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Thread: GRE writing section and Urban Planning Chances

  1. #1
    Jan 2010
    somewhere, US

    GRE writing section and Urban Planning Chances

    Hi there,

    I'm trying to get into Cornell, Harvard or UPenn plus a few others for Urban Planning. I have family in both top choice school locations, which is a big consideration... and will help my grad living costs. Also, on my salary I can only justify paying $30,000+ annually if I get into one of the top 10 programs.

    Is it worth applying now or should I wait until next year after I take the GRE again? Here is my info:

    --GPA overall 3.56, GPA in major 3.7
    --went to very competitive undergraduate school
    --graduated with honors and thesis
    --5 years of international and national urban and rural planning experience
    --started own company
    --good letters of rec
    --speak 2 languages fluently

    620 v (89 percentile), 620 q (52 percentile), and 3.5 AW. I fear that my AW alone will tremendously reduce my chances of admission. However, I also got As in 3 upper level analytical writing courses in college. Perhaps my writing style did not fit into the GRE AW format?

    I have been out of school for many years and did not pace myself well on the GRE. However, it is too late to retake it before applications are due this time around. What are your thoughts?


  2. #2
    You're worrying a bit too much about the significance of the GRE. I think your other attributes will carry you over what you perceive as disappointing GRE scores.

  3. #3
    Oct 2009
    Singapore / Ithaca, NY
    yes, i agree. work experience is way more important than GREs for urban planning program. in my opinion, you stand a great chance at getting in at least one of them with your experience. just make sure you sell yourself well in your statement of purpose. that is something you have complete control over!

  4. #4
    Sep 2009
    I agree with everyone else. No sweat. If your personal statement is well written, a 3.5 writing score is a fluke.

    Your PS is well written though?

    If you want someone to take a look at it, PM me.

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