Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 34

Thread: Need some help possibly deciding on schools

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jun 2011
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    38

    Need some help possibly deciding on schools

    Good afternoon,

    I have a question for anyone who can answer. I am looking at graduate schools and took the GRE today. These are the following statistics for me.

    GRE Math - 530
    Verbal - 380
    Total - 910

    GPA - 3.3

    Member of various student planning associations, honor societies, and member of the student american planning association. Also, working on a project for a local town.

    What are the prospects of me getting into these graduate schools?
    Georgia Tech
    Florida State
    Florida
    North Carolina
    Clemson

    I also have recommendation letters from alumni from GT and FSU. What do you think of my chances of getting in right now? (Even though it is below the general "1000" mark?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    GRE scores are only one factor, often given less weight than your GPA, and both given less weight than your personal statement. Apply to the schools you want to go to, regardless of what you think your chances are.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jun 2011
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    38
    I just don't know if my scores are "supposedly" below a minimum score. It just would seem like with a good GPA, excellent letters of recommendation from alumni, and many extracurriculars, that I could have a chance regardless of GRE scores.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Wherever
    Posts
    1,181
    Sometimes schools use 1000 or 1100 as an arbitrary cutoff but I'm not sure how firm they hold to it. GREs can also be used to determine financial aid.

    I'd personally just check each of the schools' websites to see if they have a minimum score listed. Some don't even have a minimum or don't hold to it. If it does become an issue though, you should probably have no problem getting above the minimum on the next attempt.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jun 2011
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    38
    I'm sorry to bother y'all about it, but I'm determining whether or not I am going to take it again, seeing how the GRE is long and expensive. Also, because everything else would seem very exemplary.

    I know a lot of them say 1000 for a cutoff, but I am above the average GPA. I'm just considering whether or not to take it again or what not.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Wherever
    Posts
    1,181
    The 3.0 is usually a GPA cutoff, not an average. The reason is that you're expected to hold at least a 3.0 in graduate school to graduate.

    But yeah, it's really hard to determine whether it's a good idea to retake or not. I've heard of some people getting in with their stats below the cutoff but you can't bank on anything during an application process. A lot rides on how competitive the program is that particular year and how good a fit they feel the program is to you.

    If you do take the GRE again, just be aware they're reworking the entire test at some point real soon.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jun 2011
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    38
    Yeah, I would still say my GPA is higher than average, though.

    What do you think of having recommendations from alumni? Would this help?

  8. #8
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    163
    In all (blunt) honesty, you're going to want to retake the GRE and definitely aim to get above the 50th percentile on each section if you want a good shot at getting into the schools you've listed. GRE scores are often given less weight than GPA and LORs, but if you are applying straight out of undergrad they will be an important part of your overall application.

    In terms of minimums:

    Georgia Tech - 450 Verbal, 550 Math, 4.0 Writing (http://www.planning.gatech.edu/admis...masters_degree)

    UNC - Recommended above 50th percentile on all sections (http://planning.unc.edu/admissions/faq1/faq#2)

    Florida - Minimum combined score of 1000 (http://dcp.ufl.edu/urp/admissions)

    FSU - Minimum combined score of 1000 (http://www.coss.fsu.edu/durp/prospec...asters-program)

    Clemson - No stated minimum, but they want students to score close to the median in each section (http://www.clemson.edu/caah/pla/city...admission.html)

    Based on information in the Planetizen guide, the average score of incoming students was much higher than the specified minimums at all of the schools you listed.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jun 2011
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    38
    I appreciate the information.

    I am planning on taking the newly revised GRE, because I cannot study for it in the appropriate time. I know scores won't be reported until November, but would this be a good time to apply for the graduate schools?

    Also, I asked what would be my chances of getting in regardless of these scores being below the minimum? No chance? Some chance?

    Thanks.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Mar 2011
    Location
    New Haven, CT
    Posts
    65
    I know very little about most of those programs, but I'm not sure about your chances at UNC. That's a very strong program with very competitive admissions, and I doubt they ever have to make "exceptions" to their rules, no matter how cosmetic - there's just too many people with perfect teeth, you know what I mean? Georgia Tech would be a stretch, too, and those with more familiarity with the other programs will be more helpful than me.

    One of the biggest reasons it will help you to take the GRE again (especially if you're one good day away from cracking the 1000 mark) is that taking it once gives you a very good idea of what to expect the next time around. You already took the GRE, so taking it again is no big deal: you know the time frame, the difficulty, the pressure, etc.

    N.B. - It's good to remember that the math section of the GRE doesn't really go much beyond high school math. As a result, anyone with a college degree should be able to get up around 600 if he or she is willing to really practice beforehand. It's arithmetic, algebra, geometry, elementary probability, and some trig. You can get that.

    All this becomes less relevant, however, if you take the time to write an honest, articulate, and clear statement of intent. Do not look past this as a given, or think for a second that your GRE matters more than this.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jun 2011
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    38
    I understand. UNC has been removed my list, as it probably being a little too much of a stretch. However, I still intend on applying at least to:

    Georgia Tech
    Florida State
    Clemson
    Florida

    After looking at Florida State's planning website, they want someone with either a 3.0 GPA or 1000 GRE. I do not see this as an absolute minimum 1000 GRE, as long as you have either one of the two.

    My stats were as follows:
    3.3 GPA / 3.25 in Planning
    530 Math
    380 Verbal
    3.5 Writing

    Other Relevant Information:
    Student Member APA
    Honor Societies - Omicron Delta Kappa, Beta Gamma Psi
    Various Community Service Activities
    Vast Knowledge of Computer Applications
    Working on a project for a local town
    Letters of Recommendation From Alumni of FSU, GT
    Will be working on a group planning task in the fall

    This is as updated as it gets. I do not intend on taking the GRE again, unless applying in November would not by any means hurt my chances of getting in.

    Another possibility is applying to schools that do not require the GRE, and I know of some out there do not require it, and some that do not have a stated/hard minimum score.

    Any advice, information, or relevant help is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jun 2011
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    38
    I have decided to retake the new GRE. It is just better for me if I do take it.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2007
    Location
    the old north state
    Posts
    2,703
    UF alum here: the 1000 minimum GRE score (and 3.0 GPA) is to be accepted to the Graduate School. The program decided individually whether or not to admit you after you have gotten into the graduate school based on your letters, essay, etc.
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Tarf's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Encinitas, CA
    Posts
    705
    I'm sure you're already aware, but from your OP it sounds like you might not be...

    It is my understanding that when you take the GRE, you have to choose which schools the scores are reported to. If you don't choose to report your scores to those schools, you can't send your scores to them after the fact. So if you didn't mark the codes for all the universities you list in the OP, then those schools did not get your GRE scores and you would have to re-take the GRE anyways.

    Based on your score from the first round, that may be a good thing... my advice would be to study hard for the revised test and retake it before applying (and make sure to have the scores reported to the universities you'll be applying to, if you didn't the first time).

  15. #15
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jun 2011
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    38
    Yes, I sent the first scores to the ones I previously mentioned. I have only a few questions now.

    1. Is it to my advantage to go ahead and apply and send my scores and wait to get the decision before the November reporting date? I'm worried if I go ahead and apply early, my decision will be made before the new scores are sent (I highly doubt my scores will be worse the 2nd time around)

    2. Is there any indication of what the new score requirements will be?

    Thanks for being helpful, especially the alumni. It really is appreciated.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Tarf's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Encinitas, CA
    Posts
    705
    On #1, I'd recommend waiting until you receive your copy of your new GRE scores (in November) before sending in your application, to make sure they get your newer (and presumably, better) scores.

    On the second question, no one knows yet. That's the reason the new GRE scores won't be released until November. It's a new test, so they have to get a critical mass of test results before they can allocate percentile rankings. Until they identify those percentile rankings, universities are unlikely to have a set "minimum score." I've tried finding information to get an estimate of what new GRE score equates to, say, a 1,000 score under the old GRE, but couldn't find anything (if anyone finds something, please link!!!).

  17. #17
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Seattle, WA USA
    Posts
    70
    It's a shame schools put so much emphasis on GRE scores. They're not always a good predictor of your success in any given program.

    It surprises me the students I meet with relatively low GRE scores, yet they are highly successful academically and socially. And there are those with high GRE scores and they are not the most academically successful and or are socially awkward.

    I believe if you have a compelling story about why a particular school is the best for you, and you half way demonstrate you can do the work, you're in.

    Who you are and your experience should be more of an indicator of your level of success rather than an arbitrary number.
    Master of Public Administration - 2012
    Concentration: Metropolitan and Regional Policy
    Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs
    University of Washington, Seattle, WA

  18. #18
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Cambridge, MA
    Posts
    53
    The GRE scores can be sent to the schools after you've taken them. It just costs extra money. Included in the cost of the test is the ability to have your results immediately sent to 3 or 4 schools, but you can always pay for them to send it to other schools later.

    Also, retaking the GRE will not erase your old results. Any test results from the last 5 years will be sent to the school.

    In regards to when you should apply, most schools I looked at had an application deadline in December or January, and they wouldn't even look at an application before that deadline. You just apply and send your stuff in as you get it, and assuming they have everything they need by the deadline, they evaluate you then.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jun 2011
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    38
    Thanks for letting me know. Yes, I do know the old results will be there. HOWEVER, doing some research gave me some good information. Some schools look ONLY at your recent score, (even though your old scores will be there)

  20. #20
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Wherever
    Posts
    1,181
    Yeah, schools normally just look at your highest score. The only time retaking the GRE could hurt you is if you start scoring lower on subsequent attempts. The chances of that happening are pretty low though as you'll be more familiar with the test.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jun 2011
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    38
    Just took the GRE again.

    Middle of the Range Scores:
    Verbal 490
    Math 580
    Total 1070

    What do you think?

  22. #22
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Aug 2011
    Location
    New Brunswick, NJ
    Posts
    64
    I'm joining this thread to ask advice on my school picks. I'm applying to urban planning programs that have a transportation policy focus. Right now, I am definitely applying to UNC- Chapel Hill, USC, UCLA, Tufts, and University of Maryland. I want a policy-focused program rather than design/architecture centric.

    Can anyone recommend other top planning programs with a transportation focus? I am using the 2012 Planetizen Guide (I know, I saw the thread on why not to get the Guide only recently) as a starting point. I currently live in DC and prefer east coast schools, but I am willing to go anywhere to get a degree from a top school and eventually relocate to New England (hence the two Cali schools).


    About me: Recent grad from top liberal arts school with Government major and Econ minor
    GRE verbal: 650, quant: 690
    Undergrad GPA: 3.76
    I've been working for the federal government for the past two years but not in a transport/planning related position.

    Thanks for any advice!

  23. #23
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jun 2011
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    38
    I don't mean to be rude, but would you mind creating your own thread? You can get discussion based on what you posted.

    There would be a lot of confusion if two people are talking about graduate school decisions in this thread.

  24. #24
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Aug 2011
    Location
    New Brunswick, NJ
    Posts
    64
    Quote Originally posted by nam0806 View post
    I don't mean to be rude, but would you mind creating your own thread? You can get discussion based on what you posted.
    Nam- I started a new thread entitled, "School Decisions Advice- Transportation Planning Concentrations" http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=44916

  25. #25
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jun 2011
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    38
    Thanks!

    That way there can be individualized attention.

+ Reply to thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

More at Cyburbia

  1. Quite possibly a haven?
    Career Development and Advice
    Replies: 11
    Last post: 20 Oct 2011, 10:20 AM
  2. Deciding between two job offers
    Career Development and Advice
    Replies: 7
    Last post: 06 Aug 2010, 3:44 PM
  3. Replies: 0
    Last post: 27 Jun 2009, 8:44 PM
  4. I need help deciding between two jobs
    Career Development and Advice
    Replies: 19
    Last post: 17 Mar 2008, 10:27 AM
  5. Replies: 6
    Last post: 14 Apr 2004, 2:48 PM