A Quantitative/Language Resume Breakdown

While the application requirement of a standard resume is explicit and plausible, the requirement on a quantitative/language resume seems confusing. What is it? Why do we need it? And how to prepare for a successful one? This blog will walk you through the preparation of a Quantitative/Language Resume, and provide you with some tips to help you create a strong one.

What is a Quantitative/Language Resume?
The Quantitative/Language Resume is additional information on applicant’s quantitative and language knowledge and proficiency. It should elaborate upon the skills the applicant has developed related to quantitative methods and language learning in an academic and/or professional setting.

Why does SIPA require it?
The quantitative part:
The core curriculum at SIPA requires the completion of rigorous quantitative courses in economics, statistics and financial management. Therefore, it is required for the applicants to demonstrate their quantitative aptitude for the program by detailing this information as part of their application.

While an academic transcript provides a list of the coursework the applicant has completed, it usually lacks an in-depth description of the type of skills that were learned. (What is ‘Meaning, Math and Motions’?) And for international applicants, it often misrepresents the actual level of math studied when it was translated into English. Therefore, the quantitative portion of the resume allows applicants to list detailed information pertaining to prior quantitative preparation, both academically and professionally.

The language part:
Proficiency in a second language is a graduation requirement of the MIA program but is not a requirement of the MPA program (except for the EPD concentration). That being said, MIA or MPA-EPD students need to achieve at least a grade of “B” in an intermediated level 2 language course.

Due to the intensity of the program at SIPA, it would be quite difficult for an applicant with no previous language study to achieve intermediate level proficiency in two years of study. Therefore, applicants should demonstrate at least elementary-level proficiency in a second language if they want to be considered for the MIA program or MPA program – EPD concentration. While this isn’t a requirement for admission, it does show the Admissions Committee you have some prior language experience, which can bolster your application.

How should I prepare a Quantitative/Language Resume?
Any time you are using numbers or data to draw a conclusion and make sense of the data, you are using quantitative skills. And the possession of these skills can be demonstrated by either having related coursework or using quantitative methods in a professional environment (paid, volunteer or intern work is acceptable). The same rules apply for the language portion.

What kind of courses can you list on a Quantitative/Language Resume?

  • Mathematics (e.g. Calculus, or higher)
  • Statistics (e.g. STATS I, II, III)
  • Economics (e.g. Microeconomics, Macroeconomics)
  • Engineering (e.g. Material science)
  • Natural Science (e.g. Physics, Chemistry)
  • Computer Science (e.g. Programming)
  • Finance (e.g. Accounting)
  • Language (e.g., Spanish, in-country experience)

Remember: The course you list must be graded by an accredited institution. If  you are still taking the course and will be graded after the application deadline, list it as “in progress.”

What kind of other experiences can you list on a Quantitative/Language Resume?

  • Proficiency of Microsoft Office Access or Excel, STATA, SPSS, or LaTex are a few examples
  • Proficiency of Java, C++, or another programming language
  • Data Analysis
  • Perform financial analysis
  • Attend numbers-oriented labs

What counts as language skills?

  • Any foreign language coursework
  • Time spent in a foreign country where you regularly spoke the native language
  • Profession/volunteer/personal use of a language

I majored in a quantitative area. Do I still need to list all of my coursework?
Yes, always follow the directions when you’re applying to graduate school. Your quantitative/language resume may be longer than most applicants, but it is to your benefit to complete this part of the application.

How should I format the resume?
While there is no specific requirement, most applicants prefer to format this resume so it’s easy for the Admissions Committee to review. Thus, a chart format is a popular option. This sample Quantitative/Language Resume provides a guide, however note that it’s up to you to decide how to structure the information.

I hope you found this blog post helpful. For questions about the Quantitative/Language Resume, email us at sipa_admission@columbia.edu. For information on the other application requirements, please review the Application Checklist.