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UMassachusetts - Amherst

Greenescapist

Cyburbian
Messages
1,169
Points
24
Does anyone have an opinion of the MRP program at UMass Amherst? Good, bad or alternatives....

Anyone graduate from there?

I am looking to start a Masters program next Fall and would like to find a program that is grounded in practical planning issues and technology combined with internships and studio experience. I've noticed a lot of other northeast schools like MIT and Cornell seem heavy on international issues and academic theory.

Any advice?

Thanks!
 

Masswich

Cyburbian
Messages
1,303
Points
23
Umass MRP

I think its a good program with a lot of opportunities for someone who is motivated and wants to work in planning in the U.S. Its very practically-oriented rather than being big into theory. I also think its more focussed on urban design than policy. However, like many state programs, you can get what you need from it if you try, and its a great part of the country to spend some time.

My experience with UMass students, vs. MIT or Harvard students (I see all three where I work) is that the good UMass students are as good as anyone from MIT or Harvard, maybe even better since they don't have as much of a theoretical bent.

I looked at UMass when I applied to schools in 92, and didn't end up applying. That was right after it was accredited and I think its better now. I also think that I would have liked it there had I applied. The one drawback now is that their department head, who is very good, is now a vice-chancellor or such at UMass and therefore isn't around as much as he used to be.

But overall I think its worthy of consideration and can get you where you want to go.
 

SilliAEK

Member
Messages
16
Points
1
Time to renew this thread- UMass would be ideal for me locationally but I can't get convinced it is a quality program. Seems like a very small core faculty for planning as opposed to landscape architecture in the same department.
 

fructa

Cyburbian
Messages
129
Points
6
I applied to the double-degree MRP/MLA there this year... and now I'm phoning and emailing them every day to try and find out if I'm being admitted or not. Buggers. I guess this tells you nothing about the quality of their program, but their admissions process SUCKS.
 
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