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Thank you @twilightgalaxy and @cyberwulf for your responses. In that case, I take it that it is not necessary to contact professors or identify them in one's application. Additionally, I am debating on retaking the GRE and I wanted some advice. Is it true that an applicant for Biostatistics PhD and MS programs must get above a certain GRE score or range of scores to be seriously considered, but scoring much higher than that will not necessarily help one's application much? I recently took it and got a 163V and 165Q. I am wondering if the 165Q would put me at a disadvantage for competitive Biostatistics PhD programs, particularly at Harvard / U Washington / Hopkins. I have a strong math background (4.0 GPA at top 25 school, math major with some grad statistics/biostatistics courses), but just not a particularly strong GRE quant score.
Hi, I'll be applying to Biostatistics programs this fall. I'm finishing my last year of undergrad and my long term goal is to do a PhD in Biostatistics. However, I have no idea what research topic I would like to go into for what would be my dissertation. My research projects so far have been fairly narrow and only on one topic in Biostatistics. Do you recommend that I do a masters first to get an overview of the field and a clear idea of what topic I would like to pursue? It also seems that a large part of the interviews for PhD programs are based on potential research topics, which I would be blank on. Any thoughts?