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Super splitter profile review [Operations Research/Stats]

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Hello everyone!

I’m hoping to apply to a PhD(or masters) program in Operations Research/Stats and wanted to know how you all thought my profile could play out. My gut thought is there is no real path forward to a competitive PhD and I should do a masters first then reassess in a few years.

The TLDR version of why -> I want to move into a quant heavy research/think tank role instead of the analytics jobs I'm in now. The pattern I'm noticing for these roles have been requiring PhDs over masters.

Unfortunately, my undergrad degree gpa is extremely low(although upward trend). So I have been taking nondegree courses to fix some of the glaring issues of the low gpa(retaking courses and taking new math courses). I have a solid decade of analytics(medium-ish mathy roles) experience to show quant application competency. And I kicked some serious behind on getting a great GRE score.

Am I wasting my time even considering a doctoral program? If I passed on the PhD chances, do I have a shot at upper tier masters? 

All the info about my profile is below:


Degree: Double Major - Finance & Operations BS from a state school (not competitively ranked)

Year: 2011

uGPA: 2.7

Non-degree credits taken(all within the past 1.5 years): 52

Non-degree GPA: 4.0

Cumulative GPA with non-degree courses: 3.1~

Non-degree math courses: Calc I(A), Calc II(A),Calc III(A) Linear Alg(A), discrete mathematics(A), 1 semester of business stats(A), 2 semesters of calc stats(A), differential equations(A), intro to operations research(A), Real analysis(A),

Non-degree econ courses: Intermediate Micro(A), Intermediate Macro(A), Econometrics(A)


GRE Score: 340(170Q/170V)

Scored a few weeks ago




11~ years in analytics. Spent the last 6 years as a department manager for a large marketing analytics team(digital analytics, measurement ,etc). Other 6 years as a data analyst. Fortune 100 company.


Alright so far. EVP executives signaled to signing a letter. Calc III, linear alg, and Intro to OR profs all said yes to a probable letter.

Schools in mind:

Honestly, not sure where I should be targeting. I know I’m late for this intake(I’ll target Fall 2023 if needed).


Am I wasting my time considering any quantitative PhD? I do believe I have a much better shot at a masters than a PhD given my prior work experience.

As a disclaimer: I fully know that the PhD route will be a lackluster financial decision. I’ve done the math out numerous times and I’m still okay with that. 


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Operations Research Phd application is eaier than Statistics Phd application. There are still some programs open (Dec 15th or Januaray), so you can have a shot if you can act ASAP.

Normally Fortune 100 company can offer part time degree program with some colleges, so you will be better off if you can find a fit there.

Your GRE score is perfect, while you GPA with no degree courses, at the other hand, will prompt some questions about your academic preparation: After a decade from the academic program, will you still be able to handle the Phd qualification exams and thesis research? You may need your real analysis professor to write a strong letter for those elite Phd programs.

Good luck with your application. 

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