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Planning Admissions 2022


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Just starting the process and currently trying to prep for the GRE! I hope more schools release the 2022 application requirements soon, because it would be great if I didn't have to take this test lol. I've already seen quite a few programs waive the requirement already, though.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Lol I am in the exact same boat. Got all my GRE prep stuff ready but have been dreading studying and hoping it gets waived everywhere! As of today 10/11 of the schools I'm applying to have waived it so I don't think I'm going to take it. Harvard just announced that GRE scores are optional for their MUP program, and I think now have the same GRE optional (but accepted) policy that Berkeley, UCLA, and MIT have. 

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  • 4 months later...

Hey guys! Applying to University of Alberta and University of Manitoba, and considering possibly doing Columbia too. Columbia would only happen if I get financial aid which is unlikely as an international student (I'm Canadian) and don't have six figures to drop on a degree, but it is my dream school.

Anyone know how many usually apply to Columbia's Master of Planning and how many they accept per intake? Couldn't find these stats anywhere.

As for the two Canadian schools - anyone know how many applicants they get for their planning programs? 

Anyone applying to any of these?

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Hey @planningapplicant! I'm applying to Columbia's MSUP too! My 6th edition Planetizen guide to graduate urban planning programs only has stats for Columbia as recent as 2017 where it says 214 applications were received and 184 were admitted, so about an 86% acceptance rate. Not sure how much this has changed since then with all the craziness of COVID times but I imagine the 70-80ish% range is an accurate ballpark.

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26 minutes ago, stop making sense said:

Hey @planningapplicant! I'm applying to Columbia's MSUP too! My 6th edition Planetizen guide to graduate urban planning programs only has stats for Columbia as recent as 2017 where it says 214 applications were received and 184 were admitted, so about an 86% acceptance rate. Not sure how much this has changed since then with all the craziness of COVID times but I imagine the 70-80ish% range is an accurate ballpark.

Thanks for this!! Wow, 184 admitted?! The programs in Canada only admit 30-35. Is this common of US programs? I haven't looked into any but Columbia. This is pretty good acceptance rate. 

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Trying to decide between a master of planning and public admin/public policy. Anyone have any idea of whether the job prospects are better for MURP or MPP/MPA graduates?

Also wondering if there's any intel on Queen's MPA vs MURP.  MPA is only one year and MURP is two. It's the same 1 vs 2 years at Waterloo.

 I realize this is a subjective question: but is the two year MURP degree a better credential?

 

Edited by Making other plans
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On 11/16/2021 at 12:35 PM, Making other plans said:

Trying to decide between a master of planning and public admin/public policy. Anyone have any idea of whether the job prospects are better for MURP or MPP/MPA graduates?

Also wondering if there's any intel on Queen's MPA vs MURP.  MPA is only one year and MURP is two. It's the same 1 vs 2 years at Waterloo.

 I realize this is a subjective question: but is the two year MURP degree a better credential?

 

Since they're both professional degrees that usually lend themselves to jobs in government, policy, or advocacy my best guess would be that they're both equal as credentials and have similarly good job prospects. I think you'll probably just have to decide if you are more excited about working in the policy space which is much more quantitative and less theoretical, as opposed to the planning space which can be both practice oriented and very interdisciplinary with mixed methodologies. 

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Thanks for your reply! Not sure what it's like in the US, but here in Canada if you get a government job, you pretty much get a guaranteed job for life, early retirement and a fat pension. For this reason, I'm wondering if MPA is better than M of Planning. I don't know enough about planning career trajectories in Canada to decide.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Also I thought I'd get the ball rolling with sharing stats/schools/etc. I copied the format from last years thread.

Age/Gender/Citizenship

21/F/US

Undergraduate degree/School/Year graduated 

BA in Urban Policy / top 40 LAC / Expected May 2022

GPA - GRE  - TOEFL (for Int'l students) 

3.70 cumulative / 3.93 major / 3.96 upper division, no GRE

Work Experience:

1 year as a research assistant in a multi-university urban planning study; 1 year as a student researcher doing original research on military urbanism for senior thesis; 2 research internships with community organizations; 2 internships with local government agencies; 2 years doing paid work on local campaigns; and 4 years of experience as a housing justice organizer (founded an activist collective with a pretty sizable following). Hoping these experiences will be impactful on my application since I'm applying straight out of undergrad.

Letter of recommendations: (from whom)

Research advisor, academic advisor (and chair of department's research institute), and another former professor. All three are in the urban planning/design space and should be pretty strong since I'm fairly close to all of them. 

Schools applied to: UCLA, Cal, Columbia, Harvard, The New School  

In:

Out:

Wait-list:

Awaiting: UCLA, Cal, Columbia, Harvard, The New School  

Results:

Edited by stop making sense
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  • 2 weeks later...

How are things going for everyone so far? I decided against trying for Columbia. My GPA is fine but as an international student the cost is just too high, plus living in New York... 

I'm sticking to Canadian programs (domestic student) and narrowed it down to Waterloo, Alberta, Manitoba, Queens, and Dalhousie. Haven't written my SOIs/SOPs yet because I've been in school full time and working full time and it's been brutal. That being said, these are my top choices and I would feel great getting into any of them, with a heavy preference for Queens and Manitoba! I'm pretty stressed about the low acceptance rate of these programs. Only 30 students... 

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ge/Gender/Citizenship

29/F/Brazil

Undergraduate degree/School/Year graduated 

BA in Communication / top 1 in Comm and top 3 general in Brazil / Apr 2016

MBA in Marketing / Apr 2018

MS in comm / Apr 2022

GPA - GRE  - TOEFL (for Int'l students) 

9.1/10 (undergrad) / 9.3/10 (mba) / 9.7/10 (m.s), no GRE

Work Experience:

5 years media / TV industry

6 months mkt trainee

6 months video lab

6 months image lab

6 months research assistant

+some volunteer work

Letter of recommendations: (from whom)

advisor + professor (m.s), advisor + professor (undergrad), professor and director (m.s) . All three are in the Communication field.  

Schools applied to: USC, UCSB, UCSD, UC DAVIS, Cornell, Upenn, Syracuse, Northwestern, University of Florida, Florida State, University of South Florida, Rutgers, UMass-Amherst, University of Oregon and University of Maine

In:

Out:

Wait-list:

Awaiting: USC, UCSB, UCSD, UC DAVIS, Cornell, Upenn, Syracuse, Northwestern, University of Florida, Florida State, University of South Florida, Rutgers, UMass-Amherst, University of Oregon and University of Maine

Results:

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On 12/24/2021 at 9:57 AM, planningapplicant said:

How are things going for everyone so far? I decided against trying for Columbia. My GPA is fine but as an international student the cost is just too high, plus living in New York... 

I'm sticking to Canadian programs (domestic student) and narrowed it down to Waterloo, Alberta, Manitoba, Queens, and Dalhousie. Haven't written my SOIs/SOPs yet because I've been in school full time and working full time and it's been brutal. That being said, these are my top choices and I would feel great getting into any of them, with a heavy preference for Queens and Manitoba! I'm pretty stressed about the low acceptance rate of these programs. Only 30 students... 

I feel you on being in school full time and working full time and trying to get grad apps together! It's been stressful for sure but definitely better now that the semester is over and I have a few weeks off work for the holidays. I also feel you on the low acceptance rate stress. UCLA is my top choice and even with a relatively large cohort size (60ish) because there's sooo many applicants the acceptance rate has been getting even smaller. 

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On 12/26/2021 at 4:39 PM, stop making sense said:

I feel you on being in school full time and working full time and trying to get grad apps together! It's been stressful for sure but definitely better now that the semester is over and I have a few weeks off work for the holidays. I also feel you on the low acceptance rate stress. UCLA is my top choice and even with a relatively large cohort size (60ish) because there's sooo many applicants the acceptance rate has been getting even smaller. 

Thanks for the support! Hope things are going well for you and you managed to get some done! It's rough out here lol. I finished two today! 

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On 12/30/2021 at 11:37 AM, Making other plans said:

Hey PlanningApplicant: do you mind saying why Manitoba is one of your top two choices?

Trying to decided myself and wondering if Waterloo is preferable to Manitoba's planning pgm. Thx

 

Hey! I really like Manitoba's blended approach of theory and studio courses, and I like that they're in a faculty of architecture so you get a strong design influence. I really like architecture and design and the social/equity/problem solving side of planning so a blended program would be great for me personally. And housing is affordable in Winnipeg! 

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4 hours ago, Making other plans said:

No, decided against Manitoba due to cold climate. Hoping for U of T. Sent a long-shot application to MIT DUSP but I'm not even sure if they take students straight from undergrad. 

Oh nice, good luck. Yeah, Winnipeg's weather is definitely something to consider. I think it's like -40 there right now or something nuts like that 😂

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Hey everyone, thanks for getting this started! 

Age/Gender/Citizenship

21/M/US

Undergraduate degree/School/Year graduated 

BS Urban Studies, minor in Architecture + 1 year study abroad / Expected May 2022

GPA - GRE  - TOEFL (for Int'l students) 

3.76 cumulative / 4.00 major + 4.00 UD / GRE: 159V, 162Q, 4.0AWA (:/)

Work Experience:

Construction management internship - land use, site evaluation, community engagement, and stakeholder analysis.  Other work involves starting a musical instrument repair business and being a medical/surgical assistant.

Letter of recommendations: (from whom)

3 advisors/professors within the field of the built environment: affordable housing economist, graduate director of architecture, and urban designer.

Schools applied to: Columbia, Harvard, Pratt, U Calgary, UI Chicago

In:

Out:

Wait-list:

Awaiting: Columbia, Harvard, Pratt, U Calgary, UI Chicago

Results:

Good luck everyone!

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Did anyone else apply to Georgia Tech? I have to say, I was pretty frustrated at their essay prompts. There were four of them, where every other school I applied to only required 2 at most.

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Age/Gender/Citizenship

27/M/South Korea

Undergraduate degree/School/Year graduated 

BA in Sociology / UC / Sep 2021

GPA - GRE  - TOEFL (for Int'l students) 

3.71 cumulative, no GRE

Work Experience:

Military, 1 year designing

Letter of recommendations: (from whom)

professors within the field of Environmental studies.

Schools applied to: Columbia, Harvard, MIT, Duke, UMichi

In:

Out:

Wait-list:

Awaiting: Columbia, Harvard, MIT, Duke, UMichi  

Results:

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Hi everyone! Excited to wait for results with y'all.

I'm an older student making a career change. I didn't go to college after graduating from high school in 2006. Instead, I went into retail management for many years. I started working towards my associate degree at a local community college in 2016 while working full-time, and I ended up quitting my job and transferring to a top-5 public university to study planning in Spring 2020. My undergrad school has a 1-year urban planning master's program that I'm eligible for direct admission to, which is most likely what I'll end up doing. However, I also decided to apply to a few Ivy League schools just to see what happens.

Age/Gender/Citizenship

33/M/US

Undergraduate degree/School/Year graduated 

Bachelor of Urban Planning / top-5 public university / 2022 (first-generation student)

Associate Degree, Social Sciences / Local Community College / 2019

GPA - GRE  - TOEFL (for Int'l students) 

3.9 (bachelor) / 3.9 (associate) / no GRE

Work Experience:

6 months at a planning & engineering consulting firm (currently employed); 1.5 years with an economic development organization; 8+ years in retail management. I also volunteer with a local refugee resettlement nonprofit as a public transportation trainer. Research experience: I worked with the chair of the planning department as part of an independent study course on the Federal Opportunity Zone tax incentive program.

Letter of recommendations: (from whom)

Three letters from professors. I've taken at least two classes with each of them. I work with one of the professors at my internship, and one of the other professors is the Assistant Dean of Students.

Schools applied to: MIT, Harvard, Columbia, undergrad alma mater (direct admission)

In: Undergrad alma mater (direct admission)

Out:

Wait-list:

Awaiting: MIT, Harvard, Columbia

Results:

Edited by planningajs
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