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Masters programs in Biostats/Stats?


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I'm starting the application cycle for *hopefully attending graduate school next fall, but I'm running into a few questions that I hope someone can answer. I have an interest in both statistics and biostatistics, but I'm not sure which I'd prefer so I'm applying to schools in both fields. I'm pretty set on only applying to masters programs; I have no interest in a phd. Financing them isn't an issue, but I don't really have a clear idea of where I can get in and where I should be aiming.

University: One of the largest public universities in US; stats program is pretty small and has been in a lot of flux the past few years

Degree: Mathematics, BS in the honors college

GPA: 3.63; lots of B+/A- in most of my upper division math courses, and one C. will take two grad courses in stats this year.


Summer Institute in Biostatistics

Mathematics / SAT / ACT Tutor ~ for a national tutoring company

"Research" in Math Ed ~ a lot of data cleaning, transcription, and admin work; am technically a paid worker on a NSF funded grant though, but no publications

Research in Bioinformatics ~ as a freshman, a lot of data cleaning, no publications

Community Scholars program ~ did two projects fresh/soph year encouraging public health, a third my junior year encouraging aiding the homeless in our town

Honors Thesis ~ will be on bayesian methods in sports analytics

Machine Learning Intern ~ developing implementations in matlab of algorithms for a professor this semester

Coach ~ of a competitive academic team at my old high school (paid position)


National Merit Scholar

Recipient of another well-regarded school scholarship

Research Funding Grant from School of Life Sciences

Letters of Rec:

I think I can get a good one from my biostats/regression professor, and another good one from my professors at SIBS. The third will be weaker and will either be a pure math professor or my thesis advisor, who does not know me well, really .. I can also get one pertaining to my public health community service from a big name at my university.

Below are a list of schools that I'm considering:





uc berkeley





unc chapel hill















uc davis





Even though this is for a masters, location and flexibility are pretty important to me. I'd like to be able to take some electives in machine learning / statistical computing classes, although I'm not sure how common that is. Are any/all of these places reaches for me? Should I be shooting for lower in the rankings?

thank you for your time and help!

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sisyphus is right; you are in a good position for most of the places on your list. Top stat schools might be slight reaches, particularly if they have smaller Masters programs, but given your fairly strong record I wouldn't write anywhere off as impossible.

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