As far as I know the usual advice on here is that adcoms don't care what program the courses count towards - they just care about the courses. Whether or not you can enroll in them will depend on the university.
So, I am hoping to apply for the Fall 2014 cycle for either an M.A. or an M.Sc. in hopes of counteracting my low undergrad GPA. I have done well in my last two years, and am taking a lot of math to finish my undergrad.
I plan on taking Diff. Eqn's, Applied Stats, and Real Analysis non-degree post-bac from a university wherever I move to. Is it possible for me to enroll in grad level econ or math courses non-degree? If so, how is this viewed by adcoms?
I've noticed in some of the profile/results threads that some people seem to have taken grad-level courses but are still applying to grad programs, that's why I ask.
Taking grad courses non-degree is a slick back door that works really well if you can attract a touch of attention in so doing and get letters out of it. I have witnessed it. Smash the courses though. Otherwise, well I don't know otherwise. No experience with the counterfact.
Just be careful. For it to help you'll have to do an A- or A, which means you'll have to be above average in the class. If you do take grad micro somewhere pretty good you could have most of your class having taken real analysis or an MA before. If you're taking real analysis at the same time that means you'll be a step behind everyone else in being prepared. Incidentally I also took grad micro as a non-degree seeker and I don't feel like that status effected my results, but both the 1st time I took it and this 2nd time in my PhD program I saw the prof doing his best to scare the undergrads who weren't confident out of the class. It's a good strategy because the undergrads (and the non degree seekers) who were left still in the class are top notch, and will probably do above average in the course.
I honestly plan on doing maybe one or two courses in econ, and a couple grad-level math courses. That's what I am more interested in doing before applying. Simply because I feel my profile in particular could use help in math specifically. I'm not too worried about my econ background; but I am wanting to get into a decent masters program, and right now I need something in my profile that says i'm up to the task.
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