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decisions, decisions....

Elisabeth

Cyburbian
Messages
157
Points
7
OK, so I am seriously torn, as per Natalie Imbruglia, with this one and I thought I'd throw it out to the crazy cats of cyburbia for some suggestions.

Now, from what I've gathered, everyone seems to advocate spending the least possible amount on their graduate education. However, for me, that would mean staying here (home) in Albany, and attending SUNY (I know GeogPlanner and Downtown are rfrom the ALB, so perhaps you guys have more insight into their program) and getting more of a policy based education (right?) a mini cooper s (a new ride--bonus), and I keep the job that I have now (I work in the govt relations dept of a NYC law firm).

OR, or...being electrocuted. Hehe, sorry, a "So I Married An Axe Murderer" moment. I digress, or going to Pratt in Brooklyn--joining almost all of my friends who have moved to the city, paying more than double in rent, not mention more in tuition and cost of living....but also living in an awesome city. I was accepted into the MSCRP program with a specialization in historic preservation planning--the program at Pratt is really exactly what I want, but the price tag is tough to take and it's my dime. I think this would be a great opportunity, but...I don't know. We'll see. Obviously, I need to do what's best for me, but either choice could work.

I just don't want to regret anything either way and since I really don't know anyone one in the field, I send this out to you guys. Thank you and God speed.
 

Mud Princess

Cyburbian
Messages
4,898
Points
27
GeogPlanner may disagree -- feel free to jump in -- but I didn't think that the SUNYA program was all that highly regarded. If you're mainly interested in historic preservation planning, as opposed to "general" planning, you may be better off at a school like Pratt. I would strongly recommend that you talk to other historic preservation planners in the region, and ask them about their perceptions of the two programs (you say you don't know anyone in the field, but most people will give you feedback if you ask nicely...). Have you considered any schools other than SUNY and Pratt?
 

The One

Cyburbian
Messages
8,287
Points
29
University of Colorado at Denver

:) You might want to consider Colorado. Contact Michael Holleran at the University of Colorado at Denver. This guy is great (MIT Grad) and is an expert in the Historic Preservation field. Good Luck
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Why are you only looking at schools in New York? There are others that have good preservation planning programs. Unless you have a really compelling reason to stay, look a little more broadly.
 
Messages
7,657
Points
29
Since you seem to feel so strongly negative about your present situation, I wouldn't recommend staying in it, if you have any choice. I researched ALL Master's in Planning programs in the continental U.S. and picked one I liked that seemed like it would also meet my needs. I got one of those "places rated" guides and one of those college guide books and did some online research. The fact is that some colleges are "cheaper" overall, in spite of higher tuition, after you take into account housing and other cost of living factors.

I had to pick a program where the schedule and such would work for me. I have no clue how I am going to pay the high private school tuition yet. "Details, details." Given my health problems, family situation, and the fact that I will need to work while pursuing my Master's, a program that fits my needs is the ONLY hope I have of getting a Master's degree at all. The "price" is the least of my worries.

I wrote a paper once that took the position that we ought to pay for "free" ob care for all pregnant women in this country because the $700 per pregnancy that it costs to provide ob care is cheaper in the long run that what it costs this country to NOT provide ob care and then pay for preemie babies who can easily cost $250,000 or more "at birth" (and in the period immediately following) and can be dogged the rest of their lives by medical problems and other issues. People sometimes think they can choose to "not" pay for something -- like ob care -- but, often, the reality is not IF you pay but when, how much, and MORE IMPORTANTLY, what kind of value or quality of life you end up "purchasing".

Your "I married an axe murderer moment" suggests to me that staying where you are to "save money" may result in saving the "$700" now and paying big time later, and possibly "forever and ever". (Just "my 2 cents" -- not meaning to judge you or anything. :-D)
 
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Elisabeth

Cyburbian
Messages
157
Points
7
Well, I did my undergrad in DC and while I liked being kind of far from home, I decided that for grad school I wanted to be closer. I'm close with my parents, have friends in NYC, Philly, DC and Boston, so NY works for me. My Bernese Mountain Dog used to be a huge factor in things (I hated being away from him) but, sadly, we had to put him down on Monday--he had cancer. Bottomline, I like the proximity to home--I did look into Buffalo and Cornell, the University of Maryland, even schools in California. I actually requested info from Ohio State last week...it hasn't arrived yet, though.

But I'm looking at other programs now too upon reading your suggestions, and I am appreciative of the advice. Many thanks.

By the way, the "So I Married An Axe Murderer" moment was a reference to a scene in the movie "So I Married An Axe Murderer" (starring Mike Meyers and Anthony LaPaglia)--just a joke, evidently, a bad one. My situation here isn't horrible by any means, I just really miss my friends and am kinda bored here. However, I'm sure I'd meet more people when I start school, regardless of where I am. Nevertheless, I still appreciate the help.
 

bocian

Cyburbian
Messages
212
Points
9
I'm having a similar dilemma here -- I got accepted to Master of City Planning at SUNY Albany and Rutgers in New Brunswick, Nj. I want to concentrate in Transportation Planning, and all I REALLY care about is getting a job later on in New York City. Is it pragmatic to go to Albany just because it is in New York State then (i.e interships possibilities in NYC)? Or could I go to the school in NJ (New Brunswick is basically in suburban NY) and hope that getting an education in the state "next door" won't hurt my chances of getting my foot in the door in NYC employment-wise? Any thoughts -- I'm really torn here...
 

annie

Member
Messages
39
Points
2
bocian said:
I'm having a similar dilemma here -- I got accepted to Master of City Planning at SUNY Albany and Rutgers in New Brunswick, Nj. I want to concentrate in Transportation Planning, and all I REALLY care about is getting a job later on in New York City. Is it pragmatic to go to Albany just because it is in New York State then (i.e interships possibilities in NYC)? Or could I go to the school in NJ (New Brunswick is basically in suburban NY) and hope that getting an education in the state "next door" won't hurt my chances of getting my foot in the door in NYC employment-wise? Any thoughts -- I'm really torn here...
I'd have to say Rutgers, especially because I think it's a better school for transportation planning. If you go to Albany, you're probably going to get stuck looking at transportation planning from a more suburban, road-based perspective. At least in NJ, you'll learn about inter-urban connections through rail, etc. I don't think that being in-state matters, but internships and program quality do.

And, I warn you because your avatar is a bike sign, WATCH OUT for "transportation planning". When I was hired as a transportation planner, I was told I'd do bike planning work. In 16 months, I've written four pages on bicycles and made one map. Transportation varies WIDELY depending on where your firm is based. :-\
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
19,985
Points
49
I know the feeling… my employer will pay for my grand school (if I get good grades). So I am trying to decide between a masters in geography with an emphasis on urban and regional planning and economic development at Western Michigan University (10 min drive)

OR

GO big time and get my masters in Urban Planning from Michigan State (1 to 1.5 hour drive each way)

I would still have to work full time… so it would be all night and/or weekend classes.
 

masafer

Cyburbian
Messages
32
Points
2
bocian said:
I'm having a similar dilemma here -- I got accepted to Master of City Planning at SUNY Albany and Rutgers in New Brunswick, Nj. I want to concentrate in Transportation Planning, and all I REALLY care about is getting a job later on in New York City. Is it pragmatic to go to Albany just because it is in New York State then (i.e interships possibilities in NYC)? Or could I go to the school in NJ (New Brunswick is basically in suburban NY) and hope that getting an education in the state "next door" won't hurt my chances of getting my foot in the door in NYC employment-wise? Any thoughts -- I'm really torn here...
Rutgers transportation planning grad here, and I gotta say that Rutgers is better than Albany for what you're looking for. It's basically the only transportation planning program in the metro area, and ALOT of our grads go on to work in NYC, or the more urban areas of NJ, which are just as interesting and have great access to the city. I know people working for the city of New York planning and transportation depts, Jersey City, various consultants, and that's just recently. Rutgers grads are all over the place around here, at all levels of government and the private sector. Good connections and good experience. Feel free to email me if you want more specific info.
 

Dharmster

Cyburbian
Messages
440
Points
13
bocian said:
I'm having a similar dilemma here -- I got accepted to Master of City Planning at SUNY Albany and Rutgers in New Brunswick, Nj.
Go to Rutgers and don't be so focused on only getting a job in New York City. In this economy just getting a job should be your goal!
 
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