April 25, 2015 at 1:31 am #151963
I have been admitted to UPenn and UW’s MLA I program and was hoping some folks could give their insight regarding these two programs. I am interested in urban watershed design and planning and hope to develop systems that promote ecological stewardship through the integration of sustainable stormwater ecosystems within urban settings. I do have a particular affinity for living and possibly working in the future for a firm on the west coast vs. the east if that matters at all. I greatly appreciate your time and look forward to hearing any comments.April 27, 2015 at 9:48 pm #151967
What do you want to do when you graduate? (firm – size, project type, type; academia; public sector; other) Are there faculty that you’re interested in studying under (some are core faculty, others may be part time)? Personality and style of learning?
The 2 programs are very different (as you, hopefully, already know) – It sounds like what you’re interested is leaning more into urban/environmental planning, civil/environmental engineering, policy?April 28, 2015 at 3:20 am #151966
I have a strong interest in urban design and would like to work for a firm, perhaps an interdisciplinary firm (landscape architecture/civil engineering) that specializes in urban and stormwater design. How do you feel the job outlook is for this particular area? Maybe I am not too familiar with both of the programs and you could perhaps shed your insight on the two. I have recently come across the city planning program at MIT which seems to align well with my interests if you have any input on this program as well. Thanks for your help!April 28, 2015 at 2:15 pm #151965
There are a few Penn grads on here, so I’ll leave it to them to describe the program. My personal impression is that Penn deals with larger scale issues and heavily invests itself in analytics of large landscapes, while UW has had an emphasis on construction side of things. Read into that what you will, but programs do adapt and change as faculty turns over.
The only firm I can think of that integrates a high level of design with good engineering in stormwater issues on a consistent basis is SvR, there are a lot of one side or the other, but few projects that ultimately executed it well.April 29, 2015 at 2:59 pm #151964
I went to Penn, but it was a long time ago, when Ian McHarg was there. I loved it. But if I were you I would go to school on the coast you want to work on. I am on the ‘left’ coast now, after having grown up on the ‘right’ coast (east), and left coasters have not even heard of UPenn, could care less, and could care less about any of the design professionals (James Corner) who have come out of Penn. Grad school will introduce you to local professionals, and that is a great way to get hired.
Additionally, the plant communities are really different, and it would behoove you to get really good at one palette, native landscapes, etc. I still can’t get a handle on California plants, but what is worse, I could care less about California biomes.
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