Admissions Blog

Posts from September 2014

FAQ in the GSPP inbox

Concurrent Degrees

"GSPP lists a few concurrent degree programs on the website, but are there other programs that can be done concurrently that are not listed?"

GSPP offers more concurrent degree programs than almost any other department or school at UC Berkeley, 12 in all. This includes partnerships with Berkeley Law School, School of Public Health, International and Area Studies, College of Engineering, Energy and Resources Group, and School of Social Welfare.

Every concurrent program we offer is listed on our website. If there is a program you're interested in for which we do not offer a concurrent degree, there are still opportunities for multidisciplinary study. Your MPP electives can be taken in any department or school anywhere at Berkeley. You may fulfill the required summer internship in any policy field. And finally, you pick your APA client, which can be in any policy area.

FAQ in the GSPP inbox

Does my AP Calculus or AP Statistics course fulfill the quant requirement?

"I know it is recommended to have some undergraduate coursework in Statistics.  If I took AP statistics in high school and received college undergraduate credit for it (granted it was 10 years ago), does that count?  Or do I need to retake a statistics class that I already technically have credit for?"

GSPP does not require prior quantitative training; however prior course work in introductory statistics, first-year calculus, and introductory economics is strongly recommended. We recommend these courses not just as an indicator of your current quantitative skills, but also as a gauge of your ability to handle the quantitative rigor once you're enrolled.

So, does an AP class "count"? It's not really a matter of counting, since there's no formal requirement. If you need to reach back to high school for evidence of your quantitative skills, though, it will be very difficult for the admissions committee to gauge your ability to handle core courses like Decision Analysis, Modeling and Quantitative Methods and The Economics of Public Policy Analysis. 

Further, if there's no grade associated with a quantitative course on your transcript, only credits, it's of limited use to the admissions committee when evaluating your quantitative skills.

The more evidence you show of success in a quantitative environment (transcripts, GRE, letters of recommendation from an employer, etc.), and the more recent that evidence, the more competitive you will be as an applicant, and the more prepared you will be as a student.

Note: If you have already received your bachelor's degree, don't fret. We encourage and welcome applicants who complete quantitative coursework after they graduate at a University, local community college, or online, as long as it is through an academic institution and a transcript is issued.

FAQ in the GSPP inbox

Does My International Undergraduate Institution Fulfill the Degree Requirement?

"Can I apply with a three year undergraduate degree from India?"

Unacceptable three year degrees or certificates from India include, but are not limited to: B.A., B.Sc., B.Com., B.C.A., B.S.W., B.Lib.Sc., B.Stat. Very rarely, the Admissions Committee recommends for admission an international applicant with an unacceptable degree or certificate. These exceptions are evaluated on a case-by-case basis and are at the sole discretion of the Admissions Committee.

For more information about the eligibility of your specific international degree, contact Erin Forman, Student Services Advisor, at eforman@berkeley.edu.

Do you have a question you would like answered in the Admissions Blog? Submit a question.

FAQ in the GSPP inbox

Am I Eligible to Apply?

"I haven't taken an econ or calculus class and my GPA is a B average, but I have done a couple of internships and have international experience. Can I still apply to the MPP program?"

  • GSPP does not require prior quantitative training, however prior course work in introductory statistics, first-year calculus, and introductory economics is strongly recommended. If you haven't taken these classes, it won't immediately disqualify you. With that said, the more evidence (through coursework, the GRE, etc.) you can show of your ability to handle quantitatively rigorous material, the more competitive you will be.
  • The University requires at least a 3.0For our class entering Fall 2014, the average GPA was 3.65 with a range of 2.95 - 4.16. Very rarely, the Admissions Committee recommends for admission an applicant with a GPA below 3.0. These exceptions are evaluated on a case-by-case basis and are at the sole discretion of the Admissions Committee.
  • Just like with quantitative coursework, the higher your GPA and the more policy relevant work experience you have, the more competitive you will be. We have a holistic admissions process, so we take every element of your application into account when making admissions recommendations.

Do you have a question you would like answered in the Admissions Blog? Submit a question.

GSPP is packing its bags!

Idealist Grad Fairs: NY, PHL, BOS

The Goldman School of Public Policy is packing its bags for Idealist Grad Fairs in New York, Philadelphia, and Boston! This is an opportunity to speak with GSPP Admissions and alumni to learn about admissions requirements, the MPP curriculum, and life at GSPP.

New YorkRSVP
Monday, September 22, 2014 • 5:00pm–8:00pm
125 W 18th Street, Metropolitan Pavilion, New York, NY 10011

PhiladelphiaRSVP
Tuesday, September 23, 2014 • 5:00pm–8:00pm
Drexel University, Recreation Center Gym
3301 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Boston RSVP
Monday, September 29, 2014 • 5:00pm–8:00pm 
Boston University, George Sherman Union, 2nd Floor
775 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

Chicago, DC, Baltimore, and San Francisco, we're coming for you next!