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Thread: Harvard GSD questions

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Harvard GSD questions

    Hi,

    On the GSD app, it specifically asks that we only put universities that we received a degree from in our education section. It asks that we list other schools we took classes at on a separate sheet and to leave off study abroad programs all together. Should we include transcripts from our other colleges and study abroad programs or do they only want transcripts from schools where we received degrees?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Owego View post
    Hi,

    On the GSD app, it specifically asks that we only put universities that we received a degree from in our education section. It asks that we list other schools we took classes at on a separate sheet and to leave off study abroad programs all together. Should we include transcripts from our other colleges and study abroad programs or do they only want transcripts from schools where we received degrees?
    This was many years ago for me, but, if I recall correctly, I initially did not submit transcripts for other colleges and study abroad programs and they came back to me and told me that they needed them.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    You don't need to get the transcripts, but it won't hurt if you include them. From what I recall you only need to provide official transcripts once you're accepted into the program, so it's not a big deal. I'd say if you have them (unofficial or official) handy and they're good, feel free to send them in.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    resist the urge to go to the GSD - don't do it, man

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    Quote Originally posted by luckless pedestrian View post
    resist the urge to go to the GSD - don't do it, man
    Care to clarify?

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by ncc View post
    Care to clarify?
    I've noticed that people, at least on this forum, love to hate the GSD. I thoroughly enjoyed it (in hindsight - at the time the workload was hell) and I'd say almost everyone in my class was happy they enrolled in the program. I'd also add that pretty much everyone found a job relatively quickly in a poor economy in a variety of areas.

    The few caveats are:

    a) there is a strong focus on the built environment. This isn't the issue of policy vs design: policy, economics, and other influences affect the built environment but if you're interested in more general policy aspects it might not be a good fit. But pretty much everyone took classes at the Kennedy, Business School, Law School, and MIT, so students are able to tailor the program to their interests to some extent.

    b) there is some focus on design, meaning both urban design and visual communication, through the 2 required studios (I've heard they've relaxed the requirement to one studio, but not sure). For many students the computer skills (e.g., Illustrator, etc.) may not be relevant for the rest of their careers

    c) among the architecture and landscape architecture students, it doesn't have a great reputation, essentially because planners can't render beautiful drawings. It's a bit annoying but given that the job prospects are worse for them, plus the fact that they often have to do what planners tell them, it seems that MUPs get the last laugh.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by bostonplanner View post
    I've noticed that people, at least on this forum, love to hate the GSD. I thoroughly enjoyed it (in hindsight - at the time the workload was hell) and I'd say almost everyone in my class was happy they enrolled in the program. I'd also add that pretty much everyone found a job relatively quickly in a poor economy in a variety of areas. .
    I don't. I have the greatest respect for the GSD's program. Kaden, Crawford, Peiser, etc are all superb.

    The question I'd ask is, if you want a focus on physical planning and want better facilities.. and more urban-focused studio-focused studios and workshops, then why not just go down to the street to MIT, in the CDD track?

  8. #8
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    I don't really hate the GSD - it's just when something bad comes out of the GSD, it's really bad, like can't be in the same room bad - I actually have 2 very close friends who are great and wonderful people who went to GSD - I just think for the money you can do better down the street at MIT...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally posted by bostonplanner View post
    I've noticed that people, at least on this forum, love to hate the GSD. I thoroughly enjoyed it (in hindsight - at the time the workload was hell) and I'd say almost everyone in my class was happy they enrolled in the program. I'd also add that pretty much everyone found a job relatively quickly in a poor economy in a variety of areas.

    The few caveats are:

    a) there is a strong focus on the built environment. This isn't the issue of policy vs design: policy, economics, and other influences affect the built environment but if you're interested in more general policy aspects it might not be a good fit. But pretty much everyone took classes at the Kennedy, Business School, Law School, and MIT, so students are able to tailor the program to their interests to some extent.

    b) there is some focus on design, meaning both urban design and visual communication, through the 2 required studios (I've heard they've relaxed the requirement to one studio, but not sure). For many students the computer skills (e.g., Illustrator, etc.) may not be relevant for the rest of their careers

    c) among the architecture and landscape architecture students, it doesn't have a great reputation, essentially because planners can't render beautiful drawings. It's a bit annoying but given that the job prospects are worse for them, plus the fact that they often have to do what planners tell them, it seems that MUPs get the last laugh.
    Thanks to the three posters above for your answers, it means a lot. I was just wondering because I'm still waiting for a reply from the GSD. I've been accepted in Cornell's M.R.P. with a scholarship and it seems to fit what you described: policy orientation. Whilst I'd like to learn more about design-related issues, I also have a hinch that this is a good offer I shouldn't really refuse, if it comes down to it.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    Oh yeah, go to Cornell! Highly recommend - every planner I have ever worked with from that program (in the last 25 years) has been great -

  11. #11
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by luckless pedestrian View post
    I don't really hate the GSD - it's just when something bad comes out of the GSD, it's really bad, like can't be in the same room bad - I actually have 2 very close friends who are great and wonderful people who went to GSD - I just think for the money you can do better down the street at MIT...
    I agree that there is some horrible stuff coming out of the GSD, but not as much from the planning side.

    For people interested in the physical side, I'd put the GSD MUP program ahead of MIT's CDD track - the studios are far more involved at the GSD, although the option studios tend to be more internationally focused. I don't really get the other comment regarding better facilities at MIT - every student at the GSD gets personal studio space, which is unique among most urban planning programs.

    And in the end, up to half a student's classes can be from outside the GSD, so there's plenty of room to take advantage of MIT's offerings.

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