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Thread: Midwest: UIUC, Humphrey, UIC, or UMichigan

  1. #1
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    Midwest: UIUC, Humphrey, UIC, or UMichigan

    Just another "What School" post. I stuck to the Midwest for reasons relating to my spouse's career.

    Here's what I heard back:

    University of Michigan: Offered $12,000
    University of Illinois-Chicago: Board of Trustees full tuition waiver for the first year
    University of Minnesota-Humphrey School: Offered $15,000
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Tuition waiver and assistantship for the first year

    Iím hoping to focus on sustainability in some capacity, and Iíd summarize my main areas of interest as:
    • Sustainable land use/transportation planning and policy
    • Climate action/resilience planning for local and state govít
    • Sustainable economic development
    • Clean energy planning
    Would be great to hear from alumni/current students of any of these programs, but at this point I'm leaning towards either UIUC or Humphrey.

    UIUC
    • great financial offer
    • great program
    • good experience with faculty and students at open house
    I enjoyed the community during my visit, but C-U just can't compete with larger metros for opportunities/resources. As skeptical as I am of the Planetizen rankings, their position on that list is probably worth something(?)

    Humphrey
    • In-state tuition reciprocity+funding
    • Public affairs school-access to policy courses
    • Faculty focusing on sustainability/resilience
    It's a lesser-known program outside of MN, but by all accounts Minneapolis-St. Paul is a great place to study and work in planning. Lots of opportunities, interesting regional governance, transit development, biking, etc. I'm considering trying to work in the area after school, so I'd like to start building a network there. Worth noting that the Twin Cities is also the best job market for my spouse, which is significant.

    Obviously there's a lot of radical simplifications here. Just wanted to get a conversation going and hear some thoughts.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    Fellow midwesterner here. Don't know much about UMN program specifically, but Minneapolis is routinely ranked as one of the most livable cities in the country doing the most progressive projects in the realm of environmental/sustainability work, parks and recreation, tourism, ecology and landscape architecture. Plus it enjoys having some of the highest bicycle ridership in the country.

    Get used to heaps of snow!

    PS - I think one of the biggest factors people forget to consider when deciding on a school is size. Do you thrive in a smaller atmosphere or a larger program? In addition to cost, coursework and job placement/alumni, consider what size of program you will work best in. Smaller programs have more student-to-faculty interaction and more assistantship money, while larger programs often have more resources, alumni and camaraderie. Consider what is important to you.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally posted by akshali2000 View post
    Fellow midwesterner here. Don't know much about UMN program specifically, but Minneapolis is routinely ranked as one of the most livable cities in the country doing the most progressive projects in the realm of environmental/sustainability work, parks and recreation, tourism, ecology and landscape architecture. Plus it enjoys having some of the highest bicycle ridership in the country.

    Get used to heaps of snow!

    PS - I think one of the biggest factors people forget to consider when deciding on a school is size. Do you thrive in a smaller atmosphere or a larger program? In addition to cost, coursework and job placement/alumni, consider what size of program you will work best in. Smaller programs have more student-to-faculty interaction and more assistantship money, while larger programs often have more resources, alumni and camaraderie. Consider what is important to you.
    Great point. I attended a small liberal arts college for undergrad and really liked the feel of smaller classes. As far as I can tell based on ACSP stats, both UIUC and Humphrey have incoming planning cohorts of ~30 students. Both are obviously housed at huge universities, but I suspect that Humphrey has the advantage of also being part of a public affairs school with its own set of resources and alumni.

    Bring on the snow! I think we usually get a bit more on an annual basis here in the frozen north

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