Even Albert Einstein said: “Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater.”
Our perceptions of our skills tend to skew left, and when we think about our math ability, we reflect on our confidence, and not our actual skills.
The SIPA Admissions office understands that applicants will have varied quantitative backgrounds and skills. We have designed an application that best allows you to demonstrate your quantitative competencies through the quantitative/language resume. Here, you can highlight experiences that have strengthened your math, economics, and statistics skills.
The core curriculum at SIPA requires the completion of rigorous quantitative courses and we want to make sure applicants provide as much information as possible about their quantitative aptitude, experience, and capabilities. This can include coursework in mathematics, statistics, economics, engineering, natural or computer science, etc. as well as the use of quantitative methods in a professional environment (paid, volunteer, or intern work is acceptable).
Perhaps you have worked as an accountant, bookkeeper, or balanced budgets in your professional experiences. Perhaps you served as treasurer of a student organization or used quantitative skills in a volunteer opportunity. These are experiences that you can include in the additional resume.
Is there an ideal quantitative background SIPA is looking for in an applicant?
Recently, we’ve received many questions about what makes an ideal quantitative background for a hopeful candidate. While SIPA does not have a rigid answer, the Admissions Committee looks for evidence of a candidate’s ability to undertake quantitative coursework at the graduate level. Most successful applicants have completed at least two courses in economics (macro and microeconomics). Applicants lacking a quantitative background are encouraged to consider enrolling in mathematics courses above all else.
While the Admissions Committee does not require that each applicant have experience in all three areas (economics, statistics, and mathematics) to be admitted, extensive coursework in these areas definitely strengthens one’s chances of gaining favorable admission consideration.
For more on quantitative questions, check out our Frequently Asked Questions pages.