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Contacting with Professors


lost518

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I am a Master student in a Statistics program and I am planning to apply to a Biostatistics PhD program in this coming fall.

During the process of application, I am wondering how important it is for a student to contact with professors in the Biostatistics programs that he/she is interested. I know for many majors, such as Biology, it is very critical to contact with professors who are doing research you are interested in and may potentially work with the professors after the admission. What is the situation for Biostatistics? I have been reading the posts here and found some people suggesting that people in Biostatistics admission offices generally do not expect much biostatistics related research experience from the prospective students. So what is the deal here?

Thank you for any comments.

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I know for many majors, such as Biology, it is very critical to contact with professors who are doing research you are interested in and may potentially work with the professors after the admission.

Actually, this is not necessary if you're a strong researcher with strong letters. Contact with professors doesn't mean much unless (a) a professor is desperate for a student or (B) you worked with the professor. Otherwise they won't really care much.

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Yeah, don't bother contacting professors in your target biostat departments. You probably won't start on "real" biostatistics methods research until you have passed your qualifying exams (likely after the first year if you already have a Masters), so research fit isn't something that plays much of a role in admissions.

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Yeah, don't bother contacting professors in your target biostat departments. You probably won't start on "real" biostatistics methods research until you have passed your qualifying exams (likely after the first year if you already have a Masters), so research fit isn't something that plays much of a role in admissions.

Thank you for your reply!

In addition to the question above, I have another question. I was Biology major in undergraduate school. My overall GPA (3.6+) is not so good due to the biology courses I took, but I have straight A's in all math courses (three semesters of calculus and one semester of linear algebra) and math-related courses (such as chemistry and physics). How much the low grade in Biology will affect my application in terms of GPA alone? In addition, My GPA in current statistics program is OK (3.75+). I am wondering how much the admission committee will take my master grades into account.

I understand that the application package consists of lots of other important components rather than GPA alone. Since the research experience is not that important in applying for Biostatistics PhD program, I am really worried about my grades.

Hope you can answer my concern. Thank you!

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More weight will be placed on your math and stat grades, so it sounds like you are in pretty good shape. Of course, the schools you obtained those grades from will also affect how they are viewed.

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