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MIT student blogger Anthony R. '09

A Bachelor’s & Master’s in 5 Years by Anthony R. '09

An attractive option offered to undergraduates in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning.

This will be the first in a series of entries focused on my department and opportunities available to its students. :)

Well, you may have heard that many of MIT’s engineering departments have something called the MEng, or Master of Engineering, which is typically a one-year degree pursued after graduation, or during one’s final semester of senior year and an additional semester. Most notably, Course 6 (Electrical Eng & Comp Sci) offers this and I’m pretty sure it’s a lock if you have a certain technical GPA (like a 4.25 out of 5.0). It’s an attractive option because you end up with both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in a shorter period than if you were to pursue them separately or elsewhere.

But it’s not just for engineers. Undergraduates in the Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning (known affectionately as DUSP) have a similar option. The two-year Master of City Planning (MCP) program accepts applications from DUSP students in the junior year, waiving the GRE requirement (!!!) and allowing entrance to the program the following year (as a senior). So as a senior, you’d be both a fourth-year undergrad and a first-year grad student, working to complete the requirements for both degrees at the end of five years. That doesn’t mean you can’t graduate with your undergrad class first – it’s all about how you want to structure things.

In DUSP, there are four specialization areas or groups, and students tend to pick an advisor and “affiliate” with the group that most closely matches their interests. As a grad student, you choose which group you want when you apply, but as an undergrad you have the chance to explore offerings in any field and see how you’d like to focus in the future. The topics are wide-ranging and can be closer to the kinds of design one might see in Course 4, architecture (see the Senseable City Lab) or to the sorts of quantitative analysis one might do in Course 1, civil engineering (see the Center for Transportation and Logistics).

I was one of the student representatives of DUSP at the Choice of Majors fair last week (event in the student center to help freshmen get a flavor for what they might want to study next year), and we had several people stop by who were interested in the social and planning aspects concerning developing countries. That is also a big part of our department – in fact, it’s the focus of IDG, the International Development Group.

I’m especially attracted to the study of transportation, as you’ve no doubt found if you’ve followed my blog in the past. A nice thing about DUSP is the ability to pursue a joint program of the MCP and a related master’s degree (such as the MST, the Master of Science in Transportation). You still have to fulfill the separate credit requirements, but you can come up with a joint thesis to satisfy both degrees.

One of the great things about our department is the study and research of planning in all sorts of places, not just the Boston area or the U.S. My next entry will talk about some of the available international and study-abroad opportunities, including a class that pays for spring break overseas!

10 responses to “A Bachelor’s & Master’s in 5 Years”

  1. wel! dars really intresting.. i am preparing for iit’s and i hink that m.i.t is the better option.
    i like the five year programme of yours.
    can you please send me he details regarding it..
    the admission procedure.

  2. Ruth '07 says:

    Yay for Anthony!
    Yay for DUSP!
    Yay for the five year program (whose class I’m skipping right now…)!

  3. Matt says:

    ahh, terminus was the word I was looking for. thanks for the quick response by the way, you must have been up late :]

  4. Matt says:

    Anthony, random question, but how did you take that picture for the banner of this entry? it seems like the photographer was hovering over the rail. or maybe there’s a walkway that crosses the rail, and the train can only go one way (into the picture)?

  5. Anthony says:

    Hi Matt, it was taken at Boston’s South Station right by the track… there’s a railing where the end of the track meets the platform. (South Station is a terminus.) They’re raised platforms, with the track a good six feet or so below, so when you board the train you do so at door level with no stairs required. The photographer just stood there and took the photo… hopefully that makes sense smile

  6. Ramiro says:

    Hey there Matt, it was quite a nice surprise to see a blog on the topic. I am an international applicant for the program should start next fall. I found the comments very cool. It is always interesting check out the insiders’ perspectives.
    If you ever come accross some spare time. It would appreciate it if you told me a bit more about the professional perspectives of the program regarding international initiatives.. wink

  7. Ruben says:

    We dont have to worry about this until our freshman year right?

  8. Peggy says:

    Anthony, I enjoy reading your blogs. You look like your dad more and more each time I see you…very handsome.wink I’m sure he’s very proud of you!

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