This week we’re giving insights on submitting transcripts for your MDS, MIA or MPP application. Read more for commonly asked questions, and our answers.
They might seem pretty straightforward, but there’s a lot more to your transcripts than just your grades. Together with your letters of motivation, your transcripts help us assess your performance in an academic setting. While they are just one component in our holistic evaluation approach, your transcripts can tell us a lot about you.
More than just what classes you took and the grades you earned, your transcripts can show us what topics you’re passionate about and whether you’ve already taken any coursework that might have prepared you for your future studies at the Hertie School. Your grades also show us your general academic trajectory. If you think your grades in your first semester of college are low but they pick up over the years, don’t fret! It shows us your ability to improve and acquire new skills.
You’ll need to submit transcripts for every degree you have completed (bachelor’s level or equivalent and higher) that show all the classes you have taken and grades earned, as well as a final cumulative grade.
Please submit these, too! This allows us to compare your performance at two different institutions and to form a more complete understanding of your academic potential. Established international experience also demonstrates a high level of independence and personal suitability, which we are happy to see in our applicants. Please note that while we take international experience into consideration, it is not a prerequisite for admission.
If the transcript from your main university already includes your study abroad credits, you don’t need to submit separate study abroad transcripts.
To make the application process as simple as possible, the transcript you submit during the application process does not have to be stamped, sealed or digitally protected. In other words, an unofficial copy will do, and a scan of your transcript will suffice at this stage. Only after admission will you need to provide either the original version or certified copies as an official part of enrolment.
Transcripts originally issued in a language other than English must be translated by a sworn (court-registered) translator. However, they don’t need to be apostilled. We unfortunately can’t accept personal translations, so please contact your local American Embassy or British Consulate for a list of certified translators in your area. Translations must be literal, meaning grades shouldn’t be transferred into other grading systems.
Yes! You can apply without an undergraduate certificate but you will need to have completed your undergraduate studies by the start of classes in September. If you don’t have your certificate yet, please indicate in your application when you will receive it. Though it’s not required, we highly recommend submitting an official letter from your university stating your anticipated graduation date. Keep in mind that upon admission to the programme, we’ll let you know which authenticated documents must be mailed or presented to us in person as part of our credential evaluation process.
The first semesters in the MIA and MPP programmes are designed to give everyone, regardless of academic discipline, a solid foundation for the entire two years. And yes, that includes intro courses in economics and statistics, too – for which no prior coursework is required (economists and statisticians can apply for a waiver and test into advanced courses). While a big chunk of our students have studied a social science in the past, around half of our students come from other backgrounds.
For the MDS programme, applicants must demonstrate an understanding of statistics, mathematics and/or coding. This does not necessarily need to be classes that formally appear on your transcript, however, and can include extracurricular activities such as hackathons, personal projects and more. If you have questions about whether your prior technical experience qualifies you for the MDS, please reach out to us at grad-admissions[at]hertie-school[dot]org.
Grades aren’t everything
Repeat it with me: You are more than your GPA!
Your grades are just a small snapshot of who you are as an individual and a student, but they aren’t the end-all-be-all determining factor for admission. As you’ve hopefully noticed, we like to get a complete picture when evaluating applications. We want to understand who you are as a whole and streamline the entire process. It’s why we don’t require a minimum GPA or GRE/GMAT scores for admission. We know grading systems are different around the world, and we understand it’s not always common to take standardised entrance exams. For similar reasons, this is also why we allow applicants who completed their degree more than three years ago to provide a professional letter of reference in place of an academic one.
If you’re feeling unsure about your transcripts, we encourage you to address it in your application and to use other parts – such as your letter of motivation or the “Further information” section in the online portal – to highlight why you’re the right fit for the Hertie School.
Next up in the series: the English language requirement.