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Thread: University of Massachusetts Masters in Planning- Skills, Experience and Reputation

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    University of Massachusetts Masters in Planning- Skills, Experience and Reputation

    What is the reputation of the UMass Masters in Regional Planning program and how well it prepares its students to work in planning? Any grads out there?
    Last edited by 8hesaid; 18 Sep 2011 at 2:48 PM. Reason: need to add a question

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    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
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    I have taught there and hired grads. Its a good program in a good location. I think it depends to some extent on what you want to do with your degree, though.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Masswich View post
    I have taught there and hired grads. Its a good program in a good location. I think it depends to some extent on what you want to do with your degree, though.
    Ideally, I want to work on transportation policy and planning somewhere in New England. At UMass, I can take some transportation classes in the engineering department and hopefully get a summer job/internship in metro Boston, possibly even the Volpe Center. I spoke with a UMass MRP alum who took the transportation classes and she said that they are manageable for non-engineering folks.

    Masswich- what are you thoughts on this?

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    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    I got my B.A. from UMass in 2002. Don't know much about the Master's program in planning, but it seems to be well-respected in New England.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
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    I think that's a feasible plan. Its a little hard being out in Amherst if you want to get into the Boston market, but its doable.

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    Cyburbian
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    It should be doable for me- possibly one day per week but especially over the summer. I have free housing a few miles from Cambridge too.

  7. #7
    I'm also interested in UMass-Amhest, mainly for the financial aid perks that in-state tuition would bring.

    I'm mainly interested in urban transportation planning as well, and I'd really prefer to live in Boston while attending due to the internship/job opportunities there. I'm worried that the "Urban and Regional Planning" concentration might be weak due to the overwhelming focus on Landscape Design/Architecture in the school.

    Any thoughts on attending school in Western Mass but intending on working in Boston? And any experience with fellowships/assistantships on campus?

  8. #8
    Cyburbian
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    Good question Blueberry. I'll live in Amherst for school but eventually want to work in the eastern part of the state.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
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    I was accepted here last cycle, and went to the open house. They didn't guarantee any money, but said that fellowships are readily available. A lot of schools seem to make this promise, so I didn't end up attending, but I think UMass actually does end up fully funding a decent amount of students through fellowships and whatnot.

    As for the quality of the program -- I thought it looked like a nice one. It lacks the panache of some of the bigger named programs, but the faculty are smart and dedicated, and because the class size is small there's a lot of opportunity there. I don't know anyone that's gone on to work in Boston personally, but I'm sure people have. I do, however, know some people who worked for various organizations in the MA area.

  10. #10
    Thanks for your responses! I think I'll end up applying and see what happens.

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