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Tufts 🇺🇸 Tufts University thread

Sushi

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Anyone have any information/opinion on the Master's in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning program at Tufts University? I am having trouble gauging the reputation of the program, and can't find any info on how it is ranked. Thanks!
 

chrisjdp

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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
 

kjel

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Presuming that the next round of people are applying to grad school and looking for info.........

Please use the search function to search the threads for individual threads regarding specific schools. Chances are that someone has asked the same questions as you.

A few pieces of advice:

Do not get hung up on the school's ranking. These are very arbitrary, especially when it comes to planning! Because each planning program is affiliated with various schools within a university such as Architecture, Public Policy, Urban Studies, etc and because each program has it's own specific emphasis you need to figure out what part of planning is appealing to you-design, architecture, law, environmental, practical, etc.

Do you want to work for either a city or county government, regional or state government, federal government, international, or private sector? Look at what the specific program you are considering and determine whether or not they offer what it is you need to achieve your goals.
 

ls2091

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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
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.

Ratings are basically impossible to find for this program. It's really a hybrid of policy and planning, which I think is nice. One of the best parts about it is that you can take classes at MIT or other area schools.

I applied mostly to policy-related programs (Berkeley- MPP, Brown- MPP, Rutgers- MPP, PSU- MUS, Tufts, and Delaware- MA in Urban Affairs), and I decided to attend Berkeley, mostly because I'm really more interested in a career in policy analysis, not planning. It was still a really tough decision.

If I had it to do again, I would still apply to Tufts. The application isn't too long, and the fee isn't too much.... and the Boston area is great!
 

krbxtigerz

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how is their program? what is their program's strong area?

Is their program one of the top ones?
just curious...
 

ToPlanIsMyFuture

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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.
 

The One

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Cool.....

Housing.....go there for housing policy....and Rachel Bratt(spelling?)
 

Masswich

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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.
 

Jazzman

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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.


Are they as competitive as a Harvard or MIT? I remember looking into their program once or twice and being interested, but when I saw that $27,000/year price tag, I was immediately turned off..........but Boston would be an awesome place to study.
 

Masswich

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It depends what you mean by "competitive..." They provide a solid education and most employers I know of would take their name seriously on a resume. Do they open the doors that Harvard or MIT open internationally? Probably not, but few schools do.

The main issue, as you mentioned, is the cost. I don't know what their financial aid situation is but the base cost is high.
 

sleepy sheep

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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.
 

Jazzman

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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.



So let me get this straight - Tufts works out a deal with your public or non-profit sector employer where they pay back any loans instead of you? Sounds like a good deal.
 

sleepy sheep

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Not exactly---I understand that Tufts will make discretionary annual payment for some of your loans, based on need if you work in those sectors. I think its an arrangement between Tufts and alumni.

From the website:
"The Tufts Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) is a university-wide program that helps selected Tufts graduates working in public service pay a portion of their annual education loan bills. Believed to be the first university-wide program of this kind in the country, the purpose of Tufts LRAP is to encourage and enable Tufts graduates to pursue careers in public service and meeting an unmet need by reducing the extent to which their educational debt is a barrier to working in comparatively low-salaried jobs in the non-profit and public sectors."

check out more details:
http://lrap.tufts.edu/
 

Slideruler

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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?
 

Jazzman

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706
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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?

How selective is the program (average GPA, average GRE, etc)?
 

Slideruler

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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.
 

Jazzman

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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.


Eh, my GPA's nowhere near that (2.8). I got an 1100 on the GRE but I'm taking it again on Dec 14th. I'm aiming for at least a 1300.
 

Slideruler

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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.
 

Jazzman

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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.

Yeah I have two planning-related internships that I'm hoping will help. Honestly I probably won't apply to Tufts as I've already gotten my list narrowed down to four but I was just curious, figured maybe there was a hidden jewel in there somewhere that I wasn't aware of. Thanks anyway.
 

JDC

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I'm a second-year student at UEP, and happy to answer any questions. Glad to see fellow UEP'ers here on Cyburbia!
 

8hesaid

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Any thoughts on Tufts' Urban and Environmental Planning program? I know that it is not a "traditional" planning program, but its core courses are similar to other programs and its professors and staff are really flexible in letting you study what you want, including taking classes at other planning schools in the Boston area. For someone such as myself who wants to study planning in the Boston area, I think that UEP will still provide me with the skills (including GIS, field projects, and internships) necessary to get a job in planning.
 

sleepy sheep

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I am an alumnus of the program and I was happy with my experience. Tufts has a strong network of alumni in the Boston/NY DC CA planning network of local, state, NGO and private sectors. My focus wasn't pure city planning if you will and my classmates said if you are that might be a weakness compared to MIT and Harvard in regards to course selection. For environmental policy, the EPA's top air official in DC is a UEP alumna so your career ceiling is not limited if that is important to you.

PM me any questions and please email because I don't check this as often as I used to.
 
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I would also appreciate some advice about Tufts! I can't figure out how to PM or email though...would someone help me out with that first :) Thanks
 

Dan

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Moved all (or most) of the CsTuft threads to a single thread, to make it easier for Google, Bing, and you to find it. :)

Tufts vs [some other school] discussions are still in their own threads.
 
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