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Thread: Best PhD programs for urban planning

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Best PhD programs for urban planning

    Hi Everyone!
    I would like to hear your opinions about the best graduate planning schools in the US for PhD Studies.
    I understand that a big school would be an interesting place to be as a Master Student, but, do you think a school with few places for future PhD students might be a better place to undertake graduate studies at the PhD level?
    Thanks in advance, I have some people interested in this issue, so that I will let them know your thoughts!
    Best!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    I have a personal list I whittled down at home based on my needs and I'll explain that to you. I don't want to publicly share it but I will PM it to you tonight. It doesn't take into account west coast schools since I wanted to stay east of Michigan.
    @GigCityPlanner

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    This is a hard question to answer...it really depends on what you are interested studying as a PhD student. There are many areas of interest and specialization under the general "urban studies / planning," and each might have a different list of "best" programs. Of course, then you get into the question of what makes a program "better" or "worse" than another, and 3 days later we might come to a consensus.

    As a starting off point, however, I would suggest narrowing your focus to programs with strong concentrations in your area of research interest.

  4. #4
    Georgia Tech.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    Thanks guys for your messages!
    Actually, I agree that it depends on your research interests.
    Before to mention my research interests, I'd like to ask you why some programs in the US belong to architecture schools, or are part of a college with architecture schools, while others are completely planning schools. Is it due to the origin of the school? Perhaps a good example would be Harvard and MIT, where architecture was created first, then planning appeared as another program.

    My research interests are more related to planning issues in the developing world, especially Latin America, but not only informal settlements, which is the first topic that comes out when you are discussing urban planning issues in the developing world. I would like to research also urban renewal and transportation issues, which both are, in my opinion, the future of Latin American cities given their size and densities. I know that MIT and Cornell have international focus; however, I am afraid that both programs have few research outcomes or projects in Latin America (except by Rio do Janeiro at Cornell).

    On the other hand, I have seen the ASCP Guide, and I realized that University of California schools usually admit more than 10 applicants, which added by current PhD students/candidates, makes me wonder if as PhD student you will have a closer relationship with Faculty and/or advisors during your research process. Especially if you know that Faculty at UC schools are pretty busy with consulting work also.

    Ok, let's leave the discussion at this point, I'd like to hear from all of you again, so that we can continue the topic.

    By the way, why do you consider Georgia Tech so good?

    Thanks

  6. #6
    Member
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    You should check out the Latin American Studies program at the University of Texas at Austin.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Jenn View post
    You should check out the Latin American Studies program at the University of Texas at Austin.
    thanks for the info!

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