I am a German student of Geography with minors in transport planning and business studies. I am currently planning on applying for a Master’s in the US this fall and am quite uncertain due to the differences between our systems. My girlfriend is American and it would be nice to live on the same continent again at some point…

My GPA right now is 1.7 out of 5 (with 1 being the best), which according to various sources should translate to something between 3.3 and 4.0. Seems to me every university hast their own way to deal with that. I have not taken the GRE so far, on the trial test I took yesterday I scored ranges between 750 and 800 (Q) / 540 and 640 (V). The verbal part is pretty hard for me, since English is not my first language. I scored 117 in the TOEFL test.

In my time here in Germany I was a research assistant with a professor in spatial planning for several years, was a member of a federally funded research project and had a (two months) internship at a regional planning outlet. For a year I was an exchange student in the UK and took several planning courses there. And I was walking around to collect Census data in London for some months (kind of related…).

I think I should be a competitive applicant for many universities, but I am kind of afraid how my Europe-based experiences and grades would be translated by the admission committees. Does anyone here have an idea? And many of the American terms do not fluently translate into German. I am currently working on policies which prevent chain retail companies to locate on greenfield sites outside of town centres. Would that be considered as land use planning or economic development? Or something different?

I would like to steer my education in a direction like that, does anyone know colleges which are specialize in topics like that and are reasonable to get in with my background?

I would really appreciate any contributions. The whole topic is rather opaque for an outsider, even though this forum and the Planetizen Guide already helped a lot!