This May I graduated with a sociology degree. My goal is to become a social science researcher. Because the field of social science research is going toward a quantitative direction, I plan to apply to applied statistics masters program this fall. After masters, I plan to work in the Industry for a few years, and then apply for a social science PhD. (economics, public policy, political science, sociology..). I will really appreciate it if you can give me some advice.
Undergraduate Institution: Top 10 Liberal Arts College
Math/Statistics GPA: 3.82/4.0
Type of Student: International Asian Male
Related Courses taken:
Calc II (4.0/4.0)
Calc III (3.7/4.0)
Linear Algebra (3.7/4.0)
Econometrics (using Stata) (3.3/4.0)
Applied Multivariate Statistics Analysis (using R) (4.0/4.0)
GRE General Test: V:165/Q:167/W:5
Research Experience: None in statistics or Math.
Two summers of research assistant experience for a sociology professor (not quantitative). One year of teaching assistant experience for social theory courses.
A conference presentation at 2019 American Sociological Association Annual Meeting.
Working Experience: Research Assistant for a large social science research organization since this July. Working on projects that heavily involve quantitative analysis (Stata, R, SPSS, SAS...). Collaborating with senior researchers on a quantitative research paper for journal resubmission.
Letters of Recommendation: Two from math/statistics professors (probability and Applied Multivariate Statistics Analysis) who told me that they will write strong letters of recommendation. For the third one, I am considering asking either my sociology advisor (who knows me very well and views me very highly in terms of social science potential. But he does not do quantitative work), or a senior researcher that I am working with on a quantitative project at work.
Currently considering Masters programs:
CMU statistical practice
UNC Data Science and Analytics
Michigan applied statistics
Cornell applied statistics
UCLA applied statistics
Ohio State applied statistics
Rice professional statistics
Georgetown applied math and Statistics
Also considering these masters programs:
Columbia Quantitative methods in Social Science
Chicago Computational Social Science
Do I have a shot in getting into these programs? Should I apply to more lower-ranked programs? What are other statistics programs that would be a good fit for my level of background?
Should I ask my sociology advisor from college or a senior researcher at work to write me the third letter of recommendation?