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stat phd profile evaluation for Fall 2021


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On 8/30/2020 at 11:05 AM, sante951 said:

Type of Student: International (South Asian)

Undergrad Institution: Large Public University in South East USA

Majors: Physics and Mathematics (B.S)

Minor: Computer Science

GPA: 3.9

GRE: Not taken yet (I expect to get V: 150+, Q: 165+)

Applying to: Statistics phd (concentrating on computational statistics)

Research Experience: 

Worked with the Physics Professor for a year. It involved a lot of data analysis and programming.

Worked on Gini Statistics and Gini Correlation with statistics professor over the summer. Produced publishable result, but won't be able to publish before grad school application

Graduate Courses(:  Mathematical Statistics I and II(A), Computational Statistics I(Currently enrolled), Linear Algebra (currently enrolled)

Undergrad Math Courses: Analysis I and II(A), Calculus I, II,III(A),  Multivariate calculus(A), Linear Algebra(A), Differential Equations I and II(A), Abstract Algebra (proof-based)(A)

Undergrad Physics and Computer Science Courses: Modern Physics I and II(A), Electromagnetism I and II(A), statistical Mechanics(A), classical Mechanics(A), Quantum Mechanics(A)

Programming I and II, data structures, Data Science, Algorithms (Next semester)

Letter of Recommendations:

Two professors with whom i worked on a research with (they think highly of me), I will ask Computational statistics professor for another.


 I'm mainly applying to PhD programs in statistics/biostat. I am applying to following programs.

Reach: Penn State, NC State, Texas A&M, Michigan State

Target: UC Irvine, UC Davis, Virginia Tech, University of Pitt

Safety: UT Dallas, University of Cincinnati

Do you guys think I can get into any of the target or reach schools? Can you add other unis that you think I should apply?


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Could you give us an idea of the tier/ranking of your large public university? This matters a lot. If your public institution is a school like UNC-Chapel Hill or Georgia Tech, then I think you may be able to aim a little bit higher for your targets and your "reaches" may be attainable (despite being an international student).

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In that case, your list looks reasonable. However, I think Michigan State is more of a "target," while UC Davis is a "reach." UCD is actually a very good, competitive program -- one of their PhD graduates had 3 papers in AoS/Biometrika/JRSS-B and during the 2019-2020 academic job cycle, they got a ton of campus interviews for Assistant Prof positions at all sorts of top-tier departments like University of Washington, UNC-Chapel Hill, UPenn Wharton, Cornell, etc.

I also think you should add more programs in the range of 60-80 of the USNWR rankings to be safe -- schools like University of Missouri and University of South Carolina, for example. I would apply to some Masters programs too, if I were you. If you were to get a Masters degree from a respectable R1 school like Rutgers or GWU, you might be able to aim a bit higher. The downside of the Masters is having to pay tuition for two years of a MS. 

Edited by Stat Assistant Professor
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1 hour ago, sante951 said:

Thank you for your suggestion.

What about UC Irvine? Do you think I can put that as a target school?

It is really hard to say. I will say that for most of the schools in the top 40 or so (i.e. Rutgers, UIUC, UFlorida), *most* of the international students are from top universities in their respective countries like ISI, Peking, Fudan, Tsinghua, SNU, etc. You will probably be at a disadvantage compared to these students, which I why I think top 40 might be a tad of a reach (unless you get a Masters first, that is). I'm not sure how UC Irvine compares to the other aforementioned schools, but if it is similar to them in terms of student makeup, then UCI would also be a reach for you. 

I think you might have a shot at many schools around the rank of Florida State and below, and your chances should be fairly okay for schools around the rank of Virginia Tech.

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