Ann Forsyth's blog

Ann Forsyth is professor of Urban Planning at Harvard University.
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How Much do GREs Matter for Graduate School in Planning?

If you are applying to graduate school in planning, how much do GREs matter? Like many things in planning the answer varies with the person and program. Below I provide some general advice.

The Long and Short of Writing

Study after study highlights writing as a major skill that planning employers are looking for in new hires. Two specific kinds of writing seem most challenging to beginning planners.

A Timeline for Job Hunting in Planning

Many students are understandably worried about getting a job once they graduate. The slow economy has made this more difficult and also changed some of the parameters in terms of approach and timing. For example, many employers are hesitant to make early commitments, delaying some phases of the job search. In this blog I outline a strategy for using the academic year to find a job or a summer internship using the North American academic calendar as a base.

Breadth and Depth in Planning Education

A frequent query I receive from students is whether they should focus on gaining a broad understanding of many aspects of planning and places or if they should focus on one topic in depth. This is an important question.

Sticker Price vs. Real Price for a Planning Education

Unless they are independently wealthy, students thinking about graduate school in planning need to consider the cost. Unfortunately this is not as simple as looking up tuition on a web site. The cost paid by a specific individual can vary greatly from place to place, and even from year to year at the same school, in ways that are hard to predict.

Urban Design Graduate Study for Planners

Each year a lot of students ask me "how can I get a degree in urban design?" This is a very big question but in this blog I outline some key questions that those interested in urban design in planning need to consider.

Getting into Planning School: How Much do Transcripts Matter?

I’ve had a lot of questions lately from students about how important transcripts are in the graduate admissions process. Your application to graduate school is one of the few times anyone will actually read your undergraduate transcript so it has some importance. However, how much it matters depends on a variety of factors.

Finding an Undergraduate Planning Program

While most of my advice columns are aimed at graduate students (current, prospective, and recently graduated), much of the information is relevant to undergraduates as well. However, there are a few areas where undergraduates face special challenges and one of them is in finding a planning-related program. The following tips may make the search easier.

Faculty Using Web 2.0 to Show Images

Lately as I’ve been trying to help students find information for papers and classes, I’ve stumbled across a few new examples of faculty using the web to give others access to visual data from their research.

Case Studies: How Planning Students Can Find Interesting Projects Online

Planning students are often interested in finding examples of planning practice, particularly good examples. Several free online sources list projects that have won awards or been the subject of magazine articles. While winning an award doesn’t mean a project is perfect, such projects are typically m some of the more interesting examples of planning. 

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