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Biostat MS or PhD Fall 2021 Profile Eval + School Suggestions

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Hi everyone,

I finished undergrad in Spring 2018, have been working in consulting for 2 years and am looking to enroll in either a masters or PhD program in Biostatistics. I would prefer the PhD route upfront in the interest of funding. I've been preparing for the last year or so, and I would appreciate some more guidance on setting expectations and moving forward. My math courses are a little light, but I did have exposure to some statistics applications in finance/econ courses. I studied chemistry my first two years of undergrad and have some background in medicine / public health from those days, which I've addressed in my SOP when relevant.

Type of Student: Domestic male
Undergrad Institution: top 50 university (USNWR)
Major: Finance
GPA: 3.88

GRE General Test: 
V: 167
W: 4.0
Research Experience: None
Letters of Recommendation: Two from finance professors, should be solid. One from a director at my company with whom I've worked closely and performed well.
Math/Related Grades:  Calc II (A), Predictive Modeling and Optimization (A), Financial Modeling (B+), Econometrics (A), Calc III (B), Linear Algebra (A), taking Diff Eq this fall.
Programming: I have background in R from taking econometrics.

Planned Applications: UCLA (MS), UC Berkeley (MS), University of Wisconsin-Madison (PhD), Boston University (PhD), Emory University (PhD), Columbia University (PhD)

I realize a course in real analysis and/or probability would help a good bit. Unfortunately, one or two classes a semester is the most I can manage with my current job. If I'm not admitted, I am fine to re-apply for Fall 2022 admission and use the year to further strengthen my app. Any recommendations on programs or other advice is very helpful. Thank you!

Edited by king Rthur
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I think you need to add some more "reach" schools. It's not unreasonable for you to apply to a couple of schools within the top 10, like Michigan, Penn, UNC, etc., particularly if you're willing to wait a year and re-apply. 

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Thanks for the response! Would taking real analysis and/or probability be at the top of the list of improvements if I re-apply next year? And would one of these courses be more valuable on my transcript than diff eq? I found the NetMath program at the University of Illinois offering online courses in Prob Theory and Elem Real Analysis, and could drop my diff eq course for one of these. Wanted to bring it up in case you have any insight, but no worries if not. Thanks!

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