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PhD programs in city and regional planning

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I am looking at making a career change into academia and am considering doing a PhD.  After a lot of back and forth (between econ, public policy, and urban planning), I have decided to apply to urban planning programs.

I'd prefer to stay in Atlanta, where I live, so am applying to Georgia Tech. Anyone have thoughts on this program or knowledge on PhD admissions competitiveness?

I'm also looking at the part-time programmes in the UK where I would go for a portion of the year (while hopefully still having Atlanta as a base). There is also the advantage of starting on the dissertation right away (I have two masters degrees already).  I'm looking at the sustainable urban development at Oxford and the land economy programme at Cambridge.  I'd love any feedback on those programmes and any others that folks would recommend.

My goal is to go into academia or to work at an established think tank like the Urban Institute.

Thanks in advance!

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