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Statboy

Upper Division Course Description List

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Hello!
 
I am currently preparing for PhD applications, and I noticed some schools require you to list upper division courses in math and statistics separately with specific information on the textbook used, concepts covered etc. I previously thought that "Upper Division" meant courses with numbers in the 300s and 400s only, but now that I think about it, this doesn't include any of my Analysis, Linear Algebra or Mathematical Statistics courses (not to mention differential equations, number theory, discrete math etc.) as they are all considered subjects for second years in my school. I looked up the curriculum of several American universities and found that Analysis courses and Mathematical Statistics courses are indeed in the 300s for a lot of them (Cornell etc.) even though they seem to teach the same material.
 
My question is:
Should I include Analysis and Mathematical Statistics in my course descriptions (even though the 200 is blatantly there) or should I leave them out?
 
I heard that Analysis and Mathematical Statistics are important subjects in statistics PhD admissions and so felt that if many students do include detailed descriptions of them, then I should too, especially because I got very good grades in those classes.
 
Thank you in advance!
Edited by Statboy

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Yes, you should include anything that is taken above the level of Calculus I-III and a first course in Linear Algebra (which they the adcoms will be able to see on your transcript). I assume that you are an international student. Indeed, a course like Real Analysis is a lower division class in many foreign institutions (e.g. in China, many of the math students take analysis starting their freshman year and then have to take multiple semesters of it).  But in the United States, real analysis is considered an upper division course. Real analysis, differential equations, discrete math/a first course in proofs, and advanced Linear Algebra (with proofs) could all be considered upper division math classes in the U.S.

Any probability and statistics classes that involve Calculus should also be listed in your application as an "upper division" course. You could even list Regression and Design as upper division courses if you've taken them, even though at the undergraduate level, these types of classes do not tend to involve much higher level math (since these classes require some familiarity with matrix algebra/calculus and distributional theory to really study at a rigorous theoretical level).

Edited by Applied Math to Stat

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Thank you for the helpful reply! 

Yes I am an international student and I was unaware that the classification of upper and lower division classes were different in each country. Thank you for the clarification! 

I will be sure to include all of my math major courses beyond calculus that were proof heavy (including the linear algebra that I took). Also, the regression class that I took was linear algebra based and proof heavy so I will probably be including that in my list as well.

Thanks again!

Edited by Statboy

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Yes, it does seem like the undergraduate curriculum in other countries is more advanced than in the USA... I think most of the international students in my PhD cohort had already taken most of the required courses for my graduate program prior to enrolling (including the Casella-Berger sequence, linear models, measure theory, etc.) and were merely repeating the classes . No big deal, domestic students and international students are on equal footing once the research phase of the program starts. But international students do tend to have a bit of a "headstart" in the coursework phase, unless the domestic student already has a Masters in Statistics.

Edited by Applied Math to Stat

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Applied math I think the level of coursework preparation also depends on the US institution where the classes are taken. Some graduate schools also do not require students to repeat classes they have taken already

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21 minutes ago, Gauss2017 said:

Applied math I think the level of coursework preparation also depends on the US institution where the classes are taken. Some graduate schools also do not require students to repeat classes they have taken already

True, but if we are talking about students entering PhD programs in Stat in the U.S. who only have Bachelor's degrees, the average international student will have had more preparation than the average domestic student. They do have somewhat of an advantage in the coursework phase. But none of this matters that much as long as the PhD qualifying exams are passed, and breadth of mathematical preparation does not confer any special advantages when it comes to research (as opposed to classes/exams).

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