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alternate transcript - retake classes already aced?

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partenac Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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alternate transcript - retake classes already aced?

Post Fri Mar 20, 2009 12:16 pm
I'm looking into taking some classes to build an alternate/supplemental transcript. Just about everyone says to take quantitative classes such as calculus or statistics. I've noticed that Berkeley has such classes that can be taken online and qualify for people that are entering Haas that need to earn those credits. Therefore, I'm not too worried about the quality of the course being an issue if Haas gives it the thumbs up.

My concern is that I am a chemist and have already taken a lot of math (one class short of minoring) and quant classes. I could take a quant class in just about anything and I will already know 90% of the material that I did well in the first time through. It seems like I'd just be repeating course work. How would this be judged by an admissions officer? Will it look like I'm just manipulating the system or would the classes be devalued as a result of my background?

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Graham MBA Admissions Consultant
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Post Sun Mar 22, 2009 11:45 pm
Dear Partenac,

Thanks for your post!

Building an alternative transcript via the online courses offered by Berkeley is a great idea if you are looking to compensate for poor undergraduate performance or an issue related to your GMAT result.

Of course, as a chemistry major who has already taken a lot of math (and presumably scored B's or better), it doesn't really make sense for you to repeat coursework you've already seen (like intro to calculus or statistics). The adcom would recognize this and presume that you were just taking the easy way towards building an alternative transcript (unless you had performed poorly in stats and calc in ugrad and were looking to demonstrate greater aptitude this time around).

As such, rather than take calculus and statistics, my advice would be to focus on other business-foundation coursework that has a quantitative grounding. For example, you should consider taking classes like financial accounting, microeconomics, macroeconomics and cost accounting. You might also look into higher-level, business-focused coursework in statistics or calculus ('Calculus for Managers' type classes might be appropriate), in so much as these courses offer a different focus than your ugrad pursuits.

As you can see, it is still possible to build an alternative transcript in business-relevant foundation courses without revisiting the exact sort of coursework you would have seen as a chemistry major.

Best of luck,

Graham

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