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About Biostat_Assistant_Prof

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    Biostatistics (assistant professor)

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  1. This exactly. @CH1128, you're not a weak applicant for getting admitted into a biostat PhD program in general, you're just not competitive at Harvard. With that said, you don't need to go to a top 10 to have a successful career in academia. I've said this before and I'll reiterate, your adviser/mentor is far more important than departmental rank, and you ultimately will have the most control over your success. Honestly, sometimes the quality of life is better at non-top institutions and you'll essentially learn the same fundamentals in any department. If a department has an established history
  2. I'll echo this. A 3.8 in an applied stat MS program doesn't add much, except maybe showing dedication to pursuing a career in the field. I'd say Iowa/Pitt/BU/Vandy would be a good selection of schools, but should make up the higher tier end of you application list. I'd recommended applying to some programs at a lower tier as safeties, because I don't think those programs are "sure things" either. Unless something has changed in recent years, Vanderbilt accepts small cohorts of only 4-5 students and biostat applications are getting increasingly competitive with each passing year. If you're dead
  3. For biostatistics, I think your spread of schools is okay, but It needs to be large with a few more mid-tiers and safety schools. UNC and Berkeley are definitely reaches, but I don't think applying to a couple reaches is a bad thing. With that said, I wouldn't add any more reaches to your list. As for top MS programs, you may have some luck at top places like Harvard or UW, but I ultimately don't think it's a good move if you get accepted even to a mid-tier PhD program. You'd likely accrue quite a bit of debt for the MS and increase the timeline to the start of your career by a couple years. G
  4. Speaking particularly for biostats, unfortunately, I do not think your profile would be competitive at PhD programs at this point in time. Grade deflation/inflation arguments aside, you have very few A's and several C's in various undergraduate statistics and math courses - this would not give an admission committee much confidence you'd be able to handle the rigor of graduate level coursework. Applications for PhD programs have become very competitive and are filled with applicants with near perfect GPAs and some with publications. Unfortunately, your profile does not have anything substantia
  5. Most programs have two written qualifying exams, a first year exam and an advanced exam. The first year exam generally tests you over basic applied and theoretical principles covered in your first year (e.g. for theory, most of Casella and Berger). An advanced written exam would generally be after you've finished your coursework and taken in your third year, testing you over advanced concepts in your upper level grad classes.
  6. I’ll second everything cyberwulf said. Biostat cohorts are getting stronger, and along with that more universities are establishing graduate programs. However, saying your queasy about places lower than “Emory or Vanderbilt” is a misguided way to think about potential programs. Don’t set your sights too narrow. You don’t need to go to Harvard to get a decent job.
  7. I wouldn’t worry too much about a lack of research experience. While the number of undergrads with research are growing, it’s still not an expectation except for at the highest ranked places. Receiving a C in an udndergrad prob/stats is alarming, but it sounds as if you have a reasonable excuse. If you made As in your calc sequence, that would be a little reassuring as well. Have you taken linear algebra or real analysis? Linear Algebra is a minimum requirement and I would strongly encourage you to take real analysis as well. An A in RA would go a long way to minimize concern regarding your ab
  8. If you're tech savvy, I would recommend getting a desktop computer with 16GB of RAM, a 128GB or 256GB SSD for the operating system and an additional 1TB HDD for files, and an i7 CPU with 4 cores (and 8 threads). Then, simply get a basic functional laptop and use to remote in to the desktop. If you're only getting a laptop, you want something with 8GB RAM minimum, and I'd still recommend an i7 dual-core CPU (with 4 threads). I really learned the value of a powerful CPU if you're running intensive simulations. Setting up simulations to run in parallel across the threads of your processor s
  9. Just for all prospective students who may find this thread and read my comment... Rankings are not everything. Your mentor is far more important than your department's ranking and you ultimately determine most of your own success. I'd be remiss not to mention that at large, high tier departments the selection of quality mentors is larger than lesser departments, but these departments can also be a lot more competitive in terms of getting to work with a specific person. Great researchers can come from mediocre programs, and mediocre researchers can come from great programs, and you can find a g
  10. I'll pretty much second this, and also toss in VCU to be worth considering. UF has a solid stat department, but the biostats section (department?) is fairly new and I'm not entirely sure how it is structured. VCU and UIC have established programs that I know have graduated students - not the highest in rank, but they are good enough to make the rankings, so probably decent programs.
  11. I want to second this - think of lifestyle. If you hate snow, definitely UNC. If you want a big football team, definitely Michigan. If you're outdoorsy, UNC would be a bit better. Cost of living I suspect is pretty similar. Ill point out that with UNC being in the research triangle, you have exposure/connections to more pharma than you would probably get at UMich. I think there is more clinical trials and environmental work being done at UNC than Michigan as well, although I can't cite any sources on that, just a feeling I have. UNC/Michigan are a small step below UW/JHU/Harvard
  12. You seem to already know the big comparisons between them. I don't think you'll get an unbiased opinion/comparison of them anymore than what you already know. With that said, here are my thoughts: UMich and UNC are very similar in 'prestige'... I wouldn't place one above the other in general. You already know stat genetics will be bigger at UMich. As for other specific areas of research, I'm not really sure on how they compare. I know for the area of my dissertation research (which I won't share for anonymity), there are faculty at both places that work in the area (2 at UNC and 3 at
  13. Yes, this is generally correct. On the Eastern half of the US, there are generally more academic institutions, pharma companies, research hospitals/centers (e.g. Mayo or MSK), government positions, etc. than on the west coast, but that isn't to say you don't have similar opportunities in the west. If you want to have a 'greater pick' of jobs when you graduate, I'd guess Harvard would suit you better, but you'll certainly wont have a problem finding a job coming from UW. The biggest thing is who you're able to network with while in graduate school. At Harvard you'll have ENAR to attend, which
  14. For car fans this is like Lamborghini or Ferrari. For guitar players this is like Taylor or Martin... If you're not getting the metaphor, they are both fantastic schools, arguably the two best programs you could have to choose from. With that said, in my opinion, your choice should come down to 3 big things: 1) Where do you want to live and work when you finish (east or west coast)? Neither will preclude you from the other, but going to Harvard will better set you up with opportunities on the east coast, whereas UW will on the west coast. 2) Are there specific research areas/
  15. I'd argue cohort size is far from a trivial factor - the more students in the program, the more that can (and assumingly do) submit papers for the award. You only reference two programs here though; while Harvard and UNC (and Michigan while we're at it) boast large cohorts, places like Brown, Yale, and Vanderbilt, all have relatively small cohorts, and I think Columbia and Emory are also a bit smaller than UNC. Overall though, this metric is misleading in my opinion in terms of judging the "quality of a graduate program." I don't believe the cohort of UNC graduate students is a higher t
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