>Berkeley Haas offers a (non-MBA) degree called the Master’s in Financial Engineering. It’s a one-year program for the quants (you know, the guys who brought down the world economy a few years back with all their derivatives and CDOs and all).
But this post is not about that.
This post is about a special set of online courses available through Haas, designed for people about to start that MFE. You can also take them in person at Haas if you’re in the Bay Area. These are courses that would look really really good on an application to business school for someone whose GPA in college wasn’t so great.
The courses we’re referencing are the Math Foundations course and possibly the Statistics course.
Note though: these classes are likely HARD. If you have any doubts about your ability to commit to these classes — or if you are concerned with your ability to self-motivate and persevere in an online environment (can be tougher than a “real-time” course when you have more support through the physical presence of the teacher and your peers) — if you have any doubts at all, actually, about your willingness to roll up your sleeves and go to work — then you should think carefully about whether to take this course. Because yes, if you sign up and are ready to roll with it in January, then you can most certainly tell the adcom about it in your Round 2 applications (usually that info would work well in a short-and-sweet optional essay talking about your grades and what you’ve done/are doing to improve). BUT if the adcom likes your application and they want to follow up with you about this one blemish of the GPA, and in like late January or early February, they ask you in the interview, or they send you an email, requesting an update on how that Haas class has been going… you’d best have something ultrapositive to report back.
The Haas Pre-Program courses are available once a year only, in January. We’ve heard they fill up, so if you’ve got a weaker academic record from undergrad and are applying Round 2, now would be a good time to look into ways to buffer that, and this might be an ideal one.