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Profile Evaluation - Statistics PhD and School Recommendations


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Undergrad Institution: Big state school (CSU)
Major: Economics 
Minor: Math
GPA: 3.835 (Magna Cum Laude, 4.0 if looking at just last 60 units)
Type of Student: Domestic White Male

GRE General Test: Taking it in a few weeks, have done very well on practice tests so I believe I can get 165+ Q and 160+ V at the very least - AWA probably 4.0+.  Also willing to retake it if necessary.
 
Programs Applying: Statistics PhD (but not necessarily opposed to biostatistics)
 
Research Experience: Nothing unless you count an econometrics capstone project.  Only decided to go beyond undergrad within the last semester or so.  
Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Very likely that I will be awarded as the top/outstanding Economics student, however that award seems to not be happening/has been delayed due to the covid situation.
Letters of Recommendation: Very strong letter from the calc-based probability and real-analysis professor.  Strong (or better) letters from calc-based mathematical stats,  proof-based linear algebra, and econometrics professors.  I can go into more detail about these professors on request.
Math/Statistics Grades:  Calc I (B+), Calc II (A+), Calc III/Multivariable (A+), Real Analysis (A+), Linear Algebra (fairly proof-based) (A+),  Proofs Class (been told it's akin to a slightly more advanced discrete math class) (A+), Calc-Based Probability (A+), Calc Based Mathematical Statistics (A+), Econometrics (A+), Basic Stats Class (A+)

Schools: Any recommendations here can help, but my main goal is to attend a decent UC and UC Irvine specifically is my current target (are programs in the top 30-60 range a reach for me? Should I consider a Master's instead?).  
Edited by MrKrabs3
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I think your profile is good enough to get into UC Irvine. UCLA and UC Davis are also attainable for your profile.

I don't think top 30-60 is a reach at all, and you may even be able to get into some top 20 schools as well (big state schools like Iowa State and TAMU seem like a good bet -- and possibly University of Minnesota as well).

Consider taking one or two more upper division math classes this fall, and you should be good to go. 

Edited by Stat Assistant Professor
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California students get automatic in state tuition, so if anything I would imagine the department could saving money by taking California students. What reason would they possibly have for having something against CSU students versus any other middle of the road state school?

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40 minutes ago, statsnow said:

Unfortunately many of the UC stats programs don’t like to take CSU students.  I think it is unfair for a variety of reasons. You should be aware of this bias so you can counter it   Maybe some of the other posters have suggestions

Oh, I was not aware of this at all. In any event, if the OP applies to programs at large state schools like TAMU, UMinnesota, etc., they might be able to get in. I have known people who got their PhDs from TAMU and UMN (and are now TT faculty at R1s) who did their undergrad at places like Central Michigan University or Southern Illinois University. I think **domestic** students from these regional schools with high GPAs stand a reasonable chance at most of the Stat PhD programs ranked 20-40 by USNWR.

Edited by Stat Assistant Professor
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50 minutes ago, statsnow said:

Unfortunately many of the UC stats programs don’t like to take CSU students.  I think it is unfair for a variety of reasons. You should be aware of this bias so you can counter it   Maybe some of the other posters have suggestions

Can you give any evidence of this?  Not saying that I don't believe you but I've never heard anything like that before.  One of my professors who has advised me a decent bit has strong connections with UCSD and UCLA and they have said nothing about this.  

8 hours ago, Stat Assistant Professor said:

I think your profile is good enough to get into UC Irvine. UCLA and UC Davis are also attainable for your profile.

I don't think top 30-60 is a reach at all, and you may even be able to get into some top 20 schools as well (big state schools like Iowa State and TAMU seem like a good bet -- and possibly University of Minnesota as well).

Consider taking one or two more upper division math classes this fall, and you should be good to go. 

Thank you so much for providing this information.  I actually just graduated this Spring so taking more classes this Fall isn't much of an option but I'm willing to take an upper level optimization course if people here believe that it would really be necessary to get into UCI.  Ideally I'd like to be able to stay within CA.  

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MrKrabs what I would do is ask for the names of former CSU students who were in their PHd statistics programs.   I would ask for UCI, UCLA, Davis and Berkeley.  That is proof one way or the other.  I have heard reasons why this happens but I would prefer not to say in an open forum.  I dont think it is fair if my information is correct.  The selection process will also change this fall  if prop 16 passes in November.  Best of luck to you.

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3 hours ago, statsnow said:

MrKrabs what I would do is ask for the names of former CSU students who were in their PHd statistics programs.   I would ask for UCI, UCLA, Davis and Berkeley.  That is proof one way or the other.  I have heard reasons why this happens but I would prefer not to say in an open forum.  I dont think it is fair if my information is correct.  The selection process will also change this fall  if prop 16 passes in November.  Best of luck to you.

Most PhD programs don't have anyone from a given school.  How many qualified CSU students even apply to UC statistics programs every year? 0-1? And all the admissions committee members at these schools have something against CSU students?  This claim just makes no sense.

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9 hours ago, bayessays said:

California students get automatic in state tuition, so if anything I would imagine the department could saving money by taking California students. What reason would they possibly have for having something against CSU students versus any other middle of the road state school?

All domestic students can get in state tuition after one year, so I doubt saving one year in state (~$10k) matters too much.

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Just now, insert_name_here said:

All domestic students can get in state tuition after one year, so I doubt saving one year in state (~$10k) matters too much.

I'm sure it doesn't.  My only point is that a conspiracy against CSU students between a group of schools whose admissions committees don't share any connection is crazy.

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11 minutes ago, MrKrabs3 said:

Do the rest of you here agree more or less with Stat Assistant Professor?  I've also passed the actuarial probability exam if that means anything.  Thank you all for helping.

Sorry for getting distracted. I think your estimate of 30-60 is pretty accurate.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Update:
 

Took the GRE and unofficial scores are 170 verbal, 164 quant.  I definitely got at least a 4 on the writing as well.  I think I am going to retake it because I'm fairly confident I can get 167+, but do others here believe that is necessary?  Thanks for any further input.

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Just now, Casorati said:

I would retake it if you have the time. Ideally you should have near perfect score on GRE Q, say 168+. A 164 is not a disaster but it might hurt your chances for top schools.

Even for the schools I'm aiming for - specifically UCI?  Thanks for the input.  

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13 minutes ago, MrKrabs3 said:

Even for the schools I'm aiming for - specifically UCI?  Thanks for the input.  

It might be ok and you can get a sense of the cutoff by checking the Gradcafe result page. GRE Q is usually used as a filter. That said, a high score won't help but a low score will disqualify you. I would say that a >90th percentile on GRE Q won't hurt at any schools.

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1 hour ago, Stat Assistant Professor said:

I think your GRE score is perfectly fine, actually. A 170 on the verbal is also impressive, as most applicants to Stat PhD programs do not score nearly this well. The Q score of 164 is also fine -- I wouldn't bother to retake it.

I'll run it by the professor advising me, but I'm inclined to agree with you.  Thank you so much for all the input Totoro.

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