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Fall 2019 Biostats PhD Applicant Review

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Undergrad/grad Institution:  Vanderbilt
Major: Molecular and Cellular Biology
Minors: Scientific Computing, Chemistry, (maybe math, if I decide to take diff eq)
GPA: 3.8
Type of Student: Domestic Asian Male
Relevant Courses: 
Single variable calc 1 and 2 (5 on AP test), multivariable calc (A-), intro to stats and probability (A-), stats lab (A), biostats (A), genome science (A), thermodynamics (A-), calc-based physics lecture and lab (A), Data Science Methods for Smart Cities (A)
Courses in progress: Foundations in bioinformatics (grad course), linear alg, real analysis
GRE: Taking in a week, but I got 180 quantitative on all practice tests, 155-160 on verbal
Career goals: Leaning towards industry. Interested in bioinformatics, and I want to get a solid education in the statistical theory behind it
Programs Applying: 
Biostatistics PhD (only applying to MS programs if PhD apps don't work out)
Research Experience: 
  • Two years worth of research at Vanderbilt (one project on RNAseq analysis, new lab focused on machine learning for genetics)
  • One summer internship in industry focused on machine learning and medical imaging
  • Just got back from 3 week Summer Institute in Statistical Genetics at UW. Mostly just attended lectures, but I luckily got to talk to the UW professors a little 
Recommendation Letters: 
 One from biostats prof, the other two from PIs from two diff labs, one of whom is a big name in evolutionary genomics
Coding Experience:
R, Python, Matlab
Applying to:
  • University of Washington
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Minnesota
  • UNC
  • Yale
  • UPenn
  • MD Anderson
  • Duke
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • Boston University
  • University of Rochester


I know my math background is lacking, but I only recently became interested in biostats, and I'm trying to make it up by taking more math courses senior year. Any tips? Or schools you would add/remove from my list?

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32 minutes ago, bcarmel said:

GRE: Taking in a week, but I got 180 quantitative on all practice tests, 155-160 on verbal

Do you mean a 170? The GRE has a score range of 130-170 on the V and Q sections.

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