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Thread: Undergrad advice

  1. #1
    Jun 2011
    Memphis, USA

    Undergrad advice

    I've always been pulled towards architecture growing up. But early on in high school I discovered urban planning. I went to a school that all my friends were going to for a year knowing it had neither. I thought that I'd eventually find something there that would interest me and was disappointed that i didn't.

    After some thinking, I decided to transfer out. There was no point in going to this school if there was nothing there that interested me. Another reason was it's price tag. I can't stand the thought of getting into any kind of debt. Might even have had a panic attack once cause of stressing over the thought.

    Anyway! I was thinking about being an architect but after touring other school's programs I realized that it might not be all that I wanted. I was going to use an Arch degree to get into an Urban Planning grad school, most likely U of Memphis. Which is still what I want to do. I'm considering Urban Studies, Geography, Sociology, and perhaps a Political Science.

    I want to stay instate(TN) and my top choices are ETSU, MTSU, UTC. I'd consider UTK and maybe Memphis, but I want to get away from home for awhile. Also, I am technically accepted to Andrews University in southwest Michigan and can still spend 4-5+ years there (as well as loads of money) in their Architecture program.

    So I'm curious to know what your undergrad degree was and If you found it helpful in getting your MURP. That is, if you are an urban planner.

    Any advice is welcome!!

  2. #2
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
    Jan 2005
    Hang on Sloopy...land
    You will find that planning has numerous undergrad degrees that work well with a planning Master's.

    If you are looking to go the Master's route (which many are doing now because of the high demand) get your undergrad in something that rounds you out. Go with marketing, business, finance, GIS, or some other field that you find interesting.

    I can't speak to schools in Tennessee, but you should pick a school based on the professors and your specific fields of interest.

    Make a list of everything you want in a school and compare. Call the profs and talk about their programs.

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

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Plus
    Jun 2003
    Quote Originally posted by Hink_Planner View post
    You will find that planning has numerous undergrad degrees that work well with a planning Master's.

    Good luck and welcome to Cyburbia!
    1. - There is nothing wrong with studying Geography. Several of us did.

    2. - what he said.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian HomerJ's avatar
    Dec 2010
    I'm gettin' there
    I started out as an Architecture undergrad and ended up in Planning. If you go this route, you will find that there are a lot of skills you learn in Architecture that transfer favorably into planning. Checking bldg. plans for code compliance is very helpful (although not always the most exciting work). Also, commissioners will always express concern over the aesthetic and visual impact of development projects. Having someone with architectural knowledge on staff can be a great way to alleviate those concerns.

    I'll second what others are saying about school selection. Do a little research on the professors in each program and really think about what you hope to get out of the experience.
    Insanity in individuals is something rare - but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.

  5. #5
    Mar 2011
    biggest lil state there is
    As some of the above posts mentioned, your major won't have a huge effect on your chances for planning school acceptance. Some schools, however, may have prerequisite classes (microeconomics, college algebra, etc.) That being said, majoring in something like architecture, or engineering might make you more appealing to employers in certain planning concentrations, but this really depends where your interests lie.

  6. #6
    Aug 2011
    Memphis, TN
    I just graduated form UTK. They do not have Urban Studies or Planning there. There is one Urban Geography class and I think there may be a transportation class offered occasionally. I believe Memphis is the only Tennessee school with an Urban program.

    The architecture program, however, is excellent. Very competitive.

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