Hi, I'm working on my grad school applications. I just want to get some opinions from the community. I've narrowed my options to the greater New York area because I would ideally want to work in this area. I have a BS in landscape architecture and would ideally want to work at city government or nonprofit.
I'm interested in Urban Design so my top choice is Penn. However, many of you mentioned that I shouldn't go broke with the degree and if I decide to go to Penn (or if Penn accepts me) I will be paying off debts for a long time. I went to their Open House and was thoroughly impressed with the program. I also really liked their many dual degree options, so in any case, if I want to pursue my MLA I could do that on top of my MCRP (of course, that would mean more debt too...but having the option is wonderful). On the other hand, I am also interested in transportation planning, which I heard Rutgers does a pretty good job in and their tuition is much less than Penn. However, I was there for undergrad and I am looking for some new experiences. I went for their grad expo and got some information from current students, they seemed very positive about the program...
Initially, Columbia was my 2nd choice after Penn, but the cost and the overall impression of Columbia planning on here aren't very positive. I know this is really minor and shouldn't speak of the quality of the school, but their website is really hard to navigate. I plan to attend their open house next week to get a better assessment on the program. I am also planning to apply to Pratt because it fits in my geographic criteria. I don't know how strongly I feel about Pratt given that it is an evening program which means it will take more time to complete.
Should I apply elsewhere within this area? I know applying is expensive, but I want make sure that I'm heading in the right direction. Any help would be greatly appreciated.