Admissions blog

Transcripts: More than just grades

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.

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.

If you have any doubts or questions, please reach out to us at grad-admissions[at]hertie-school[dot]org or ask an admissions rep live during our weekly office hours.


Next up in the series: the English language requirement.

About the author

  • Kassandra Valles, Associate Student Admissions

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