FAQs FOR PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS

What kinds of students attend Hunter UAP?
Our students come from a diverse arrays of professions and experiences all with the intent to explore urban professions in a more concentrated way. The UAP community is comprised of students from all over the globe, each bringing his/her own unique experience to classroom seminars. A small number of students come to UAP directly from undergraduate institutions. The majority find their way to UAP via some other path; these include: architecture, construction, finance, advocacy, art, publishing and even fashion as well as more traditional public sector careers. This unique blend enriches classroom discussions and adds an additional layer of complexity to workshops and studios.

How can I learn more about UAP programs?
You can start by reviewing our website. Each program page has an in-depth explanation of the objectives and requirements for completion. The faculty bios introduce both full-time faculty and adjuncts. Faculty features provide a glimpse of specific research projects and honors. Meet some of our students and alumni via their web profiles. Review the schedule of courses and the course descriptions in the online catalog to get a better sense of what we do here.

Each semester UAP hosts an Information Session for our graduate programs. The dates and times will be listed on our events page. Our next Information Session will be in early September 2014. If you still have questions, you may contact our Program Coordinator, Melissa Haldeman, at mhaldema@hunter.cuny.edu.

Can I take classes as a non-matriculated student?
Unfortunately, UAP is not granting permission for non-matriculated students to take our classes. Interested students will have to go through the admissions process to gain entry to UAP classes.

What courses are offered at UAP?
Course schedules can be accessed one of two ways:

  1. The current semester schedule is on view if you look under the “Academic Programs” menu under “Course Offerings and Semester Schedule” – for a general listing of the UAP graduate offerings with course descriptions, a link to the Graduate Course Catalog is also available.
  2. The Registrar’s Office has a searchable course schedule. Enter the year and semester you want to search and for the department, select “Urban Affairs and Planning.” Click on the course title to access a full course description and syllabus. The great thing about this site is that you can search past semesters to get a sense of how often and what times courses have been offered. It’s not a sure way of knowing how things will be in the future, but it gives you a sense of the general pattern.

What are your application deadlines?
MASTER OF URBAN PLANNING (MUP)
Fall Admissions: February 1
Spring Admissions: October 1

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN URBAN AFFAIRS (MSUA)
Fall Admissions: March 15
Spring Admissions: November 1

What if my undergraduate GPA is low?
If you’re concerned about a low GPA provide some explanation in your essay or as an addendum to your essay. You might also consider taking some planning classes at another school as a non-matriculated student and get high marks that can bolster your application. If you’ve been out of school for a long time, emphasize in your essay how you’ve grown beyond what your GPA reflects.

Taking the GRE is not required, but if you do take it and get high scores, this will demonstrate to the admissions committee that the GPA doesn’t tell the whole story of your abilities.

How do I apply for the joint MUP/JD degree with Brooklyn Law School?
You’ll need to apply to both programs and be admitted to both to start the joint program. Doing the programs jointly reduces your overall course burden. For more information, see the joint-degree program offerings on the Brooklyn Law School website.

What do you look for in prospective students?
The following are generally used to evaluate applications for admission:

  1. undergraduate GPA (GRE is not required but is advised when undergraduate GPA is below 3.0);
  2. quality of personal statement, showing interest and prior experience in planning-related issues and fit with our program;
  3. letters of recommendation that can attest to work experience and/or prior academic achievements.

Because of significantly increasing applications in the last three years, our acceptance rate has declined, and admission to the program now more consistently requires high performance in all three areas noted above.

When will I receive an application decision?
Every effort is made for students to hear back regarding application status before April 15. Depending on the size of the applicant pool, decisions may be sent out as early as the last week in March but not before. Due to the high number of application we receive each semester, we do not respond to inquiries until decisions have been made.

Why didn’t I get in, what can I do?
If you do not get in, you are welcome to reapply. Review and revise your personal statement. Consider taking some planning classes at another school as a non-matriculated student and get high marks that can bolster your application.  Finally, consider your recommenders and see if it might make sense to add others to strengthen your application.

How much does it cost to attend Hunter College?
Tuition varies by enrollment status and residency. Please visit Hunter College’s Costs, Tuition, and Fees page for detailed information and a helpful tuition calculator.

What funding sources are available for graduate school?
The good news is that getting accepted to Hunter Urban Affairs and Planning is a fellowship in and of itself. We pride ourselves on the ability to provide quality education at a reasonable price. The bad news is that there is very limited internal funding for scholarships for master’s level students at Hunter. Our department periodically offers research assistantships, but these are very few and dependent on the college’s budget. When fellowships are available, students are identified through the admissions process to receive funds.

Are there any other options for funding graduate school?
You might want to check out grant offerings and scholarships from other organizations:

What is the difference between the MUP and MSUA programs?
The Master of Urban Planning (MUP) program is an accredited program in urban planning that trains students in the management of the built environment through a balance of social, political and economic factors that contribute to its overall development. The Master of Science in Urban Affairs (MSUA) program is a flexible program that does not focus on the physical urban environment in the same way. Student in the MS program concentrate in urban policy, neighborhood development and non-profit management while students in the MUP program concentrate in land use, infrastructure, housing, transportation, sustainability, community and economic development. Both programs allow students to create their own concentrations.

What is the average class size?
Most classes range from 15 to 20 students, depending on the topic/format.

Can UAP students take classes in other departments/CUNY schools?
UAP students can take classes in other departments at Hunter or at other CUNY schools so long as they correspond to your UAP program of study and/or concentration. Permission must be received from the Hunter department in which the outside class is offered. For courses at other CUNY schools, an e-permit must be filed through the CUNY portal. MS students are able to take up to 9 credits outside the department. MUP students are able to take 12 credits outside the department.

Can I transfer credits from other graduate work completed elsewhere?
Yes, with the permission of the program director. Once you are admitted, you will need to meet with the program director to complete a course equivalency form. You will need to provide a course description and course syllabus for each course you wish to transfer.

Where do students complete the required internships?
Students in both programs must fulfill an internship during the course of their degree.While completing the internship, students are required to take a seminar class to get credit for the internship. While students are encouraged to do as many internships as they want, credit is only given for the internship complete in conjunction with the seminar. Students intern at a variety of public, private and non-profit agencies. Here are some examples: NYC Office of Emergency Management, Mayor’s Office of Long-term Sustainability, MTA/NYC Transit, Department of Transportation, Sam Schwartz Engineering, Economic Development Corporation, Louis Berger, Harlem Community Development Corporation, Brooklyn Partnership, Borough President Offices, and Community Boards.

How do students find internships?
Students find internships and job placements on their own with some assistance from faculty.  UAP keeps a listing of potential internship sites and internship and job announcements on our e-community, which is accessible to enrolled students.  Many students turn their internships into full-time jobs.

What are the retention and graduation rates for the MUP program?
For the class that entered the program in Fall 2009, 79% of students remained in the program and graduated within four years (please note: this figure includes the anticipated graduation rate for Spring 2013).

How many students graduate from the MUP program each year?
On average, approximately 40 students graduate from our MUP program each year. Specifically, over the past 3 years:

  • 2011/2012 academic year: 44 students
  • 2010/2011 academic year: 47 students
  • 2009/2010 academic year: 35 students