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Thread: What should I consider when choosing a program?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    What should I consider when choosing a program?

    I am applying to graduate schools in a few months, and have a near-final list of factors that are important to me. Nevertheless, I can't say with certitude if the factors important to me are the same factors that will help me both find a job or grow as a professional. So what does the Cyburbia community consider as important factors in selecting a program?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Broken Record Time -

    We have said this countless times -
    Do not go broke over a name.
    Check the list of accredited programs for their concentrations/specialties because all core classes are pretty much the same.
    Are you willing to move ?
    Internship experience is need, check the schools placement efforts/record.
    Do you want to do a thesis or not ?
    Have you searched the threads for some of your answers ?
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    Just to add to that, consider where you want to work once you graduate. You'll have a somewhat easier time landing a job in the region where the school is located. However consider the local economy as well since if there's no jobs to be found, the school's local reputation won't matter.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    I'm in Canada and did my school here so my advice may not apply...

    For what it's worth: I think it's really helpful to have an idea of what kind of planning you want to do. Here in Canada the schools vary WIDELY on their planning focus. University of British Columbia is highly academic and policy-based. Dalhousie and Queen's lean towards project-based work (consulting). University of Toronto seems to have a strong transportation program. Other schools focus more on community engagement, or municipal planning, or environmental planning, etc. etc. Roughly knowing what kind of planner you want to be, and then asking current students at the school what their focus is can really help ensure you get an experience you find is worthwhile.

    And yeah, don't pay for a big name. No one cares you went to Harvard, unless you want to be the head urban designer for New York City. You will very likely not see any difference in pay or ease of getting a job that would ever justify the money you sunk getting a name degree.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Blide View post
    Just to add to that, consider where you want to work once you graduate. You'll have a somewhat easier time landing a job in the region where the school is located. However consider the local economy as well since if there's no jobs to be found, the school's local reputation won't matter.
    I'm very glad I asked, then. I guess that makes perfect sense, given the networking you will be doing with regional governments/firms.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    Jun 2011
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    san francisco
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    Cost of living.

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