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PhD in statistics: Profile evaluation and realistic school recommendation


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Dear all! I hope everyone and your families are healthy and positive at home. I am currently a Master's student in statistics. My bachelor's degree is also in statistics, which I earned under my current institution. I am applying for some PhD programs in statistics in Fall 2021. I have been doing research mostly in mixture models and missing data, and I want to continue to study those topics if I can end up in a PhD program. Also, I am really interested in Bayesian statistics and statistical computing in general. I have only studied Bayesian statistics myself, but I took and did pretty well in a computational statistics course from a professor who have known me really well, and she highly recommended me to consider some Bayesian departments (which I do). It would be awesome to have some Bayesian elements in my research.
 
I've looked over quite a number of profiles in our forum, and honestly, I think my profile isn't very strong. But hopefully, it is enough to give me a chance for the schools I list below (I try to be as much realistic as I can). I hope to receive some inputs or school recommendations outside of the list. Your help will be highly appreciated.
 
Undergrad & Grad Institution: State university in California
Major(s): Statistics 
GPA: 3.71 (all upper-division and graduate math courses)
Type of Student: Asian permanent resident

GRE General Test:
I will retake soon, but my current low GRE scores are: 
V: 143
Q: 159
W: 4.0
 
Research Experience: 
- I had 2-semester research experience in an industry project that yields a poster in Symposium on Data Science and Statistics. I was the first author in the poster. 
- I am submitting a paper about mixture models to an international workshop while working towards my Master's thesis, and I may also be submitting another paper after my thesis is done in a few months.
- I volunteered as a research assistant that helped public researchers to analyze their data. Nothing really fancy and no publication. 
Teaching Experience: 
- I have been a teaching associate for 3 semesters. I graded homework for a statistical programming class. I also tutored for various math/stats courses under my department.
Other Experience: 
I helped a nursing student analyze data for her thesis. I am not sure if we could call this 'statistical consulting' experience.
 
Upper-division Courses: 
Linear Algebra (B), Financial Mathematics (B), Programming in SAS (B), Introduction to Proofs (A), Mathematical Modeling (A), Applied Probability and Statistics I (A+),  Applied Probability and Statistics II (A+), Probability Theory (A), Mathematical Statistics (A-).
Graduate Courses: 
Statistical Programming in R (A), Linear Regression (B+), Time Series (B), Multivariate Statistics (A-), Computational Statistics (A+), Design & Analysis of Experiments (A), Categorical Data Analysis (A-).
In-progress Courses:
- Stochastic Processes, Bayesian Statistics, Advanced Calculus, Real Analysis (at my school, advanced calculus and real analysis are separate courses; real analysis is the standard analysis course at most schools, while advanced calculus is a bit lighter in proofs, but surveys many topics overlapped with real analysis)

Applying to Where:
- University of California, Santa Cruz *
- University of California, Irvine * 
- University of California, Riverside *
- Arizona State University
- University of New Mexico
- University of Nevada, Reno
- Baylor University
- Southern Methodist University
- The University of Texas at San Antonio
'*' means dream schools for me. Base on my research so far, these '*' schools also have faculty members doing research relevant to mine.
 
Please let me know what you guys think. Thank you so much.
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I don't see what grades you received in Calculus I-III, which are important. Your B in linear algebra will certainly raise a few eyebrows. The worst thing so far is your GRE score. You're going to have to do markedly better (like V: 150+ and Q: 165+).

However, none of the programs you listed are highly known in statistics, so it's definitely possible you get in to any of those programs provided your GRE score is much higher. With a good grade in Analysis and a good GRE score, I think you could aim higher.

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Thank you StatsG0d for some inputs. My bad that I did not include grades from Calculus. I thought people are more interested in upper-division and graduate grades. Anyway, I've got all B for Calculus I-III. Yeah, my goal to spend this semester to study hard for GRE to increase my scores. I am glad to hear that I still have a chance.

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Upper-division courses do help out a lot, but Calc I-III and linear algebra (and for most programs real analysis) comprise the "core" classes of an application. Obviously, the more math you've taken the better.

Straight B's in those courses do not make your application look great, but I still think you have a shot at some of those schools you listed provided you do much better on the GRE and get really good grades in advanced calculus and especially real analysis. The Bayesian statistics and stochastic processes courses will matter much less than the other two, so make sure you devote more time to advanced calculus and analysis. In general, math >> statistics courses for admissions.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 5/24/2020 at 12:22 PM, StatsG0d said:

Calc I-III and linear algebra

Would AP'ing out of Calc I with a 5 score in high school be considered an A in Calc I when applying? 

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