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About khsf45

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  • Application Season
    2017 Fall
  • Program
    PhD in Biostatistics

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  1. PhD Biostats: Columbia vs UNC

    Probably true... I'm honestly just having a much harder time deciding than I thought I would. I've actually shifted to Columbia vs. Michigan, but I didn't want to start another thread for that, and most of my 'cons' for Michigan are just personal reasons so I figured I'd just ask the Columbia questions I had on this thread, and decide on my own. Michigan's visit day hasn't happened yet though. You never know, I might hate it and end up at UNC. Thank you for the advice!
  2. PhD Biostats: Columbia vs UNC

    So... I don't really want to bring this thread back since everyone seems unanimously pro-UNC, but I'm still having a very hard time deciding, so I thought I would ask if anyone can answer the following questions about Columbia biostat: 1. Do you know of any recent Columbia academic placements? 2. I get the impression that most people coming out of Columbia go into industry jobs. Do you think this is because their students generally go in wanting industry jobs, or because the program doesn't prep well for academia? In other words, is the reason for a smaller number of academic placements just the fact that fewer people go looking for academic jobs? 3. Does anyone know if biostats students are able to work with stats faculty as co-mentors?
  3. 2017 Admissions General

    Does anyone know about Johns Hopkins biostat? I tried contacting them but I just got an 'application still under review' response. I heard they've done interviews already, so should I consider this a probable reject?
  4. 2017 Admissions General

    I'm actually curious to know how many people made significant contact with the schools they were applying to before they applied. I knew I was theoretically supposed to, but I decided to apply pretty late (1 month before deadlines), and was also kinda overwhelmed at work and didn't end up contacting anyone before I applied. Did those of you who did feel like it really helped with the application process or your response rate?
  5. PhD Biostats: Columbia vs UNC

    That's true... Also, @cyberwulf's recent post on the Columbia vs. Berkley thread kinda freaked me out a little about my chances at an academic career if I go to Columbia. So, for now, UNC is pulling ahead. Thanks for the advice!
  6. PhD Biostats: Columbia vs UNC

    Thanks for the info! I was at the visit. I loved the program and the students seemed great, and I even liked the area when I was with the whole group, but the next day when I was exploring alone it felt different. I know people always say how liberal it is, but it still feels very southern/small towny to me. I had three interactions throughout the day that involved unsolicited political discourse, and idk if I can deal with that long term. These things matter a lot when you have to spend 5 or more years somewhere. I did also really liked the Columbia program when I visited! I know they are lower ranked, but among biostats programs they're still top 10 if I'm not mistaken. I just want to know how big of an advantage I would be giving up if I were to choose Columbia over UNC. UNC is still my top choice, but I'm trying to make an informed decision, and I'm seriously considering whether it would be too stressful to live there long term. This isn't something I can easily change my mind about.
  7. Hey everyone, I still haven't heard back from some my schools, but I'm currently trying to choose between Columbia and UNC for a PhD in biostats. I'd appreciate any advice. I am 95% sure I want to go into academia, but I'm not sure what area of research I'm interested in so I want to be in a department with a wide variety of research, where I'm not cornered into one area. Does anyone know if I can find that at Columbia? I'm worried they are too focused on functional data and imaging. I know UNC is better ranked and has a bigger department, but I'm pretty apprehensive about living in the south. However, I don't really want to give up UNC if it would give me a bigger advantage on the job market, since it seems like UNC has more big name faculty and more opportunities for academic jobs post graduation. I visited both schools and really liked both departments/cohorts, so it's making it even more difficult to decide. Thank you in advance
  8. Biostatistics PhD Interviews

    I don't know about any of the schools that you mentioned, but I've done a couple interviews this cycle and here are some answers that might be helpful: The interviews themselves were usually pretty easy-going. A combination of people that you selected and people that were randomly chosen depending on their schedules and availability. No one asked technical questions. Neither of me or of any of the people who I talked to afterward. I felt like it was a chance for them to gauge your interest in PhD research, and just a general idea of your path to biostatistics. Most of the interviews started with a generic 'tell me about yourself' type of question, and some people asked me about specific things on my CV - jobs, research, etc. One person went into detail about an analysis I had done, but she just seemed genuinely curious, and it was very conversational. Some people start with 'Do you have any questions for me?', and even if they don't start with it, they'll ask you if you have questions soooooo many times. So just think of some questions. I thought I had enough questions prepared, but I wish I had thought of more. The questions would come rushing to my brain as soon as I left the room. It's super easy to just get the faculty member talking about their own research, and just ask questions to keep the conversation going. This is my number one strategy when I'm nervous, and it takes the pressure off of you for a little and gives you some time to ask genuine questions about their research. Usually 20-30 minutes each, with multiple faculty members (4-5). Not enough time to get overly detailed, just enough time to get an idea of how you would fit into their department. I did not, at any point, feel like I had to know the details of a faculty member's CV or life history or anything. I think a lot of that advice is exaggerated. If it's someone you mentioned personally, then know their research interests and tell them why you're interested in their research in particular. Other than that there is no need to read every paper they've written. For my first interview I was so nervous I read through the CVs of literally everyone in the department since I wasn't told who I was going to interview with. Completely unnecessary and I used none of that information. Hope this helps!
  9. 2017 Admissions General

    Actually, it's not even an acceptance just a visit day/interview request.
  10. 2017 Admissions General

    Has anyone heard anything from Johns Hopkins Biostats? I only see one acceptance posted, but I could be missing some.
  11. University of Michigan Biostatistics

    From my understanding, if you are accepted to the MS/PhD 'fast-track' you still have to technically apply to the PhD program after your coursework. You're not automatically guaranteed a position once you're done, even though they accept most people who do well enough in their courses. I believe that you also need a letter of rec from a faculty member. This is based on what was said at their prospective student day' in the past, I may be wrong!
  12. 2017 Admissions General

    This just made me notice that I missed the priority deadline for funding at UNC when I applied . I don't know how that happened. I think I got the deadlines mixed up on my giant application tracking spreadsheet, and now I'm slightly freaking out. Does anyone know how likely it is that I would still be able to get funding? I know UNC doesn't fund all their students, so Idk if there is any chance.
  13. 2017 Admissions General

    I emailed the coordinator person and asked them if there is any dress code I should know about. From the research I've done, and what she said, I think business casual is appropriate.
  14. 2017 Admissions General

    For anyone who has already been to a visit day (this application cycle or others) -- Did you feel like it was necessary to have your laptop with you? I don't have a professional looking bag that would fit my laptop, and I don't want to buy one if I don't need it (I'm more of a raggedy backpack kinda person )
  15. 2017 Admissions General

    I don't have personal experience, but I highly doubt you or your school would face any consequences for withdrawing your application. Most schools expect a certain number of people to reject their offers anyway. And I'm sure they have some applicants who withdraw applications when they get an offer that they are definitely going to accept.