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Student Type: Domestic Asian Male

Undergrad: Top 5 U.S Public School

Major: Statistics

GPA: 3.63 (Major GPA is 3.8ish)

Math & stat classes: Linear Algebra (A), CALC III (A-), Differential Equations (A), Data Science (A), Optimization (A), Probability (A), Advanced Linear Models (this fall), Machine Learning (this fall), Stochastic Modeling (this fall). Intro to Programming (C+)

I goofed in my Intro to Programming course (took it Freshman year), but I've done well in all my higher level stats courses that have used R so hopefully that makes up for it!

GRE: 164Q, 160 V, 4.0W

Research: None. Was accepted into SIBS this summer but got cancelled due to COVID.

Letters of Recommendation:  All three from my Stat professors. They should be decent. 

Hi everyone, I have been reading posts on this forum for a while and am looking for feedback. I'm looking to apply for BIOS graduate programs this fall but I'm not sure if I should be applying to PhD or MS programs. 

I would ideally like to apply for PhD programs (don't really want to pay for Grad school) but I don't think my application will be strong enough due to low GPA and lack of research experience. 

Applications: Currently looking to apply to Emory (MS), UNC (MS), UCLA (MS), UC-Denver (PhD),  Houston Medical Center (Phd), Vanderbuilt (MS)

Judging my profile, do you think I'm overrating or underrating myself? Should I only be applying to MS programs even at lower ranked schools (Denver, Houston)? Or do I have a shot at PhD programs? Other program recommendations would be greatly appreciated!


Edited by cctvwp
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I think if you take real analysis and bump your GRE-Q score up to 167+ you could probably have a good shot at any PhD program outside the top 3. You should swap out one of those 3 courses this fall (preferably ML or stochastic modeling) and take real analysis instead.

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It's less of a boost to your application since the grade won't be on there, but I'd definitely take it and not worry about it.  Real analysis isn't a hard requirement for biostatistics programs, especially for lower-ranked programs.  Even some people in top programs just take it their first year anyways.  I think your list of schools is definitely reasonable.

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17 minutes ago, cctvwp said:

Should I just apply to all PhD programs then? If I applied to all PhDs, would I also be considered for Masters programs?

Usually, yes, there is an option to be considered for the MS program but you'll have to look on each individual application to figure out the details.

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2 hours ago, cctvwp said:

Thanks for the replay @StatsG0d, I'm already 2 weeks into the semester so I don't think I'll be able to switch into real analysis. Will this hurt my chances even if I take real analysis in the spring?

Yes it will definitely hurt your chances compared to if you were able to take it this semester. Without having the grade, you probably have a shot at programs ranked Michigan and below.

I will mention UCLA is pretty competitive relative to its ranking. 

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On 8/27/2020 at 8:41 PM, cctvwp said:

@cyberwulf any advice on what range of schools I should be applying to if I'm looking to apply for PhD Bios programs?

I agree with the above advice. You should take a shot at a couple of top 10 PhD programs (which will almost surely admit you for a Masters if you don't get into the PhD) and probably focus your apps on programs in the 10-20 ranking range.

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