Most respected/Best Urban Planning Program? (Rutgers NB, Tufts or Texas AM)

What program is the most respected/best in the Urban Planning community?

  • Rutgers: New Brunswick (Bloustein School)

    Votes: 1 100.0%
  • Tufts University

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Texas A&M University

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    1

Massachoicetts

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Hey Guys! I promise I won't start ridiculous threads (This will probably be the only thread I start). but since you guys are heavily invested in the Urban Planning/Policy industry, I have a quick question that I could use assistance with:

I recently was admitted into three programs for a Master's in Urban / Regional Planning or equivalent. I originally was admitted into seven university programs for Urban Planning, but I have come down to three schools to choose from. Rutgers-Bloustein New Brunswick, Tufts University, and Texas A&M University. All three schools gave me great scholarships about equivalent (Go Figure!) and I love the locations of all three. I tried looking up the rankings and post-graduate data and I have come to find all three programs rank within the top 20 in most metrics, and sometimes criss-cross in the rankings. Rutgers comes up at #3 in Planetizen, but mostly ranks in 11-15 ... as does Tufts and Texas. However, Tufts is very well known. Texas also is phenomenal.

So I am having a hard time choosing which program. So in a metric to help me better decide, what University offers the best, most well-respected program in the urban planning community? Is Rutgers' Bloustein School, Texas AMU's Planning Program or Tufts' Urban and Environmental and Planning program the best setup for success with recognition in the community and a good shot at a rewarding career?

Please drop your opinions below and vote which school/program would be best. I appreciate the feedback at always (Also hope I put this in the right section...)
 

Arlington

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I'm going to be a little contrarian and say that since all planning is literally local (mostly a county/city/metro) and basically never state or national, that "best" school will reflect local needs.

If you're in Chicago, it almost doesn't matter which school has a national reputation, the question is more about who is wired into local power and local tastes.
 

jass

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I'm going to be a little contrarian and say that since all planning is literally local (mostly a county/city/metro) and basically never state or national, that "best" school will reflect local needs.

If you're in Chicago, it almost doesn't matter which school has a national reputation, the question is more about who is wired into local power and local tastes.
This is correct,

I went to Rutgers, btw. I found that the vast majority of American students came from NJ/NY/CT/PA and stayed in the area after graduating.
 

Arlington

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(and when I lived in the DC suburbs I started but did not complete the UVa masters of urban planning program. UVA has a fine architecture school, but what made the program valuable was much more the mix of adjuncts and students, who were drawn from the big local real estate developers, and every level of government (municipal, county, regional RPA and transit).)

I got my MBA at Northwestern University back when Richard Daley Jr was mayor of Chicago. The joke (which was a little bit too true) was that while Northwestern and U Chicago were good local schools, all that really mattered was that the mayor had gone to DePaul.

Recast for Boston we might say that MIT and Harvard are good local schools, but all that really matters is that most of Beacon Hill went to Suffolk.
 

Massachoicetts

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This is correct,

I went to Rutgers, btw. I found that the vast majority of American students came from NJ/NY/CT/PA and stayed in the area after graduating.
How did you like the program? Is it good with connections and job placement?
 

Cosakita18

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I'm currently in the BU city planning graduate program and I find it very comprehensive and Boston-focused (which has pros and cons, especially for me as a non-Bostonian) A good portion of the adjunct staff work for the city and BPDA
 
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Massachoicetts

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jass

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dshoost88

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Hey Guys! I promise I won't start ridiculous threads (This will probably be the only thread I start). but since you guys are heavily invested in the Urban Planning/Policy industry, I have a quick question that I could use assistance with:

I recently was admitted into three programs for a Master's in Urban / Regional Planning or equivalent. I originally was admitted into seven university programs for Urban Planning, but I have come down to three schools to choose from. Rutgers-Bloustein New Brunswick, Tufts University, and Texas A&M University. All three schools gave me great scholarships about equivalent (Go Figure!) and I love the locations of all three. I tried looking up the rankings and post-graduate data and I have come to find all three programs rank within the top 20 in most metrics, and sometimes criss-cross in the rankings. Rutgers comes up at #3 in Planetizen, but mostly ranks in 11-15 ... as does Tufts and Texas. However, Tufts is very well known. Texas also is phenomenal.

So I am having a hard time choosing which program. So in a metric to help me better decide, what University offers the best, most well-respected program in the urban planning community? Is Rutgers' Bloustein School, Texas AMU's Planning Program or Tufts' Urban and Environmental and Planning program the best setup for success with recognition in the community and a good shot at a rewarding career?

Please drop your opinions below and vote which school/program would be best. I appreciate the feedback at always (Also hope I put this in the right section...)
Which school did you go with? Or did you defer for a year amid this pandemic BS?

Sorry I'm just finding this thread now. Like Cosakita18, I also graduated from the BU Master of City Planning program. Ultimately the career paths for MCP are either in the public sector (local, regional, state, or federal governments), private sector (consultant), and/or education (college professor). I've gone the public sector route and worked for a regional MPO in NH, and now work in statewide transportation planning in MA. I think aside from the local recognition that BU and Northeastern (my undergrad) had with New England employers, they provided an invaluable foundation for learning a great deal about Greater Boston's built environment. Experiences like a graduate education in the region I want to grow my career coupled with resources like ArchBoston and a diversity of built archetypes to learn from make me a more confident planner, and instill confidence among my peers that we do meaningful, progressive, equitable work. And that's rewarding.

I don't think it matters which school you attend... just be passionate about the built, natural, historic, and diverse environments you'll ultimately land a career to plan, and do not stop asking questions. Ever.
 

Massachoicetts

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Which school did you go with? Or did you defer for a year amid this pandemic BS?

Sorry I'm just finding this thread now. Like Cosakita18, I also graduated from the BU Master of City Planning program. Ultimately the career paths for MCP are either in the public sector (local, regional, state, or federal governments), private sector (consultant), and/or education (college professor). I've gone the public sector route and worked for a regional MPO in NH, and now work in statewide transportation planning in MA. I think aside from the local recognition that BU and Northeastern (my undergrad) had with New England employers, they provided an invaluable foundation for learning a great deal about Greater Boston's built environment. Experiences like a graduate education in the region I want to grow my career coupled with resources like ArchBoston and a diversity of built archetypes to learn from make me a more confident planner, and instill confidence among my peers that we do meaningful, progressive, equitable work. And that's rewarding.

I don't think it matters which school you attend... just be passionate about the built, natural, historic, and diverse environments you'll ultimately land a career to plan, and do not stop asking questions. Ever.
Hi! Thank you for the response...

Ultimately I did defer a year from Rutgers because of the pandemic. I just felt online and little connections were a no-no, especially for Urban Planning.

I plan on attending Rutgers next Fall. However, I have been hearing a lot about BU's program recently, and for the hell of it... Im going to apply. I love Boston centric projects and would love to land a job with the BPDA or similar. ArchBoston has been one of, if not the most, important aspect to me in this field.
1. Were the connections at BU not that great? When you say invaluable, were the programs not substantial?
2. How was financial aid?
 

dshoost88

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When I said 'invaluable', I meant it by its definition (extremely useful; indispensable). I made excellent connections at BU that have served me well professionally. A handful of my professors in particular had a generation of local, in-the-field experience that made the subject matter more compelling. I cannot speak to the financial aid as I didn't apply for any, fortunately.

As long as you're applying to local programs for the heck of it, I would strongly encourage you to research and consider Northeastern's Master of Urban Planning and Policy. Formerly MURP (urban and regional policy), I avoided applying to it because it didn't have "planning" in the degree name and I was worried this would confuse prospective employers (a fact I can see now that they've changed). Having attended NU and BU, I can objectively declare that NU has more of its shit together than BU, particularly when it came to state-of-the-art facility spaces, technology in the classroom, professional development, and support for research opportunities. This isn't a total discredit to BU's program--BU was the program I was looking for and I'm content with what I learned there. However, I found it very telling that at least 3 of the textbooks we used in our coursework at BU were written by NU Policy and Planning professors. And while I'll try my hardest to set aside my biases from being a Husky Ambassador (NU tour guide) during my undergrad, I think by most accounts Northeastern's campus experience fosters a richer sense of community than at BU and is physically better-connected to the Boston ecosystem... this may sound cosmetic and shallow, but it's actually a critical distinction in the context of urban planning, studying the environment around you, and community-building.

Also, check out UMASS Boston's City Planning program if you haven't already. It's pretty young, but I've met several current students and recent graduates and attended several of their community events. They're doing area-level planning work and research in a big way for such a new program, and if cost is important to you it's likely less expensive than attending a private university.
 

Massachoicetts

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When I said 'invaluable', I meant it by its definition (extremely useful; indispensable). I made excellent connections at BU that have served me well professionally. A handful of my professors in particular had a generation of local, in-the-field experience that made the subject matter more compelling. I cannot speak to the financial aid as I didn't apply for any, fortunately.

As long as you're applying to local programs for the heck of it, I would strongly encourage you to research and consider Northeastern's Master of Urban Planning and Policy. Formerly MURP (urban and regional policy), I avoided applying to it because it didn't have "planning" in the degree name and I was worried this would confuse prospective employers (a fact I can see now that they've changed). Having attended NU and BU, I can objectively declare that NU has more of its shit together than BU, particularly when it came to state-of-the-art facility spaces, technology in the classroom, professional development, and support for research opportunities. This isn't a total discredit to BU's program--BU was the program I was looking for and I'm content with what I learned there. However, I found it very telling that at least 3 of the textbooks we used in our coursework at BU were written by NU Policy and Planning professors. And while I'll try my hardest to set aside my biases from being a Husky Ambassador (NU tour guide) during my undergrad, I think by most accounts Northeastern's campus experience fosters a richer sense of community than at BU and is physically better-connected to the Boston ecosystem... this may sound cosmetic and shallow, but it's actually a critical distinction in the context of urban planning, studying the environment around you, and community-building.

Also, check out UMASS Boston's City Planning program if you haven't already. It's pretty young, but I've met several current students and recent graduates and attended several of their community events. They're doing area-level planning work and research in a big way for such a new program, and if cost is important to you it's likely less expensive than attending a private university.
I will definitely look into NU, but a big factor is cost to me.
 

jass

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Hi! Thank you for the response...

Ultimately I did defer a year from Rutgers because of the pandemic. I just felt online and little connections were a no-no, especially for Urban Planning.
Id say that was a good choice. A lot of what you get from the program is related to in-person events, like guest speakers and such, and the networking around that.
 

KCasiglio

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I'll second what Dshoot said about UMass Boston. I started my masters in Urban Planning this spring and have loved the program so far. Excellent faculty, and while I can't compare to other schools I feel like I've been able to make a lot of connections even during the pandemic.
 

Massachoicetts

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I'll second what Dshoot said about UMass Boston. I started my masters in Urban Planning this spring and have loved the program so far. Excellent faculty, and while I can't compare to other schools I feel like I've been able to make a lot of connections even during the pandemic.
I actually met up with one of the professors at UMass Boston. Great guy. However, UMass was the most expensive program after grants and all things considered.


Rutgers was the least inexpensive, then Texas and Tufts tied.
 

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