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How much does math matter in my transcripts? (Econ to IR)


StephanieM

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Well, I'm an economics student (poli science minor), and at my university, we have our own math courses, which are not called, for example, "Calc I", but "Math for economists I", and while the class covers calculus, on my transcript, it won't appear that way (same happens with probability, statistics, etc courses). I will only be another year and a half here, and am wondering if adding those "real" math courses, that will appear on my transcripts as such, is worth it. Or maybe, will just doing well in the quantitative part of the GRE prove my math skills enough? If I decide to take those math-only courses now, I'll have to be here another semester and/or year.

I have enough research experience, a Boren scholarship, a 3.84 GPA, and speak Spanish and Russian fluently, so I think, that without the math courses I still have a good shot at an IR master's degree. I'd just like to hear whether staying another semester/year just for maths is truly worth it.

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If I'm understanding your question right, you're asking whether you should re-take calculus so that it will show up differently on your transcript? I hope that reading this rephrasing will be sufficient to convince you not to. People understand what "math for economists" implies, and if you're especially concerned, have a letter writer mention it.

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If you've done well as an econ major you've already signaled that you are competent at math. Add to your existing courses a strong GRE quant section and you've got nothing to worry about. I certainly wouldn't stay an extra year or even semester to add math courses just for their signaling value.

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