I've got a bit of a "good" dilemma going on here.
Here's my admission situation, in a nutshell:
-I applied both to Madison's Civil & Environmental Engineering and Urban & Regional Planning Master's Programs, but received an offer only from the MURP program.
-I applied to pursue Milwaukee's coordinate degree program, where I could walk away with an MS in Engineering and a Master's in Urban Planning. I was accepted by both departments, which I was thrilled about because I wasn't sure how competitive I really was.
-I have a Bachelor's in Civil Engineering, and my current interests lie in transportation planning and engineering.
My thoughts (not as brief ):
Madison is clearly the higher "ranked" school ... although they say that there isn't much of a ranking system for planning schools, Planetizen is still out there, and Madison makes it on there. I've been told time and time again that the reputation of your school determines the number of recruiters it attracts, and that's why it's important. I don't know how true that is, though. Transportation opportunities here are with CFIRE (focus in freight transportation) and the Certificate Program in Transportation Management & Policy (which I intend on pursuing if I choose to attend Madison). Of course I can tailor my specialty towards transportation planning. However, while the CEE & URP departments seem to be pretty linked to each other, my worry is that I am not aware of a transportation "presence" in the faculty, although I am excited to learn more about them.
Milwaukee's dual degree program speaks for itself. Why wouldn't I want to pursue two Master's degrees, given the option? Since it is already a set coordinated degree program, the requirements to be fulfilled for both programs are already laid out for you. The transportation segment is more evident here, and from an employer's standpoint, I have potential to be both a professional engineer and a certified planner. I suppose also that since Milwaukee is set more in an urban environment, it's assumed that more of the job opportunity is accessible here. The city is basically your classroom. But having gone to another Big 10 University for my undergrad, I'm already attracted to the idea of attending a school with as nice of a campus as Madison.
I intend on visiting both within the next month or so, and I bet that will help address many of my concerns, but if I could get some advice from anyone out there who has an opinion on the matter, that would be wonderful! (Especially those who may be able to shed some light on employment prospects from this academic track.) Thanks in advance.