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Housing/Community Development programs


Hi there,

At the risk of asking a common question at this forum, I'd love readers to provide some quick lists of respected planning schools. I am interested in specializing in housing and community development. On this forum I have seen lists of schools that are great for a transportation focus -- I am wondering how those lists change when considering housing and neighborhoods. Programs that are less design- and technical-based and more social science- and practice-based with a strong community focus would be great.

Schools I have looked into rather strongly are UNC-CH and MIT. While I prefer Boston and the Triangle, I have also become interested in the Southwest and Austin. In this respect I have looked into UTexas-Austin and U-NewMexico. I have found it difficult to gather opinions on these two schools, so additional insight on that matter would be most helpful. I'd love opinions on the culture of Austin and Albequerque -- I am hoping that what I've read about Austin being "un-Texas" is true. I'd love suggestions of other schools in these areas as well. Also, I am wondering why Austin offers an MS in planning rather than the more traditional MRP, MURP, MCRP, etc. Does that make a difference?

For context: I graduated with a journalism/political science degree and have worked as a reporter for urban policy/urban planning issues for the last two years. I have strong analytical, writing, and communication skills as well as good urban-specific knowledge, but a weak background in math.

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MUP Program

You may want to check out NYU's urban planning program. It's offered through the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at
The planning program has it's own site that you can link to from the main Wagner site.


Housing/Community Development Programs

It's really nice to have someone recognize that this is a commom question. The problem is that it doesn't seem to get answered very well. Is there any way someone could develop a review page for schools???

I am an undergrad in Community Development and have been trying to sort through the numerous possibilites for grad school. I am interested in a programs similar to what you are looking for, but with an emphasis in neighborhoods. I have yet to find a quick way to find the perfect program.

I am taking some advice I read on another thread. I have copied off the list of APA accredited programs and am going through them one by one. I use my own criteria to narrow the field a bit first: geographic location, length of accredation (Univ. of Illinois/Urbana-Champaign has been accredited since 1945!!!). Then once I get to the appropriate web site I can narrow the choices more by program offerings, core course offerings, internships, concentrations, cross over course offerings, etc... You'd need to determine your own priorities. I have found this to be extremely tedious, but am really getting a sense of the planning programs around the country.

I tried using review.com to sort programs but it does't take into account APA accredation and is not very specifice when it comes to specializations. You could try petersons.com too.

The ultimate question is where you will be able to thrive. Being from NH and wanting to get away from the cold winters and humidity of the summers is really swaying my grad school choices. Albuquerque sounds great! YOU need to determine YOUR starting point. Weather is mine.

Good Luck! Keep us updated.


I'm also interested in housing/community development issues. I'm headed to NYU in the Fall, they have some classes in that field. But I would say to go somewhere that has a lot of businesses/non-profits that you would be able to intern or part-time with outside of school, like EDC's CDC's or CDFI's.

Also I would say to to pay attention to the local planning issues around the schools that you are looking at. Charlotte's housing issues would more likely be greenfield type development/sprawl and such, Bostons would be more redevelopment/brownfield or whatever I would imagine.