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Thread: Graduate/PhD 2013-2014 applications and acceptance notices: United States

  1. #26
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    I need help. I got full rides to Rutgers, Penn, University of California, Wisconsin, and Harvard. My Dad wants me to go to Henry Ford Community College because that is where he went. What should I do?
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  2. #27
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner View post
    I need help. I got full rides to Rutgers, Penn, University of California, Wisconsin, and Harvard. My Dad wants me to go to Henry Ford Community College because that is where he went. What should I do?
    Well, if you don't want to spend time in the company of children, quit hanging out in the schoolyard.

  3. #28
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by dunbar View post
    Thought I might as well get amongst it.

    Is there anywhere else in the northeast region I should look at applying to?
    Those are obviously some great programs, but you might also want to take a look at the University of Maryland. The planning department there contributes to the university's National Center for Smart Growth, it's right outside of DC, and there's lots of interest in transportation within the department.

    Take a look at their recent publications here, and if you like what you see, maybe it would be worth adding to your list.

  4. #29
    Since I've found threads like these valuable, I figured I'd contribute.

    major: economics
    minor: urban planning
    GPA: 3.3
    GRE: 162 verbal, 154 quant, 4.0 writing

    Experience: summer fellowship at an urban planning think tank, where I performed planning policy analysis & statistical analysis; summer urban planning internship for city gov spent studying parking supply & demand generation as well as general sustainability topics (specifically estimating electricity demand and carbon emissions & strategies for reducing both); also worked in 2010 census as an enumerator and later in quality control. Currently work in IT security at my university.

    I also received an award for my undergraduate thesis and presented at a conference; however it is still only in peer review for journal publication. The think tank is moving to publish a couple papers I worked on though. The supervisors from my fellowship & internship and the mentor for my undergrad thesis are providing rec letters.

    Schools I'm applying to:
    University of Pennsylvania
    Columbia University
    University of Virginia
    Harvard University
    NYU
    University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

    I know my GPA isn't the best and my quant GRE could be higher, but I'm hoping I can make up for that with experience. Does that seem reasonable, or are these schools out of reach for me? Also, looking for advice on other schools to apply to — somewhere in the mid-atlantic or northeast preferably. Especially policy-oriented programs.

    Any feedback would be appreciated. good luck to everyone!

  5. #30
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    Cleveland, Ohio
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    Hey everyone, I just finished applying to most of my schools and this thread from the last couple of years was helpful, so I thought I'd contribute..

    Background:
    BA, Urban Studies and English (double major)
    GPA: 3.83
    GRE: 164 V, 156 Q

    Experience: Endowed internship in school working for a community development corporation doing GIS among other things, summer internship working at a city planning department, and currently at an economic development corporation working with low-income residents on housing-related issues. Have had two medium-sized grants I've worked on funded.

    Schools:
    University of Southern California
    UCLA
    UC Berkeley
    University of Washington
    Ohio State University

  6. #31
    Cyburbian
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    Location
    New Orleans, LA
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    Look at all of them, including your dad's choice, seriously. go to the one you like most. That probably wont be your dad's choice but you will have examined it and can explain why you chose how you did.

  7. #32
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Dec 2012
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
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    SDSU - 3.2 GPA

    GRE: 152/152/3.5

    Work Experience: 1 year term at City of San Diego Redevelopment Agency; volunteered in Honduras 2x to build clean water systems; 3 years as a Policy Analyst in the Guam Legislature; founded 3 organizations.

    Schools Considered:
    U Virginia
    UCLA
    Unv Oregon
    Texas A&M
    UM
    UC Irvine
    UW-Madison

  8. #33
    Cyburbian
    Registered
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    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
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    I am hoping for the same- I have lower scores but quite a bit of work experience [152/152/3.5]. I've heard that working experience can be heavily valued, especially against applicants applying immediately after completing their undergraduate studies. Many of the programs have seen a huge increase in the number of applicants, likely a result of the current economy. Although I am not applying to Harvard, Columbia or UNA, I am applying to UVA!

    Good luck!

    Quote Originally posted by alcaniz View post
    Since I've found threads like these valuable, I figured I'd contribute.

    major: economics
    minor: urban planning
    GPA: 3.3
    GRE: 162 verbal, 154 quant, 4.0 writing

    Experience: summer fellowship at an urban planning think tank, where I performed planning policy analysis & statistical analysis; summer urban planning internship for city gov spent studying parking supply & demand generation as well as general sustainability topics (specifically estimating electricity demand and carbon emissions & strategies for reducing both); also worked in 2010 census as an enumerator and later in quality control. Currently work in IT security at my university.

    I also received an award for my undergraduate thesis and presented at a conference; however it is still only in peer review for journal publication. The think tank is moving to publish a couple papers I worked on though. The supervisors from my fellowship & internship and the mentor for my undergrad thesis are providing rec letters.

    Schools I'm applying to:
    University of Pennsylvania
    Columbia University
    University of Virginia
    Harvard University
    NYU
    University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

    I know my GPA isn't the best and my quant GRE could be higher, but I'm hoping I can make up for that with experience. Does that seem reasonable, or are these schools out of reach for me? Also, looking for advice on other schools to apply to somewhere in the mid-atlantic or northeast preferably. Especially policy-oriented programs.

    Any feedback would be appreciated. good luck to everyone!

  9. #34
    Member
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    Feb 2012
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    19
    Hi All! I am planning to apply to Masters programs in City Planning to concentrate on transportation and hopefully engineering as well. Here are my stats:

    GPA: 3.5 from top 10 private institution
    Majors: History, Political Science, German Studies
    GRE: 680V, 740Q, 3.5W
    Experience: consultant work for various global development companies dealing with nutrition, education, infrastructure; 1 year working for an affordable housing policy firm and 2 years working in regional development in DC through grantmaking and community investment. I am also a writer for the Examiner in DC urban transportation issues.

    Applying to:
    MIT
    UC Berkeley
    Rutgers
    Georgia Tech
    Portland State Univ.

    If anyone could let me know if they have insight on my chances, that would be great. My personal statements and letters of recommendation are pretty solid. Thanks.

  10. #35
    Member
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    Jan 2013
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    Owensboro, KY
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    Majors: Economics; Writing, Rhetoric, and Communication
    GPA: 3.99
    GRE: 164 V, 159 Q, 4.5 W
    Summer internship in real estate law
    Summer internship in economic development

    Applying to:
    UNC, Chapel Hill
    University of Virginia
    University of Louisville
    Rutgers
    University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

    Thoughts, anyone?

  11. #36
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Dec 2012
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    82

    SOP and Experience

    You have great stats for the schools you have selected, but they are all extremely competitive. Not too sure about Rutgers and UL but the others are probably on everyone else's list as well. I didn't apply to UNC or Urbana because of my mediocre stats, but they are definitely great programs, and I wish I had the stats to even think about those programs! Good luck.



    Quote Originally posted by liller13 View post
    Majors: Economics; Writing, Rhetoric, and Communication
    GPA: 3.99
    GRE: 164 V, 159 Q, 4.5 W
    Summer internship in real estate law
    Summer internship in economic development

    Applying to:
    UNC, Chapel Hill
    University of Virginia
    University of Louisville
    Rutgers
    University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

    Thoughts, anyone?

  12. #37
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Dec 2012
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    82

    You'll definitely get into a program... which one will be the exciting part! haha.

    You'll definitely get into a program... which one will be the exciting part! haha.

    Quote Originally posted by TransPlannerHopeful View post
    Hi All! I am planning to apply to Masters programs in City Planning to concentrate on transportation and hopefully engineering as well. Here are my stats:

    GPA: 3.5 from top 10 private institution
    Majors: History, Political Science, German Studies
    GRE: 680V, 740Q, 3.5W
    Experience: consultant work for various global development companies dealing with nutrition, education, infrastructure; 1 year working for an affordable housing policy firm and 2 years working in regional development in DC through grantmaking and community investment. I am also a writer for the Examiner in DC urban transportation issues.

    Applying to:
    MIT
    UC Berkeley
    Rutgers
    Georgia Tech
    Portland State Univ.

    If anyone could let me know if they have insight on my chances, that would be great. My personal statements and letters of recommendation are pretty solid. Thanks.

  13. #38
    A bit concerned. You'll probs see why

    Major: Earth & Environmental Science
    GPA: 3.12 cumulative
    -3.61 as a freshman at a state university
    -2.94 over the past three years at a top 20 private institution
    GRE: 319 (156Q, 163V)
    Experience: 6 months after graduation with an environmental consulting firm focusing on due diligence for real estate developers. It disillusioned me quite a bit with the financial onus of development on rural communities. Trust me, the SOP is more long-winded than that.

    Applied to:
    Wisconsin
    Virginia
    SUNY-Albany
    Appalachian State (under the "Appalachian Studies" umbrella)

    And then there's Iowa, which is a bit different. I am applying to a dual program in Urban Planning and a Masters of Health Administration. This adds a bit of a new dimension, because I also worked for a little over a year in college with cystic fibrosis researchers at the university's children hospital, which shed light on dirty environmental practices' effects on genetic diseases. (Again, if you want long-winded, check the SOP :D )

    Could anyone shed some light on my chances?? I just found this website a couple hours ago. I had no idea one like it existed. I'll certainly be coming back.

  14. #39
    Major: Social studies, focus in urban development
    GPA: 3.6 from an Ivy League
    GRE: 164V, 161Q, 5.0
    Experience: mostly internships and travel, some art

    Schools
    Berkeley
    MIT
    Harvard
    Penn

    Straight out of undergrad - I'm only applying to places I really want to attend. If I don't get in anywhere, or can't afford it, then oh well -- I'll try to get a job and apply again in a few years. Still have my fingers crossed that I get in somewhere!

  15. #40
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    Jan 2013
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    Vancouver, BC
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    I put all my eggs in one basket: I only applied to MIT's Ph.D. program.

    My GRE was 166Q 162V 5.5A. I just finished my MBA a year ago at Queen's University with a GPA of 3.6 and my undergraduate GPA isn't worth mentioning (I did fine in my last few years but the first two were terrible).

    All of my experience is private sector - commercial property management, mezzanine financing and construction for a total of 8 years.

    I have funding available to me from my current employer, and I'm fairly sure my SoP is very well written.

    Also I'm from Canada so I wonder if that will have any impact on my chances..

    Thoughts?

  16. #41
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Dec 2012
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    82

    PhD Programs

    I suppose it's too late, and I am sure you know Ph.D. programs are competitive, especially now. Heck, the MA programs are running between 30-50% acceptance rates.

    Although, your stats and writing style seem great, and the fact that your employer is supporting your education and you are Canadian will definitely help. Just make sure those Letters of Rec. are superb and well rounded. They should fill gaps in your application.

    Good luck!!! For what it is worth, you look like a great candidate.


    Quote Originally posted by BadStoryDan View post
    I put all my eggs in one basket: I only applied to MIT's Ph.D. program.

    My GRE was 166Q 162V 5.5A. I just finished my MBA a year ago at Queen's University with a GPA of 3.6 and my undergraduate GPA isn't worth mentioning (I did fine in my last few years but the first two were terrible).

    All of my experience is private sector - commercial property management, mezzanine financing and construction for a total of 8 years.

    I have funding available to me from my current employer, and I'm fairly sure my SoP is very well written.

    Also I'm from Canada so I wonder if that will have any impact on my chances..

    Thoughts?

  17. #42
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    Jan 2013
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    3
    Thanks for taking the time to comment - I know the deadline is past but I appreciate it regardless. I wasn't sure about being from outside the US so it's good to know it's not some sort of red flag.

    Quote Originally posted by waterboy View post
    I suppose it's too late, and I am sure you know Ph.D. programs are competitive, especially now. Heck, the MA programs are running between 30-50% acceptance rates.

    Although, your stats and writing style seem great, and the fact that your employer is supporting your education and you are Canadian will definitely help. Just make sure those Letters of Rec. are superb and well rounded. They should fill gaps in your application.

    Good luck!!! For what it is worth, you look like a great candidate.

  18. #43
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Emory, VA
    Posts
    30
    I guess I'm a bit late to this, but it seems most of my deadlines are later too...

    School: Small liberal arts college. Its really respected in Virginia, but probably an unknown outside the state.
    Majors: Geography & History
    GPA: 3.72 (3.9 in both majors)
    GRE: Q 149/ V 163/ W 4.5
    Experience: Unfortunately not much outside of class. I did a semester abroad in the UK, so that has to help a little, right??

    Applied/ Applying to:

    The Pratt Institute
    Ball State
    SUNY Albany
    UNO
    Temple


    The only one I'm not confident about is Pratt...

  19. #44
    Member
    Registered
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Tehran, Iran
    Posts
    18
    Dear Friends,

    I am an international applicant and this is my first post in this forum. I am applying to PhD programs hoping some of you would kindly take time to comment on my stats.

    Education: BS in Civil Engineering, MS in Urban and Regional Planning
    GPA: 3.6
    GRE: 156(V), 157(Q), 3 (W)
    TOEFL iBT: 100
    Professional Experiences: Six years professional planning practice, Two years experience in survey engineering
    Teaching Experiences: Five years for graduate students in universities, Two years in colleges, and Seven years as private GIS tutor
    Honors: Ranked 1st in BS and MS, and 1st in the PhD nationwide exam, Full scholarship in BS and MS
    Conferences: Two International Conferences
    Assistantship: Four years TA, Five years RA

    Applied/Applying to:
    1-USC
    2-MIT
    3-Rutgers
    4-Texas Arlington
    5-U Buffalo
    6-Virginia Tech

    I am cognizant of some of my options' formidable reputation for their extremely competitive PhD admissions. Not well conversant with American academia, however, I would be much obliged to anyone who can kindly let me know his/her insights on my chances.

  20. #45
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Dec 2012
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
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    GRE Scores

    What stands out to me is your GRE score, especially the writing score. It's relatively low for a PhD program. If you look through the previous terms (2011-2012) you'll see that they are highly competitive. On the other hand you have great work experience and a unique perspective (being an int. applicant). I'd say you have a good shot if your SOP and Letters of Rec. are great. Try to form a relationship with professors you're interested in working with- I hear that makes a big difference for PhD programs. Good luck!


    Quote Originally posted by urbbabz View post
    Dear Friends,

    I am an international applicant and this is my first post in this forum. I am applying to PhD programs hoping some of you would kindly take time to comment on my stats.

    Education: BS in Civil Engineering, MS in Urban and Regional Planning
    GPA: 3.6
    GRE: 156(V), 157(Q), 3 (W)
    TOEFL iBT: 100
    Professional Experiences: Six years professional planning practice, Two years experience in survey engineering
    Teaching Experiences: Five years for graduate students in universities, Two years in colleges, and Seven years as private GIS tutor
    Honors: Ranked 1st in BS and MS, and 1st in the PhD nationwide exam, Full scholarship in BS and MS
    Conferences: Two International Conferences
    Assistantship: Four years TA, Five years RA

    Applied/Applying to:
    1-USC
    2-MIT
    3-Rutgers
    4-Texas Arlington
    5-U Buffalo
    6-Virginia Tech

    I am cognizant of some of my options' formidable reputation for their extremely competitive PhD admissions. Not well conversant with American academia, however, I would be much obliged to anyone who can kindly let me know his/her insights on my chances.

  21. #46
    Member
    Registered
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    10

    MIT MST?

    Has anybody applied to the MST Program at MIT? Have you heard back? How many students do they usually take every year? How many international students? How difficult is it to get into the program?

  22. #47
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    Location
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    Quote Originally posted by waterboy View post
    What stands out to me is your GRE score, especially the writing score. It's relatively low for a PhD program. If you look through the previous terms (2011-2012) you'll see that they are highly competitive. On the other hand you have great work experience and a unique perspective (being an int. applicant). I'd say you have a good shot if your SOP and Letters of Rec. are great. Try to form a relationship with professors you're interested in working with- I hear that makes a big difference for PhD programs. Good luck!
    Dear Waterboy,

    I truly appreciate your kindly given comments on my stats. As you might know, application submission fees are exorbitant for international students. Current economic crisis too has contributed additional strains to an already full plate, which has rendered not only applying but also studying abroad almost unattainable for many of us. Fortunately, I have great Letters of Rec. and have tried to choose my options based on my correspondences with one or more professors in each university who have encouraged me to apply to their programs. Based on your helpful remarks, I hope this can boost my chance of being admitted at least in one of them.

    Thanks again,

  23. #48
    Member
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    Nov 2012
    Location
    West Coast
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    3

    Profile

    Major: Urban & Regional Planning (accredited)
    Cumulative GPA: 3.60
    Past 2 yrs. GPA: 3.90
    GRE: 157Q, 150V
    Strong Letters of Recommendation, all Urban Planning professors, including one very well respected transportation guy

    Experience:
    -Planning Intern with a major city for 1.5+ years
    -Undergraduate student research assistant for my Department

    Scholarship Awards
    -Four relevant to transportation and planning;
    -Three relevant to leadership and academic success

    Interest:
    -Transportation...combining planning + engineering (actually only one of the programs I applied to is full on planning with plans of a dual masters)

    Schools:
    1. UC Berkeley - MCP, eventually seeking Dual MCP/MSCE
    2. U Washington - MSCE/Transpo Eng.
    3. MIT - MST
    4. UC Davis -MSCE/Transpo Eng.

  24. #49
    Cyburbian
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    Tallahassee
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    In at Florida State!

  25. #50
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Dec 2012
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    82

    Texas A&M

    You may want to also consider Texas A/M (deadline March 1). They have a unique program that I saw while looking at their stand alone Maters in Urban Planning program. It's specific to architecture, engineering and planning. May be something you could consider given your interests.

    Other than that, you have really good chances. I wouldn't be surprised if you had to make a decision between a few schools. good luck!



    Quote Originally posted by arianna View post
    Major: Urban & Regional Planning (accredited)
    Cumulative GPA: 3.60
    Past 2 yrs. GPA: 3.90
    GRE: 157Q, 150V
    Strong Letters of Recommendation, all Urban Planning professors, including one very well respected transportation guy

    Experience:
    -Planning Intern with a major city for 1.5+ years
    -Undergraduate student research assistant for my Department

    Scholarship Awards
    -Four relevant to transportation and planning;
    -Three relevant to leadership and academic success

    Interest:
    -Transportation...combining planning + engineering (actually only one of the programs I applied to is full on planning with plans of a dual masters)

    Schools:
    1. UC Berkeley - MCP, eventually seeking Dual MCP/MSCE
    2. U Washington - MSCE/Transpo Eng.
    3. MIT - MST
    4. UC Davis -MSCE/Transpo Eng.

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