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About omicrontrabb

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  • Application Season
    2019 Fall
  • Program
    Statistics/Biostatistics PhD

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  1. omicrontrabb

    Transition to Stats PhD

    Your undergraduate grades are fine. A lot of applicants will have a B or two on their transcripts. But regardless, your math GRE score is super impressive. I doubt anyone will question your ability to do advanced math if you scored in the 90th percentile for the subject test. My understanding is that score would look good at many math PhD programs. Based on your profile, you will almost certainly get into NCSU. As for the other schools, you should be competitive, but the admissions are just so selective. I would recommend applying to some lower ranked schools as well. It sounds like you have very specific research interests, so I would just pick programs at different tiers that do that research. It sounds like you’re mainly interested in probably theory, so I would suggest, for example, UNC instead of NCSU. Cornell also has people working in many of those areas and is less selective than Berkeley/Chicago.
  2. You mentioned you want to get statistics research experience before applying? Is that so you have a better idea of what a PhD in statistics would be like? Or to improve your application? It would be helpful to see what a research statistician does, but isn’t necessary for the application. You are right, your background is probably too light on math courses to get into a top statistics PhD program. But otherwise you have a stellar application, good grades at an Ivy, extensive comp sci experience, GRE scores. There are not many statistics postbacc programs. Few people have done meaningful statistics research before applying to PhD programs. I would take linear algebra, real analysis and a probability class at a reputable university. I assume you’ll do well, which will satisfy the prerequisites and show you can handle advanced math. Alternatively, if you’re highly motivated, you could self-study math and take the math subject GRE. Those two options would save you a lot of time/money compared to getting a masters. Lastly, depending on what exactly you want to research, you could also consider CS PhD programs. I’m not personally familiar with their admissions processes, but you do seem to have a strong background in CS. Some topics, like machine learning, etc, are researched by both CS and stats PhD students.
  3. omicrontrabb

    Biostatistics v/s Statistics PhD

    Most biostats Phd programs don’t teach measure theory, while all stat ones do. Most biostatistics don’t spend their time proving theoretical properties of estimators, like asymptotic efficiency, while many statisticians do. So theoretical math is emphasized more for stats. Biostats programs also seem to be a bit less competitive for admissions in general. Top biostat programs, like Michigan and Minnesota, admit around 25% of applicants, while comparable stat programs seem to have single digit acceptance rates.
  4. omicrontrabb

    Biostatistics v/s Statistics PhD

    They have the same prerequisites generally, but biostats programs tend to be more lenient. For example, top stats PhD programs basically require real analysis. However, you could probably be accepted into a very good biostat program without real analysis, if the rest of your application is strong.
  5. omicrontrabb

    Help me decide

    I think your PhD applications were a bit top heavy. Most of the Big 10 schools are good stat schools and their PhD admissions are very competitive. (I had a 4.0 gpa at a top stats school, 168 GRE-Q scores and still was rejected to some of them.) As I mentioned above, UVA is also highly selective. I don’t know what your GRE scores, exact grades, LOR, etc. were. It’s possible that if you applied more widely at their level of Michigan State, U Mass, etc, that you could be admitted to a PhD. Otherwise, I would go to UMBC and try to get good grades and research experience. Then reapply for OSU level schools.
  6. omicrontrabb

    Help me decide

    @danny1997 What sort of school did you attend? Public flagship, directional, SLAC, etc? Also, which PhD programs did you apply to? Its possible that changing your application strategy could prevent you from spending time/money on a masters degree.
  7. omicrontrabb

    Help me decide

    People on this forum have said that getting a masters degree does not generally drastically change your admissions profile, unless you’re changing fields or other special circumstances. What is your background and profile? What PhD programs did you apply for? You mentioned that you were waitlisted at UVA. I know that UVA isn’t ranked very highly for statistics, but their program is very small, which results in it being extremely competitive. I don’t think the masters at BGSU will help you much in PhD admissions. It is very applied and you would only take two stat theory courses. Stat ad coms generally don’t care that much about grades in applied courses. I did not see much information about the masters at UMBC online, so I cannot speak to the value of that without knowing more about the curriculum. What stat/math classes did you take in undergrad? Did you take real analysis, linear algebra, math stat, or probability?
  8. omicrontrabb

    Duke MS vs UVA PhD

    @Monte Carlo You were accepted into their PhD program, so they clearly think you can succeed. I wouldn’t too much about being under qualified. That being said, I wouldn’t start a stats PhD program unless you’re pretty confident you would enjoy it. It is a long process and you have like doing stats research. You could always get a job and apply again later when you’re more sure.
  9. omicrontrabb

    Duke MS vs UVA PhD

    If I were you, I’d email UVA and ask for information on their past placements. Then you’ll know what you can realistically expect for job opportunities afterwards. Your choice also depends on what your goal is. Do you just want a high paying interesting job? I’m sure you’ll be able to find that from either program. Industry generally cares much less about rankings than academia. Finally, getting a MS first won’t necessarily help your chances for PhD admissions very much. Everyone tends to get good grades in masters programs. So paying for an MS at Duke and then doing well is unlikely to drastically change your profile.
  10. omicrontrabb

    2020 Statistics Phd Profile Evaluation

    Consider UCSB. On their website they list admission statistics from 2015. https://secure.lsit.ucsb.edu/stat/d7/sites/secure.lsit.ucsb.edu.stat.d7/files/sitefiles/Grad/Forms/admissionsaverages.pdf The average undergrad GPA for accepted students was 3.83 and GRE-Q was 167. Also notice the acceptance rate was 5%. That is extremely competitive and has likely only become more so since 2015. You have done well in your stats classes, but admissions committees generally care more about your math grades than grades in applied stats courses. So right now, your overall math record is mediocre grades and a mediocre GRE-Q score. That doesn’t show the admissions committee that you have the ability to succeed in math heavy graduate stats courses. A B or even a C here and there won’t ruin your chances. I got a B in analysis for example. You’re also at a disadvantage, since ad coms won’t be familiar with your school and the rigor of the classes. The key is to show that you can handle advanced math. I second bayessays advice, try to improve your GRE, which would demonstrate your math ability, then apply for masters degrees. There are funded options, but that would limit your choice of schools. I am personally not super familiar with masters admissions, but know they also are not super easy. You definitely need to work on that GRE score. Also, you said that you want to become a professor. Your path to that seems to be get a masters, do well, get a PhD from a 50ish ranked school. From there you could probably become a professor at a regional school.
  11. omicrontrabb

    2020 Statistics Phd Profile Evaluation

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you aimed way too high with your applications. For example, I just attended Cornell’s visit day and all of other accepted students attended Ivy+ schools for undergrad and had stellar grades. Even at Ohio State, all of the other accepted students I talked to had very strong grades in math/stats courses and substantially higher GRE scores than you. Even with improved GRE scores, I think it will be difficult for you to get into the stat PhD programs you listed. The competition is extremely tough. I’m not familiar with lower ranked stat PhD programs, so I can’t speak to whether you would have a shot at those. What are your career goals? Why do you want to get a PhD in stats?
  12. omicrontrabb

    Chance me for MS/MPH Biostatistics programs?

    No, I don’t think you should give up. Besides your grades, you have a very strong application. I was admitted into two top 10 biostat PhD programs this cycle and I had less research experience than you and almost the same GRE scores. You’re also an URM. I would take some math courses and get As, then write your personal statement talking about your academic journey, i.e. “I didn’t understand the value of education in undergrad, but I’ve grown and learned how important it is” or something like that. I think should be able to get in somewhere decent with that record. There aren’t rankings of biostat programs that go all the way to 30-50 that I’ve seen, but I would recommend applying to biostat masters at research universities that aren’t big names in biostats. For example the big state schools in California that aren’t Berkeley, UCLA or Davis. I would also apply to some of the higher ranked ones and see if someone would take a chance on you, since you do have a unique application.
  13. omicrontrabb

    Chance me for MS/MPH Biostatistics programs?

    Maybe you could start by retaking some of those math classes and doing well, then write your personal statement about your academic growth. It’s going to be very tough to get in with those grades as is unless you have an extremely compelling personal story.
  14. I’m only familiar with NCSU, but I will say that compared to other similarly ranked programs, the vast majority of their graduates go into industry. I got my undergraduate degree in statistics from NCSU, so I’d be happy to answer questions about the department/area.
  15. omicrontrabb

    2020 Statistics Applicant Profile

    Your career goals will greatly affect your choice of schools. You mentioned that you want to go into industry, but potentially get a PhD later. Take American University. They are not known for statistics or really STEM in general. I think it would be quite difficult to go from that program into a decent PhD program. However, I interned as a data scientist at one of the largest American manufacturing companies last summer and I had coworkers who earned stats masters degrees at American University. So I think you would be able to get a good job from any of those programs since they are well known universities and statisticians/data scientists are in high demand. However, I don't think getting a masters degree from those universities (with the exception of Rice) will help you get into a reputable stats PhD program. Almost everyone gets good grades in masters programs, so it can be hard to stand out. Many masters programs do not have much of a research focus. Some of the programs you listed, like SMU, are applied statistics degrees, which are not meant to be a stepping stone for a PhD. Some programs to have internal admit from MS to PhD, so look into that. Other notes: Georgetown does not have separate math and stats departments, so their master's degree seems to be more like applied math. Baylor says on their website that they primarily admit people to their PhD program.

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