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Thread: Question about meeting prereqs with Harvard Extension

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    Question about meeting prereqs with Harvard Extension

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    So I'm about to take a class called "Linear Algebra and Real Analysis" through Harvard Summer School to meet both the multivariable calculus and linear algebra prerequisites for most of the econ masters programs I want to apply to + to show that I've gone a little beyond that with the real analysis portion.

    The class is the equivalent of Math 23A in Harvard College and it's the class the Harvard undergrads take after calculus II if they have an advanced (for their level) math background.

    I've seen good reviews of the course here (apparently it's very hard and very intensive) and the professor claims that AdComs like seeing the course in people's transcripts.

    My worry is that if I take this course I won't have a class called "multivariable calculus" or "calculus 3" in my transcript. Will that be an issue?

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    Re: Question about meeting prereqs with Harvard Extension

    You should post your current profile as well.

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    Re: Question about meeting prereqs with Harvard Extension

    Quote Originally Posted by tutonic View Post
    You should post your current profile as well.
    Type of Undergrad: BA in International Relations (Top 10 IR school, terrible for economics)
    Undergrad GPA: 3.55
    Math Courses: Stats (A), Calc 1 (A-), Calc 2 (A)
    Econ Courses: Intro to Macro (A), Intro to Micro (B+), International Economics (A-)
    Research Experience: Only political science research, 6 months at a DC think tank (internship) and 2.5 years in industry.

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    Re: Question about meeting prereqs with Harvard Extension

    Quote Originally Posted by KleanKanteen View Post
    I've seen good reviews of the course here (apparently it's very hard and very intensive) and the professor claims that AdComs like seeing the course in people's transcripts.

    My worry is that if I take this course I won't have a class called "multivariable calculus" or "calculus 3" in my transcript. Will that be an issue?
    Take whatever they say with a grain of salt. They can claim whatever they want, in order to sell their course to you, especially since this is a paid online course.

    Why would that be your worry? If you get a good grade in the course, it won't matter as much that you don't have calc 3. However, the greater concern should be whether or not you are equipped to handle a course in real analysis.

    Lastly, given that you have virtually no coursework in economics, wouldn't a rigorous masters programme be better suited for your purposes?

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    Re: Question about meeting prereqs with Harvard Extension

    Quote Originally Posted by tutonic View Post
    Lastly, given that you have virtually no coursework in economics, wouldn't a rigorous masters programme be better suited for your purposes?
    My bad, forgot to mention I'm only applying to masters programs. Many of the ones I want to apply to ask for at least calc 3 and linear algebra, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by tutonic View Post
    Take whatever they say with a grain of salt. They can claim whatever they want, in order to sell their course to you, especially since this is a paid online course.
    This is part of the reason why I'm a little apprehensive. Although, from what I understand, this professor's pay is in no way conditional to course enrollment

    Quote Originally Posted by tutonic View Post
    Why would that be your worry? If you get a good grade in the course, it won't matter as much that you don't have calc 3. However, the greater concern should be whether or not you are equipped to handle a course in real analysis.
    I asked around on reddit before coming here and people kept telling me adcoms will want to see "formal classes", as in not hybrid classes mixing two subjects, for at least calc 3.

    I'm fairly confident that I can get a good grade in the course. The workload seems a little crazy but I think I'll manage.

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    Re: Question about meeting prereqs with Harvard Extension

    You should be able to get into BGSE and Bocconi with the current level of math that you have. Try to prioritise programmes that allow you the option of taking 1 or 2 PhD courses. It's unlikely that you'll be able to handle the full first-year sequence. However, a good grade in 1 or 2 courses will help your profile tremendously.

    Regardless, there is no way for you to verify his claim ex ante.

    Course names differ slightly across different schools. That is why some schools request for a list of reference books that the course provides, or ask you to summarise the main material covered in the classes, to help them understand what was exactly covered in the math classes.

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    Re: Question about meeting prereqs with Harvard Extension

    So do you think I should take the advanced linear algebra and real analysis class? Or should I just take calc 3 and not bother with the extra effort?

    I'd love to get into BGSE and Bocconi, but I also want to raise my chances as high as I can.

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    Re: Question about meeting prereqs with Harvard Extension

    Quote Originally Posted by KleanKanteen View Post
    So do you think I should take the advanced linear algebra and real analysis class? Or should I just take calc 3 and not bother with the extra effort?

    I'd love to get into BGSE and Bocconi, but I also want to raise my chances as high as I can.
    Take Linear Algebra and Real Analysis. You can self study calculus III. With only a background of calculus II your goal shouldn't be to impress adcoms but develop mathematical maturity and rigor so you can perform well(or even manage to survive) in the masters program. Whether Calc3 is going to look good on your transcript should be the least of your worries right now.

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    Re: Question about meeting prereqs with Harvard Extension

    Quote Originally Posted by Bayes View Post
    Take Linear Algebra and Real Analysis.
    Hi Bayes, thank you for your input. Just to be clear, you're referring to the linear algebra and real analysis class I mentioned in the OP? Here's the catalog description:

    "This course is an integrated treatment of linear algebra, real analysis and multivariable differential calculus, with an introduction to manifolds. Students are introduced to higher-level mathematics and proof-writing, with a requirement to learn twenty-six important proofs."

    I uploaded the syllabus here just in case (not expecting you to read it, it's just in case you're curious): Smallpdf.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Bayes View Post
    your goal shouldn't be to impress adcoms but develop mathematical maturity and rigor so you can perform well(or even manage to survive) in the masters program. Whether Calc3 is going to look good on your transcript should be the least of your worries right now.
    I understand what you're saying and I am wary of the masters classes being possibly more than I'm prepared for, but my concern right now is getting admitted in the first place.

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    Re: Question about meeting prereqs with Harvard Extension

    Quote Originally Posted by KleanKanteen View Post
    Hi Bayes, thank you for your input. Just to be clear, you're referring to the linear algebra and real analysis class I mentioned in the OP? Here's the catalog description:

    "This course is an integrated treatment of linear algebra, real analysis and multivariable differential calculus, with an introduction to manifolds. Students are introduced to higher-level mathematics and proof-writing, with a requirement to learn twenty-six important proofs."

    I uploaded the syllabus here just in case (not expecting you to read it, it's just in case you're curious): Smallpdf.com



    I understand what you're saying and I am wary of the masters classes being possibly more than I'm prepared for, but my concern right now is getting admitted in the first place.
    It looks like it also covers multi-variable differential calculus aka multi-variable calculus! This is the only course you need as far as I am concerned. Good luck with getting into manifolds, it is going to be a tough course

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