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Should I re-take Calc 3?


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I'm planning to apply to MPP programs next fall and could use some advice on what to do about a situation with a poor grade (D) in Calculus 3. Long story short, I took multivariable calculus as a "fun challenge" my senior spring while I was also juggling travel for job interviews, an honors thesis, and serious athletic commitments. Stupid, I know. By the time I realized that I just wasn't going to have the time to put into it that I wanted to, the drop deadline had passed and my choices were tough it out or get a W. When I talked to my advisor about it, he suggested I stay in (I had the potential of getting a C at the time) because it would show I was tough and that most people I would compete against for grad school spots wouldn't have that much mathematical training. Well, I got a D. Now as I start to think about applying to grad school, I'm wondering if I should retake it online as a way to prove my mathematical abilities. That's a significant time and financial commitment, though, so I want to make sure I think through before I do it.

Some other relevant information:

My GPA including the D is just shy of a 3.4. I went to a top 30 university and finished 3 majors. I received high thesis honors in political science.
I got a mixture of A's and B's in other math/econ classes. I took a lot of tough courses early on in college (I placed out of a lot of intro courses with AP credits) that I got B's in and there's a noticeable upward trend.
I just took the GRE and my scores were 165 V/161 Q/5.0 W
I graduated in 2013 and have spent the past 2.5 years in a communications/project management role at a relatively well-known think tank. My current role has Senior Manager attached to it. I'll have 3.5 years of experience when I'm applying. I'm looking to stick with the management side of things more than policy research, so I won't be pushing for entrance into quant-heavy tracks.
My advisor who helped me sort out whether or not to withdraw from Calc 3 will write one of my recommendations and be able to give his view of the situation (so I don't just sound like I'm making excuses) and attest to my quantitative skills- he once said I had a better grasp on econometrics than he does.

My top choice, like many others here, is WWS. Also looking at Berkeley, USC, UT Austin, and several others. I'm hoping to get substantial funding.

It seems like there's a lot of collective knowledge on this forum and I'd appreciate any advice you guys have!

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/20/2015 at 1:38 PM, Dreams said:

One D in an otherwise good profile is not going to rule you out of consideration from good schools.  When you apply to schools, focus on your development (personal, professional, academic) and show them that you understand how their programs fit into your goals.

I agree with this as well. Focus on making yourself look good, if it does come up, be prepared with an answer, not an excuse as to why it happened and what you learned from it.

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