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Thread: UW-Madison or Texas A&M ?

  1. #1
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    UW-Madison or Texas A&M ?

    Hello

    I am recently accepted at Univ of Wisconsin-Madison and Texas A&M Univ.

    Both are Master's program in urban planning.

    I plan to pursue a Ph.D career after graduation, and my wish is to

    attend UPenn or Columbia for Ph.D, since I want to study big cities of the US.

    I am an international student and have a master's degree in architecture.

    Also, I still didn't decided what my research topic will be.

    Considering my situation, what will be the best choice?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    You're not telling us why you have this goal.

    Why do you want the additional Master's Degree and PhD?
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  3. #3
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Han View post
    Hello

    I am recently accepted at Univ of Wisconsin-Madison and Texas A&M Univ.

    Both are Master's program in urban planning.

    I plan to pursue a Ph.D career after graduation, and my wish is to

    attend UPenn or Columbia for Ph.D, since I want to study big cities of the US.

    I am an international student and have a master's degree in architecture.

    Also, I still didn't decided what my research topic will be.

    Considering my situation, what will be the best choice?

    Thank you.
    Get the PhD. Why get an additional Master's degree? Unless you love the school (which it seems you don't since you are on the fence about which to go to) I would just get the PhD at the University you really want to go to - UPENN or Columbia.

    Good luck.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  4. #4
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    ..

    My academic background is architecture, which means that I have no background in urban planning in general.
    During my master's degree in urban planning, I first want to establish a strong foundation like statistics or quantitative skills, learn about many american cities and improve my english skills.
    And upon this preparation, I would like to apply for doctoral programs two years later and expect a better result with a more clear academic goal.

    So, what should be my choice?

    Lots of advices please.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by Han; 11 Apr 2011 at 3:43 PM.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    Most people go in to these programs with no planning background so you'll be fine. Both programs would sufficiently cover everything you've mentioned. What you've described is essentially part of the core curriculum of any accredited planning program.

    Some schools are better at certain things than others. The thing that sets UW-Madison and Texas A&M apart are their specializations. What are your areas of interest within the planning field? You don't need to determine what your thesis topic will be this early in the process but it helps to know what initial preferences you have when selecting a school.

    From what you've given us so far, it basically boils down to where you want to live since neither program would carry more weight in pursing a PhD. Both cities are reasonably close to very large American cities (Chicago vs Dallas and Houston). Politically, Madison is very liberal while A&M is much more conservative. Then of course there is the weather where Texas is much warmer.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Well.....

    UW-Madison does have a wonderful engineering program that would allow you to become an infrastructure expert at the same time you study planning:

    http://epdweb.engr.wisc.edu/infrastr...-courses.lasso
    Skilled Adoxographer

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    While Texas A&M has the Texas Transportation Institute, the largest transportation research agency in the country.

    Again, it just depends on where your interests lie.

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