Hi, I don't know if this helps, but applied to this program last fall. I was accepted with a pretty good funding offer, and I seriously considered going. I was in touch with Dr. Bratt (who was very helpful); you may want to e-mail her if you have any questions.chrisjdp said:Im looking into the same program and it looks like it may have what I want; emphasis on social issues (for one thing). Since your initial post have you found out any more info on the program, because I am still in the dark
As someone who used to do certification of programs with the local APA chapter, I think this review does the program a disservice. Tufts has a very strong program and offers classes year round. They do emphasize environmental classes and the atmosphere is not for super-competitive GSD types, that I agree with. But they are always on my radar as someone who does a fair amount of hiring- they produce good well-rounded planners.I visited them recently. They emphasize policy, are a very small program and don't have the faculty or funds to offer classes year round. They like to highlight their environmental classes and the fact that they don't have a competitive atmosphere. They really aren't on anyone's radar, so for job prospects you'd be better off at a bigger school. I'd suggest the program if you are looking for a really really small program that is not competitive.
As someone who used to do certification of programs with the local APA chapter, I think this review does the program a disservice. Tufts has a very strong program and offers classes year round. They do emphasize environmental classes and the atmosphere is not for super-competitive GSD types, that I agree with. But they are always on my radar as someone who does a fair amount of hiring- they produce good well-rounded planners.
The only real weakness in the program is that its level of financial aid isn't what it could be - but it is a private school. I'd recommend it for anyone who wants to study planning in Boston and either doesn't want to or can't go to Harvard/MIT.
Happy to give more specific advice if you want to PM me.
I'm a first year in Tufts UEP so I'm happy to answer any questions. I don't check this site as often as I used to so don't worry if I don't get back to you asap.
Also good luck to everyone applying this year!
Anyways, some first impressions...
I thought financial aid was pretty good. I believe they try to give lots of scholarships which brought tuition down to in state tuition for my state u.
One huge thing about Tufts that any aspiring planner should know, and isn't talked about enough is that Tufts has a loan repayment program for those who go into public service (gov't) or non-profit work. I believe the program is in its second year but is open to any Tufts alumni. I understand you apply and if you qualify, they help you out with loan repayment. Not too sure how many schools offer this but it was a big factor for me.
I'm only in my first month, but it seems like that many of my classmates have interests in both policy and planning, rather than strictly in either discipline. Tufts is pretty big on encouraging interdisciplinary research and programs.
I am also currently a first year at Tufts UEP and while I do agree with the previous statements that the program isn't as cutthroat competitive as Harvard's GSD or MIT, it does have special features that the other two schools do not. UEP stresses working together instead of competing with one another and it does incorporate a lot of policy into planning but then planning must include some policy. You don't go out and plan or design a neighborhood and not think of social, economic, or environmental implications as the urban planners did in the past. After the first semester, UEP students can take a course per term at Harvard or MIT via directed study so there are opportunities to sample those programs too.
I actually knew of many people who graduated from the program and found jobs immediately after so I don't know where that statement of "not on anyone's radar" comes from. Some of those people are working out of state even. The tuition is pricey (though not as pricey as Harvard or MIT) but they do make tremendous efforts to give out need based scholarships that will take off a fraction (and at times a huge fraction) of the tuition. Several other schools that accepted me couldn't even do that.
By the way, the degree offered at UEP is an MA, not an MUP but they are all similar aren't they?
My undergraduate GPA was a 3.5 so if your GPA falls around or above that, you should be safe. Since I graduated before 2004, I did not have to submit GRE's so I can't really tell you much about that. The application should give some hint on what GPA they would like to target. Overall, I didn't feel too much pressure in getting into Tufts but then I did attend one of their information sessions and the program seemed such a right fit for me that I must have tailored my personal essay to fit their expectations.
All I can say is that there is a wide variety of undergraduate universities represented ranging from public schools like UMASS Amherst to Ivies like Harvard and Brown. People come from everywhere too, from California, Virginia, Kentucky, Oregon, Texas, and even Alaska and abroad and the undergradute majors everyone has varies widely too.
In that case, I'm not really sure how to go about. There are definitely schools out there that will take you in based on that GPA but you'd have to seriously demonstrate that you are the right fit for the program. Don't forget, grad schools look for work experience too and if you've been out of school for a long time and/or your work experience is very meaningful to the field, then they will weigh that heavier than undergraduate grades. Please not that some schools do this but not every school does though. It really depends on the program or school you want to go to. I know that most people at UEP have a number of years experience already.