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Urban Planning Degrees: Advice and Architecture vs. Policy Schools

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This is my first posting on Grad Cafe, so here it goes....

I'm applying to urban planning programs that have a transportation policy focus. Right now, I am definitely applying to UNC- Chapel Hill, USC, UCLA, and University of Maryland. The first three programs are all housed in the schools' public affairs, policy, or arts and sciences schools. Maryland, however, is based in the School of Architecture. I'm much more of a policy guy, and U-Maryland's curriculum has a strong policy focus. However, the curricula at other architecture-based schools I researched, such as Harvard and UPenn, have a greater focus on studios and design.

How much difference does where a department is housed affect the curriculum?

Also, can anyone recommend other top planning programs with a transportation focus? I am using the 2012 Planetizen Guide as a starting point. I have also considered applying to the planning programs and Tufts and FSU. I currently live in DC and prefer east cost schools, but I am willing to go anywhere to get a degree from a top school and eventually relocate to New England (hence the two Cali schools).

About me: Recent grad from top liberal arts school with Government major and Econ minor and a 3.76 overall GPA. I've been working for the federal government for the past two years but not for DOT. GRE scores: 650-verbal and 690-quant.

Thanks for any advice!

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MIT offers a Master of City Planning out of its Department of Urban Studies which is quantitative in its nature and focused on economics and policy (although I think you can take some design classes along the way).

MIT also offers a Master of Science in Transportation out of its Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

The MCP and MST can also be taken as a dual degree.

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Corrall--

What kind of job do you want once you earn your degree?

I ask because I spent some time working as a planning analyst at a structural engineering consultancy. During that time, I was exposed to two distinctly different schools of thought on having a policy focus.

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Corrall--

What kind of job do you want once you earn your degree?

I ask because I spent some time working as a planning analyst at a structural engineering consultancy. During that time, I was exposed to two distinctly different schools of thought on having a policy focus.

I am still unsure of what specific job I want after school, but I know that I want to be involved in transport/transit planning in some way. I want to use my time in grad school to explore different careers through internships etc. and network as much as possible to get a better idea of what specific type of job I would want. I am going into school with a fairly blank canvas with which to work. Trust me, I did not take the decision to return to school lightly.

Sorry I could not be more helpful- what is your opinion on policy programs?

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I am at USC,

f you want to focus on TRANSPO, consider USC, Genevie Giuliano at SPPD, is a big name

Transpo-nerd,

How do you like USC and where else did you apply? What would you say are USC's strengths and weaknesses?

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This is my first posting on Grad Cafe, so here it goes....

I'm applying to urban planning programs that have a transportation policy focus. Right now, I am definitely applying to UNC- Chapel Hill, USC, UCLA, and University of Maryland. The first three programs are all housed in the schools' public affairs, policy, or arts and sciences schools. Maryland, however, is based in the School of Architecture. I'm much more of a policy guy, and U-Maryland's curriculum has a strong policy focus. However, the curricula at other architecture-based schools I researched, such as Harvard and UPenn, have a greater focus on studios and design.

How much difference does where a department is housed affect the curriculum?

Also, can anyone recommend other top planning programs with a transportation focus? I am using the 2012 Planetizen Guide as a starting point. I have also considered applying to the planning programs and Tufts and FSU. I currently live in DC and prefer east cost schools, but I am willing to go anywhere to get a degree from a top school and eventually relocate to New England (hence the two Cali schools).

About me: Recent grad from top liberal arts school with Government major and Econ minor and a 3.76 overall GPA. I've been working for the federal government for the past two years but not for DOT. GRE scores: 650-verbal and 690-quant.

Thanks for any advice!

 

I'm looking to go into transportation policy/economics in the next few years and would absolutely LOVE to hear what you have learned 3 years on from this post.  Whatever you can share will be enormously helpful. 

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Also bumping this thread because I too am interested in what advice people have to offer... I am looking at a career in City Management. I am interested in a program with a focus on urban planning because my undergraduate degree (Government & International Affairs) covered a lot of policy/economic topics but not planning. As a city manager -- better to have a strong leadership program? planning program? or policy program?

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