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I am currently researching Urban Planning Programs. My question is : How do I choose the right program for me? I'm interested particularly in City and Regional Planning in the developing world. Any guidance would be appreciated.
It may take awhile but you probably want to look for an accredited program that fits with your area of interest. This probably means the frustration of getting a list of the 30 or however many accredited programs in the US and then calling the schools to ask them what if any specialties they offer and how they focus their program ie. archetictural, environmental, rural communities, etc. Good luck with school
Hey, I'm doing a little of the same research myself. If you're interested in studying in Canada, take a look at the School of Community and Regional Planning (http://www.scarp.ubc.ca/) at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. They have an international development stream, and the work some of the profs are doing at the affiliated Centre for Human Settlement (http://www.chs.ubc.ca/) looks pretty cool. I'd be interested in hearing about what you've found, so if you've got a minute, drop me a line.
Anyone interested in looking into going to a grad. school should consider the following things:
1.the faculty- make sure that you know who they are. If interested in international development, see if the professors have done some extensive work in the developing countries with some large NGO such as the obvious UN.
2.location, location, location- grad students get highly involved with the local city/town, even if you are interested in international planning. Hence, you should look into a city/town that you would like to live in:Boston, LA, Chapel Hill.
3.school visit- i can't stress enough of how important school visits are. They not only tell you whether you get that "good feeling" about the school, but it's really the only chance you have to talk with the current students without actually marticulating in that school. Talk to as many people as possible. But in the end, trust your gut feeling.
Personally, I have been educated in urban planning since my undergraduate years in the Northeast. I don't regret that I've gotten my education in these two places, but if I were to go onto my Ph.D, I would definitely look into the Westcoast. Why? I feel that being in different parts of the world is important.
And finally, if you are looking into international development, I will higly recommend MIT.
I attended the University of Texas at Austin. Great college town, music scene, beer and nachos. The Community and Regional Planning program can suit your needs, especially when you consider adding classes from the LBJ School of Public Affairs and from the Latin American Studies program, two of the best programs of their kind in the country.