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Thread: Undergrad in need of advice

  1. #1
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    Undergrad in need of advice

    Hey! After mulling over what I should do I stumbled upon this forum and decided to ask a few questions! Around this time last year I was busy deciding what university I was going to attend in the Fall of 2011. I was fairly lucky and was accepted to all of the universities I applied to, giving me a variety of schools to choose from. I have wanted to become an urban planner for some time and I was accepted into the Planning program at Waterloo with (co-op) and the Urban and Regional Planning Bachelors Degree program at Ryerson University. I was in favour of Ryerson over Waterloo because it's program was more practical and studio based while Waterloo's was more theoretical and lecture based. When it came down to me making my final decision I did something completely different, rejecting both of those universities and ultimately choosing to attend Queen's University, entering the faculty of Arts and Science. I made this decision because I was scared of taking a professional degree that was pre-structured for me. At the time I was worried that I would go into the program and dislike it and not be able to transfer into a different program because of how specific my credits would be. I have just finished my first year at Queen's, I took a spread of classes from all different departments (econ, bio, geology, geography, poli sci, hist...etc) trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. The classes I excelled in were economics and geography causing me to ultimately declare my major in economics.

    The dilemma I am facing is that I still want to go into urban and regional planning, specifically land use and real estate development. Queen's does not offer urban planning at the undergraduate level so my best option is to complete my degree in a related field. I declared my major in economics and I may minor in human geography. I am not willing to switch schools, so that rules out that option. I was wondering if anyone would care to give me some advice on structuring my undergraduate degree so that it prepares me to enter a masters degree program in urban and regional planning once I finish my undergrad. Would it be more beneficial for me to switch from economics to geography for my major? Also, do planners typically earn their Masters before going into to the field?

    Thank you for your time!

    Cheers,

    Will

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    Jul 2008
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    Economics versus Geography just boils down to personal preference. Both can be beneficial to you as a planner. I would suggest you take some GIS classes though if you decide to continue with an economics degree.

    As for whether a Masters is necessary. Technically it is not but most of the people applying for planning jobs will have them. So if you don't have one, you'll be at a disadvantage.

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