A prospective applicant asks: What can an applicant with a less quantitative background do before applying, to enhance chances of admission?
My answer is going to depend on the applicant’s goals and where the applicant is in life.
If the applicant is still pursuing an undergraduate degree, my advice is certainly to take micro- and macro-economics and statistics courses before graduating. A solid economics foundation is what many of our peer schools are looking for, too.
If that undergraduate ship has already sailed, and if the applicant is interested in Fletcher’s MIB program or a quant-focused curriculum in the MALD, MA, or PhD program, I would generally suggest either taking classes in economics and/or statistics before applying, or at least making arrangements to take them before the wished-for enrollment date. Getting strong grades for the quantitative work before applying is particularly important for those who either have lackluster quantitative scores on the GRE or GMAT exams, or who had only modest success in quantitative courses while an undergraduate. (If you can do better than your grades or test scores indicate, you’ll want to prove it!) If, on the other hand, you can present evidence (such as test scores and grades) of strong quantitative ability, you may be able to get away with simply telling us in advance of your January-to-August plan to make up for your lack of quantitative training before starting Fletcher classes.
If the applicant predicts a complete life of quantophobia and has no interest in quantitative Fields of Study at Fletcher, I would probably suggest taking economics and statistics/quantitative reasoning before enrolling anyway, but not necessarily for admissions purposes. So long as past testing and course grades demonstrate adequate command of quantitative matters, what the Admissions Committee will want to see is proof of ability to survive our basic economics and quantitative reasoning classes (or even to test out of them).
What does this lack of a single standard mean? It means that, for all degree programs, Fletcher’s Admissions Committees review an applicant’s full application. There’s never a lone criterion on which decisions are based. Rather, depending on which degree program an applicant hopes to pursue, we look at all the information in an application to gauge potential for success both overall, and in quantitative coursework in particular.
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