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Fall 2022 Profile Evaluation and School Recommendations- Stats/Biostats PHD

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Student type: Domestic white male

Applying for: Stats/Biostats PHD Fall 2022

Type of Undergrad: Top-10 LAC school

Major: Mathematics and economics

Undergrad GPA: 3.85

GRE: Plan to take in August

Math Courses: Multivariable calculus (A-), linear algebra (A), abstract algebra (A), probability (A-), geometry (A-), intro to proofs (A-), financial mathematics (A), complex analysis (A+), mathematical statistics (A+)

Econ Courses: Econometrics (A), intermediate macro (CR due to COVID-19), money and banking (A-), social issues of economics (A), intermediate microeconomics (A+), health economics (A), urban economics (A-)

Future courses: Real analysis I & II, computational biostats, ODEs

Letters of Recommendations: Two mathematics professors that I conducted research with, one economics professor that I took a quantitative class with.

Research Experience: Senior honors thesis on machine learning, one semester in a biostatistics lab, two semesters of statistics research at home institution (2 published papers)

Research interests: Machine learning, quantitative finance, applied statistics

Questions: Would I be a competitive applicant for the top 20 statistics and top 5 biostats PHD programs? I am trying to formulate a list of schools to apply to and receive an honest review of my profile.

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What are the published papers like?  Did you do some data analysis for a professor, or did you do methodological research and submit a paper to JASA?  Huge difference.

Assuming the research experience you have is average/typical of an undergrad, you'll be competitive for top 20 schools, but I don't think it's safe to only apply that high.  Add some schools in the 20-50 range (even schools ranked #50 include UC-Irvine and UT-Austin, which I think are as good as some top 25 programs).  I think you should definitely apply to any biostatistics program that interests you.  For stats, my guess is that schools in the Wisconsin/NCSU/Minnesota/TAMU range are good "targets", with schools like Michigan/Washington/CMU/Duke as reasonable-but-not-guaranteed, and then schools like UIUC/OSU/Colorado State on the lower end of where you should be targeting.  The more money you have to spend on apps, the more you can send to higher ranked places -- I don't think anywhere besides Stanford would be a waste of money with your profile.

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