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School: University of California Berkeley (Cal) 🇺🇸 University of California - Berkeley (Cal) thread

cambridgeside

Member
Messages
17
Points
1
sll said:
Has anyone heard about fellowships or aid from Berkeley yet?
Sorry to be the bringer of bad news, but you might appreciate hearing it from me since I'm in the same boat. I spoke with Kaye Bock today, who told me that if I hadn't already been made an offer I was not likely to receive any merit aid. Fellowship offers, if they were made, were attached to the acceptance emails.

If a fellowship student opts not to attend, they will redistribute those funds to non-fellowship students (i.e. you and me), and we are still eligible for need-based aid. Just to be sure, give Kaye a call. She was in the process of sending out formal letters.

However, life's not so bad for either one of us, is it? MIT has been generous and attentive enough to satisfy me. I was frankly leaning that way anyway.

See you soon.
 

el Guapo

Professor Emeritus of Cyburbian Studies
Messages
5,908
Points
28
How about some BAD advice?

Get a handgun, a "My President is Charlton Heston" bumper sticker, a copy of Wango Tango, and a set of mud tires for your SUV. You should fit right in. :)

If you have to ask you are too liberal to deserve a straight answer. :)
 

jordanb

Cyburbian
Messages
3,232
Points
24
I nearly took a ferry from San Francisco to Berkley but was thrawted by the fact that there is no ferry to Berkley from San Francisco.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,464
Points
29
The University is arguably the flagship of the University of Callifornia system (contested by UCLA). It's a well-known research university with an extremely diverse student body that while stereotypically "left-wing," has plenty of hard working students and even some conservative activists that would name El Guapo their furious leader ;) :-D The Planning program, I am told, emphasizes theory, but I'm sure a Berkeley degree would stand you well. (Many native planners here have degrees from the purportedly more practical, hands-on Cal Poly at San Luis Obispo. I do have coworkers who went to Berkeley for their undergrad work.

The CITY of Berkeley, despite its problems, remains one of my favorite places on earth.

Positives;

*Great setting-a coastal plain rising into 1200 foot tall hills with creeks, canyons, and the diverse neighborhoods thatg this topography would suggest.

*Great climate-the Bay Fog keeps it cool, but it is much sunnier and warmer than San Francisco proper

*Parks and open space/vegetation: Much of the ridgeline east of the city proper is one big regional park. 35 miles of parkland extending all the way from Richmond to San Leandro. The neighborhoods, especially the more affluent hillsides, represent the best of the Calfiornia "garden suburb," with fascinating, overgrown front gardens, carved gates, a network of shaded pedestrian paths, and flowers everywhere. Fantastic!

*Architecture: Ranks near the very top, imo, for pre-WWII suburban residential architecture. Some of the most creative designers and builders in the United States have graced Berkeley with an eclectic, sometimes bizarre, collection of housing. This housing complements the University's buildings (including some quite colorful new dorms) The downtown is a true downtown, and the City is really pushing infill mixed use along the commercial corridors to the west and north.

Food: One can argue endlessly aboput whether or not American culture has "declined," but one element of our culture that has vastly improved is FOOD. You can eat amazingly well-and cheaply (or expensively) in berkeley. Both restaurants and fantastic grocery stores.

NEGATIVES

Street crime: Not all of Berkeley is affluent hillside suburbs for the liberal intelligentsia. There are poor neighborhoods in the city, and there is crime. The Police Force seems very professional and responsive. I tripped a burglar alarm once by accident, and they were there within three minutes.

Homeless: Berkeley is a magnet for the lost, the drugged, the degenerate, the brken down, the luckless. Some are professionals-there is one beggar that has been at her post for 16 years.

Blazingly political correct/involve citizenry. Berkeley has dozens of citizen committees. There is always someone opposed to something. A true BANANA town (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anybody). Still, they resopundingly defeated an initiative aimed at reducing heights along the city's aging commercial strips.

Probably too much information,. but there you have it. Just my opinion, of course. :)
 

Magnetica

Cyburbian
Messages
127
Points
6
Anyone starting the Planning MS at UC Berkeley this Fall? I missed the deadline for this year (since I didn't even THINK about switching to Planning last year in time to apply for this year) but I spoke with Kaye Bock and she was very encouraging.

If anyone is going there this Fall, I'd like to know initial impressions you have about the programme.

Thank you!!
 

fivemenawol

Member
Messages
4
Points
0
Has anyone gotten a Bachelors in planning and then gone on to masters in architecture? Furthermore, does anyone know anything about the masters of planning or architecture at Berkeley. I am kind of looking into it, curious to get any insight
 

arcplans

As Featured in "High Times"
Messages
6,336
Points
24
Don't know much but here is a shot

If your coming from a school that is design oriented, cal poly slo/pomona, usc, UPEN, then it should be a compliment to your studies because it is more research, theory planning. Then again, do you really need that in the workforce?
 

drockisu07

Member
Messages
18
Points
1
Anyone in the UC Berkeley MCP program? Or looking to transfer there? Do they accept transfer grad students from other programs?
 

katieucsd

Member
Messages
3
Points
0
I am going to be a visiting student for one semester (Spring 2008) at UCBerkeley to check out their College of Environmental Design and am searching for internship opportunities for undergraduate students in environmental design and/or planning. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 

CJC

Cyburbian
Messages
1,689
Points
19
This thread is relevant:

http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=32116

Some of the planning departments also offer internships from time to time, though it wouldn't be specifically environmental planning or design.

You might also check out the Association of Bay Area Governments - they sometimes have some interesting internships available.
 

Fang

Member
Messages
23
Points
2
Hi all,

Does anybody who has/is applying to Berkeley's MCP program know how long they expect personal statements to be? The online app. allows 12,000 characters for the Statement of Purpose and 8,000 for the Personal History...both of these seem absurdly long (12,000 characters is about 3-4 pages single-spaced). Thanks!

Fang
 

planr

Cyburbian
Messages
157
Points
7
The advice I took away from the open house was, like every other thing I've experienced in academia - "It should be as long as it needs to be." However, they give you plenty of space, so why not use it? After all, the faculty and students on the admissions committee only have these statements, your letters of recommendation, and your transcripts / GRE to get to know you, assuming you have never been to Berkeley and have no pre-existing relationships established.

To give you an idea, I'm actually slightly over the 8,000 character limit for the Personal Statement, while I am shy on the Statement of Purpose with about 11,000 characters
 

Gedunker

Moderating
Moderator
Messages
10,885
Points
31
Moderator note:
Thread moved to Student Lounge forum. I think you'll likely get more responses here. Thanks and carry on.
 

arcplans

As Featured in "High Times"
Messages
6,336
Points
24
I am going to be a visiting student for one semester (Spring 2008) at UCBerkeley to check out their College of Environmental Design and am searching for internship opportunities for undergraduate students in environmental design and/or planning. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
The City of San Francisco usually has a very competitive internship program for the summer in both DPT (Department of Parking and Traffic) and Planning. They usually begin taking applications end of Jan/early Feb. It was a great gig and i learned a lot when i did the internship and the great part is they paid great!
 

nyc_tribeca

Cyburbian
Messages
54
Points
4
I interpreted one as research/professional interest, and the other as personal experience leading to the career decision. But I do agree that there is considerable redundancy between the two. UCLA only requires the single statement.

Did you notice that Berkeley is suspending the Regional Development program for next year? The website says that it will be replaced with something - they haven't decided yet. It seems a little odd, and to speculate about the reasons I might say:

1) Lack of interest?
2) Moving that program to another school - Economics perhaps?
3) Chopping up the curriculum and integrating it in with the other concentrations where there is obvious relevance?
4) Loss of funding?

I have heard that Berkeley, and the UC system, is under a budget crunch. Aren't they always? How do they maintain such a high reputation when they constantly have to survive with fewer resources?
 

planr

Cyburbian
Messages
157
Points
7
Did you notice that Berkeley is suspending the Regional Development program for next year? The website says that it will be replaced with something - they haven't decided yet. It seems a little odd, and to speculate about the reasons I might say:
This topic was brought up at the open house in November, alas, I was not paying close attention as it is not the program I am interested in. My guess is that John Landis leaving for Penn had something to do with it but I have nothing to base that on other than gut instinct. In addition, there is a strong push for the new Global Metropolitan Studies program, so maybe some funding and other resources have been diverted there. Who knows?
 

nyc_tribeca

Cyburbian
Messages
54
Points
4
Despite the illegible font, I was able to find out enough on the GMS website to see that it is a very interesting program and it looks like there is a plan to build it into something significant. However, it does not seem to be well-developed enough now to support a separate concentration within the DCRP. So, it is disappointing to see the Regional Dvt. program jerked out from under the the MCP concentration list without something already in place. But maybe there are enough affiliated faculty in other departments to make it a seamless transition. I never saw GMS listed as a concentration though, the development of which is still described in future tense on the website. Too bad, because it looks like a fantastic thing.
 

Simplex02

Member
Messages
24
Points
2
I'm leaving for the bay area from so cal on Saturday..anyone else going to be at Berkeley on April 7th for the open house?
 

jveverka81

Member
Messages
7
Points
0
I will be going to San Fran Saturday as well for the Welcome Day Monday. It will be interesting to see what impression the department gives me in person after reading so much text.

Simplex02, do you think that you will be going to Berkeley? Do you have any other favorable options that you are trying to decide between?
 

Simplex02

Member
Messages
24
Points
2
Great, look forward to meeting you there! I'm currently deciding between Berkeley, USC, and UNC..I'm leaning towards leaving so cal and experiencing something different and my interests are in transportation..so at this point it looks like its between Berkeley and UNC..what about you?
 

jveverka81

Member
Messages
7
Points
0
I am trying to chose between UCLA and Berkeley. I am a little torn.

I would rather live in the San Fran area than LA (I am originally from the midwest). Sadly to say, the name calls me as well. It will be a foot in the door especially for any international work.

However, I am finding that the program at UCLA in general better meets my interests in Metropolitan/regional planning. There is also more classes offered over the year (60+ at UCLA and only 32 at Berkeley) in the urban planning department and there is more faculty.

I am hoping that I will be able to decide on something after my visits, UCLA has their visit day on the 9th.

What's the vibe that you are getting from Berkeley? I get the idea that the department is undergoing a lot of change. I am just trying to decide if it's for the better.
 

Simplex02

Member
Messages
24
Points
2
I think we'll know better once we're both there on the campus come Monday..but I would say that it seems more broadly I don't see the department changing/switching directions all that much however specifically in the Metropolitan/regional development concentration it seems to be much more the case..I guess we'll both learn more on Monday, because hey..thats what open houses are for :)
 

planr

Cyburbian
Messages
157
Points
7
Hey - Just consider yourselves lucky that Berkeley has actually given you guys a DECISION by Monday. I am still in the dark... and Yeri can't give me updates because the adcom still hasn't finalized everything

But on the bright side, Cambridge was lovely today (mid 40s and raining) but it should clear up for MIT's open house on Monday :)
 

JoleCole

Member
Messages
6
Points
0
Hi everyone,

I was recently accepted to Berkeley's Master of City Planning program after being on the waitlist. At first, I was set in going to UCLA since I want to eventually work in Orange County and was really impressed with UCLA's open house. But now I'm not so certain anymore after hearing how great Berkeley's program is and how they get more funding/ have greater # of available graduate student researcher positions than UCLA. I'm interested in a professional career than one in the academia, especially with a focus in urban design (though I don't have design background)/environmental/landuse planning). Did anyone go to Berkeley open house? How was it? Does anyone know which school have better networking opportunities or greater job placements? I really need to work while I'm in school and immediately after graduation so I can pay back my undergrad/grad loans since neither school gave me any funding =(.

I'm feeling really conflicted about where to go as if I heard it's really important to establish your network in the area you plan to work. If I go to Berkeley, wouldn't I be at a disadvantage if I want to end up in southern California? At the same time, I feel maybe I should get out of my comfort zone and explore other areas since I went to UCLA for undergrad.

Thanks in advance!!
 

planr

Cyburbian
Messages
157
Points
7
I did not attend the spring open house (didn't have a decision from the department beforehand), but I did attend last fall's open house and did do extensive research on both schools.

My advice, based solely on what you have said below is: go to Berkeley. For me, the number one reason in choosing Berkeley over UCLA (I'm actually going to MIT) is based on class size, perceived quality of said class, and the assumed sense of community a smaller cohort typically has. According to my maths (actually the ACSP's), for the 2006/2007 school year, UCLA admitted 157 students while 70 chose to attend. Berkeley on the other hand admitted only 56, with 45 choosing to attend.

To back up my point, the program group I applied to at MIT (IDG) should have about 12-14 students come September, that I will associate with on a very regular basis during my two years in the program.

Additionally, I seriously doubt a HR person in LA/OC will throw away your app because it says Berkeley and not UCLA or USC.
 

JoleCole

Member
Messages
6
Points
0
Thank you Planr for your advice! I really appreciate your feedback. I did look into the class size myself based on ACSP's Guide to Graduate School and noticed the difference in numbers.

I'm a bit reluctant myself to choose a school where my classmates barely know each other, but UCLA's big class didn't seem as bad when I attended their open house. My biggest fear in choosing Berkeley is the networking opportunities in So California that I will sacrificing if I do not choose to attend a school in So. California. I read so many comments on this forum emphasizing the importance of choosing a school in close proximity to where you want to work. I heard that many planning students get their first job from their internship while in school. I'm also afraid I'll be 'stuck' in the bay area (not in the physical sense, but financially if I somehow manage to get a job in the bay area and not so. cal).

Did you attend the open house for both UCLA and Berkeley last year? Did Berkeley leave a good impression on you? Do you know much about funding opportunities at Berkeley after you start school?
 

planr

Cyburbian
Messages
157
Points
7
I cannot speak to the importance of the geographical location of a specific school. My career path is taking me into the international field, so locating in SF, LA, NYC, Boston for a Masters (and PhD) is less important for me than the quality of the program and the people.

That said, I know from first hand experience, internships are great ways to land a job or at the very least, kick open some big doors. There are some very good places to intern in the Bay Area if you are into Urban Design that are not only nationally recognized, but globally as well (e.g. Calthorpe, Sasaki). Landing a summer gig or part time school year stint with one of these companies will still get you into a good place in SoCal.

I never made it to an official UCLA open house, but I have visited the campus and corresponded with faculty (via phone, email, and in person). I made sure to speak to the faculty I was interested in working with and they were very warm and accommodating, however UCLA just isn't the right place for me.

At Berkeley, there seemed to be a decent amount of money going around, considering the poor CA state budget situation. Many current students I met had GSR or GSI positions that helped substantially with their tuition/fees. I don't have any statistics on this however. One advantage that you have financially, is that you are going to be in-state for both years at each school, which saves you at least 10K versus someone who is out of state like me. Also, even if you have to pay out of pocket for the first semester or first year, if you work hard enough and introduce yourself to the right people, your second year will probably get taken care of.
 

katieucsd

Member
Messages
3
Points
0
up at Berkeley

I'm studying in the undergrad DCRP dept right now and I can't vouch for the grad students because I am not one of them, but the ones I know have a tight-knit community, close relationships with professors, and as I hear the seniors talk about their future plans-many are going to socal, out of state....all over to work. The department is very professional and the professors are top notch. It's worth noting that at Berkeley, the department is within the College of Environmental Design which has the philosophy of planning & designing while taking the natural environment into account. Pretty unique.
 

katieucsd

Member
Messages
3
Points
0
up at Berkeley

I'm studying in Berkeley's undergrad DCRP dept right now and I can't vouch for the grad students because I am not one of them, but the ones I know have a tight-knit community, close relationships with professors, and as I hear the seniors talk about their future plans-many are going to socal, out of state....all over to work. The department is very professional and the professors are top notch. It's worth noting that at Berkeley, the department is within the College of Environmental Design which has the philosophy of planning & designing while taking the natural environment into account. Pretty unique.
 

JoleCole

Member
Messages
6
Points
0
Thank you katieucsd for your insights. They are much appreciated! Did you have problems finding an internship you like? Another big concern of mine is that I have absolutely no design background nor do I have any practical experience in planning. Most of my understanding of planning comes from my own individual research. It seems most of the incoming Berkeley MCP's students have some sort of planning background and I'm just really scared that I'll be behind everyone else. DCRP also requires their incoming MCP students to have minimum knowledge of microeconomics ( a course I took more than 5 years ago :-/). My undergrad degree was in geography - concentrating in environmental studies, and I'm relatively comfortable in using GIS. I guess I'm stronger in that aspect, but I think I'm just really intimidated by the high caliber of the incoming MCP students. At least at UCLA, they will have some sort of 'math and microeconomics' boot camp before you start taking the core courses. I wonder if Berkeley will do the same...
 

jveverka81

Member
Messages
7
Points
0
I wasn't that impressed by Berkeley

I visited both Berkeley and UCLA's open houses.

Berkeley didn't impress me that much. My area of interest, regional development, wasn't well represented and even though the faculty promised me that nothing was changing, current students gave me a different opinion. The professors didn't seem as open as those at UCLA and at times were, I though, overly cocky. The program seemed to be in a state of flux with uncertainty on where it was going.

On the other hand I was very impressed by the program at UCLA. The biggest draw back I found was that I felt the student body wasn't quite as top-notch at UCLA as at Berkeley. However I was really impressed by the professors, the unity they showed, and the overall organization.

I had originally wanted to go to Berkeley, but after visiting both programs I am happy with my decision to go to UCLA.
 

Simplex02

Member
Messages
24
Points
2
Wow do I wholeheartedly second everything that jveverka just said above..I felt EXACTLY the same way about the program being in a bit of flux, students giving conflicting answers, etc. After visiting Berkeley for the open house, I left convinced I belong at UNC
 

nyc_tribeca

Cyburbian
Messages
54
Points
4
Jveverka and Simplex: Wow, now you are making me second-guess my decision to go to Berkeley. One of the faculty members was insistent that nothing was changing, and expressed a bit of frustration because I was not the first person to bring it up. This may be the party line, but often where there's smoke there's fire. If nothing were changing, why would these rumors be swirling? I wasn't very clear on it either, but if it is changing, I can only trust that they know what they are doing.

Whatever - it's likely I will be more on the transportation planning side of things, and I'm sure Berkeley is still strong in that area.

As for cocky profs, I didn't visit so I don't have a feel for it. In my discussion with one of the faculty members by phone, I sensed a confidence in what what was going on at Berkeley but not cockiness. I have to admit that they're doing some great research and I would be proud of it too. I do hope they aren't cocky in the negative sense, but I'm sure every program has people like that. I put up with enough cockiness in my current life that I would welcome the opportunity to prove I can handle more in school.

Congrats on UNC, Simplex - I didn't apply there (went to undergrad and another field for grad school, both in the south, so I wanted to explore another area of the country). I've been to Chapel Hill many times and it's beautiful, and of course UNC is a great school with lots of highly ranked programs, an advantage if you want to study outside of the walls of the planning department. As for UCLA, I applied there and would have loved to go. Got in but no funding, and $44K/year was a little more than $0/year at Berkeley. I love LA despite the bad things people have to say about it. Westwood is gorgeous and like UNC, UCLA has everything going for it.

I am really looking forward to going to Berkeley. I like the idea of an activist campus, all the other great programs and meeting people in them, and the bay area in general, where I have only spent one weekend my entire life. So it will be a thrill in simply exploring the place. But above all, the program is doing some really interesting research that fits exactly into my interests.

Are either of you considering PhDs?
 
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J.Rides

Member
Messages
5
Points
0
NYC, I'm also hoping to get in Berkeley in the future and I waned to what your application looked like if you don't mind giving it of course.
Shool, GPA, job experience?

I want to get a good idea of what it takes to get in the school. I'm hoping this would help me get an idea of what i need to do and give me motivation.
 

planr

Cyburbian
Messages
157
Points
7
With regards to Regional Development and "things changing," my take is this:

The Regional Development concentration is being phased out. This was made clear at the November (2007) open house I attended. In addition, they have made note of this on the DCRP website about halfway down the page here - http://dcrp.ced.berkeley.edu/programs/mcp My guess is that this concentration is on the back burner because John Landis left the department (went to Penn) and he was likely a key player in that realm, given his expertise and interests. BUT, this is just speculation.

In addition, the CED is looking for a new dean, and one or two current DCRP profs are up for the position, so if one is successful, I have a feeling the administration duties required by the position will take them out of the teaching realm for the most part.

Change is just a part of the game, you have to learn to adapt.

And for nyc_tribeca - with Cervero, Deakin, and the UCTC crew, there probably isn't a better school in the country if you are gung ho about transportation. And not that you asked me, but I'm on a PhD path (starting MCP and MIT this fall).
 

nyc_tribeca

Cyburbian
Messages
54
Points
4
J.Rides, if you search around on the student forum, I think there is a thread where people give their GPAs, standardized test scores and college acceptances.

My undergraduate was from a large SEC school, and MBA from a large Big 12 school, neither of which are in the US News top-50 but my GPA was above 3.6 in both places. GREs were 1450/6.0 writing. I also have some pretty extensive foreign experience, but it is not directly related to planning, which is why I am getting the degree.

If you are looking for advice, I would say that your application has to convey a story - that your educational and professional experiences have a strategically-determined progression, of which your planning degree is the logical next step. Wanting to "try out" planning will not impress an admissions committee. You need to have a clear idea what you want to do, and how that particular school will help you achieve it (faculty research specialties, relationships with local firms or governments, reputation, et al.) For me, the planning degree is the only way for me to move into what I plan to do next, and I made a compelling and genuine case that I would succeed. I only applied to a handful of research-oriented programs, and ended up choosing the one that was the best financial and academic fit. Good luck to you.

Planr: the UCTC is the main reason I went. They are doing work in so many different areas and the program receives a lot of funding for a variety of projects. The network of scholars is impressive - from all UC campuses including UCLA and UC-Irvine. It is a great concept to pool the academic resources of the whole system, and all the better that it is housed at Berkeley! ;-) What is your focus at MIT?
 
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J.Rides

Member
Messages
5
Points
0
Well I'm currently an undergrad in UP in Montreal, I'm pulling a 3.7 GPA right now. Thanks for the info, the GRE info helps. I wanted to learn a what the typical Berkeley planning student looked like academically, helping set the right goals.
 

Simplex02

Member
Messages
24
Points
2
Tribeca -- Don't reconsider your choice, go to Berkeley. I'm also into transportation and if I was solely interested in this area and getting a Ph.D. after the masters there wouldn't be any question. The reality of my situation however is that I want to pursue a double masters in public administration and planning because in addition to my interests in transportation, I also have strong interests in civic policy and becoming involved in city management(something Berkeley severely lacks). So while my concerns about Berkeley did play a role, that wasn't by any means the primary reason I decided against the program.
 

planr

Cyburbian
Messages
157
Points
7
Planr: the UCTC is the main reason I went. They are doing work in so many different areas and the program receives a lot of funding for a variety of projects. The network of scholars is impressive - from all UC campuses including UCLA and UC-Irvine. It is a great concept to pool the academic resources of the whole system, and all the better that it is housed at Berkeley! ;-) What is your focus at MIT?
I am in the international development group within the planning department. I applied knowing that none of the faculty does what I want to do (no one in the country is doing it right now, as far as I know). I made this clear in my application, but, that by working closely with two specific faculty members, one of them being a transportation guy (I'm also a transpo-nerd), I should be able to successfully pursue my interests (which lie in better integrating land use and transport planning the developing world, initially in Vietnam and Thailand).
 

smarshall

Cyburbian
Messages
26
Points
2
Jveverka and Simplex: Wow, now you are making me second-guess my decision to go to Berkeley.
I did my undergrad in Arch and Civ Eng at Berkeley and while I was there took a few Planning courses which is what turned me on to the field. I get the impression that yea, they're top notch in terms of Transportation, and you can't beat Cervero...

Meanwhile, if you have any interest in international development planning, there's a great Prof there, Ananya Roy. You can watch a lecture she gave after receiving a teaching award here:

http://goldenapple.berkeley.edu/goldenapple_lecture.htm
 

jveverka81

Member
Messages
7
Points
0
Transportation at Berkeley gave me a strong impression

Though I wasn't overly impressed with Berkeley planning mainly relating to my interest of Regional Development, I do feel that their transportation planning program is very strong. They do have Cevero and Deakin who are good. They also have an excellent Civil Engineering program to receive the dual masters in Urban Planning and Civil Engineering. If I was going for just transportation, I would probably be going to Berkeley.

Someone had asked for my information getting in. I received about a 3.6 for a BS from a Big 12 school in Civil Engineering. I got a 1440/5.0 on the GRE. My experience is 2 years in the Peace Corps and 1 year at USAID.
 

JoleCole

Member
Messages
6
Points
0
jveverka81 and Simplex02 -

Can I ask what kind of 'conflicting answers' Berkeley students were giving you?
Did you feel most have a general 'positive experience' at Berkeley?
I didn't go to the Berkeley Open House, but I did attend the UCLA one. UCLA did really caught me by surprise by its enthusiasm and unity.
However, the concentrations offered at UCLA didn't really attract me as much as Berkeley's concentrations. The fact that UCLA's planning program is located in the School of Public Policy (compared to Berkeley's College of Environmental Design) sort of deter me a little. I'm interested in studying landuse/environmental planning and doing a little design. To be more specific, I'm hoping to end up in the private sector doing projects relating to urban renewal/redevelopment and designing sustainable communities.
 

jveverka81

Member
Messages
7
Points
0
JoleCole:

When I was at Berkeley I was mainly looking into two areas of Urban Planning, the broader metropolitan/regional planning and transportation planning/engineering. Of the few students that are focusing on metropolitan/regional planning area, many stated the increased difficulty in taking classes in this area of interest and the sense of insecurity they felt about the program in general, though the faculty claimed nothing was changing. Also, when asked if they had any regrets for studying at Berkeley in the aforementioned area, all said that they had had regrets (nobody that I asked in this area at UCLA had any), but were all happy with their choice to attend Berkeley in the end.

The other area that I considered was transportation. This area is very strong at Berkeley, like I stated before, and even stronger if you include that the Civil Engineering Department is very good as well. The joint MCP and MS in Civil Engineering really tempted me. Though, the program with Brian Taylor at its helm at UCLA is very good too, it just doesn't allow the dual degree in engineering (the strongest reason for choosing Berkeley).

In the end, UCLA impressed me with a unity, organization, and (surprisingly!) enthusiasm that I didn't find at Berkeley. My only (very small) regret is that I won't be able to say that I graduated from Berkeley. UCLA is definitely a very good school, but Berkeley is known more ubiquitously for its academics.

Hope that this helps. What is your area of interest?
 
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