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I am planning to apply for a top tier MPA / MA IR / MSFS, however while my work experience is on point as is my GRE, my undergraduate GPA (top 50 university, but top 10 IR program), was only a 3.1.

Would it be worthwhile to take 2 - 3 extra courses (online through Harvard Extension or locally at a nearby state school) and build an alternate transcript to prove ability? I am primarily looking at Columbia - SIPA, Princeton - WWS, Yale - Jackson, Georgetown - MSFS, and HKS

What does everyone think?



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I had an interview with UCSD for their IR/PS program, and they told me that taking a couple courses ahead of time would have really boosted my application as a whole. My grades were crappy with a 2.7 overall and 3.0 major. They told me the most beneficial courses would be econ/calc/stats courses (for IR programs) and show that you can get good grades now that your more driven or focused.

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I had a 3.2 undergrad and took a stats course at a local school. I'm not sure if that was a deciding factor for any of the schools I applied to, but it certainly didn't hurt. You have plenty of time before applications are due next year, so if you have the time/inclination/$ - go for it. Just make sure to put in the time and get an A!

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