A recent survey published in the Urban Transportation Monitor has recognized USF’s Center for Urban Transportation and Research as one of the top places to attend for graduate studies in the area of transportation.
USF was ranked sixth in the category of best universities to attend for graduate studies in transit operations, and was also ranked ninth in the category of best universities to attend for graduate studies in transit planning.
“This reflects on our reputation. It shows that we have a very strong graduate program that provides both depth and breadth in the study of transportation systems, urban transportation, planning methods and so on,” said Ron Pendyala, associate professor in the Department of Civil Engineering.
The bi-weekly newsletter is widely read by senior-level administrators in many transportation agencies and will help to give USF and CUTR national recognition as an institution that excels in the areas of transportation operations and planning, said Pendyala.
“It’ll help from all angles. It will help us recruit the best and brightest students to our graduate programs and help to recruit the best in terms of faculty as we look to expand in the area of transportation. I think it will also bring in more cutting edge research projects to our department that will provide greater and greater opportunities to students,” Pendyala said.
In addition, this will also give students credibility for jobs when they graduate.
But this is nothing new. In the past decade, students who have received a master’s or Ph.D. with USF’s graduate program for transportation have found it relatively easy to find work Pendyala said.
USF graduate students with Ph.D.’s and master’s degrees have landed jobs as full-fledged faculty members at major academic institutions and have also started careers at some of the best consulting firms in the country said Pendyala. Those universities include Texas A&M University and Kansas State University, as well as consulting firms Cambridge Systematics and Parsons Brinckerhoff, he said.
Because the transportation department is a promising area, in which the university has expertise and can build upon, the university will be recruiting an additional faculty member, said Steve Polzin, director of public transportation research at CUTR.
“We are proud of ourselves and the Civil Engineering Department. We feel very good about this because we have a lot of students work for us, teach a lot of classes and produce a number of documents that help contribute to the reputation,” Polzin said.