harvard based upon rate of admissions.
    what are their rates of admissions?

  4. #4
    Last I checked, and the numbers may have come down in the past couple of years, but around 26% or 27%. MIT was just a hair higher at 30%

  5. #5

    Harvard > MIT

    I met with a bunch of Professors from both schools and I'd say MIT for sure, but stats could demonstrate otherwise.

    I think it is best to answer your question in light of each programís strengths. Harvard is great in Urban Design (and nothing else in my humble opinion); however MIT is great in everything! So, if you have a design background and submit a portfolio (optional) your acceptance at Harvard is higher than at MIT. Also, the students accepted at Harvard generally have less work experience than MIT students. See where you stand.

    The general ambience and feel of the school are important too. The Harvard Planning students arenít well respected at the GSD. The architecture kids dominate the scene and disregard the planning studentsí meager attempts at design. After speaking with a bunch of Harvard and MIT recent grads I am certain Harvardís planning program is going through an identity crisis. MITís planning is solid.

    The two Universities have joined forces and created a concurrent enrollment program to allow students to take classes at either school (one of the GSDís selling points). Realistically, if you attend Harvard you won't have much time to take MIT classes due to the GSDís demanding and time consuming studio requirements. MIT students who take classes at Harvard say they are easier than MITís planning classes and MIT students opt to take classes at the Kennedy School versus the GSD.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Plus Shellac And Vinyl VelocitY's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by warderjack View post
    Last I checked, and the numbers may have come down in the past couple of years, but around 26% or 27%. MIT was just a hair higher at 30%
    Interesting stats. Do you have a link?

  7. #7
    Quote Originally posted by Seana View post
    Interesting stats. Do you have a link?
    Through Planetizen, although some schools, like UNC publish detailed admissions stats. If you want Planetizen's guide you do have to pay, but honestly, I've looked at mine so much that it has been worth it.

    Planetizen Guide

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Plus Shellac And Vinyl VelocitY's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by warderjack View post
    Through Planetizen, although some schools, like UNC publish detailed admissions stats. If you want Planetizen's guide you do have to pay, but honestly, I've looked at mine so much that it has been worth it.

    Planetizen Guide
    I was too lazy dig in for the direct link...

    A burst of energy propelled me to search MIT and come up with:
    http://dusp.mit.edu/p.lasso?t=4:4:0
    We have approximately 400 applicants to our MCP program each year, and of those we accept 55-60 students. For the PhD program we have approximately 125 applicants and accept 10-12 doctoral candidates.

    Anybody want to search Harvard?

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
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    Maybe I am missing something, but does it matter which one is harder to get into? They are both hard to get into but they also have somewhat different foci. Harvard is either very design oriented (GSD) or policy oriented (KSG). MIT is more in the middle with strengths in housing, environmental and international. If you want to work in local/regional planning in the Boston area, either one is fine.

    If you want to study in Boston, apply to both. I'd also apply to Tufts and maybe throw UMass - Amherst in the mix, altho its a bit afield.

    If you explain why it matters maybe I could help answer your question a little better.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian planr's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Masswich View post
    Maybe I am missing something, but does it matter which one is harder to get into? They are both hard to get into but they also have somewhat different foci. Harvard is either very design oriented (GSD) or policy oriented (KSG). MIT is more in the middle with strengths in housing, environmental and international.
    As a 2nd year MCP @ MIT with many friends in GSD / KSG, this is dead on. As much as we like to carry on with the witty banter about one school being better than another, the fact is that they are very different places, both in terms of culture and programs.

    Ultimately, once you have decided whether you are a designer (GSD), policy wonk (KSG), or misfit (DUSP), you can take solace in the fact that both schools allow cross registration. That is to say MIT students can take Harvard classes and vice versa. In terms of the "culture," my experience has been that DUSP is a very diverse crowd in terms of age, background, and outlook, while GSD is filled with youngish artistic folks, and KSG is populated typically by older folks with quite a bit more experience.

    Hope that helps...oh, and don't be mislead by DUSP's admissions statistics -- They do go get 400+ apps for the MCP program every year and they admit about 20-25%, but really they only want that 55-60 students to matriculate / enroll.
    "Try to be in two incredibly successful bands. If not, that's okay." -- Words to live by, courtesy of Dave Grohl

  11. #11
    Cyburbian
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    thanks for the responses

    I was just curious, in general. Harvard doesn't seem like it has the right program for me since I'm not looking for design-focused programs..

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Plus Shellac And Vinyl VelocitY's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by krbxtigerz View post
    . . . Harvard doesn't seem like it has the right program for me since I'm not looking for design-focused programs..
    And MIT? Are you considering applying there?

  13. #13
    Cyburbian
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    yup.

    Quote Originally posted by Seana View post
    And MIT? Are you considering applying there?
    I am considering applying to MIT, but I don't know if I'll get in lol.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    And what is your fall-back position? Is ther anything less than Havard and MIT that you would accept? I hope you can meet your status goals.

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    Cyburbian
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    besides those two..

    Quote Originally posted by mike gurnee View post
    And what is your fall-back position? Is ther anything less than Havard and MIT that you would accept? I hope you can meet your status goals.
    those two schools are definitely reach schools for me lol....I doubt I will get in but I can at least try one place. I am considering other schools like NYU, Umich, columbia, penn, rutgers....

  16. #16
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    I focused on five schools in my region. Two were considered top tier, and I thought out of reach. When both accepted me I started getting my fat head.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian
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    congrats!

    Quote Originally posted by mike gurnee View post
    I focused on five schools in my region. Two were considered top tier, and I thought out of reach. When both accepted me I started getting my fat head.
    I guess you will never know until you apply right? : ) I hope I get into one of my choices as well......haha

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Plus Shellac And Vinyl VelocitY's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by krbxtigerz View post
    I am considering applying to MIT, but I don't know if I'll get in lol.
    I said the exact same thing exactly thirty years ago.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Seana View post
    I said the exact same thing exactly thirty years ago.
    oh wow 30 yrs ago? and how did it turn out?

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Plus Shellac And Vinyl VelocitY's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by krbxtigerz View post
    oh wow 30 yrs ago? and how did it turn out?
    The don't call it The Institution for nothing.

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    Quote Originally posted by Seana View post
    The don't call it The Institution for nothing.

    It all depends on your background, if you are going into the program with more of a design background or not, right?

    I would be more interested to learn how is better in terms of funding. Do people who apply to the CDD program at MIT program ever get funding?

    Moreover, what are the top schools that are more generous in terms of funding? I heard that Berkely the situation is very tight and cash-strapped?

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    Blast from the Past

    Hello guys,
    Wow...so this question goes way back.

    So im in the process of filling up my applications for Urban Planning at GSD as well as DUSP. And as i understand fro the discussion, both the programs have their own merits.

    My questions then, is not related to programs per se...but to those of you who faced this dilemma and got admitted at either of these universities. What are the experiences that you can share, that you think can help me to decide whether the given program is the right choice for me.

    Brief background
    As an Architect : Worked in mumbai (India) and Singapore, for about 2 years - on large scale urban design projects and residential developments.
    Research : 1) Undergraduate thesis on the process of synthesis of a city. 2) SNU development for suburbs of mumbai ....3) (my current work) Developing material from industial - agricultural waste
    Community Work : Survey across 4 states of India (with highest number of slum and rural population)..investigating their problems and coming up affordable housing solutions (affordable roofing solution to start with)...this is my own locally funded social start-up at the moment- with help from LBNL scientists as our advisers.

    Well, so this is my rough background..and so after my travel and survey i feel the need to involve myself on the lines of International Development planning if I really want to orient myself to do something for urban poor and rural areas. I understand DUSP and GSD, both offer similar courses.

    Which of these, according to you guys, is a better course for IDP/G ? and considering my background do you think the professional diversity (well sort of) is something that can help me get selected?


    thanks,
    Kushan

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    class size problems

    One of my coworkers mentioned that she knows someone who was accepted to MIT's planning school last fall. He was asked to defer attendance for a year because too many people had accepted MIT's admissions offer. Has anyone heard anything about this? Assuming it's true, how might this affect admissions decisions for this fall? Would they accept fewer people, or increase the class size? I wonder if it's happened at other schools as well?

  24. #24
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by vl3 View post
    One of my coworkers mentioned that she knows someone who was accepted to MIT's planning school last fall. He was asked to defer attendance for a year because too many people had accepted MIT's admissions offer.
    That would be unprofessional of them to enforce and I have a hard time believing that they'd actually enforce their request. I think if your co-worker pushed, they'd still honor their offer but he might not get much if any grant money if he insisted. Maybe they could convince you to defer by offering you more money if you waited. Assuming they haven't changed their procedures since my time, MIT ranks admitted candidates by program group and awards general grants based on that rank. They don't tell you what the rank is, but you have a pretty good idea by how much money they give you.
    Last edited by Cismontane; 07 Jan 2013 at 5:19 PM.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian
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    Traditionally, MIT has been the stronger international development program (development in a broader sense - economic, social, etc. as opposed to purely physical development) - GSD has always been very internationally-focused (check out the option studios to get an idea) but this has related more to the site context for physical planning/urban design. However, recently GSD has made a big push in this area, hiring several faculty, including Diane Davis, who they poached from MIT. MIT also lost another faculty member recently. Remember, you can cross-register at both schools so either way you'll have access to the other school's resources.


    Quote Originally posted by kushan.dave View post
    Hello guys,
    Wow...so this question goes way back.

    So im in the process of filling up my applications for Urban Planning at GSD as well as DUSP. And as i understand fro the discussion, both the programs have their own merits.

    My questions then, is not related to programs per se...but to those of you who faced this dilemma and got admitted at either of these universities. What are the experiences that you can share, that you think can help me to decide whether the given program is the right choice for me.

    Brief background
    As an Architect : Worked in mumbai (India) and Singapore, for about 2 years - on large scale urban design projects and residential developments.
    Research : 1) Undergraduate thesis on the process of synthesis of a city. 2) SNU development for suburbs of mumbai ....3) (my current work) Developing material from industial - agricultural waste
    Community Work : Survey across 4 states of India (with highest number of slum and rural population)..investigating their problems and coming up affordable housing solutions (affordable roofing solution to start with)...this is my own locally funded social start-up at the moment- with help from LBNL scientists as our advisers.

    Well, so this is my rough background..and so after my travel and survey i feel the need to involve myself on the lines of International Development planning if I really want to orient myself to do something for urban poor and rural areas. I understand DUSP and GSD, both offer similar courses.

    Which of these, according to you guys, is a better course for IDP/G ? and considering my background do you think the professional diversity (well sort of) is something that can help me get selected?


    thanks,
    Kushan

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