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Thread: Calling current Cal Poly Pomona students

  1. #1
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    Calling current Cal Poly Pomona students

    So I got into CPP but feel the department gives nothing in terms of program information, career services, etc for newly admitted students trying to decide. I contacted the department for some general information but have had a hard time getting much out of them. They did not have an open house and won't really help me get in contact with current students to ask about their experiences. So my question to the community here, are there any current grad students at CPP who can offer some insight into how things are going and your experiences? Are the classes impacted because of funding, how are the faculty? I am kind of looking for some general help since I like Pomona's practical nature but feel like they could care less about newly admitted students, just my experience. Thanks everyone!

  2. #2
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    I'm also considering attending. What does your financial aid package look like????

  3. #3
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    I just have your standard unsubsidized and subsidized loans. What other school are you looking at?

  4. #4
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    I only applied there. I was looking into a program I could join with the flexibility of going part-time, if need be. However, based on some seriously life-changing happenings in the past couple months, I don't know how feasible grad school is at this moment in my life (even if it were just part-time). A week ago I received my financial aid award, and I was offered a grant to cover tuition (at least for 2011/2012, who knows about the years thereafter), so I'm really having a hard time coming to terms with what my next step should be...I was ready to postpone grad school for a later period in my life, but who knows if I'd be receiving this grant if I were to apply in the future. I have a feeling I won't.

    Well, Nydia gives very short answers...I recommend you email Hersch...whatever his name is. I once emailed him with questions about the program and he responded very quickly and was very thorough. I also wish there was an open house or something of the like for CPP...

  5. #5
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    Dang sorry to hear about your circumstances, congrats on the money though. I agree completely on what you said, I am going to speak with Hersch on Monday and then make my decision.

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    I've been registered on this site for a while, and there's hardly threads on Pomona. What other schools are you looking into, and what kind of concentration are you thinking of pursuing? How close do you live to the campus? I took a trip down there a few months back...basically just a drive-by to see the campus (on my way back from IKEA in West Covina on a Sunday evening). I'd never been there before. I liked the feeling of remoteness and more suburbany ruralness (especially coming from someone who lives in one of the densest areas of LA). Yeah, it doesn't have the reputation I'd normally pursue, but honestly, I think that if I went there (in the future or *maybe* this yr), I'd still be able to do well for myself and come out of there with minimal debt (grant or no grant) relatively compared to the cost of attendance at other schools in SoCal. I have met a few alum from there. Two are now working for Metro and one is going back to school (law school). These all graduated last year, and it doesn't look like it took very long for them to find employment. However, I know the ones who were immediately hired upon graduation did intern with those agencies while they were CPP students. I also have friends who graduated from UCLA with a MUP...they were very happy with their choice, but they do owe quite a bit as they received no financial aid whatsoever (despite their financial need, minority status, etc.). These UCLA alums are also all working at non-profits (not surprisingly so, since UCLA has a huge social justice focus).

    I have no idea what the average profile for an entering MURP student at CPP looks like. I know a good chunk of the crowd attends part-time, and they tend to be an older crowd.

  7. #7
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    I'm looking into the land use and design area. I am familiar with the area, I have friends in surrounding cities and one big thing I like about the school is that all the classes are pretty much at night. I looked last night at the first couple courses for Fall and they are basically lumped on mon and wed for 4-5 hours and that was it. The class size incoming is 20-25, so it seems selective. I am going to speak with a couple faculty and most likely commit there. You cannot beat the cost of the education for what that's worth.

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    So, I'm assuming you'll be working as you go to school. I wonder how many of these classes have daytime commitments i.e. projects and things of the like that require significant daytime accessibility. I think if I can pull off a good amount of work hours and school, I may decide to pursue this. I am afraid of waiting too long to go back--I hear it gets increasingly difficult to go back to school as you get older (I'm 26 at the moment).

    You definitely can't get better bang for your buck if you attend CPP. I purchased all those over-priced and under-informative guides and CPP is consistently #2 in the US for master urban planning programs in the US (among schools that don't offer phds). Cal Poly SLO is, of course, #1 in that regard, but I cannot leave LA while I go to school.

    I'm contemplating between the land use and community development foci.

  9. #9
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    Ideally that's what I am going after, to work and go to school. I was pretty used to that in undergrad, mind you grad school is a greater work load so they say hah. I'm right around the same age you are so I feel ya on it being difficult as you get older. I feel like I've been told that my entire life though. If you decide to go there let me know.

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    Where did you get the information regarding the incoming class stats? I know there are typically around that amount every year, but did you actually see new numbers published somewhere?

  11. #11
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    Maybe you can help me with this. If you look for the MURP section, you'll see every class offered for 2010/2011 (I know this one is not the newest one we need, but just to get an idea). If you scroll down to where the MURP classes are listed (pg. 552), you will see the number of lectures/discussions/labs the class requires. Is it clear if this is the case on a weekly basis? i.e. "Urban and Regional Planning Research Methods 3/1" (3 lectures and 1 lab) but is this on a weekly basis or what unit of measure are we talking about here? It may be common sense to you, but it's not so clear to me.

    http://www.csupomona.edu/~academic/c...grees_GRAD.pdf

  12. #12
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    I contacted the department directly with some general questions and that's how I found out about the incoming class size.

    From my understanding having looked through this a few times the meetings are on a weekly basis. So for that particular class since it has 3 lectures it appears to be a MWF class and the 1 lab is lumped on one of those days. So essentially we'd repeat that for each week for 10 weeks and the class is 4 units. I found it easier to understand when I went through the online class schedule since it gives you the day and time information http://schedule.csupomona.edu/.

    I'll be honest, some of the information seems unclear at times or more difficult to find than it should be so no worries.

  13. #13
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    Thanks for the link. It was helpful.

    Apparently we're the only 2 on cyburbia looking into CPP...

  14. #14
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    urp info

    Hello, I am a graduate of the Urban and Regional Planning bachelors program so I think I have a little insight that could be helpful. I hear the murp and the burp programs are very similar which is what deterred me from pursuing a degree at the gradute level. I thought the program was great, they have many great professors who want to help you succeed like Hersch. They pride themselves on learning by doing so they really encourage and try to provide hands on experience. In terms of career services, I don't know that there are any. Nydia does the best she can to forward all job postings she gets emailed to her which is how many students I knew found internships and jobs including myself. In the region, the program is very respected. I went into private planning and many of the people I work with at my consulting firm in the inland empire are alumni and tend to look out for each other. Cost is not too bad in comparison to the other programs around.

  15. #15
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    Thanks Notorious! Can I ask when you graduated and what you are doing now (what kind of consulting)?

    Socalmurp ill be at CPP in the Fall, couldn't pass up the practicality, cost, and flexibility of the program.

  16. #16
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    jvanpatt,

    will you be attending full-time?

  17. #17
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    Yeah I am planning on going full time, will you be at CPP for sure?

  18. #18
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    No idea yet. I said "yes" a few months back when the decision was a lot more straightforward.

  19. #19
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    Current Student

    Hello,

    I am a current student in the Urban and Regional Planning program at Cal Poly Pomona (3rd year Undergrad). I am very involved in APSA (American Planning Student Association) of which there is a graduate student counterpart. I have enjoyed my experience here so far; especially the interaction with other students in the College of Environmental Design. Our Dean, Micheal Woo is very well connected in California, even nationwide, and comes from an Urban Planning background. Our alumni are heavily concentrated in Southern California which can be good or bad depending on your career goals. Personally, I would like to stay in California so that factored into my decision to attend this university. This fall we are hosting the student symposium for the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Planning Association which will be a great opportunity to meet students from USC, UCLA, and CSUN. What I'm really looking forward too though is the national conference which will be taking place in Los Angeles next year. This conference normally attracts upwards of 5,000 planners, government officials, students, etc... We are hoping to host a large alumni reception/networking mixer during the event and expect a large turnout due to the location. If you are self-motivated and enthusiastic about the field I would say this is a great school. Let me know if you have any questions. I am happy to serve as a resource to those interested in Cal Poly Pomona.

  20. #20
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    JVANPATT,
    I sent you a private message...I'm not sure if I did it correctly. I haven't tried this before.

  21. #21
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    I replied back, not sure if went through though.

  22. #22
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    Cal Poly Grad Student

    I am a current graduate student at Cal Poly Pomona and I love it! I was originally attending UCLA’s MURP program & didn’t like it too much. One, it’s overpriced & I wasn’t offered any financial aid. Two, I hate the traffic. And lastly, I didn’t like the fact that they tell their students not to work. It was too stressful.

    Cal Poly on the other hand is situated in a great location. They give their students grant money (these past two years they pretty much covered my entire tuition). Best part of all, I’ve been able to go to school full-time and work full-time. So when I graduate, I won’t be struggling to find a job.

    In my experience, classes are NOT impacted. The department is rather small, so you won’t have any trouble getting into the required classes. The faculty is good, I wish there were more professors, but I guess that’s a budget cut issue. The department admin asst isn’t the friendliest, but she does provide the students with LOTS of emails. She is constantly sending us information on planning conferences, job offers in the area as well as scholarship opportunities. Overall, my experience has been great.

  23. #23
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    Hey Downtown,

    You sound really familiar. Have you taken any 400 level classes? I sometimes meet graduate students that way. I'm a current student in the undergraduate program by the way.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally posted by LAplanner View post
    Hey Downtown,

    You sound really familiar. Have you taken any 400 level classes? I sometimes meet graduate students that way. I'm a current student in the undergraduate program by the way.
    I took the CA Water class with McKenzie. Great class!

  25. #25
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    some questions...

    I'll be attending CPP this fall for a masters in urban planning and I feel very lost. The school/department doesn't seem to be very good at answering questions so I've turned to the internet to solve all my problems. Does anyone know when we can register for classes? I know we're suppose to get a registration appointment but I haven't received mine yet. I'm getting worried. Also, how do I accept my financial aid package? I received Stafford loans and want to accept them, yet cannot click on the accept box. Peculiar. Have any other incoming graduate students received any correspondence on the registration/enrollment/financial aid process? I've been trying to figure out all this stuff on my own and have only been getting calls that never get answered or curt e-mails that direct me to a website link that doesn't answer my questions. So if anyone can help, I would greatly, greatly appreciate it. Thanks!

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