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Thread: My impressions of UC Denver, USC, UCLA, PDX, and ASU. Please comment!

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    My impressions of UC Denver, USC, UCLA, PDX, and ASU. Please comment!

    I just wanted to quickly post my experience visiting a couple of the schools I applied to for Fall.

    I was traveling recently and was able to visit USC, PDX, UCLA, SJSU, SDSU, and converse with the faculty at ASU and UC Denver. Below are short impressions of each school. In each case I was able to ask 20 or so basic questions that were the same every time. Please forgive the crudeness of this post. I am doing this quickly today.

    Please share your experiences at these or other schools.

    USC- My personal favorite for a reason that has only marginal weight in enrollment decisions in my opinion; they were the kindest to me. They were very organized and extremely friendly and positive. They arranged a whole day for me to meet with counselor, student, and the director. All three were an absolute pleasure. It convinced me to consider USC as a top choice. Beautiful campus, surrounding area is not scary in my opinion. LA is very interesting and has an enormous amount of planning challenges. I come from an east coast city, so obviously its a bit different.

    UCLA- Great setup on the appointment with counselor and director. Beautiful campus, clearly dedicated students. Distinguished faculty. I am sure this a top level education. Not as cleanly organized as the usc visit, but the school managed to impress as well as any other i visited, if not more so.

    PDX- Awesome city. I love to bike and experience nature. Also, portland boasts an incredible vegetarian culture that is great for me. The school is well-known and I found the program to be very impressive. It appears rigorous and thats exactly what I am looking for. The campus is pretty nice, especially the program's building, which seemed newer. Great school, great visit.

    These three are my top 3 choices based on the program and its faculty. I have not heard from any of these schools yet.

    SJSU has had a couple planning awards and I thought i would check it out since I was in the area. The meeting was informal but informative. I was given no information on the school and there was no direction of the meeting. I just asked my questions, got short answers and that was it. I was disappointed that SJSU wanted to know nothing about me even though I was applying. I was not very impressed with the program. It was not made to sound very challenging. Also, when I mentioned about meeting with faculty, that was said to be a challenge b/c professors just come in for classes and leave. I find that hard to believe. Also the secretary made it sound like I had no chance of getting in, even though she had absolutely no idea about any part of my background. She repeated it was going to be a fierce competition about four times. Lastly, they mentioned that they would send me a letter asking me if I was serious about my application in about april, and if i sent back that I was indeed serious about the paid application I sent in they would send application decisions in May. Thats after all the other schools I am applying to have their deadline for acceptance. This instantly makes SJSU my backup school as I would have to get in nowhere else for me to the chances of waiting to see if they let me in. I am not excited about SJSU.

    SDSU- is nice, but not accredited. The facilities are small and the program is too. Seems challenging and fun. Nice professors. But not accredited, so probably no go.

    I could say a lot more about these schools and I will in the future. I will also post on my info Denver and ASU soon.

    Does anybody else have any similar experiences?

  2. #2
    Quote Originally posted by duality View post
    PDX- Awesome city. I love to bike and experience nature. Also, portland boasts an incredible vegetarian culture that is great for me. The school is well-known and I found the program to be very impressive. It appears rigorous and thats exactly what I am looking for. The campus is pretty nice, especially the program's building, which seemed newer. Great school, great visit.
    PDX (Portland State) is one of my top choices due to its location in a nice city and my family all living in Oregon. While I have checked out the campus twice, and the building that houses the department, I haven't talked to any students or faculty. Were you able to do so? If you were, what were your impressions?

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    Faculty

    Quote Originally posted by warderjack View post
    PDX (Portland State) is one of my top choices due to its location in a nice city and my family all living in Oregon. While I have checked out the campus twice, and the building that houses the department, I haven't talked to any students or faculty. Were you able to do so? If you were, what were your impressions?
    I was able to meet with professors and Tracy the admissions counselor. I was very impressed. The meeting with the professors let me realize how the program was so rigorous and involved. Tracy was great. The students there seem very similar to me. Environmentally minded, bike advocates/riders, etc. Its certainly a top-choice of mine. It is very competitive however. They said they had about 300 applications, but some were incomplete. I am anxiously awaiting March 15th. I have made it into Irvine, which is awesome,but am still waiting primarily on USC, UCLA, UC Denver, and PDX. Also waiting to hear from ASU.

    Did anybody else view any of these schools or others. What did you think?

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    thanks for all the info, duality... what did you think of ASU... i'm in cambodia right now and can't really visit any schools so all I have in the internet at times... i have been looking at the MUEP program to enter in fall of 2011... does anyone have any information about acceptance rates there? thanks.

  5. #5

    Portland State

    Quote Originally posted by duality View post
    They said they had about 300 applications, but some were incomplete. I am anxiously awaiting March 15th.

    What did you think?
    Wow, not too long ago they were receiving right around 200 applications, so this represents about a 50% increase. Since they also consistently admitted approximately 80 students, I'd estimate this year's acceptance rate to be 27%. I had no idea their program was so popular, and if I am fortunate enough to get in I will be very thankful for it.

    Yes, the week of March 15 can't come soon enough.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by duality View post
    USC- My personal favorite for a reason that has only marginal weight in enrollment decisions in my opinion; they were the kindest to me. They were very organized and extremely friendly and positive. They arranged a whole day for me to meet with counselor, student, and the director. All three were an absolute pleasure. It convinced me to consider USC as a top choice. Beautiful campus, surrounding area is not scary in my opinion. LA is very interesting and has an enormous amount of planning challenges. I come from an east coast city, so obviously its a bit different.
    I work at USC (not in SPPD though), I'm applying for the MPL here, and I have many friends already in the MPL program. It's a really neat program, and the neighborhood does NOT deserve the "scary" reputation it has. LA is fascinating. The areas around USC are well connected by transit. I live in Koreatown, right on the subway line, and drive less than once a week, commuting to campus each day by bike or bus. LA may not have the obvious vegetarian "culture" that Portland has, but we do have MANY vegetarian/vegan restaurants, and you can find several vegetarian items on almost any menu in the city. USC now hosts a CSA drop-off site and a farmers market, too. Let me know if you have any more questions about the campus or the area!

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