I will be graduating and obtaining my bachelor's in December of this year and plan on applying to quite a few master's programs in urban planning, given the current state of the labor market for college graduates. I'm majoring in economics, have a decent GPA, and will be taking the GRE this summer, but what I'm concerned about is the importance of work experience in admission decisions. Granted, I will have an unpaid internship at a regional economic development office this summer, but other than that, I don't have much experience in anything related to urban planning, as I only became seriously interested in urban planning as a career late last year.
Anyway, I was looking at the admission criteria for U Illinois, and it seemed they place a lot of weight on work experience when judging the qualifications of prospective students. Therefore, i would like to know if I am automatically at a disadvantage because I am applying straight out of undergrad without the same level of working experience as other applicants, as it does seem that most people who apply to these programs are older and much more experienced.
Thanks for the help.