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PhD Statistics - Profile Evaluation and School Suggestions

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Country - India

Undergrad Institution: Not a top one (Average in India) (3 Year Degree)
Major: Statistics
CGPA : 9.14/10

Master’s  Institution: 2nd best in India
Major: Statistics
CGPA/CPI : 10/10 (First Year)

GRE: Haven’t taken yet
Coursework until now  ( Courses in bold are done in Master’s )

Statistics- Bayesian Modelling and Data Analysis (10), Regression Analysis(10), Analysis of Variance(10), Statistical Inference (10) , Probability Theory (10) ,Econometrics(10), Time Series Analysis(9), Linear Models(9), Stochastic Process & Queuing Theory(10) ,Survival Analysis and Biostatistics (9), Multivariate Analysis (9).

Mathematics- Calculus(10) ,Linear Algebra(10), Mathematical Analysis(10), Complex Analysis(10), Real Analysis(10).

Programming- Computer Programming & Data Structures(10),Statistical Programming using C(9), Statistical Data Analysis using R(9).

Economics & Finance -  Introductory Microeconomics(9), Introductory Macroeconomics(9), Financial Statistics(9)

There are few other courses which I haven’t mentioned here.
Research/ working experience :
  • Working as a research intern (3 Months)  in a big American pharma firm on Statistical ML Methods. I am working alone with my mentor on the project and it may lead to a publication at later stage ( I might not be a part of it though).
  • Will try to do a semester long research project in next semester in ML/Bayesian Modelling.  
Miscellaneous  Activities :
- Lots of extra curricular activities 
- I have a personal blog which is partly related to Statistics.
- Course Project On Bayesian Logistic Regression .
Research Interests :
Applied Statistics, Statistical ML,  Biostatistics and Bayesian Modelling.
I can handle the Mathematical courses at start of PhD but I don’t want to do theoretical research. I wish to work in industry as a researcher and would like to work in applied areas. 
I am also considering applying to CS departments.
Recommendation Letters :
I think I can get good recommendation letters. I have good relations with professors and I hope I can get a good one from my mentor at internship as well.
I would real appreciate if people here could evaluate my profile and also suggest good schools for my profile. I want to go in a school which has a lot of work in applied areas. 
Alternatively, I am also considering to drop a year and work as a RA after graduating in order to boost my profile. Or apply for another Masters program at a good foreign institution. Will Part 3 (MaST) in Mathematical Statistics be a good option for me?
If possible, please include out of reach schools as well in your suggestions that may become within reach of I go for Part 3 at Cambridge or work as a RA in 2022. 
Edited by tallguyfromstats
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Your profile seems to be a strong one, except that you have not mentioned your GRE and TOEFL/IETLS scores. With decent GRE scores with Quant scores >=165  I believe that you can apply directly to a PhD program in the US. Since you are interested in applied statistics, biostats, bayesian modelling etc. I would suggest that you can go through the biostats departments in usnews and go through the faculty research interests. Now for international students, biostats programs can be very competitive and would be wise to apply to only some top 15 biostats programs. Also I believe that you can leverage your internship at the pharma firm to tailor your SOP and probably get a letter of recommendation from some colleague at the organization. You can consider schools in the range of Pittsburgh, Florida etc. 

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GRE and TOEFL are kind of important for international students. Whatever your score, you may try two or three top20 biostats, say Wisconsin, and focus on top30-50's stats or biostats (eg. Emory, OSU, UIUC, U of Florida). First think what you want to do. Then, go to their website and see what they are doing. Good luck!

Edited by Stati
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  • 5 months later...


Sorry for the late reply but just wanted to say that I ended up applying to a range of biostatistics programs and some stats programs.  My GRE score is 317 (165+152) and TOEFL score is 107.  I only sent the GRE score to unis which required it or strongly recommended it. 

Additionally, my research internship got extended for 3 more months and I got a nice letter of recommendation from my mentor. He's well known to some of the profs at different programs in US and i am hoping things will work out. 


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  • 2 months later...

Final Update-

I got into UT Austin (Stats), Boston University (Biostats), Colorado School of Public Health (Biostats) and UT HSC Houston (Biostats). Since UT was my dream school, I accepted their offer recently. I am very happy with the outcome!

My profile may seem weak to Domestic or other international applicants but things that helped me were my nationality (Indian) and my recommenders. I got into UT because my one of my recommenders knew closely a prof at UT and she got me in touch with him. Also, UT was keen to have Indian students this year so that also worked into my favor. 

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