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  1. Should I aim for PhD or Masters?

    Hi @Wzz! Thank you for the advice! I feel the same way, especially for PhD programs. I feel there's a certain 'barrier' depending on the reputation of the uni. That's why I'm thinking of getting into a top masters program first, which presumably would be easier. And at this point, it seems more viable an option for me than applying for PhD programs. The results from my uni is a bit more varied though: last year the best student (wrt to grades) in the stats track got into a mediocre biostats MS program, while 2 years ago the top student went to one of the best biostats PhD programs, and got accepted by a bunch of top masters programs in stats as well. I think the result still depends, more or less, on the strength of the individual. How helpful is the math REU (admission-wise) for stats programs, from your experience?
  2. Should I aim for PhD or Masters?

    Thanks for the advice @edward130603!! Unfortunately most REUs aren't open to international students. I applied to one and will probably hear from them in a few weeks. I'll also try to find an RA position once school starts. I know R pretty well from the statistical computing course at Berkeley and hopefully that will help me a bit. Undergrad research here in China really depends on the institution, but usually it's pretty rare once outside the very top unis. The workload from the courses is quite high. Still I know some very talented students from top unis have done very good research. I also have the impression (do correct me if I'm wrong) that some summer research programs are like workshops on research-related skills. Is that usually the case? Or are those 'research experiences' already?
  3. Should I aim for PhD or Masters?

    Thanks! I doubt if I can have any solid research experience as an undergrad but I'll definitely try. Do you have any suggestion on how to produce 'solid' research as an undergrad? As for 'top PhD programs', what I was thinking was (PhD programs at) Berkeley and Stanford, for which I don't think I have the slightest chance.
  4. Hi everyone! I'm a junior majoring in maths (subtrack stats) and looking for some advice on what to aim for. I admit this is a strange post. I really don't know what to aim for though. Any help is very much appreciated!! ======= Undergrad Institution: Some uni in China (top 15 in China, known for its maths program) Major: Maths, in the statistics subtrack GPA: 3.84 (converted. Since we use the raw score, with 100 being the full score, it's not very informative. Rank: top 5 out of 70 students in the stats subtrack) Awards: Top scholarships in China GRE: (will take it next month) GRE Math: 80% (plan to retake next year) TOEFL: 118 ------- Courses: At my uni: Maths: Analysis I (good), Analysis II (OK), Analysis III (excellent), Linear Algebra I (somewhat bad), Linear Algebra II (very good), ODE (very good), Abstract Algebra (excellent), Probability (OK), Complex Variable (very good), Real Variable (basic Lebesgue measure, good) Others: Physics (excellent), Programming (good), Algorithms (good) Study Abroad (at UC Berkeley): Stochastic Processes (A+), Statistical Computing (Masters level, A-), Theoretical Statistics (PhD level, A+) ------- Experience: No research experience at this moment. ======= I have some interest in PhD programs, although not entirely sure. But because my undergrad institution in not among the most prestigious unis in China (Peking, Tsinghua, and a bunch in Shanghai), from what I heard it's very hard to get into top PhD programs in the US. So I'm thinking about trying to get into the top masters programs, work a few years, and then probably try to apply to PhD programs. I don't know if this is a good idea though. Basically my goal is to get into the top PhD programs. So given my current record (I still have a year before applying!), do I stand any chance getting into the top PhD programs? Is there anything I can do to enhance my application to top masters programs (or possibly not-that-top PhD programs)? Also a specific question: for top master programs (Stanford, Harvard, and UChicago are the few that's on my mind), do research experiences play an important role in the admission decision? Thanks for the help! If you are one of the students anxiously waiting for admission decisions, good luck to you!!
  5. Hi @reallyworried. Just curious, were you applying to PhD programs or MS programs in stats/biostats?