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Harvard 🇺🇸 Harvard University thread

bostonplanner

Cyburbian
Messages
59
Points
4
You don't need to get the transcripts, but it won't hurt if you include them. From what I recall you only need to provide official transcripts once you're accepted into the program, so it's not a big deal. I'd say if you have them (unofficial or official) handy and they're good, feel free to send them in.
 

bostonplanner

Cyburbian
Messages
59
Points
4
Care to clarify?
I've noticed that people, at least on this forum, love to hate the GSD. I thoroughly enjoyed it (in hindsight - at the time the workload was hell) and I'd say almost everyone in my class was happy they enrolled in the program. I'd also add that pretty much everyone found a job relatively quickly in a poor economy in a variety of areas.

The few caveats are:

a) there is a strong focus on the built environment. This isn't the issue of policy vs design: policy, economics, and other influences affect the built environment but if you're interested in more general policy aspects it might not be a good fit. But pretty much everyone took classes at the Kennedy, Business School, Law School, and MIT, so students are able to tailor the program to their interests to some extent.

b) there is some focus on design, meaning both urban design and visual communication, through the 2 required studios (I've heard they've relaxed the requirement to one studio, but not sure). For many students the computer skills (e.g., Illustrator, etc.) may not be relevant for the rest of their careers

c) among the architecture and landscape architecture students, it doesn't have a great reputation, essentially because planners can't render beautiful drawings. It's a bit annoying but given that the job prospects are worse for them, plus the fact that they often have to do what planners tell them, it seems that MUPs get the last laugh.
 

Cismontane

Cyburbian
Messages
900
Points
17
I've noticed that people, at least on this forum, love to hate the GSD. I thoroughly enjoyed it (in hindsight - at the time the workload was hell) and I'd say almost everyone in my class was happy they enrolled in the program. I'd also add that pretty much everyone found a job relatively quickly in a poor economy in a variety of areas. .
I don't. I have the greatest respect for the GSD's program. Kaden, Crawford, Peiser, etc are all superb.

The question I'd ask is, if you want a focus on physical planning and want better facilities.. and more urban-focused studio-focused studios and workshops, then why not just go down to the street to MIT, in the CDD track?
 

luckless pedestrian

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
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12,301
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51
I don't really hate the GSD - it's just when something bad comes out of the GSD, it's really bad, like can't be in the same room bad - I actually have 2 very close friends who are great and wonderful people who went to GSD - I just think for the money you can do better down the street at MIT...
 

ncc

Member
Messages
2
Points
0
I've noticed that people, at least on this forum, love to hate the GSD. I thoroughly enjoyed it (in hindsight - at the time the workload was hell) and I'd say almost everyone in my class was happy they enrolled in the program. I'd also add that pretty much everyone found a job relatively quickly in a poor economy in a variety of areas.

The few caveats are:

a) there is a strong focus on the built environment. This isn't the issue of policy vs design: policy, economics, and other influences affect the built environment but if you're interested in more general policy aspects it might not be a good fit. But pretty much everyone took classes at the Kennedy, Business School, Law School, and MIT, so students are able to tailor the program to their interests to some extent.

b) there is some focus on design, meaning both urban design and visual communication, through the 2 required studios (I've heard they've relaxed the requirement to one studio, but not sure). For many students the computer skills (e.g., Illustrator, etc.) may not be relevant for the rest of their careers

c) among the architecture and landscape architecture students, it doesn't have a great reputation, essentially because planners can't render beautiful drawings. It's a bit annoying but given that the job prospects are worse for them, plus the fact that they often have to do what planners tell them, it seems that MUPs get the last laugh.
Thanks to the three posters above for your answers, it means a lot. I was just wondering because I'm still waiting for a reply from the GSD. I've been accepted in Cornell's M.R.P. with a scholarship and it seems to fit what you described: policy orientation. Whilst I'd like to learn more about design-related issues, I also have a hinch that this is a good offer I shouldn't really refuse, if it comes down to it.
 

luckless pedestrian

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Oh yeah, go to Cornell! Highly recommend - every planner I have ever worked with from that program (in the last 25 years) has been great -
 

bostonplanner

Cyburbian
Messages
59
Points
4
I don't really hate the GSD - it's just when something bad comes out of the GSD, it's really bad, like can't be in the same room bad - I actually have 2 very close friends who are great and wonderful people who went to GSD - I just think for the money you can do better down the street at MIT...
I agree that there is some horrible stuff coming out of the GSD, but not as much from the planning side.

For people interested in the physical side, I'd put the GSD MUP program ahead of MIT's CDD track - the studios are far more involved at the GSD, although the option studios tend to be more internationally focused. I don't really get the other comment regarding better facilities at MIT - every student at the GSD gets personal studio space, which is unique among most urban planning programs.

And in the end, up to half a student's classes can be from outside the GSD, so there's plenty of room to take advantage of MIT's offerings.
 

urbanphiliac

Member
Messages
6
Points
0
Just heard word that I got admitted to this year's Career Discovery cohort at the GSD for the summer for landscape architecture. I'm an urban studies student, but wanted to explore another facet of design. However, I'm still very much interested in pursuing urban planning for my masters. I've spoken to the coordinator as well as other students, and they say that there's a good handful of people from the program who get into the GSD.

So my questions are:

Can anyone attest to this?
What should I take advantage of while I'm there in the summer?
For those who attended, what was valuable about the program?
For those already in graduate programs, particulary those who got into top programs for urban planning, would you say that your CDISC experience played a role in that?

Lastly, if anyone got admitted this summer as well, I'd like to touch base with you!
 

saph

Member
Messages
4
Points
0
Hi, I'm headed to the Career Discovery program this summer as well! :) I'm studying Peace and Conflict Studies and City Planning at Berkeley now, and I really want to do planning with a design concentration for my Masters. Right now I'm going to the CD for Urban Planning but might be switching to Urban Design, haven't really made up my mind yet. I'm applying for grad schools this upcoming Fall so I'm really hoping that this program will help with that. Did the program coordinators say that this helps with the GSD application? Also, when are you headed to Boston!
 

urbanphiliac

Member
Messages
6
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0
This is crazy and oddly serendipitous. I actually just replied to your previous thread.

I'm heading out early June, but I still haven't found a place to stay actually...

So basically what I heard is that the program will only help your chances, and that a handful of CDisco participants get into GSD eventually. Can't say much more about it unfortunately :/

Have you heard of anything? We should meet up!
 

saph

Member
Messages
4
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0
Me too! I decided to stay in the dorms, I figured it would be easier than looking for housing and all of that. They don't look too great though. And yeah, we should meet up! I don't know how to send personal messages on here, haha, but if you could figure that out we can figure out a time to meet! It would be so great having someone else from Berkeley there. What year are you?

I haven't heard much more either. I've been reading a lot of threads about it and I've only heard good things, so I guess thats a good sign! I'd really like to know more though.
 

gc777

Member
Messages
1
Points
0
So very simple question, and I don't mind subjective answers.
I currently have 157, 158 on GRE with 4.5 on writing.
My GPA is 3.91/4.0, and I went to State school with full scholarship (wonder if that matters at all..)

How would you judge my chance of getting accepted to GSD MUP? I take my last GRE tomorrow, and I want some assurance in case i do bad.

Thanks!!
 

eastcoaster

Cyburbian
Messages
33
Points
2
Your GREs are probably on the low side for the GSD. However, I would be more concerned about your writing sample / statement of purpose -- I assume you're a non-native speaker from your post.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
18,601
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69
Moved all (or most) of the Harvard threads to a single thread, to make it easier for Google, Bing, and you to find it. :)

Harvard vs MIT / Columbia / Penn / [some other school] discussions are still in their own threa
 

Ja_tompkins

Member
Messages
4
Points
0
Hey! New member here — I am here for some thoughts on getting into GSD MUP.

Currently, I am an undergraduate at Ball State University with a 3.93 GPA and the student ambassador to CNU Midwest. At the present, I have given thought to pursuing my graduate studies at Harvard by suggestion of my professors.

Would anyone have ideations on what I should do to boost my chances at getting in?
 
Messages
5
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Recently got put on the waitlist for the GSD. If anyone has any tips/general advice on how to get off it would be greatly appreciated! Assuming I would not receive any aid if admitted, but would appreciate any insight as I have not seen much online about the GSD's MUP waitlist
 

glutton

Cyburbian
Messages
466
Points
12
Recently got put on the waitlist for the GSD. If anyone has any tips/general advice on how to get off it would be greatly appreciated! Assuming I would not receive any aid if admitted, but would appreciate any insight as I have not seen much online about the GSD's MUP waitlist
Generally the only way to get off waitlists is to wait until others decline their offer and more slots open up. This usually happens after the April 15 deadline - I was waitlisted at Penn and literally on April 16 I got an acceptance. But it's sort of a shitty situation by then because you would have already accepted somewhere else, since April 15 is the national deadline. Good luck!
 
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