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Coursework suggestions for future biostat phd applicant

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Hi everyone, 

I am hoping to apply for Biostat PhD programs for fall 2022 and was hoping for some recommendations on classes to take. It's pretty early, but since I have to start planning out my courses in the upcoming weeks, I was hoping for some advice. 

I finished a stats major (3.85 gpa) at a top 20 uni and have taken the following courses (mixture of applied math and stats): 

Applied Math Methods 1 (equivalent of calc3) (B+), Applied Math Methods 2 (laundry list of topics that includes some differential equations) (A), Linear Algebra (A), Probability (A), Mathematical Statistics (master's level) (A), Stat Methods & Data Analysis (A-), Logistic regression (A), Spatial Statistics (master's level)(A), Data Mining (A), Neural Networks (A), Text Mining (A). 

I have research experience from a quantitative psychology lab as well as from an REU, have presented at JMM, and have one conference paper. 

Although I have a lot of stats background, I am hoping to beef up my application by taking some math classes in the upcoming semesters. 

For summer 2021 I can take an intro to mathematical thinking/proofs class and number theory. In the fall 2021 intro to analysis 1 and modern algebra 1, and then in the spring 2022 I can take intro to analysis 2. 

I am thinking that I will definitely take the intro proofs --> analysis 1 --> analysis 2 sequence, but am wondering if anyone has thoughts on whether or not modern algebra or number theory would actually be beneficial or if it isn't worth the trouble. Note: I already did undergrad and am working a job doing data analysis for a healthcare provider while taking classes part time so that limits the amount of classes I can take at once. 

As a side question, will it be an issue that I will still be finishing up analysis 1 when applications are submitted or is that relatively common? Thanks and would be grateful for any responses and insights. 


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In my understanding, your "intro to analysis 1 & 2" is real analysis, right? If so I would definitely recommend it. Take it as early as possible and get a good grade. Seems like the only option for you is to take it this fall, which means you probably won't have the grade for that course by the time you submit your application. But I think that's ok, many schools allow applicants to update their transcript in Jan, so you certainly can do it.

In addition, I don't think number theory would be that relevant for your application but you of course can take it out of your personal interest. 

Edited by kkk123117
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Number theory/abstract algebra material won't help you, but I learned to do real math in a number theory course and wouldn't have traded it for the world even though I don't remember the material.  Also I think I few more proof based courses with good grades will look good on application in general.  But of course your priority should be the analysis classes and the other ones aren't necessary for your applications.  It is relatively common for your analysis situation - most programs will allow you to send in an updated transcript after the fall, which I would certainly do if you can.


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