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Profile Evaluation: 2020 Statistics PhD

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Any recommendations for schools I should go for would be great, not really sure if I’m reaching too far with my current choices considering my lack of research experience.

Undergrad Institution: Top 50 Public School
Major: Math – Minors in Business, Computer Science, Statistical Modeling
GPA: 3.94
Student Type: White Female
GRE General Test: 165 Verbal, 170 Quant, 4 Analytical
Courses: Linear Algebra Honors (A-), Probability (A), Calc 2 (B+), Diff Eq (A), Mathematical Statistics (A), Decision Analytics (A), Predictive Analytics (A), Applied Regression and Time Series (A), Intro to Stochastic Processes (A)
Courses I Plan to Take (Before Graduation) : Two grad level statistics courses meant for first year PhDs, Real Analysis
Research Experience: Bioinformatics freshman research. Did data analysis consulting for my university (kind of research). Two internships doing quant/trading work for finance firms. Going to be writing an undergrad thesis on applications of behavioral finance.
Programs Applying: PhD in Statistics
Awards/honors: Part of interdisciplinary honors program, 2 departmental scholarships
Programming Experience: Python, R
Letters of Recommendation:  One from the professor who is supervising my thesis, one from a former supervisor at a job (has a PhD), one from a professor who has taught three different classes I took (but only has a Masters).
Applying to where: 
Concerns: not enough research experience, also coming from a public school vs. private.




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Are you going to get real analysis and the grad classes on your transcript?  Are the grad classes mathematical statistics? (Applied statistics classes probably won't impress anyone much) Your math background is a little thin as of now for schools like Harvard and Chicago, and those will be reaches no matter what. Duke is also a top school and a reach but more achievable, if you get some of those classes on your transcript.

You can apply to schools like Duke as reaches, but you should be applying to more schools in 15-40 range.  Taking some proof based math classes like RA and doing well will go a long way to help you.

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Which classes, if any, have you been writing proofs in?  I would guess that you might have had that in honors linear algebra, and maybe(?) stochastic processes, but I'm a little surprised to not see something like an intro to proofs, advanced calculus, or abstract algebra listed -- not that there's anything wrong with that, of course, I'm just surprised that (say) TAMU's math curriculum wouldn't have you taking one of those by end of your junior year.  Then again, I'm not very familiar with your school's curriculum design, so maybe I'm just misunderstanding.  

I don't know that your research would really be an issue.  The ranking of your school in the overall USNews rankings matters, of course, but public vs. private shouldn't really matter beyond that.  As a side note, you mean top-50 out of publics, as opposed to a public school in the USNews top-50, correct?

Those might help me decide, but bayessays is probably right about your chances, so you should follow their advice.  


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@bayessays I will have real analysis and one of the grad classes (Introduction to Statistical Modeling) on my transcript.

@Geococcyx realized I forgot to include Number Theory and Discrete Math (A's in both) on my list of courses. I wrote proofs in both of those, as well as in my linear algebra and math stats courses. My school is in the top 50 overall, and top 20 in public schools.


Thanks for the responses!

Edited by MaximumLikelihoodEstimator

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