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Profile Evaluation - PhD, Fall 2023


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Student Type : International Asian Female

Undergrad Institution: CC, then transferred to US News Top 20 in Sophomore year

Major: Math/Econ

GPA: 3.97 in CC, 3.85 later

Some Relevant Courses:

Lower div: AP Calc AB (5/5), Calc II (A), Calc III - Honors (A), Linear Algebra (A), Ordinary Differential Equations (A), Intro to C++ (A), Discrete Structures (A)


Upper div: Linear Algebra (B+), Analysis 1 Honors (Dropped), Analysis 1 (A-), Analysis 2 (B), Ordinary Differential Equations (A), Intro to Probability (A), Intro to Statistics (A), Optimization (A), Econometrics (A-), Economic Forecasting (A-)


Other Relevant Information:

First-Gen, skipped 12th grade HS by taking GED, so I started college a year early.

Just graduated this year (June 2022). Started volunteering at an NPO (not well known) as a research & data analyst in August, and will be starting to work as a Data Analyst at this US News Top 20 School in September.

Unrelated summer intern experience in Sophomore year at a securities firm.


Grad Institute: None


Research Experience: Only did some group projects from class, mainly data analysis and visualization, mostly social science/ humanities related. Used R, Tableau.


GRE: Not planning to take - since most programs don’t need it


LORs: Maybe I can get 2 from Professors of the classes I did those group projects, still waiting for their reply. 

And one from a young associate professor (CS PhD), taught me in a communication class, but Prof is in both Communication and Statistics Department and that class involved topics like Python/AI/ML/deep learning. (Because I am thinking about CS Programs too)  


Programs Aiming                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Biostatistics PhDs: UNC, John Hopkins, Upenn, Harvard

If I do apply to CS PhDs, I am thinking of UCLA, Berkeley, Stanford, Carnegie Mellon


For research interests, I am currently interested in Machine Learning, Data Mining, Data Science, NLP, Computational Social Science, Social Networks, and especially how they intersect with public health issues. I think this can relate to both Biostatistics and CS.



Where else should I look into? I know the schools I listed are all reaches.

How strong is my profile? I am really interested in CS Programs too, but given that I do not come from a CS background, should I not even try it and focus on biostat? Do you think I am really uncompetitive?

For LORs, maybe I can ask my future boss too? But that person does not have advance degrees and I am just starting to work there.

Edited by tc1234
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  • tc1234 changed the title to Profile Evaluation - PhD, Fall 2023
On 8/31/2022 at 10:49 AM, dirichletprior said:

Have you taken any courses in data structures or systems programming? I imagine it would be near-impossible (if not impossible period) into a top CS program without doing so.

You're right... after some research I think I shouldn't risk applying to CS programs. I have decided to focus on biostatistics/statistics.


[UPDATE] My new list of schools:

Biostatistics: Brown, JHU, Rutgers, U Pittsburgh, UT Health Houston, UMN, UNC, Havard, BU

Statistics: CMU, TAMU, UW Madison

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