Hey all, thought I'd chime in.
I've applied for a PhD in Planning.
Undergrad: State School
Grad: Private School
Experience: 1 year professional; 1.5 years intern
Great letters of recommendation
Good graduate GPA
Ok GRE scores
Schools Applied To:
UBC (British Columbia)
Any other PhD applicants out here?
OK, here we go:
I applied for M.A. City Planning programs at:
(Considering applying to somewhere else such as Cal Poly Pomona or some other place but not sure and I am broke.)
Undergrad: UC Berkeley 3.56
Work: Property management and legal assistant experience
Personal Statement: Very strong
Letters: Haven't read the letters but I am confident!
GRE: Above average Verbal, lousy Quantitative and surprisingly low Writing score
Last edited by allygo; 25 Jan 2013 at 8:17 PM.
...do we think that grad programs monitor this site? If I worked in admissions, I know I would.
Last edited by Cismontane; 28 Jan 2013 at 1:36 PM.
Many people who do the MST degree without a prior (earlier) professional degree combine it with a professional degree.. whether an M.Eng or an MCP. This is because the MST isn't really a professional degree, although it is a very good program, so without a professional degree it may be difficult with the MST alone to get certain types of jobs. So an M.Eng/MST is basically a transportation engineer with a transport planning concentration, while an MCP/MST is basically an urban planner with a transport planning concentration. Unless you have a prior degree, I wouldn't advise just getting an MST as a standalone degree.
MST and MCP have similar admissions prereqs (including 1 full year of college-level math and probability), but there is one difference in that the MST program requires the compulsory MCP microeconomics sequence as a pre-requisite, so sometimes people apply the other way around (MCP then MST). In any event, since stats and micro are both required courses in the MCP program (assuming you don't test out), the prereqs are basically the identical, and I actually suggest getting both sequences out of the way before you start in any one of the two programs.. take a couple summer school classes if you have to.. or just cram for the test-out exams, which are administered during orientation week, regardless of which program you're admitted into first. They're really not that hard. I've heard the GRE expectations are also quite similar.
I've never seen solid admissions statistics, but word was - a few years ago - that circa 400 people apply each year for the MCP program and circa 100 apply for the MST program. Something around 1/4th to 1/5th of those who apply are accepted, and something like 60% of those who are admitted attend. Most people will get at least some funding, subject to your ranking in entering class.
Has anyone else recieved a letter from Penn reminding them to fill out FAFSA? If so, do you know if they only send them out to people who haven't filled them out yet, or if its just a general email sent to all applicants. I've filled out FAFSA but this makes me worry that Id did something wrong or sent it to the wrong place.
Also, it said notifications will be available online on March 14th. I thought last year Penn sent out notifications around February 10th
seems like the University of Minnesota has started making phone calls for the ma program.
Thanks Cismontane. This really helps! How do you know so much about the two programs?
It seems that these programs are both very tough to get into. In the past I have known anthropology students get into the MST Program. I suppose must have had a really great academic record. Or they value LORs and SOP a lot more than some of the other more rigorous programs.
My point is not that an anthro student couldn't get into the program on a standalone basis, it's what that student's future career prospects would be with just a non-professional graduate degree. I don't think the Institute does a very good job of making sure that it only admits students who choose employable degree combinations. MCP+MST is more employable than just an MCP, but an MST without an accompanying or preceding professional degree might be much less so.
Of course, it's possible to go back and do things later. I'm actually toying with the idea of going for a part-time online mid-career M.Eng, just because I want to develop technically, despite having earlier joint professional degrees in planning and arch. I might not even put it on my resume if I end up doing it.. it would mainly be to round out my skills and force me to do so in the disciplined manner of a degree program.
Yes, I do agree that it may be important to do another degree with the MST. Nevertheless, there are a few people in the program who end up in fields not at all related to transportation such as Management Consulting. I come from a very quantitative engineering background. If accepted into MST, I would be interested in doing a dual degree with Operations Research, which I think is not very popular among MST students. Some of the people I know who got accepted into the MST Program has quite a lot of work experience and relatively high GPA (3.6+). Do you know when do people hear back from the committee?
Note that at MIT it is easier to funding (get grants for) a research MS degree than it is to get funding for a professional degree.. So if you do two MSs, you may actually get more funding to go to school. It just won't do much for you in the job market unless you go onto get a PhD in order to pursue teaching. My advice is go for MST+M.Eng or MST+MCP, even if the joint degree means you end up with 1 to 2 unfunded semesters in total. I think I was uncovered for a semester when I was there, but a bunch of RAships opened up at the last minute.
I agree that a professional degree is quite important. MEng+MST seems like a very promising combination. I am still trying to figure out whether I want to work right after my masters or choose to do a PhD (Engineering Systems). MIT offers this flexibility. The hardest part right now is being accepted I suppose. What was your general opinion about the faculty and student body in the MST program? Furthermore, is it possible to be accepted without funding?
In at Ball State! Assistantship decision due in March.
That certainly takes a load off...
Anybody heard anything yet?
I'm still in the dark on all my applications and slowly losing the will to resist checking the status websites more frequently than I should. Back when I was studying for the GRE and filling out applications, I thought February would be a nice break between working hard on apps and making tough decisions. Instead, the waiting and thinking have given me a major case of existential angst. Anyway, I'm really looking forward to April.
I called VA Tech a week or two ago to check on a letter of recommendation and the person I spoke with said they review applications the first week of March.
Got into U of IL Urban Planning with full funding!