I am an international master student and I have an unconventional background. I want to apply for PhD programs in field X, which is closely related to my degree now, but not exactly. I missed some basic courses during my undergraduate in field X and I want to show that I have the knowledge covered in those courses.
One way to do it is to take those courses now but due to language problems I can't. Another way seems to be to get a good grade on upper level courses. But it is not really an ideal application and also I am not sure I can get good grades. So I decided to take those basic courses as a non-degree student somewhere after I graduate.
One thing that concerns me is that most of the schools I want to apply for PhD set their deadlines in December, while I don't know if my transcript will show that I am doing these basic courses. Even if it shows, no grades would be in there. I can't wait till the next year due to personal reasons, so I am afraid it isn't worth the money and time to do a non-degree study.
So the questions are, can taking courses as a non-degree student really increase my chances of success, and how would the selection committee view students who have taken courses in this way?