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Hi! I'm a rising senior this upcoming semester and planning to apply for Stats PhD programs (possibly Biostats as well). I'm mostly interested in doing research in bayesian statistics / machine learning and survival analysis, but that could change. I'd appreciate any suggestions on reachable schools with my application. I prefer programs in East Coast, especially New England and West Coast. Thanks for your input!

Undergrad Institution: top 30 LACs
Major(s): Statistics
Minor(s): Computer Science
GPA: Current 3.83 (might be able to reach 3.86 by the time applying)
Type of Student: International female (attending US college)

GRE General Test: 
V: 160
W: 5.0
Applying to: Statistics/Biostatistics PhD 
Research Experience: have done 1-year research in statistical methodology in multivariate analysis; had to wrap up because of covid. Am doing summer research internship (at a well-known cancer hospital) in survival analysis and longitudinal analysis which I plan to turn it into a senior thesis. 
Letters of Recommendation: One from my current mentor - a scientist at the research center, one from the former prof that I worked with for my previous research; one from my CS prof. I'm thinking of asking another one from the prof I requested to be my thesis supervisor. 
Math: Multivariable Calc (A), Linear Algebra (A), Discrete - proof based (A), Probability (A), Mathematical Statistics (A)
Statistics: Applied Regression/Statistical learning (A), Methods in Data Science (B+), Nonparametric Stat (A), Experimental Design (B+),  Exploration of Time Series (1 cred - A)
CS: OOP in Java (B), Data Structures (B), Algorithms (A) 
Planning on taking: Real Analysis, Optimization, Theoretical Math Stat (grad-level) and Machine Learning this fall. 

Planning on Applying to: I really have no idea what schools are reachable. I originally planned to become an investment banker and switching to research was a big career change to me. Rankings do  not matter to me as much as locations and the working environment.
I don't plan to take GRE Subject Test. Can you guys give me some recommendations on schools that I might be able to reach given my application and preference. Thanks for your help!
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PhD admissions for international students is very competitive, and your math background isn't as deep as a lot of other international applicants (although you attend a good college in the USA). I think you could probably have a chance at schools in the range of Purdue to UConn. Programs higher than that might be a reach (only because of the competition for international students), but I would recommend trying a few programs ranked higher than Purdue and then mainly focus on applications in the range of Purdue through UConn, with a few lower ranked schools for good measure.

In addition, larger state schools are probably more likely to accept you than smaller programs that may not be ranked as highly but are very small and hence selective (e.g. UVA, Northwestern, and NYU are smaller programs, while Ivy League programs are very selective, regardless of their USNWR rank, etc.). So I would also focus attention on bigger programs at flagship public universities.

Edited by Stat Assistant Professor
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  • 2 months later...

Do you think this list is too ambitious? I prefer small programs as I don't think I'll fit in large ones. All programs are biostat except for Rice (stat program)

- Columbia 

- UPenn 

- Boston University

- Emory

- Duke

- Brown 

- Rice 

- UMass Amherst 


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