# UCLA: Biostats or Stats

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Hello! I was wondering if someone could advise me on whether to apply to Biostat or Stats given my weak-ish math background as UCLA makes you choose. The aim here is to try to maximize my admissions chances (obviously).  I know Biostat applicants tend to be a bit less mathematically inclined.

Here's my profile! Just for context, I'm a few years removed from undergrad and have beefed up my proof-writing background/rigorous math background since graduating.
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Major: Statistics
GPA: 3.85
Type of student: Domestic Male, in-state CA student

GRE:
Q: 166
V: 164
W: 4.5

Math: Linear Algebra - non-proofs (A)
Single & Multivariate Calculus (A's)
Stats: Mathematical Stats (A+)
Time Series Modeling (B+)
Statistical Learning (A)
Statistical Computing (A+)
Linear Modeling (B+)
Misc: Intro CS (A), EE course in Power Systems Engineering (A), Physics (A's)

Math: Linear Algebra proof-based (B+, took it 2 years after graduation super rusty)
Elementary Analysis (A - from UIUC's NetMath program)

Work Experience:  2.5 years as a quantiative analyst + data science internship

Research:
* 9 months in atmospheric science doing matrix factorization research
* Working as a data analyst at the CA Dept. of Healthcare Services
* 1 independent ML research project with well-known data scientist (PhD from UCSF)
* 1 publication in a public policy journal as an undergrad.

Letters:
* Former UC Davis Professor (DPhil from Oxford)
* Former Stats Professor at Berkeley
* 1 professional reference

Research Interest: Bayesian Methods, Spatial Statistics, Environmental Statistics

Programs I'm Considering:
Ideal: UCLA (Stats or Biostats), UCSC, UCD (Stats)
Other: UC Irvine, UCD Biostats
Safety: USC Keck, UC Riverside

Edited by bob loblaw
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I feel like UCLA is deceptively somewhat difficult to get into for both stats and biostats. This is anecdotal, but I applied to both and got waitlisted (ultimately decided to withdraw) from both despite getting into several schools ranked much higher. Maybe they'll prefer in-state for tuition waiver purposes.

That said, I feel like your math background is pretty shallow. I'm not sure how an online analysis class will be viewed to the adcoms. I think you might have a shot at the other schools that are not UCLA, but I think UCLA will be pretty tough. At any rate, you can apply to both stats and biostats at UCLA / other schools to broaden your chances.

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Hey @StatsG0d, regarding the Real Analysis Class, yea I didn't have a ton of options because of Covid.  But on the transcript, the course is indistinguishable from other courses at UIUC, which is a pretty good school so I think this is probably the best I can manage at the moment.  Both my recs are from professors who are mathematically inclined (research on probability & manifolds) and I've been doing independent study with one of the professors for a full year so hopefully that would be a plus.

Biostats + Stats: I dunno if it's not very well enforced but I've read on the admissions page for UCLA Stats that you can only apply to one program at a time.  Did you not have that restriction?

Edited by bob loblaw

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