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Thread: Importance of ACSP accreditation? And applying policy to planning

  1. #1
    Jul 2009
    New York City

    Importance of ACSP accreditation? And applying policy to planning

    I'm currently a student in an urban policy program at a school affiliated with, but not a member of the ACSP, and so my program is not accredited. My interests are in the areas of econ development, transportation, planning and policy, and when looking at the urban planning program of a nearby, accredited school, I noticed few differences between the two.

    How important is it to go to an ACSP accredited school? Also, can I achieve what I ultimately want to do from my current program? Are there any differences between having policy on the degree instead of planning (asides from the relative absence of architechture-design based courses)? Appreciate any help. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
    Feb 1998
    Greensburg, Kansas
    I do not think it hurts your career. It will be a bit more difficult to obtain AICP certification from APA however. I would hire from non accredited schools. And the name on the diploma is insignificant. My BA is General Studies: I always add "urban affairs" as the major emphasis. Don't sweat it.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Aug 2001
    The Cheese State
    Look into the background of economic developers and you will find very few with degrees in planning or economic development. Mine are in public administration and urban and economic geography, which I think did a better job in preparing me for my career than any planning program might have done. The program allowed me to tailor my coursework to fit my interests. I noted at the time that I needed 36 hours in either graduate program, but geography had 6 required and the rest elective - the opposite of the other program.

    Planning is similar to economic development in that many planners do not have planning degrees. Geography is popular, as are urban policy, real estate, and business degrees.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

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