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Remediating poor undergrad?


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Academic background: 2.7 in political economy with a focus on IR from a top 50 USNWR university. I have not taken the GRE but previous standardized test scores have been very high (2150 SAT, 32 ACT, multiple 5s on APs including BC Calc, 99th percentile ASVAB).

Professional background: Military officer in aviation about a year and a half in. Stationed in NE Florida.

Career goal: Looking to get into foreign affairs in my branch, or separate and pursue something State Dept. related.

I have a couple months of a very light workload, so was thinking I would do something to bolster my chances at admission to a reputable MPA/IR program later in my career (3 years from now at the earliest). Any suggestion on what I should use the time for? I'm thinking something along the lines of retaking some undergrad econ/math/stats or non-degree graduate coursework at a local school? Any ideas at all are welcome.

Edited by JFman00
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What about some volunteer work at an international non-profit? Perhaps strengthen other areas of your application other than academics. You can get some incredible experience through volunteering plus make great connections. I'm sure taking some classes wouldn't hurt either.

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Thank you for your service.

The further you distance yourself from undergrad, the less weight is given to your GPA. Everything else offered in this thread is excellent advice: the quantitative coursework and doing well on the GRE will at least demonstrate that you'll be capable on an academic level. Weave your work and military experience into a strong SOP that doesn't dwell on your undergrad (old news by that point, anyway).

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Thanks for the advice all. So you'd recommend (re)taking some stat/math classes (I'm thinking a rigorous stats class or linear algebra)?

If you don't have any B or higher graded maths classes at undergraduate level then yes, definitely take some. I'm taking a calculus, stats, micro and macro economics online with UC Berkeley and can definitely recommend - just wish i'd had time to complete the classes before submitting applications...all i've been able to do is let schools know i'm taking them.

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