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HKS MPA-ID Requisites and Rigor.


Furphy

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BLUF: My question will be about the rigor of the quantative work in the HKS MPA-ID program.

 

Background: I am pursuing a political science / political economy BA and intend to apply to SIPA and HKS at the minimum.

 

After looking at the programs I believe the HKS MPA-ID is the best fit for both my professional and academic interests.

 

I am absolutely dedicated to public service. I will not even consider private sector jobs unless they are directly involved in public policy/service so I have no interest in an MBA program.

 

I do however wish to keep my academic credentials intact to allow for the possibility to pursue a PhD in Politcal Theory or Policy.

 

Since my undergraduate coursework is not math heavy or even heavy in quantatative economics I am conserned about not only my ability to be strongly considered for admission but also my ability to excel in the coursework if I am admitted.

 

I did complete Econ i, Econ II and through Calculus II and statistics at a community college years ago. i have not completed a Cal III/Multivariable course and I would likely need to commit months to math refresher in order to even attempt one.

 

Since Cal III is required for the MPA-ID program at HKS I will need to postpone my application for a year to meet the requirements. My plan is to take a summer of refresher math courses then a semester at a community college for Cal III, another statistics course, and a linear alegra course. This would leave the second semester for a Chinese immersion in Beijing before returning in the fall to start a MPA-ID program if accepted.

 

I am much older than the average student but I would not consider this year a waste of time if it were sufficient to make me competitive in the coursework for the HKS MPA-ID. It would also serve me well in future quant work or research even if i did not attend the MPA-ID program.

 

Question: My question is simply whether Cal III, stats, and linear would be sufficient? My read so far based on these forums is that a majority of the MPA-ID students are econ and math majors, often both. So even if I were to take the year to meet the requirements I am concerned I will still struggle compared to my fellow more math literate students and my grades will suffer as a result. Poor grades would be disasterous for my future chances in gaining admittance to a Politcal Theory PhD program because they are extremely competitive. I absolutely wish to leave the PhD option open.

 

Are there any experienced HKS students, particularly MPA-ID students, on the forum that could give me insight into the program  or advice?

Edited by Furphy
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