Urban planning community | #theplannerlife

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Tufts or Cornell

  1. #1

    Tufts or Cornell

    Hey everyone!

    I'm new here and hoping y'all can help me make up my mind on whether to go to Tufts or Cornell. Cornell appears to be the better program as far as I can tell, but it costs about 14k/year more. Any advice on whether its worth the extra money?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Ocean to the east, land to the west
    Posts
    1,302
    Depends a lot on what you want to do and where you want to work. Both are good programs so I'd be inclined to go to the cheaper one. Tufts has the advantage of being in the Boston area, but its focus tends to be on environment/public health/transportation. It was originally a policy program and the lack of physical planning still shows. Cornell I am not as familiar with, but it seems more design-focused. And all things being equal (which they never are) I would generally give Cornell a small edge.

    But you can't really go wrong here, I think.

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered
    Sep 2015
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    23
    I've been accepted to Cornell (undecided yet). I know nothing about Tufts, but Cornell consistently is in the top 10 rankings for planning schools in the country for whatever that is worth to you. I *think* too that Cornell on a CV, especially if you're looking for jobs outside the US might look a bit better. Also its a mega flexible program so if you're ever afraid of feeling boxed in a by a program you might want to do it.

    That difference in price is significant, for sure. Do you already have undergrad debt? I don't so its easier to not worry about that factor. Were you offered the GTRS (or whatever its called) position where you work part time for the department at Cornell?

  4. #4
    Quote Originally posted by Masswich View post
    Depends a lot on what you want to do and where you want to work. Both are good programs so I'd be inclined to go to the cheaper one. Tufts has the advantage of being in the Boston area, but its focus tends to be on environment/public health/transportation. It was originally a policy program and the lack of physical planning still shows. Cornell I am not as familiar with, but it seems more design-focused. And all things being equal (which they never are) I would generally give Cornell a small edge.

    But you can't really go wrong here, I think.
    Quote Originally posted by De_Facto_Fish View post
    I've been accepted to Cornell (undecided yet). I know nothing about Tufts, but Cornell consistently is in the top 10 rankings for planning schools in the country for whatever that is worth to you. I *think* too that Cornell on a CV, especially if you're looking for jobs outside the US might look a bit better. Also its a mega flexible program so if you're ever afraid of feeling boxed in a by a program you might want to do it.

    That difference in price is significant, for sure. Do you already have undergrad debt? I don't so its easier to not worry about that factor. Were you offered the GTRS (or whatever its called) position where you work part time for the department at Cornell?
    Hi De_Facto_Fish and Masswhich!

    Thank you for your responses and @De_Facto_Fish Congrats on Cornell and your other options as well

    I don't have any student debt, and I did receive the GTRS position as well, but still it's a little scary to think about 60k of debt. Tufts would only run me about 40k, and of course both those figures don't include housing and living expenses. I want to do environmental planning, and eventually get a job in Boston, so Tufts would make sense location wise, and subject wise. However Tuft's focus on policy over planning is a bit disconcerting.

    Additionally I'm worried that when I go to compete for jobs in Boston I'll be facing MIT and Harvard grads and I worry Tufts won't have enough of a stand out name especially since itís not really recognized for planning.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Ocean to the east, land to the west
    Posts
    1,302
    Quote Originally posted by greenspacegirl View post
    Additionally I'm worried that when I go to compete for jobs in Boston I'll be facing MIT and Harvard grads and I worry Tufts won't have enough of a stand out name especially since itís not really recognized for planning.
    As someone who has done local government hiring in the Boston area, I don't think most employers weigh Harvard or MIT above Tufts. Sometimes a student from MIT or (especially) Harvard, well, thinks too highly of themselves, if you know what I mean.

    Now if you want to work in international development, or for a big-name consulting firm, the situation may be different. But at the end of the day if you want to work in Boston you're going to have to compete with Harvard/MIT grads. As a state school alum, I never had much of a problem.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Feb 2013
    Location
    The Midwest, God's gift to Planet Earth
    Posts
    360
    Just fyi, Cornell is super policy and generalist oriented as well (although there are some opportunities for physical planning and design as well). I'm guessing it is less policy oriented than Tufts, but you might be comparing similar enough programs. Check if Tufts is PAB accredited. If it is, then the lower cost combined with a desire to work in Boston might be a better combination for you. As always, check where alumni end up and whether you prefer small programs over larger programs. Also, be aware that Boston probably has a higher cost of living than upstate new york.

  7. #7
    Thank you @Masswhich and @akshali2000! I've decided to go to Tufts, and your feedback was very reassuring

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Tufts UEP Program
    Student Commons
    Replies: 3
    Last post: 01 Apr 2012, 10:30 PM
  2. USC and Tufts
    Student Commons
    Replies: 2
    Last post: 06 Apr 2011, 12:44 PM
  3. Replies: 4
    Last post: 24 Mar 2010, 3:20 PM
  4. MUP at Tufts?
    Student Commons
    Replies: 15
    Last post: 01 Dec 2009, 7:56 PM
  5. Tufts UEP Program
    Student Commons
    Replies: 3
    Last post: 16 Jul 2006, 7:24 PM