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Hi all! I will be applying for to MS Statistics/Biostatistics  programs in US and canada.My end goal is to finish my masters and go for a PhD in Statistics.

Undegrad Institution : University of Delhi (tier 2 college)

Major Economics

GPA 7.12/10 (3.6 US equivalent)

Releveant Courses 

Math/Statistics : Math Econ I (7) ,Math Econ II (8) , Statistics (7), Introductory Econometrics (8), Applied Econometrics (10) 

All grades are out of 10, the two math courses covered some linear algebra and the rest was multivariable calculus but did not have vector calculus stuff like green's theorem. The statistics course was calculus based and had random variables, hypo testing, clt and similar stuff. Econometrics was mostly regression stuff.

Graduate Institution : Indian Statistical Institute

Major Quantitative Economics ( MS in QE)

Grade 86/100 (This is only one semester, I rank 4 in a batch of 23.)

Relevant Courses Math Methods (95), Statistics (95), Game Theory (91), Probability Theory (66)

All grades are out of 100.Math course had good amount of linear algebra, decent amount of real analysis and a lot of optimization topics like KKT. Statistics was taught from Casella & Berger, was very mathematical had things like cramer-rao bound, cramer woldt device, likelihood ratio test, NP lemma etc, Prob Theory was from the stat department and I couldn't do well in it because Real Analysis was a prerequisite which I had not studied, the course had convergence concepts(almost surely,distribution etc) and markov chains.

Relevant courses from this semester are Econometrics I, Theory Of Mechanism Design( not sure how relevant but it is a mathematical course) and Game Theory -II 

When the time to apply comes I will have had a course in Real Analysis(Analysis-I from the stat dept) and I am pretty sure I'll get an 80+ in it and I will also have had and additional course in Econometrics, one in Sample Survey and and one in Time Series, in my last semester I will also take either Measure Theory or Analysis - II depending on my interest, I cannot take these now or in the next semester as the Institute doesn't allow too many courses from other dept. in one semester.

General GRE : Quant(165), Verbal(164)

GRE Mathematics Subject Test : Not given yet.

The things that I worry about are that my UG institute wasn't really the best in the country, it wasn't a bad school but just wasn't amongst the top colleges, my GPA in UG is also not fabulous however I think it is still better in the relevant courses.  Will bad grade in prob theory be a significant factor?

I am also planning to give the GRE Math by studying for it over the summer, I think I should be able to manage 70+  percentile on this, will this add significant value for top schools because if not then I could intern over the summer and make good money.

LOR One will be from my game theory and Mechanism Design professor who is a PhD in industrial engineering, rest all will be from economists though should be good.

My dream programs are Stanford MS Statistics, U of Chicago Stats, Harvard Biostats, CMU,U of Washington. For canada I know that U of toronto does not take international students so I was thinking about U of waterloo and UBC.

Can you guys tell me about my chances at these schools and also the schools that I should actually apply to . Also what else can I do to improve my chances of getting into the best programs, and should I do a not stats relevant internship in the summer or give the GRE Math, sorry for too many questions. 

 

 

Edited by movingtostats
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Hi, I think your profile is solid, and you should be able to get into top master programs in the US given your credentials. 

With that being said, I have some concerns and suggestions for you:

1. What are your ranks in your mathematics classes at your undergrad & grad institutions? I notice that you got some 7,8/10 grades, which might cause suspicion about your mathematical ability.  Especially, you got 66/100 in probability theory (in your grad school) -> you might want to explain clearly the level of difficulty of the course in your application.

2. General GRE: your score is stellar.  Anyway, If you have time to retake and get > 168 in Quantitative section, it will add more credential to your application (some top schools really care about the Quant section of GRE). 

3. GRE Subject Mathematics: Since you are going to apply to very competitive programs, I think you will need at least 80% at mGRE.  I don't think a score of 70% in mGRE will hurt your profile, but certainly it won't add much value to your application.  A high score in mGRE also will convince the admission committee of your mathematical ability, as well as the level of difficulty of your mathematics courses. 

4. You haven't mentioned your research background, which is also an important factor that can help you stand out of the crowd.

5.  Schools list: you can consider other schools that also are really good in stats/bio stats: UNCC, Duke, Purdue, UCLA, Michigan Ahn-arbor.  Add some safe schools as well, it would help you reduce stress during application season. 

Edited by honguyen94
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Just for my information but why doesn't UofToronto take international students

I am also pursuing my studies in Statistics so I am quite interested in your profile.

This is my opinion as a Sri Lankan applicant and this is based on the opinions I've heard from Professors who have studied abroad. 

1. It's good to aim for a higher ranked uni, even my goal was to join UBC or McGill but unfortunately I was rejected from both but I got into UofManitoba with a good funding offer. It's not that I am telling you not to apply go for it. It's your choice so you need to apply to see if you will get in our not. Even though I got rejected I don't regret applying to those universities. 

2. On the other hand it is also safe to have a second option in case you don't get into those high ranked universities. Waterloo is a safe and good choice in my opinion.

3. Try to contact a supervisor with similar interest and secure one before hand. It makes things proceed in a more smoother way and is convenient. 

 

What I have heard quite frequently is that since we are international students and the universities are very competitive, if you don't have a standard good application or SOP they'll probably reject you. It's not like you've studied in the US/ Canada and then applying. What I am saying is that the chances are less of being accepted if you are an international student with an international degree.  Those are just my opinions. I am sorry I cannot evaluate your profile I don't think I am in a position to but I am just giving some tips since we are having the same background and goals.

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@honguyen94 Thanks for your reply. My ranks in UG were not the best but they weren’t terrible either. My ranking in Grad School in math courses has been amongst the top 1-3 always, in probability theory I couldn’t do well because I hadn’t had a course in analysis which was a prereq for the course, I will make sure to mention this in the application, do you think this bad grade will hurt me significantly at top schools?.This bad grade is a big part of why I want to take the mGRE. Do you think that 3 months of hardcore prep is enough to get 80% in mGRE. Could you also tell me which canadian schools I should apply to? Unfortunately I have no research background whatsoever, however I’ll try to pick up a project in the next semester.

Edited by movingtostats
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3 hours ago, movingtostats said:

@the97kid hey man I really appreciate your response, I totally understand what you are saying. Do you think that I could maybe take a look at what your profile looked like at the time of applying? What math courses did you have and stuff? That would really help me gauge my position.

Type of Student: International South Asian Female

Undergraduate Institution: Top 5  Sri Lankan University

Degree: B.Sc. Special (Honours) Degree in Mathematics

Majors: Pure Mathematics and Statistics

Cumulative GPA: 3.76

CGPA for 3rd year: 3.97

CGPA for 4th year: 4.00

Subject GPA: Pure Mathematics: 4.00/4.00 and Statistics: 3.79/4.00

Awards: Dean's List

Research Experience: Supervised undergraduate research

IELTS score: 8.0 (L - 9.0 | S - 8.5 | R - 7.5 | W - 6.5)

GRE General Test: 300 (Verbal: 145  | Quantitative: 155  | AWA: 3.5)

Letter of Recommendation:

  • 3 Academic references from lecturers

Applying Term: Fall 2020

Schools that I have applied to:

  • University of British Columbia (1st choice) - Rejected
  • McGill University - Rejected
  • University of  Victoria
  • University of Alberta 
  • University of Manitoba - Accepted
  • Texas Tech University (US) - Accepted

Programs: M.Sc. in Statistics (Biostatistics)

So basically I applied under pending results and I did some kind of a double major thing if that's what you call it. I am specialized both in Pure Mathematics and Statistics.

Pure Mathematics courses I have taken are Discrete Mathematics, Calculus, Linear Algebra, Differential Equations, Mathematical Methods, Riemann Integration,  Several Variables, Complex Analysis, Topology, Group Theory, Functional Analysis, Measure Theory and I got all As for the subjects.

Statistics - Statistical Modelling, Probability Distributions, Operational Research, Statistical Inference, Survey Methods, Linear Models, Time Series, Bayesian Inference, Stochastic Processes,  DESIGN AND ANALYSIS OF EXPERIMENTS, MULTIVARIATE DATA ANALYSIS. My grades fluctuated between Bs to A+s.

In addition to that I have experience in undergrad research in the field of statistics.

 

Hope this helps!!! Do let me know if I can help you out in any way.

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5 hours ago, the97kid said:

Type of Student: International South Asian Female

Undergraduate Institution: Top 5  Sri Lankan University

Degree: B.Sc. Special (Honours) Degree in Mathematics

Majors: Pure Mathematics and Statistics

Cumulative GPA: 3.76

CGPA for 3rd year: 3.97

CGPA for 4th year: 4.00

Subject GPA: Pure Mathematics: 4.00/4.00 and Statistics: 3.79/4.00

Awards: Dean's List

Research Experience: Supervised undergraduate research

IELTS score: 8.0 (L - 9.0 | S - 8.5 | R - 7.5 | W - 6.5)

GRE General Test: 300 (Verbal: 145  | Quantitative: 155  | AWA: 3.5)

Letter of Recommendation:

  • 3 Academic references from lecturers

Applying Term: Fall 2020

Schools that I have applied to:

  • University of British Columbia (1st choice) - Rejected
  • McGill University - Rejected
  • University of  Victoria
  • University of Alberta 
  • University of Manitoba - Accepted
  • Texas Tech University (US) - Accepted

Programs: M.Sc. in Statistics (Biostatistics)

So basically I applied under pending results and I did some kind of a double major thing if that's what you call it. I am specialized both in Pure Mathematics and Statistics.

Pure Mathematics courses I have taken are Discrete Mathematics, Calculus, Linear Algebra, Differential Equations, Mathematical Methods, Riemann Integration,  Several Variables, Complex Analysis, Topology, Group Theory, Functional Analysis, Measure Theory and I got all As for the subjects.

Statistics - Statistical Modelling, Probability Distributions, Operational Research, Statistical Inference, Survey Methods, Linear Models, Time Series, Bayesian Inference, Stochastic Processes,  DESIGN AND ANALYSIS OF EXPERIMENTS, MULTIVARIATE DATA ANALYSIS. My grades fluctuated between Bs to A+s.

In addition to that I have experience in undergrad research in the field of statistics.

 

Hope this helps!!! Do let me know if I can help you out in any way.

Wow, your profile looks significantly stronger than mine, you uave so many math courses you probably could have gone for a PhD directly, I have no idea why you didn’t get into those schools, the only thing is that your score on quant gre is low, did you get your profile evaluated here before applying what did people think? @honguyen94 this does not make me feel very good about my chances at even medium ranked schools let alone the top ones, what do you think?

Edited by movingtostats
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Actually I took my GRE just because I had applied to that one US uni.

Most of the Canadian universities do not require GRE. The one's I applied to never wanted me to submit the GRE scores at all. It is only required when you apply to the US. I don't know much about US universities tbh. More on the Canadian side.

Going for a PhD directly doesn't work in Canada you need to have your Masters done before PhD but it is not the case in US if you stand a chance you can apply directly for  PhD.

 

I did get my profile evaluated here most of them suggested that I retake and improve my GRE score. In addition to that, to have research experience and write a strong SOP. Overall I was in a good position with my courses and all. 

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Hey @the97kid and @movingtostats, just wanted to let you two know that U of Toronto made a drastic shift in their MS program this admissions cycle. Many international applicants at my bachelors program (in Canada) were accepted, but there is a catch. The program is now entirely self-funded. I actually recall looking at the application page late last year and seeing that MS students were financially supported (but I have no proof... maybe my memory is bad), but now if you look it explicitly states that the MS is self funded. Maybe something to think about if you can afford it? Regardless, it is an 8-month course based program, and now that it is self funded, I don't think it represents the rest of Canada being a region of high quality, fully funded research masters. 

https://www.statistics.utoronto.ca/current-master-students/msc-tuition-funding

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@movingtostats Why did you previously mention that UofToronto doesn't take international students? 

@SPIWizard Thank you so much for the info. I appreciate it.

In my opinion if you are planning to go further in the academic field, that is for PhD, it would be best to do a 2-year MS with thesis. But if you plan on joining the industrial field after studies 1-year MS would be sufficient. 

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On 3/22/2020 at 6:10 AM, movingtostats said:

Wow, your profile looks significantly stronger than mine, you uave so many math courses you probably could have gone for a PhD directly, I have no idea why you didn’t get into those schools, the only thing is that your score on quant gre is low, did you get your profile evaluated here before applying what did people think? @honguyen94 this does not make me feel very good about my chances at even medium ranked schools let alone the top ones, what do you think?

Hi,  I totally agree with you that @the97kid has a solid math background.  From my perspective, the admission committee will have their own ways to compare apple (math major students) to orange (your major).   IMO, the two most important factors are: your experience with statistics; your preparation for graduate studies.  I believe this link can help you: https://stattrak.amstat.org/2016/02/01/gradadvice/

IMO, you should apply to top schools and some safe schools as well.  Also keep in mind that the competition for indian students is fierce, because you guys are just too good with standardized tests. 

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On 3/23/2020 at 2:07 AM, movingtostats said:

@SPIWizard does this mean that they’re taking international applicants for MS now? Also an 8- month program doesn’t sound ideal for PhD preparation so should I consider it if I want to go for a PhD after the MS?

Firstly yes I believe they are taking international applicants now. I think they always took international applicants, but because the program used to be funded, there was likely a very limited number of international enrollments. 

I don't think it is a good program for your purposes. It offers no research opportunities, aside from a small project. Almost every masters programs in Canada give the option of doing a thesis over 2 years. If you choose to come to Canada, you will find that these 2 year programs can be very rewarding, and often your tuition will be covered. Canadian programs should recognize the ISI reputation, this will be an advantage for you. Of schools offering 2-year thesis masters, UBC has seen applicant numbers rise recently and hence acceptance rates are dipping close to 6-7% (https://www.grad.ubc.ca/prospective-students/graduate-degree-programs/master-of-science-statistics) including domestic, so it will be highly competitive to get into. Waterloo's dept. is bigger and I would put it at the high end of schools you should apply to in Canada. 

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On 3/23/2020 at 7:56 PM, the97kid said:

 

@movingtostats Why did you previously mention that UofToronto doesn't take international students? 

 

I say that because I read this here on the forum only, that even though they officially accept international students, most applicants get rejected because they like to give funding to canadians only and their program used to be funded before I think.

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On 3/24/2020 at 2:14 PM, honguyen94 said:

Hi,  I totally agree with you that @the97kid has a solid math background.  From my perspective, the admission committee will have their own ways to compare apple (math major students) to orange (your major).   IMO, the two most important factors are: your experience with statistics; your preparation for graduate studies.  I believe this link can help you: https://stattrak.amstat.org/2016/02/01/gradadvice/

IMO, you should apply to top schools and some safe schools as well.  Also keep in mind that the competition for indian students is fierce, because you guys are just too good with standardized tests. 

Thanks a lot for the reply, this will help me assess my situation and finalize schools to apply to.

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