• We're a fun, friendly, and diverse group of planners, placemakers, students, and other folks who found their people here. Create your FREE Cyburbia ID, and join us today! Use your email address, or register through your Facebook, Google, Twitter, or Microsoft account.
  • If you registered on Thursday (3-21) , please re-register. Thank you!

What school? Advice on choosing schools

Mke-Kbh

Member
Messages
10
Points
1
I'm trying to figure out what schools I should be visiting to potentially apply to for fall 2019 and thought I might be able to get some input here.

GPA: 3.10 (4.0 so far for my second bachelors). I have a Bachelors in Planning from a school in Denmark (did pretty poorly there GPA-wise) and am almost done with a second bachelors in Ethnic Studies from a state school here in MN.

Have done two planning related Americorps stints, have an internship lined up at a transit agency for this year and have done extensive past community organizing in transit.

Studying for GREs (not a great test taker though and not great at math).

I'm primarily interested in transportation (bike/ped and transit), and equity issues in planning. Also somewhat interested in urban revitalization projects, development, etc.

I'm currently living in Minneapolis and kinda done with the sub-arctic, although I do like how affordable, progressive and bike-friendly the city is.

So far I'm considering:

Minnesota (know they're a good school but I haven't been super impressed visiting there so far. Wouldn't have to move though and the job market is good in MN).
UW-Milwaukee (got a great vibe from the school and like Milwaukee a lot)
UW-Madison
UI-Chicago

Portland State (worried about job market/cost of living in the NW but it's an amazing city)
Oregon

UC Denver

U of Arizona
New Mexico (like the desert SW and they both look like decent cities and schools that have courses that I'd be into)

New Orleans

Temple

Any red flags for any of those schools? Any other schools that I should definitely consider? Thanks for the input.
 

DVD

Cyburbian
Messages
13,035
Points
31
I take the whole point of a college to landing a job. I'm voting Minn. because you said the market was good and no moving. Probably cheaper than some of those other schools too. You might want to consider a different masters like public admin or public policy.
 

glutton

Cyburbian
Messages
387
Points
11
If you’re interested in bike-ped planning, Portland State is probably the best school for that in terms of faculty, curriculum, and networking/job opportunities.

But first consider where you want to end up geographically post graduation.
 

Masswich

Cyburbian
Messages
1,303
Points
23
I went to Minnesota and while it wasn't the most organized program in the world, you had access to all the course offerings of one of the largest universities in the world, plus a great metro area to do lots of case work in. Also they were very generous with financial aid. But if you are done with the cold, that will be a problem.

UW-Milwaukee (got a great vibe from the school and like Milwaukee a lot) - have a fairly good impression but doesn't solve the cold problem. Plus I think it's kind of a small program
UW-Madison - great school, not as good a city to do case work in, still cold
UI-Chicago - don't have much of an impression

Portland State (worried about job market/cost of living in the NW but it's an amazing city) - great program, good city, maybe a little too bike-ped focused for the real world?
Oregon - seems like a fun school but it's a small metro area

UC Denver - don't know much about it

U of Arizona - ditto
New Mexico (like the desert SW and they both look like decent cities and schools that have courses that I'd be into) - ditto, though I know some folks that went there. ABQ is not a great planning city to do work in, though.

New Orleans - ditto

Temple - ditto
 

Mke-Kbh

Member
Messages
10
Points
1
Thanks for the advice everyone.

I guess I have the issue of already living in a city with a pretty good school and a good job market so I feel like I should stay here even though I don't really like the climate (or most Minnesotans) and got a bad feeling for the school when I went to visit. And I know it sounds crazy, but having lived in all three, Minneapolis somehow manages to feel significantly colder than Milwaukee or Chicago. Maybe booze is just cheaper down there so you don't notice as much? :)

Does anyone have an opinion on other areas that have decent job markets for planners and might be worth considering? I'm definitely going at this with the idea that I need to go to school someplace where I can get a job later.
 

DVD

Cyburbian
Messages
13,035
Points
31
In a broad sense I would say the southern US, coast to coast. Phoenix is doing a lot, so is Atlanta. I've seen a lot of jobs in the Denver market recently, but who can afford to live there. Same with California.
 

Masswich

Cyburbian
Messages
1,303
Points
23
As a long time New Englander, I think its fair to say the market here is a little rough, at least in the public sector. Not all cities have strong planning staffs, and many do not pay well. There are certainly great jobs here but not enough for all the planners that graduate MIT, Harvard, Tufts, BU, UMass, USM, etc. each year.
 
Top