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Hi, I am currently a Statistics and Economics major in my Junior year at an accredited Big Ten university. I am hoping to go into Biostatistics after I graduate, but am having a lot of trouble finding admission statistics. Though obviously none of this is set in stone, this is an approximation of what my GPA's would look like.

My Expected GPA's consist of:

GPA: 3.298

Statistics GPA: 3.357

Math/Stat GPA: 3.293

Degree GPA: 3.443

College of Natural Science GPA (including Degree GPA): 3.472

Economics GPA: 3.600

GPA of classes excluding Stat, Math, and Econ: 3.115

My Relevent Courses:

Biostatistics

Calculus I-III

Differential Equations

Linear Algebra (Proof Emphasis)

Algebra Based Statistics I

Multivariate Probability

Multivariate Statistics

Actuarial Mathematics

Statistical Computing

Econometric I & II

Introduction to Programming

I am currently looking into going into the University of Michigan for either a M.S. in Biostatistics or a Ph.D in Biostatics, or possibly attending Grand Valley State University first to get an M.S. in Biostatistics and then attempt to get into UMich's Ph.D program.

Do I have a good chance of getting into Michigan? I realize there are many variables but any insight would be nice. I don't have any intern experience but I do have volunteer work, tutoring experience, and have passed the Probability Exam P/1 for Actuaries. Any insight is appreciated; average GPA's, GRE's, acceptance rates, ect would be great!

Edited by jrk012

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I think you'll be borderline for an M.S. at Michigan; unfortunately, I don't think your record's quite good enough to get into their PhD (which is top 5 in the country). An M.S. from Grand Valley State likely won't help you much; performing well in a weak program really won't show UMich that you have what it takes to hack their PhD program.

Assuming you have a bit of geographical flexibility, consider applying to a few other Big 10 M.S. programs. Specifically, you could look into Minnesota, Iowa, and Ohio State. Good performance in an M.S. at one of these places would be an asset on your future applications to PhD programs.

Oh, and Minnesota has some MS admissions stats on their website -- I suspect Michigan's numbers would be pretty comparable:

What are the average GPAs and GRE scores of students admitted to the MS program?

  • Median GPA: 3.64
  • Median GRE scores: 770 Quantitative, 560 Verbal, 4.0 Analytical Writing

Edited by cyberwulf

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Eventually I'd like to work my way to Michigan's PhD, so whatever I would have to do to get there I would. I don't really have much job experience, just a normal college job, but I've began talking to admissions there, just to get my foot in the door, and I also have a lot of tutoring and volunteer experience. I do not expect to get into a Phd right away, nor do I want to until I've further proven myself, but would like to get into a decent Masters' Program, work hard, and then hopefully get into a good Phd program. My expected Junior/Senior GPA is 3.8, do you think that would help my admissions into an M.S.? And thanks for the information, I appreciate it! Unfortunately UMich has no information on their GPAs and GREs for some reason.

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Is Cincinnati or Western Michigan very good? I see both are on the rankings but it had "rank not published". A little closer to home but I'm not sure how well of programs they are.

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The list of Biostat M.S. programs where good performance will help you get into a top-notch PhD program is, unfortunately, pretty short. The list of well-respected stat M.S. programs is a little bit longer, so you might want to think about that as a possible route (eg. consider Michigan State stat as a backup). I would strongly counsel you against any stat/biostat program that's much outside the top 40 on the U.S. News rankings.

Excellent performance in more recent, upper-level courses will certainly serve you well. Job experience isn't really relevant; but, by the same token, tutoring and volunteer experience probably won't make much of an impact on an adcom either. The 3 key elements of applications are grades, GRE scores, and letters.

Good luck!

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