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Statistics PhD 2020 Applicant Profile. Where should I apply?

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Posted (edited)

Hi all, I was thinking about graduate school, but I'm not sure where I could get in given my grades. I would like to apply to Statistics PhD programs. I'm planning to just take the standard GRE. 

Undergraduate Institution: Columbia University 

Major: Mathematics-Statistics

GPA: 3.88


Type of Student: Domestic Asian Male

Relevant Classes:

Statistics Courses: Statistical Inference (Casella and Berger) (A) , Bayesian Statistics (A), Statistical Machine Learning (A-), Stochastic Processes (A), Probability Theory (A), 

Math Courses: Calc III-IV (A), Linear Algebra (A), Optimization (A),  Algebra I (B+), Analysis I-II (A), Probability Theory (measure theoretic) (A-), Fourier Analysis (B), Numerical Methods/Analysis (A+), ODE (A)

MISC: Data Structure and Algorithms (A)

GRE: Haven't taken

Research Experience: Got accepted to a biocomputing conference and gave an oral presentation (Bayesian classification). Currently working with a professor on machine learning projects applied to neuroscience. 

Recs: They should be standard. 


I'm mainly worried about my B+, and B in Algebra and Fourier Analysis, (and a little about my A- in Probability Theory). I feel like my math background is still rather light and those grades look rather bad. I'd really appreciate comments. 

Edited by trynagetby

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Your profile looks quite strong. I wouldn't worry too much about the B/B+'s in Algebra or Fourier Analysis -- a deep knowledge of these subjects is not needed for most statistics research, and you got A's in the Casella & Berger Masters level statistics sequence and an A- in measure theoretic probability as an undergrad (which is nothing to sneeze at). Your undergrad institution will also help a lot. The B's might keep you out of Stanford but you should be in the discussion by the adcoms at most other schools. 

I would try to ensure that your letters of recommendation are not simply "standard," but strong too. If you can secure great LORs, I anticipate that you will be able to get into programs like Duke, NCSU, and University of Washington. But you could add a few lower ranked schools for good measure, and I would also recommend trying your luck at a few schools like UC Berkeley, Harvard, and UPenn Wharton. 

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Posted (edited)

With your profile, I would apply to mostly top 10 programs. I don't see reason not to apply to all of the top 10. I think undergrad institution counts for a lot - most people I know with decent GPAs from an ivy league school got into most of the schools they applied to. Btw I had a similar profile, feel free to PM me

Edited by blehperson

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