Bayeasy Posted June 19, 2021 Share Posted June 19, 2021 (edited) Hello! I'm senior undergrad student in Asia. I will start Master program in my university, and then I will apply for Ph.d program in USA (maybe in 2024 fall). But I want to check my profile whether I took sufficient math courses and I want to get advise about school suggestion. Undergrad Institution: QS 80~90 Asian UniversityGPA: 3.98/4.00 (total, 4.44/4.5), 4.00/4.00 (major 4.48/4.5) Type of Student: International GRE General Test: Q: 154V: 168W: 4TOEFL: 28/26/23/26 (Total 105) Programs Applying: Statistics Ph.d Research Experience: 1 year of Research Assistant in computational neuroscience lab whose research topic is to make predictive models from fMRI image data using ML/Deep Learning techniques (such as LASSO or LOOCV). I helped statistical analysis in this lab, but I didn't make publications. I learned and did mediation analysis, ML techniques, dimensionality reduction techniques, and some Matlab and Python skills. Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 1 .5 year academic club in psychology department. I did research in this club and I was exposed and fascinated a lot of statistical methods from this club. Then, I decided to major statistics and mathematics. LOR: not dediced yet, maybe get stat professors in my university. I did good result(e.g rank 1 or 2) these professors' classes Math/Statistics Grades: Math courses: Calculus 1, 2 (A+/A+) Linear Algebra (A+, computation-based) Set Theory (A+) Analysis 1, 2 (A+/A+) Advanced Linear Algebra (A+, proof-based) Differential Equations (A) Partial Differential Equations (A+) Topology 1 (A+, Point-set topology) Topology 2 (A+, Algebraic Topology) Numerical Analysis (A+) Numerical ODEs (A+) Combinatorics (A+) Probability Theory(A+, undergrad, measure-based) Real Analysis (A+, Grad Lebesque Measure Theory + Some additional Functional Analysis topics) => Total 16 courses, 4.00/4.00 Statistics courses: Intro to Statistics (A+) Mathematical Statistics 1, 2 (A+/A+) Regression analysis (A+) Statistical Programming (A+, using R) Time Series Analysis (A+) Statistical Simulation (A+) Categorical Analysis (A+) Experimental Design (A+) Multivariate Statistical Analysis (A+) Stochastic Process (A+) Machine Learning (A+) Bayesian Analysis (A+) Nonparametric Statistical Analysis (A+) Advanced Mathematical Statistics (A+, Grad level Casella & Berger) Advanced Regression Analysis (A+, Grad level) => Total 15 courses, 4.00/4.00 Questions 1. did I take sufficient math courses? compared to other international students. Even though I majored mathematics, I did not take abstract algebra, number theory, or differential geometry because these things are quiet irrelevant with statistics. So I avoid these things. is my math coursework okay in terms of the number of courses and quality (e.g. proof-based, difficulty)? 2. which school can I target? Maybe I will publish two papers during master program. Considering my coursework, GRE, TOEFL, where can I target schools? I'm looking for NCSU, Penn state, Iowa state etc...but my school has no students who get admission there. But my profile is pretty good in my university. Help me! @Stat Assistant Professor and @bayessays! Edited June 19, 2021 by Bayeasy for privacy Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Bayeasy Posted June 19, 2021 Author Share Posted June 19, 2021 (edited) Oh, I forgot to mention my major... I'm majoring Psychology, Statistics, and Mathematics! (Triple majors) Edited June 19, 2021 by Bayeasy Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Stat Assistant Professor Posted June 19, 2021 Share Posted June 19, 2021 (edited) Your profile looks strong, and I think your math background is more than sufficient for Statistics PhD programs in the USA. The bad news is that if your school is ranked 80-90 in the QS Asia University Rankings 2021, then it will likely be very tough for you to get into any of the top 50 or so Statistics PhD programs (without a Masters). For these schools, there are already a number of qualified applicants from top schools in Asia like ISI, IIT, Peking, Tsinghua, Fudan, USTC, University of Hong Kong, NUS, SNU, Yonsei, Sharif, etc., and so programs can afford to be picky about which international applicants they admit. I am not surprised that your classmates were unable to gain admission to Penn State, Iowa State, or NCSU, because there are already so many applicants from more reputable schools in Asia. I know it sucks, but this is the reality. Some programs likely auto-reject international applicants if the admissions committees are not familiar with their undergraduate institution (this is not the case for domestic U.S. applicants where doing very well at an unknown undergrad school can still get you into a Statistics PhD program like NCSU, Iowa State, Penn State, TAMU, etc. -- occasionally a school like Duke). The lower you go down in the USNWR rankings, the more receptive the programs will be to accepting international students like yourself. I'm thinking schools like University of Missouri, Southern Methodist University, University of South Carolina, UMBC. Those would likely be good targets. However, if you want to aim higher, your best bet would be to go to a top school in Asia (or a decent program U.S.) for your Masters degree and to do well there. I've seen this before -- international applicants who went to less prestigious undergrads but then went to either a top program in their home country (like ISI) or a reputable Masters in the U.S. (like Rutgers), and then they were able to get admitted to Statistics PhD programs in the range of University of Minnesota to University of Florida. With a Masters from a top school in your home country or a decent one in the U.S.A., you could probably aim for schools in that general ballpark. Edited June 19, 2021 by Stat Assistant Professor Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

bayessays Posted June 19, 2021 Share Posted June 19, 2021 1 hour ago, Stat Assistant Professor said: The bad news is that if your school is ranked 80-90 in the QS Asia University Rankings 2021, @Bayeasy do you mean 80-90 in Asian rankings, or 80-90 in the world rankings? Also, did you mix up your GRE scores? I'm guessing the 168 is your math/quantitative score? Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Bayeasy Posted June 19, 2021 Author Share Posted June 19, 2021 (edited) @bayessays Oh sorry. That’s my mistake! my V is 154 and Q is 168. Also, the ranking means 80-90 in Asian ranking. Edited June 19, 2021 by Bayeasy Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Bayeasy Posted June 19, 2021 Author Share Posted June 19, 2021 @Stat Assistant Professor Thanks for your advise! Can I ask more questions? 1. I understood what you said (the reality of unknown undergrad institution's admission result, especially auto-rejection). Actually, my university has master students who got admission from OSU, Minnesota, and Florida. Their undergrad institutions are same with me. Especially, my university's master students often gain admission from university of Florida and OSU. However, they only take calculus, linear algebra, and analysis and has two papers. So, since I took more math courses and good grades in my university, can I expect to gain admissions more higher ranking schools or same ranking schools compared to my seniors? 2. will my research experience in computational neuroscience lab viewed positively even though I can't make any publications? 3. will taking grad statistics courses be viewed positively? Also, which one is more important in terms of admission? taking one more math courses or taking more grad statistics courses. The reason I left this question is that I left one more semesters, so I planning to take course next semester. Thank you! Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Stat Assistant Professor Posted June 19, 2021 Share Posted June 19, 2021 6 minutes ago, Bayeasy said: @Stat Assistant Professor Thanks for your advise! Can I ask more questions? 1. I understood what you said (the reality of unknown undergrad institution's admission result, especially auto-rejection). Actually, my university has master students who got admission from OSU, Minnesota, and Florida. Their undergrad institutions are same with me. Especially, my university's master students often gain admission from university of Florida and OSU. However, they only take calculus, linear algebra, and analysis and has two papers. So, since I took more math courses and good grades in my university, can I expect to gain admissions more higher ranking schools or same ranking schools compared to my seniors? 2. will my research experience in computational neuroscience lab viewed positively even though I can't make any publications? 3. will taking grad statistics courses be viewed positively? Also, which one is more important in terms of admission? taking one more math courses or taking more grad statistics courses. The reason I left this question is that I left one more semesters, so I planning to take course next semester. Thank you! If your university has a decent track record of getting Masters students admitted to the Statistics PhD programs at OSU, Minnesota, and Florida, then those seem like good places to try. If you are going to continue doing the Masters at your current university, then I would probably not aim much higher than UMN if your school does not have a track record of sending its graduates to those higher ranked schools. For international students, the top 20 Stat PhD programs seem to be heavily skewed towards applicants from a few select Asian universities. You could try your luck at a small number of them if you want, though. Having more math classes is viewed more positively than having more statistics classes. Research experience does seem to be viewed positively, and many international applicants for Statistics PhD programs in the U.S. seem to have it nowadays. Will your research in a neuro lab eventually lead to publications down the road? That would be something to mention in your application, or have one of your LOR writers mention. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Bayeasy Posted June 19, 2021 Author Share Posted June 19, 2021 Thanks for your advise! I pretty much appreciate your comments! These things are very helpful for me to prepare admission! Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

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