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Thread: Harvard or Berkeley?

  1. #1
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    Harvard or Berkeley?

    Hello! I am deciding between Harvard GSD and Berkeley for a Masters in Urban Planning and I am really torn. Any weigh in/advice would be greatly appreciated.

    I have a background in housing policy and would like to pursue this further in grad school, but I am also looking to gain more design skills as I would like to work in planning consulting after. I know that Harvard has a more design focus so this would really help me gain those skills. On the other hand, the Berkeley program seems to have a stronger housing concentrations, and they have been way more communicative and personal already which perhaps is indicative of how much they invest in their students.

    I am not sure where I would like to work after the program but would like to keep the option of working abroad or in any city in the US open. I am worried that the Berkeley program prepares you mostly for working on the West Coast.

    Thank you for any feedback!!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    Pick whichever department has a stronger tie with the architecture and landscape architecture programs - do they share courses and / or studios? Planning programs typically don't have a strong design component, so take as many architecture studios as possible. You'll learn A LOT.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    cost?

    Is there a substantial cost difference? If not, I didn't apply to those schools, but they are both really strong programs with alumni who go everywhere so geography wouldn't matter too much I think. If it really boils down to it, go to the school which you feel has a more welcoming environment and a place where you can see yourself living for 2 years. If possible, try to attend one of their open houses?

  4. #4
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Huh??

    ARE YOU NUTS??

    Harvard.

    Then you can work on Wall Street for 10 years, make millions and then go off and play house wherever you want.
    “The way of acquiescence leads to moral and spiritual suicide. The way of violence leads to bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers. But, the way of non-violence leads to redemption and the creation of the beloved community.”
    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
    - See more at: http://www.thekingcenter.org/king-ph....r7W02j3S.dpuf

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by The One View post
    ARE YOU NUTS??
    Harvard.
    Then you can work on Wall Street for 10 years, make millions and then go off and play house wherever you want.
    The same can be said about Silicon Valley though :P
    But for real though, I'm sure the OP didn't apply to planning school with the intention of striking it rich either way, haha.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Our broken record

    Don't into debt over a name,
    Which school has a better internship/workstudy placement ?
    Have you considered the relocation costs ?

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by JNA View post
    Our broken record

    Don't into debt over a name,
    Which school has a better internship/workstudy placement ?
    Have you considered the relocation costs ?
    ^What he said, with the caveat that either Cal or Harvard has sufficient national attention to open a certain amount of opportunity for their graduates that could create additional value. If no (free) financial aid was offered by Harvard, then I'd immediately prioritize Cal simply due to costs. But, keep in mind that most planners work in the public sector and that means you'll be subject to mediocre wages with modest annual wage increases, no matter what institution you graduate from. So consider the Return on Investment (ROI) carefully.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Sigh.....

    Quote Originally posted by JNA View post
    Our broken record

    Don't into debt over a name,
    Which school has a better internship/workstudy placement ?
    Have you considered the relocation costs ?
    {the one looks down at his feet and kicks some dirt}
    JNA has to be the "adult" on Cyburbia again

    [but seriously go to Harvard then work wall street for all the cash you can get your hands on]

    “The way of acquiescence leads to moral and spiritual suicide. The way of violence leads to bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers. But, the way of non-violence leads to redemption and the creation of the beloved community.”
    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
    - See more at: http://www.thekingcenter.org/king-ph....r7W02j3S.dpuf

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
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    Both are good schools of similar size. If all else is equal or not significant, pick the one which has lowest cost / most financial aid.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Doberman's avatar
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    Which one has the better Skull and Bones Society chapter? Δ

  11. #11
    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    Since all the adulting has already been done I'll just point out Cali has better smoke and a nicer ocean.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

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