Jump to content

Fall 2025 Stats PhD Profile


Recommended Posts

I am currently a Senior in my undergrad program and I am planning on applying to programs this coming Fall/Winter. I want to assess my list of schools and also probably narrow it down. 

Undergrad Institution: Top 120 School 

Major: Statistics

Minors: Math
GPA:  3.93
Type of Student: Domestic (White Male)
GRE General Test: Haven't taken it yet. I have taken a diagnostic and scored:

Q: 163 V: 160

So I am confident I can score highly 

Coursework:

Calc I (A), Calc II (A-), Calc III (A), Linear Algebra (A), Mathematical Statistics I (A), Mathematical Statistics II (2), Applied R Programming (A-), Intro to Proofs (A), Statistical Modeling (A), Intro to Programming (Python)(A)

- Currently taking Real Analysis I, plan on taking Real Analysis II in the fall

- Taking Regression, Machine Learning, and Bayesian in the fall

- Considering additional Real Analysis or Measure Theory in the spring, but I will have already applied by then

Research Experience:

- Currently working under a statistics professor doing some machine learning research. I started about 3 months ago and will be working with him until I graduate. He is confident we can publish a paper in the next few months.

LORs:

- Strong: Stats professor who I do research for

- Likely Strong: Math Professor who I am currently taking Real Analysis from

- Decent: Another Stat/Math Professor (I am considering a few options)

 

Schools:

Statistics PhDs

Reach - Carnegie Mellon, Duke, Michigan, Washington, Cornell

On Par -  NC State, Texas A&M, UT Austin, Illinois, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Iowa State, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Purdue, Pittsburgh, Penn State, Ohio State

Safety - George Mason

---

Other

MS - Statistics at my home school

Research Interests:

- Statistical Learning

- Applications in Neuroscience

 

I would love feedback on my profile. Am I in the right range of schools I am applying to? If not, what are your recommendations? How can I narrow this down based on recommendations? Are there any weak points in my profile that need to be addressed? I am closing in on application time and want to leave everything on the table.

 

Thanks in advance for the help!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think your reaches are unrealistic.  In my mind, NCSU, TAMU, UT Austin, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Purdue are already big reaches.  I think the Virginia/Virginia Tech/Pitt/George Mason range is reasonable.   A big state school like Ohio State/Penn State/Iowa State might be achievable.

You absolutely need to improve your GRE Q score.  When you don't go to a top school, and don't have much research experience, a 163 is going to hurt you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

@bayessays if i obtain a competitive quant score (>167), do those schools that you consider big reaches become achievable?

also, how much more research would have been expected? by the time i apply i will have been researching for just less than a year and will likely have a paper.

just trying to understand where i may have gone wrong in this whole process. is it just that i don’t come from an elite undergraduate university?

thanks so much for your advice, i appreciate it

Edited by sballs9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

i totally understand the reaches being unrealistic and it was more of a “you only do this once so shoot your shot” kind of mindset. i have reduced that part of the list to 1 or 2 schools. i guess my biggest question is how i can make the schools you mentioned as big reaches become more attainable, as well as making the schools you mentioned as reasonable or achievable more likely. thanks again!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First, I think you just need to re-orient your mindset.  It's not just the 5 schools you listed, but all the other schools I listed are also top 25 programs in the world, which let in ~10 students each from around the world.  It is very competitive, and you need to convince these schools you're one of the best applicants.  There are applicants with master's degrees, 4.0s from top 50 schools, and years of research who are happy to go to a program ranked below almost every school you've listed.

You need to convince these schools you can handle the math.  Your math background is the bare minimum, so you're already at disadvantage.  You have mostly As, which is good obviously.  But if I'm looking at you vs. a math major with a 3.7 from a top 30 school, who am I going to bet is going to have an easier time with the coursework? If you had a 170 GRE Q, that would maybe ease some concerns.  You may be misunderstanding the grading scale, but a 163 GRE Q score is very bad and will bring into question your ability to do math.

You barely said anything about your research, so I can't really judge whether you've done anything.  Most people will have done research for 2 summers before applying, or might even have a master's degree where they did research, and will have multiple letters from research advisors.  Have you contributed anything?  Are you actually developing new machine learning methods, are you conducting extensive simulation studies, or are you just doing some applied data analysis?  This is not some box to check "I have this many months of research experience" - you actually have to accomplish something, and you didn't share any details.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@bayessays Ok, I see. Thank you for the critiques. What are some other programs you think I could more comfortably apply to? And separately, I know biostatistics programs are frequently mentioned for someone in my position. What higher tier biostatistics programs do you think I could shoot for? Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@bayessays What do you think of this revised list?

Dream - Carnegie Mellon, Johns Hopkins

Reach - NC State, Texas A&M, Texas, Rice, Illinois

Match - Iowa State, Penn State, Ohio State

Safety - Boston, Pittsburgh, Virginia, George Mason

If you think my list still needs some adjusting, I am considering schools like Virginia Tech, UMBC, or Baylor instead. Do you think I can get into one program on the list as is? I only want to readjust further if you think I have the potential of not getting into any of those programs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your list is extremely top heavy, and certainly does not contain any safeties.  You can go on the grad student web pages of your safeties and read their American PhD students' LinkedIn/CVs, and honestly assess whether your profile is above average for those schools.

You can apply to whatever schools you would like - you have a good GPA, and might get into some of these places.  If your safety is to apply to a Master's program at your home school, I think that would be an extremely good use of your next two years because then I think you'll have the background where your current list becomes extremely achievable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, sballs9 said:

@bayessays What types of schools would you consider safeties for me, if you wouldn't mind providing some specific examples, or a range?

I'd add more in the Pitt/Virginia Tech through Baylor range (US news 35ish-60's). Some of those are still not safeties despite their ranking (e.g., NYU), but I think you'd get into a good amount of schools in that range. My profile was quite similar to yours, and I got accepted to all of the ranked 30+ that I applied to.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, BL4CKxP3NGU1N said:

I'd add more in the Pitt/Virginia Tech through Baylor range (US news 35ish-60's). Some of those are still not safeties despite their ranking (e.g., NYU), but I think you'd get into a good amount of schools in that range. My profile was quite similar to yours, and I got accepted to all of the ranked 30+ that I applied to.

@BL4CKxP3NGU1N Can you tell us what was your background/profile and in which top 30+ schools have you applied to?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 minutes ago, alemao said:

@BL4CKxP3NGU1N Can you tell us what was your background/profile and in which top 30+ schools have you applied to?

Sure, my background and acceptance info is  here.

To summarize the schools I applied to (with ranking):

I got accepted to (in order of acceptance date): Colorado State (30), Baylor (66), University of Missouri (Mizzou, 37), Ohio State (24), and South Carolina (51)

rejected: Illinois (UIUC, 22), Texas A&M (13)

I also applied and got waitlisted at Rice (29), and I withdrew my application after I decided to accept an offer elsewhere.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I completely agree with @BL4CKxP3NGU1N's advice.   I think you should apply to many more schools in the 30-66 range.  I don't think you should bother with finding more safe options - there's a pretty big dropoff in the schools after the 60s and you'd be better off just getting a master's and reapplying.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

28 minutes ago, BL4CKxP3NGU1N said:

Sure, my background and acceptance info is  here.

To summarize the schools I applied to (with ranking):

I got accepted to (in order of acceptance date): Colorado State (30), Baylor (66), University of Missouri (Mizzou, 37), Ohio State (24), and South Carolina (51)

rejected: Illinois (UIUC, 22), Texas A&M (13)

I also applied and got waitlisted at Rice (29), and I withdrew my application after I decided to accept an offer elsewhere.

That is great. Glad that you got lots of acceptances. Thanks for sharing background and info.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. See our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use