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Thread: Finance aside, Pratt or Rutgers?

  1. #1
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    Finance aside, Pratt or Rutgers?

    Hi,

    I was admitted into several schools and I narrowed down my options to Rutgers and Pratt. I would appreciate any help with insights on both departments, as I am really torn.

    So, let's play a game: say tuition is not an issue (yeah, right... as if), which of the programs would you recommend?

    Factors to weigh in: size of class and personal connection with professors, quality of courses, networking and likelihood of getting a job in NYC afterwards, focus of the program and anything else that comes in mind.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
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    Av,

    I'm in a similar position as you. I've spoken to John Shapiro director from the Pratt planning program multiple times, and I recommend if you still have doubts closer to your decision deadline give him a buzz, he gives you an unfiltered perspective on ALL the programs you are considering without bias.

    Altogether, if your ultimate goal is to make connections and work in NYC, then Pratt's location, connections, and studio and practice based curriculum is for you. Also Pratt offers night classes I believe, whereby you may be able to swing a part-time job. Also, Pratt's program offers a non-stop course structure, where you can take courses through the winter and summer intersessions.

    Additionally, i've heard that Rutgers has a stronger focus on transportation, and the suburban realm.

    I'm currently in between schools, so my plan starting tomorrow morning, is to shake down some of these professors and see what they are about and how much support, guidance, and mentorship they provide, the research they have going on, and my fit in the program if I would like to pursue a PhD after.

    Everyone has a different situation, so I think reaching out to faculty would be your best bet.


    Rome

  3. #3
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    Thanks Rome!

    Yeah, I talked with John Shapiro a few times. He is very helpful!

    I've been hearing contradicting things about Rutgers' focus on suburbs, cause some say that you can learn about NYC issues there and that even networking-wise it's not bad at all (in terms of networking in the city).

    I your shake down brings any results, please share. I would love to hear some insights!

  4. #4
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    I am also in this exact same position. Both schools definitely have their own merits, and this is certainly not an easy decision (especially after a very thoroughly detailed acceptance letter from John Shapiro in which he quotes parts of my application materials and appealed to what I specifically want to pursue).

    As of right now I am leaning towards Rutgers. Their breadth of resources, faculty expertise, and course selection are all very appealing to me. I am attending their Open House next week to learn more about the Bloustein School and make sure that is where I want to pursue graduate study. I also know that many of the faculty have connections in NYC and have studied at various NYC universities.

    I also would love to live/work in New York one day, but I feel that Rutgers may be better for me if I happen to discover a great opportunity in another location after acquiring my degree.

    Both schools do have their own centers students are often employed in (Rutgers has the National Center for Neighborhood and Brownfields Redevelopment and the Ralph Voorhees Center for Civic Engagement while Pratt has the Pratt Center for Community Development). I can't say I know which centers are "better," but both programs seem very committed to community engagement through their centers.

    These are just some things I've thought about for my own situation, but as Rome said everyone definitely has a different situation.

    Best of luck in making your final decision!

    Jacob

  5. #5
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    Thanks Jacob!

    It's good to hear other that are in a similar situation.

    I'm afraid that now my situation got a bit more complicated because I was just notified by Hunter that I was admitted to their program as well. I don't know much about their program yet: what do you think, is it a game changer?

  6. #6
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    Ah, that does make your situation a little more complicated. I thought about applying to Hunter but decided against it. I can't say I know too much about it, but the reviews I read on the program when I was still deciding where to apply were mixed. Rankings aren't always important, but I know both Rutgers and Pratt made one or both of Planetizen's Top 25 lists whereas Hunter did not.

    If it were me I would probably stick with either Pratt or Rutgers unless you find Hunter has something that particularly intrigues you.

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