Just asking a general question and getting a "feel" for what people have thought about some grad programs in urban planning. I am looking to apply for Fall 2014 and starting to think about where I'll be applying this fall.
I went to the University of WI - Milwaukee and got a 3.6 GPA (3.77 in my urban planning certificate courses). I'm looking to go to a school in a large city and so I've been looking at places like Berkeley, or NYU (also UIC, which is where I live now – Chicago).
As a part of the researching process I've asked some friends who went to graduate school for advice but none of them are in this field. They, and some books, have advised that I contact faculty. However, I many of my friends are in the physical sciences and are doing research for a PhD. Is contacting faculty a necessary part of the process?
I'm curious as to any advice that you can offer, and I'm sure it'd be helpful for others too.