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Thread: North Carolina Chapel Hill questions

  1. #1
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    North Carolina Chapel Hill questions

    Hello all,

    I am new here and was hoping to get some opinions on my school options as well as contribute to other discussions on here.

    I am a senior at University of missouri - columbia with a 3.7 GPA, not a lot of extracurricular activities, not too good reference letters, and a GRE score of 153-v, 149- Q (I just find out that NC requires 150's on each instead of 1000 combined). I have North carolina on my list to apply to the graduate program. My question is Do I have a good chance of getting in? I know it is a very selective program and I know that they prefer people with some professional experience already. should I even apply or should I go for something easier to get into?

    Any other info on North carolina wiould be appreciated also. Other schools I am looking at are Arizona state (Which has one of my favorite voices Emily Talen, but they are not ranked by planetizen), cal poly, Florida state, and perhaps U of Oregon.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    I know some unc grads and yes, it is a very selective program. Professional experience is a big factor their decision and frankly a little professional experience will make you a better applicant for many programs. They have current students involved in the process at UNC. Don't worry about rankings (many threads on this topic) and don't go into major debt for a name. Go where you will get the most of your grad school experience and you can study in depth a topic of planning you are interested in learning more about. Why do you want to study planning? Why do you want to go to these particular schools?
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

  3. #3
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    Yea I think I am probably going to drop them from my list. I want to study form-based and transect based codes. Basically I want to go to a school that is NOT Anti-new Urbanism. I know emily Talen is at Arizona state and there are a couple of prof.'s at Florida state who are either CNU members or research topics that are code for New Urbanism such as mix use, and multi-modal.

    How can schools prefer applicants with experience in a field that they are supposed to be teaching people how to perform in the field? That is silly. How can you even get experience when your going to school for something that is not urban planning? I just don't think it's fair.

    I am glad to here that rankings do not matter. Ill check out some of those threads. I assume as long as the program is accredited by PAB the program is good to go?

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by JJSMK2 View post
    How can schools prefer applicants with experience in a field that they are supposed to be teaching people how to perform in the field? That is silly. How can you even get experience when your going to school for something that is not urban planning? I just don't think it's fair.
    You can still break into the profession without a graduate degree. Many people do manage to get internships and whatnot doing planning related stuff prior to graduate school.

    As for the PAB accreditation. Some people say it's unimportant but honestly I see no reason not to go to an accredited program. It's not like you're really limiting your choices by only picking accredited schools.

    Then new urbanism is an interesting subject. Most schools probably aren't hostile to it but you likely won't find a program full of staunch supporters either. Your best bet is just trying to pick a program that has specific faculty members whose research interests most align to yours.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    For what it's worth, I'm a UNC-CH alumna. Granted, it was a long time ago (1980s), and I don't know how much the requirements for the program have changed, but I was able to get into the planning program with NO professional experience. I'm sure I was not the only one in my class.

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