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About penguinbombs

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  1. This might be somewhat "sample size of 1," but I was similarly unconventional applicant this year (liberal arts major with even less direct relevance to statistics), and I did most of my non-degree math work at a regional state school as well. I think my application was kind of a wildcard, but I had surprisingly strong admissions results this year. My undergrad GPA appeared stronger in an absolute sense, but it was only a hair above the school's average GPA, just like yours. Since I was not focusing on Math/Stats at the time, I don't think those grades played much of a factor in my results. Your strong grades since then and your research experience will be much much more important for your application. I agree that you should apply to a wide variety of schools, but if you find a really strong research match (anything related to environmental statistics, or maybe there is some statistics related to voice recognition technology, where your Linguistics background could be considered a plus?), it wouldn't be a total waste of money to try some applications to top 20 schools as well. Some larger programs like NC State might be more open to giving a chance to a less conventional applicant, and UCLA for example highly values people with strong training in adjacent disciplines. Also, given your academic trajectory and what you've done with stats so far, you would probably be a great candidate for a masters at top statistics programs (UChicago, Duke, ect). If you check the admissions statistics at Duke for example, you'll see that the admission rate for domestic applicants is pretty generous. My recommendation to you would be to nail the Statement of Purpose, clearly tracing your intellectual development and your unique motivation for entering statistics. I gather that for most applicants, the Statement of Purpose is not hugely consequential, but it is much more important for applicants from unconventional backgrounds. Overall, some admissions readers may be somewhat agnostic about your undergraduate years, but some might see them as a major plus. It will depend a lot on how you present yourself as an applicant. I feel very strongly about opening statistics to people from other disciplines, so I would be happy to talk to you more over DMs if you like!
  2. penguinbombs

    Columbia vs. UChicago vs. Duke for Stats PhD

    It sounds like Columbia is the best research fit for you, and some of the other factors (UChicago's slight prestige edge within Statistics, Duke's happy students) are muddying the waters. But within this tier, differences in prestige are negligible, and I'm sure you'll be able to be happy at any of the three as well. Since Columbia is strong in MULTIPLE of your interests, I say go with that! For what it's worth, I was admitted to these three schools as well. After the initial shock of getting into UChicago, I quickly dismissed it because it actually wasn't a great research match for me. Columbia was a great research match and was definitely the hardest school for me to turn down. I know how agonizing all this can be. If it helps at all, somebody posted recently about turning down Harvard and several other programs for Columbia. Best of luck with whichever school you choose!
  3. penguinbombs

    Fall 2019 Statistics Applicant Thread

    Nope, I had hadn't received any communication from them at all until today when I received an email from the department chair. So I didn't even know that I was on the waitlist or anything.
  4. penguinbombs

    Fall 2019 Statistics Applicant Thread

    Hey everyone, I got an email from UMichigan this morning asking about my continued interest in the waitlist for their Stats PhD program. I took myself off the waitlist because I have already committed to another program. For the people still waiting on Michigan, I just wanted to let you know that it seems like they are finally getting back to people. Best of luck to everybody!

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