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2022 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results for Statistics/Biostatistics

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I found the applicant profiles and admission results over previous years to be helpful while selecting the schools I chose to apply to, and now seems like a good time to start the thread for this year. Copy the template below and fill in as much info as you would like. Keep in mind that you can't edit your post for very long after posting, so it may be good to wait until you have most of your results before posting.
Here are some links to threads from previous years: 20132014201520162017201820192020, 2021.
Below is the template:
Undergrad Institution: (School or type of school (such as Big state/Lib Arts/Ivy/Technical/Foreign (Country?))

Type of Student: (Domestic/International (Country?), Male/Female?, Minority?)

GRE General Test:
 xxx (xx%)
V: xxx (xx%)
W: x.x (xx%)
GRE Subject Test in Mathematics:
M: xxx (xx%)

TOEFL Score: (xx = Rxx/Lxx/Sxx/Wxx) (if applicable)

Grad Institution: (school or type of school?) (if applicable)
Programs Applying: (Statistics/Operation Research/Biostatistics/Financial Math/etc.)
Research Experience: (At your school or elsewhere? What field? How much time? Any publications or conference talks etc...)
Awards/Honors/Recognitions: (Within your school or outside?)
Pertinent Activities or Jobs: (Such as tutor, TA, etc...)
Letters of Recommendation: (what kinds of professors? "well-known" in field? etc.)
Math/Statistics Grades:  (calculus sequence,  mathematical statistics, probability,  real analysis etc.) 
Any Miscellaneous Points that Might Help: (Such as connections, grad classes, etc...)

Applying to Where: (Color use here is welcome)
School - Program / Admitted/Rejected/Waitlisted/Pending on (date) / Accepted/Declined
School - Program / Admitted/Rejected/Waitlisted/Pending on (date) / Accepted/Declined
School - Program / Admitted/Rejected/Waitlisted/Pending on (date) / Accepted/Declined
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  • 1 month later...
Undergrad Institution: California State University - Long Beach
Major(s): Mathematics - Option in Statistics
Minor(s): None
GPA: 3.41 (3.14 without grade forgiveness)
Type of Student: Domestic Male Latino/Hispanic

GRE General Test*:
 161 (74%)
V: 150 (44%)
W: 4.0 (54%)
*These are my actual scores. A previous post of mine has higher scores because it was a hypothetical situation in the event I prepared for the General GRE, which I unfortunately didn't. I did not even finish taking the exam.

GRE Subject Test in Mathematics:
Not taken.

Grad Institution: California State University - Long Beach
Concentration: (Pure) Mathematics
GPA: 3.95
Programs Applying: Biostatistics, Statistics, Mathematics(pure and applied)
Research Experience:  Summer research at my home institution on operator algebras starting in the summer of 2021 and ongoing with a poster session and publication in the works. Expository research-lite course projects in statistics and math courses throughout my undergraduate and master's programs.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:  Undergraduate Departmental Honors for the class of 2018

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:  Tutoring during undergraduate years and some during the master's. Teaching associate during the master's.

Letters of Recommendation: Two letters of recommendation from pure math professors; one of which was my research mentor and the other a graduate instructor who could speak of my potential. One strong letter of recommendation from a computer science professor. 

Coursework and grades(Math/Stat/Comp Sci):
  • Undergraduate Lower Division: Calculus 1(C), Calculus 2/3(A), Linear Algebra and Differential Equations(B), Discrete Math 1(B), Discrete Math 2(A), Introduction to Programming in C++(B), Introduction to Statistics(A), Pure/Applied Math Seminar(A)
  • Undergraduate Upper Division: Undergraduate Analysis 1/2(A), Introduction to Probability Theory(A), Introductory Numerical Analysis(A), Intermediate Numerical Analysis/Numerical Linear Algebra(A), Survey Sampling(A), SAS Programming(A), Ordinary Differential Equations 1(A), Mathematical Statistics(A), Multivariable Real Analysis(A), Advanced Linear Algebra(A), Regression Analysis(A), Multivariate Statistical Analysis(A), Data Structures and Algorithms(B), Abstract Algebra(A), Mathematical/Convex Optimization(A)
  • Master's: Point-set Topology(A), Introduction to Knot Theory(A), Introduction to Algebraic Topology(A), Real Analysis/Measure Theory 1/2(A), Stochastic Calculus(A), Introduction to Functional Analysis(A),  Theory of Computation(A), Abstract Algebra 1(B), Abstract Algebra 2(A), Complex Analysis(A), Introduction to Riemann Surfaces(A), Modal Logic Independent Study(A), Extremal Combinatorics Independent Study(A), Analysis of Algorithms(A), Partial Differential Equations(A), Sobolev Spaces Seminar(A), Random Matrix Theory Seminar(Officially Audited)

Any Miscellaneous Points that Might Help: I was a Math Alliance Scholar in the F-GAP program. https://mathalliance.org/fgap-information-for-students/. I also didn't think I had much of a shot anywhere, so I undersold myself and applied to a LOT of programs with a LOT of "safeties". A higher ranked theoretical program could have been possible, but hindsight is 20/20. I highly recommend any future applicants to aim high if you can afford it and if your LORs are willing, but still apply to a good breadth of tiers. Give yourself more credit. 

Applying to Where:  ** General GRE Required
Duke University - Mathematics - Interview - Rejected
Purdue University - Mathematics - Pending on 3/25 - Withdrew Application
U. Iowa - Applied Mathematics and Computational Sciences - Pending on 3/25 - Withdrew Application
Texas Tech - Mathematics(Applied through RA position flyer) - Interviewed in December - Admitted  - Declined
U. Delaware - Mathematics - Pending on 3/1 - Withdrew Application
Drexel University - Biostatistics - Interview - Waitlisted - Withdrew Application  
Ohio State - Biostatistics - Admitted - Declined
UC Davis - Biostatistics - Admitted - Declined
UC San Diego** - Biostatistics - Rejected
U. Florida** - Biostatistics - Pending 3/25 
U. Alabama at Birmingham** - Biostatistics - Withdrew Application
Chapman University** - Computational and Data Sciences - Admitted with tuition funding (with no stipend) - Declined
UC Riverside - Applied Statistics - Admitted - Declined
U. Nebraska-Lincoln- Statistics - Informal Interview - Admitted - Declined
Colorado State** - Statistics - Rejected
Penn State** - Statistics - Admitted - ?Attending?
North Carolina State - Statistics - Waitlisted - Withdrew application
UC Santa Barbara - Statistics and Applied Probability - Pending on 3/25 
UC Santa Cruz - Statistical Sciences - Informal interview - Admitted - Declined
UC Irvine - Statistics - Interview - Waitlisted - Withdrew application
Total Places Applied: 20
Total Places Admitted: 8 
Total Places Rejected: 3
Total Places Waitlisted and/or Withdrawn and/or Ghosted: 9
Edited by Oatsey
Adding a bit more.
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Undergrad Institution: UT Austin
Major(s): Mathematics 
Minor(s): Certificates in CS and Stats
GPA: 3.90
Type of Student: Domestic Male Asian (Severe Hearing Loss)
GRE General Test*:
V: 159 
W: 4.0 
Programs Applying: Biostatistics, Statistics
Research Experience: Statistics REU at Texas state, and Applied Math REU at Emory
Awards/Honors/Recognitions: GPA Honors/ Ranked top 20 percent in 2021
Pertinent Activities or Jobsgrader and learning assitant each for one semester
Letters of Recommendation: Two Lor from REU (wasn't very productive) One lor from real analysis ( generic, but mentioned i was good student)
Math: Calc I and II (AP credit), Calc 3(A), discrete math (A), probability (A), ODE (A-), intro to number theory (A), proof linear algebra (A), Real Analysis I (A), intro to stochastic process (A), intro to math stats (A), Math learning assistant experience (A), numerical analysis (A), Complex analysis ( currently taking- High B or low A), PDE (A)

CS: intro to programming (A), data structures and algos for non cs majors (A-), elements of data base(A), elements of data analytics(data mining) (A), graphics and visuals (A)
Applying to Where:
U Michigan Biostatistics - Accepted
Ohio State University Statistics - Accepted
UIUC Statistics - Accepted
Baylor Statistics - Accepted
Michigan State Statistics - Accepted
TAMU Statistics - Did not hear
Rice Statistics - DId not hear
UT Austin Statistics - DId not hear(waitlisted)
Columbia Biostatistics - Did not hear
Northwestern Statistics - Did not hear (was Interviewed)
Harvard Statistics - Rejected
Harvard Biostatistics - Rejected
UT Houston Biostatistics - Rejected
Yale Biostatistics - Rejected
JHU Biostatistics - Rejected
Brown Biostatistics- Rejected
Duke Statistics - Rejected
Duke Biostatistics - Rejected
Columbia Statistics - Rejected
U Chicago Statistics - Rejected
I am waiting to hear from Texas schools before committing to Michigan. 
Edited by Aspiring_stats_student2312
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Undergrad Institution: Reed College
Major(s): Math w/ Concentration in Statistics
GPA: 3.79
Type of Student: Domestic White Male

GRE General Test:
 167 (89%)
V: 166 (97%)
W: 5.5 (98%)
GRE Subject Test in Mathematics:
Not taken (wasn't available anywhere)
Programs Applying: Statistics, Biostatistics
Research Experience: Senior thesis on statistics topic, not much else

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's Commendation all years, Phi Beta Kappa

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 2+ years experience as a math tutor, grader for stats class
Letters of Recommendation: One letter from my thesis advisor (an assistant stat professor), one from a professor I took multiple statistics courses, and one from a math professor who I took Real Analysis/Abstract Algebra from.  I think all were at least good, and my thesis advisor's letter was likely very positive.
Math Grades:  Calculus (A-), Intro to Analysis (A), Linear Algebra (B+), Vector Calculus (B), Discrete Math (A), Combinatorics (A), Abstract Algebra (A), Real Analysis (A), Intro to Stat (A), Data Science (B+), Statistical Learning (A), Algorithms and Data Structures (A-), Probability (A), Mathematical Statistics (A)
Stats PhD Programs:
U of  Washington Statistics - Rejected
U of Wisconsin Statistics- Rejected
Iowa State Statistics - Accepted (20k TA per academic year + 15k total in extra fellowship over 4 years) , attending
U of Minnesota Statistics - Waitlisted (only found out after emailing)
Yale Statistics - Didn't hear back
UIUC Statistics - Rejected, Accepted into Masters, declined
Ohio State Statistics - Didn't hear back
Colorado State Statistics - Rejected
Michigan State Statistics - Didn't hear back 
Oregon State Statistics - Accepted, declining
Biostats PhD Programs:
UW Biostats - Rejected
Brown Biostats - Didn't hear back
U of Rochester Biostats: Accepted (25k TA/RA for 9 months), declined
Stats MS Programs:
UBC Statistics - Didn't hear back
Parting thoughts:
I'm glad with the outcome overall.  Part of me wishes I had applied to more schools in the 10-30 range for statistics (like UC Davis or NCSU), but I'm very happy with how it played out. I'm definitely glad I applied to as many places as I did, since things are getting more competitive and there are so many factors out of applicants' control which determines whether a department accepts them.  Hopefully my results are helpful to others.
Also, I'm pretty surprised how many schools just ghost applying students; any communication whatsoever would be better than the radio silence, I personally think it sets a not-very-friendly precedent.  
Edited by leviathan23
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Undergrad & Grad Institution: Top 20 Public/State School (US)

Major(s): Neuroscience Minor(s): Chemistry, Stats GPA: 3.46

Grad Degree: MS, Biostatistics GPA: 3.98

Type of Student: Domestic White Male

GRE General Test: Q: 168 V: 165 W: 5.5

Programs Applying: Biostatistics PhD

Research Experience: Involved in research from undergrad (~2016) to present. Handful of publications (one first-author publication, two "co-first-author" publication), poster and oral presentations with a top submission award, work as a statistician within large/national collaboratives

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Three years full-time work as data analyst & statistician in gap years after undergrad and masters; Graduate and post-graduate work developing statistical/data science open education resources with professors & health science/pharma industry collaborators


Small/partial tuition graduate scholarship

Summer scholarship to attend UW's SISMID

Full tuition undergraduate scholarship

Two undergraduate fellowships/honors programs (mildly competitive but completely unrelated to statistics)

Letters of Recommendation: MS Thesis Advisor Professor; Stat Theory Professor; Collaborative/Applied Professor 

Math/Statistics Grades:

Undergraduate: Multivariate Calculus (A), Data Science (A), Statistical Packages/Programming (A), Experimental Design (B)

Graduate: Applied Regression (A), Statistical & Probability Theory (A+), Health Data Science (A), Python for Data Analytics (A), Mathematical Methods for Statistics (A+), Machine Learning (A), Biostatistical Methods (A), Linear Models (A-), Statistical Learning (A+), Neural Data Science (A), Linear Algebra (A+)

Programming/ Software skills: R, Python, SAS, SQL, Stata 

Applying to Where (all biostatistics PhD):

Harvard University - Accepted, Attending

Penn - Accepted

Vanderbilt - Accepted

VCU - Accepted

Pitt - Accepted

Emory - Accepted

Florida - Accepted

Yale - Rejected (no interview)

Columbia - Rejected (no interview)

Johns Hopkins - Rejected (no interview)

Brown - Rejected (no interview)



Overall very happy with this cycle and excited to be attending Harvard! I've been considering applying to PhD programs since mid-2020 but opted to take my time in consulting my professors for guidance, crafting the materials while balancing work, and attempting to let the effects of COVID "stabilize" after the last cycle. Everyone's professional path and experience is different, but I found that I benefitted greatly (personally, professionally, and financially) by taking gap years, including both one after undergrad and two after my masters program. 

I was unsure of the competitiveness of my app without Real Analysis or pure math beyond Linear Algebra. Some schools (I assume) seemed more accepting of this with my masters and more extensive applied work/research background. A lot of folks on this forum have great mathematical coursework which intimidated me a bit when applying (and which I'm certain is helpful if not necessary for pure statistics programs), but contrary to what you might read it is possible (acknowledging the n=1 sample size here) to get into some great biostatistics programs without a "heavy" mathematics background but with solid stats coursework and professional/research experience. 

Lastly, I also believe my success was largely possible only due to the wonderful mentorship that I received from my letter writers and some grad professors, extremely thankful for their help!

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Undergrad Institution: Large state school (Big 10)
Major(s): Statistical Science, Economics
Minor(s): Mathematics
GPA: 4.00
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE General Test:
 169 (94%)
V: 165 (96%)
W: 5 (91%)

GRE Subject Test in Mathematics:
Did not take
Programs Applied To: Statistics PhD
Research Experience:
- First author of an applied statistics paper that I wrote with an assistant professor in the statistics department at my university. Submitted for publication in a non-statistical journal. 
- Helped an applied economics professor clean data for a paper (publication pending, I am mentioned in the acknowledgements)
- Honors thesis in computational statistics and resampling

- University honors program, four-year national merit scholarship, one-year economics scholarship, dean's list
- ASA student paper award
- Joint Program in Survey Methodology junior fellow (but the program got canceled)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
- 3.5 years as a research assistant at a demographic research center (coding and data cleaning stuff)
- 6 month research internship with an intergovernmental agency
Letters of Recommendation:
- One from an assistant professor in the statistics department who I wrote a paper with. Also took one of their courses.
- One from my honors thesis advisor, who is a full professor in the statistics department.
- One from my supervisor at my data cleaning job.
Math/Statistics Courses:
Math: Calc 1/2/3, two courses in linear algebra, two semesters of advanced calculus (which is basically real analysis at my school)
Stats: Two semesters of applied, two semesters of theory, one semester of computing, one semester of regression, electives in nonparametric and design of experiments

Application Results:
Carnegie Mellon - Rejected (Feb 18)
Duke - Waitlisted (Mar 24) -> Withdrew
Michigan - Accepted (Feb 22)
NC State - Accepted (Jan 14)
Minnesota - Accepted (Feb 9)
Penn State - Accepted (Feb 1)
Illinois - Invited to interview (Feb 2) -> Withdrew
Ohio State - Accepted (Jan 13)
Rice - Invited to interview (Feb 16) -> Withdrew
Colorado State - Accepted (Jan 15)
Very happy and relieved with how everything turned out! I really feel like I nailed it with the range of schools I applied to, so thank you to everyone on here who helped me out with that. I was fortunate to have excellent letter writers who wrote excellent letters, and I think that helped a lot. If I could go back and give myself advice, I would say:
(1) Start writing the SoP early, and start filling out the actual applications in September/October (not November/December). Some of them take forever.
(2) Major in stats and math, not stats and econ.
(3) Take more math courses and take some grad-level stats courses.
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  • 3 weeks later...

Undergrad Institution: Small state school (>200 USNews)
Major(s): Data Science
Minor(s): Mathematics, Economics
GPA: 4.0
Type of Student: Domestic white male
GRE General Test:
166 (87%)
V: 169 (99%)
W: 5.0 (92%)
Programs Applying: Statistics, Biostatistics
Research Experience: 

  • Research assistant in public policy 2019-2020 [3 non-peer reviewed client papers published, 1 small undergraduate research grant]
  • Several miscellaneous research projects in coursework
  • Two summer REUs (2020 & 2021) in applied math & statistics [1 poster presentation]
  • Research assistant in data science & computational statistics 2020-present [3 first-author peer-reviewed journal/conference publications, 1 non-first-author peer-reviewed journal publication, 1 conference speed talk]


  • Honors college member at my university
  • Full tuition undergraduate scholarship
  • Won “Best Visualization” at local DataFest competition

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 

  • Resident assistant at my university
  • Teaching assistant for machine learning course

Letters of Recommendation: Three strong letters from professors in mathematics and computer science who know me personally (including research advisor), all from my university
Math/Statistics Classes: Calculus III, Discrete Math, Linear Algebra, Advanced Linear Algebra, Real Analysis I & II, Numerical Analysis, Numerical Optimization [grad level], Math Modeling, Elementary Statistics, Probability, Mathematical Statistics [grad level] (all As)
CS/DS Classes: Intro to Data Science, Data Analysis & Visualization, Objected-Oriented Programming, Software Design, Algorithms & Data Structures, Database Design, Computer Graphics, Machine Learning, Wireless Communications [grad level], High-Performance Scientific Computing [grad level] (all As)
Any Miscellaneous Points that Might Help: President of data science organization at my university, lots of service to my department (speaking at Open Houses, etc.)
Applying to Where:

Harvard - Biostatistics - Interview / Accepted / Attending!
Carnegie Mellon - Statistics & Public Policy - Rejected
Yale - Statistics & Data Science - Rejected
U of Michigan - Statistics - Ghosted
UCLA - Statistics - Interview / Ghosted
Penn State - Statistics - Accepted
Colorado State - Statistics - Accepted
GradCafe users advised me to apply to Biostatistics PhD programs, stating that given my background and interests in applied stats, they would be a much better fit. At first, I was highly skeptical, and since I did not have the resources to apply to lots of programs, I decided on just one top biostat program (Harvard) in case their advice really was true. Based on my results and experiences during interviews, this turned out to be the best decision I ever made in my life. My advice: if you are a domestic student applying to stats PhDs, consider a few Biostatistics programs as well.
And thank you, frequent users of this forum - I am incredibly grateful for the wonderful advice posted here!

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Undergrad Institution: Virginia Wesleyan University (tiny, low-ranked liberal arts school)
Major(s): Mathematics
Minor(s): Chemistry, Religious Studies
GPA: 3.89
Type of Student: domestic white female

GRE General Test: Didn't take because it wasn't required for any of my applications
Programs Applying: Biostatistics (mostly MS but some PhD)
Research Experience: Independent research experience with chemistry minor (I did a meta-analysis on an immunotherapy agent for non-small cell lung cancer, so kinda related to stats but technically chem research)
Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Full tuition scholarship for four years of undergrad, graduating with honors in honors college, smaller activity-related scholarships, a couple of honor societies
Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Internship with NATO's Innovation Hub- I was working with NATO's data analytics team at their headquarters near my campus on a project analyzing aviation data
Letters of Recommendation: All three were math professors that I have very close relationships with so I'm sure they were all pretty strong. None of them are particularly well-known at all though. 
Math/Statistics Grades:  Differential Equations (A), Logic and Proof (A), Linear Algebra (A), Multivariable Calc (A-), Algebraic Structures (A), Mathematical Models (B+), Real Analysis (A-), Cryptography (A-), Number Theory (A), Statistics (A), Statistical Models (A)
Any Miscellaneous Points that Might Help: N/A

Applying to Where: 
University of Michigan- Accepted in MS Program (no funding offered, applied to PhD)
Columbia University- Accepted in MS Program ($6,000 per year offered, applied to PhD)
New York University- Accepted in MS Program ($19,000 per year offered, applied to PhD
University of Wisconsin-Madison- Accepted (no funding offered)
University of Massachusetts- Accepted ($5,000 offered per year)
University at Albany SUNY- Accepted ($4,000 per year offered)
University of Washington- Rejected
I'm super excited to be attending the University of Michigan this fall! As almost everybody on here says (even though I never listened to it), don't stress too much about the application process! I was so convinced I wasn't going to get accepted into any of the schools I was applying to that, even though my current backpack was practically shredded, I told my mom not to get me a new one for Christmas. I thought my lack of graduate classes and applicable research experience would make me an immediate rejection, and I also thought that my undergrad institution (a tiny, low-ranked and unknown liberal arts school) would make matters even worse. So I'm hoping that this can be encouraging for someone cause I've learned that it's not all about undergrad prestige or having super famous recommenders (those definitely help but not necessary).
I would recommend starting your essays early (maybe August or September) and rereading them over the course of a few months so you have a lot of time to tweak your writing. It's also beneficial to have someone experienced reading over them as well, as it can be hard to know what grad schools are expecting in the essays. And finally, be kind to yourself. You've worked hard to get to where you are and everything will end up working out. 
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Undergrad Institution: Oxford
Major(s): Economic
Minor(s): Philosophy
GPA: 1st class, the conversion calculator one place made me use said ~3.8
Type of Student: EU white male
Masters Institution: St Andrews
Major: Statistics
GPA: Distinction, approx equivalent to 3.7

GRE General Test: 168Q 169V 5.0AW
GRE Maths subject test: 750 (65% percentile, didn't send to most places)
Programs Applying: Statistics PhD programmes
Research Experience: Wrote my master's thesis on natural language processing.

Applying to Where: 
Harvard Rejected
Carnegie Mellon - Rejected
Columbia - Rejected
Stanford - Rejected
NYU Stern - Interview Rejected
Cornell Accepted
UPenn - Rejected
UNC Chapel Hill Accepted
UW Madison - Waitlisted Rejected
UChicago Rejected
UMichigan Accepted
Yale  - Waitlisted Interview / Accepted / Attending!
UWashington Rejected
UC Berkeley - Rejected
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Undergrad Institution: one of Toronto/UBC/McGill/Waterloo
Major(s): Double major in Computer Science and Statistics 
Minor(s): None
GPA: 4.00 
Type of Student: International Asian 

GRE General Test*:
Not taken.

GRE Subject Test in Mathematics:
Not taken.
Programs Applying: Statistics PhD

Research Experience: 

  • Summer 2020/2021, Fall 2021 and Winter 2022 on copula models and extreme value theory (a paper is about to be submitted for review, full-time research in mathematical stats)
  • Fall 2021 on scientific computing (a conference paper is prepared, research project via a computer science project course)
  • Summer 2022 on functional data analysis (I had not immersed into this project by the time when I applied to graduate schools, but I mentioned this upcoming full-time research)
Awards/Honors/Recognitions:  Several school-wise academic and research awards 

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:  None

Letters of Recommendation: Two strong letters of recommendation from project supervisors; One letter of recommendation from the professor of my measure theoretic probability course. 

Coursework and grades(All A's except the ones which were S/Ued due to the pandemic):
  • Mathematics: Honours analysis 1, Honours analysis 2 (basic point-set topology), abstract algebra 1, Honours algebra 2 (S/U), Honours probability theory,  Measure-theoretic probability, Vector calculus, Honours matrix numerical analysis; Honours complex analysis; Convex optimization; Honours Analysis 4 (Introduction to functional analysis)
  • Statistics: Mathematical statistics, Non-parametric statistics, Regression, Generalized linear model
  • Computer Science: Algorithm and data structures, Introduction to software system, Introduction to computer system (S/U), Programming languages and paradigms, Honours algorithm designs (linear programming, complexity theory, approximation algorithm, etc.), Introduction to data science, Applied machine learning; Theory of computation, Matrix Computation (equivalent to a graduate numerical analysis course offered by the math department)

Any Miscellaneous Points that Might Help: Based on the words of interviewers from different departments, my math background and experiences in theoretical statistics research are something they appreciate, and my lack of exposure to applied statistics courses/research doesn't diminish the profile in general. 

Applying to Where:  (All the admissions are fully funded)
UC Berkeley - Interview on Jan. 18th and 31st - Rejected on Feb. 11th
Toronto - Interview on Jan. 28th and 31st - Admitted on Feb. 9th - Declined (Had only two weeks to decide)
UW-Madison Admitted on Feb. 1st with a fellowship - Declined
CMU - Admitted on Feb. 14th - attending
Columbia - Interview on Feb. 15th - Admitted on Mar. 2nd - Declined
Washington - Admitted on Feb. 16th - Declined
HarvardRejected on Feb. 18th
Michigan - Admitted on Feb. 22nd - Declined 
McGill - Rejected on April 5th
UNC-Chapel Hill - Rejected on April 19th (yes, it was very late...)
Total Places Applied: 10
Total Places Admitted: 6
Total Places Rejected: 4
Relevant Information:
UC Berkeley - The interviews were behavioral rather than technical, but one of the interviewers was a bit hostile. The department admitted about 1/3~1/2 of the students who were interviewed.
Toronto - One of the interviews was technical about mathematical statistics (e.g., consistency, sufficiency, etc) and measure theory (e.g., modes of convergence and conditional expectations). Admissions are released on a rolling basis. According to the interviewers, the department is trying to accept students with theoretical and applied statistics/math backgrounds on a 1:1 ratio. Holding a master's degree increases the chance of getting an admission. 
CMU - I didn't mention any potential supervisor in my SOP to CMU, but it didn't lead to a rejection.
Columbia - The interview had nothing really technical; I was just asked to list certain course materials and state some theorems. The interview was hinting an admission during the interview. The department has enormous academic resources (probably the best among all the schools I applied to IMO). As it is expanding, the department is accepting up to 15 students per year now. 
Washington - It is the only department which didn't hold any in-person visit. 
Harvard - All the interview invitations were sent out on a day. Candidates had access to a google sheet to choose their preferred time for interview(s). Not receiving the invitation on the day essentially meant a rejection.
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  • 1 month later...
Undergrad Institution: Foreign tech school, ranked 101-150 in mathematics on ARWU
Major(s): Mathematics
Minor(s): N/A
GPA: 91.1 (converted to 3.94 with WES)
Type of Student: International white male

GRE General Test:
 170 (96%)
V: 162 (90%)
W: 4.0 (54%)
GRE Subject Test in Mathematics: N/A

TOEFL Score: 116 = R30/L30/S27/W29

Grad Institution: Same
Concentration: Mathematics
GPA: 97.2, but incomplete
Programs Applying: Statistics PhD at all places except for MIT (mathematics)
Research Experience: Worked on some abstract algebraic topology problem and got preliminary results, can't really call it research
Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 4xDean's list, cum laude
Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA for 2.5 years, taught linear algebra, abstract algebra and fundamentals. Also tutored in lots of subjects. Worked for two years in an unrelated software engineering-ish role
Letters of Recommendation: The advisor the MSc I didn't finish, a professor who saw me deliver a few seminar lectures and my real analysis professor. The first might have some recognition, but not in statistics.
Math/Statistics Grades:  Not going to list everything, but I guess the important ones are:
Calc-based probability 99, Real Analysis 95, Numerical Analysis 96, Optimisation Theory 83, Intro to Applied Mathematics 83, ODEs 88
Any Miscellaneous Points that Might Help: Some of the math classes mentioned were grad classes, along with more grad classes in algebra and topology

Applying to Where:
Harvard (statistics) - Rejected
MIT (mathematics) - Rejected
Columbia (statistics) -  Interview, then Rejected 
NYU Stern (statistics at IOMS) - Rejected
UPenn Wharton (statistics) - Rejected
CMU (statistics and data science) - Rejected
Pitt (statistics) - Waitlisted, then declined
UT Austin (statistics and data science) - Rejected
UChicago (statistics) - Accepted and attending!
Northwestern (statistics) - Rejected
UW Madison (statistics) - Waitlisted, declined after later being contacted by an adcom member due to preferring UChicago
UWashington (statistics) - Rejected
UCLA (statistics) - Rejected
USC Marshall (statistics at DSO) - Rejected
Overall very happy with the results. I was afraid I'd get in nowhere, but in retrospect people give too much weight to nonsense like essays or GRE subject exams, and real admission rates are higher than what is presented. I got a bit bummed after Columbia got my hopes up only to later dash them, but UChicago should be great.
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