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apply for biostat program profile evaluation


Coconut111
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Hello everyone!

I'm applying for PhD program in biostat this year. As I'm not math-majored in undergrad study, I'm a bit worried about my competiveness? Could you give me some suggestion about choosing schools or what is my chance of being accepted by top schools or top programs?

undergrad: BS an international institution major: Biotechnology gpa 3.6/4.0

grad: MS top 20 US institution major: Biostatistics gpa 3.9/4.0

gre: Q800 V580 W4.0

toefl: not required

research experience: two projects with professors in biostat, several course projects

courses taken: statistical inference, probability theory, linear models, modern regression, survival, categorical data

software: SAS R

Thank you so much!

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Depending on what schools you attended, I think you will be competitive for departments ranked outside the top 10.

Thank you so much!

I am preparing for applying UMinnesota UMich UNC UPitt Emory Brown. Do you think it's realistic?

Thank you again!

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Again, this going to depend on where you went to school and what math grades you had. I think it will be tough for you to gain admission at UNC, Michigan, and Minnesota, but you have a better chance at Pitt, Emory, and Brown.

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On 11/30/2012 at 11:11 AM, cyberwulf said:

Again, this going to depend on where you went to school and what math grades you had. I think it will be tough for you to gain admission at UNC, Michigan, and Minnesota, but you have a better chance at Pitt, Emory, and Brown.

wait, so someone with

- decent undergrad (depending on school), with 3.6/4.0

- MS in biostatistics (!) at a top 20, with 3.9/4.0

- good GRE scores (at least quant portion)

- relevant research projects in biostats (!)

is not going to be competitive for a top 10 biostats program?

The possible red flags might be competitiveness of the undergrad institution and the fact that the applicant is international, but I was under the impression that biostats applicant pool was not that deep... For example just going through the UWashington biostats phd student profiles, I find a lot of students with less impressive profiles than the OP.

Sorry I just feel a little insecure since my profile is not that different from the OP and I most applied to top 10 programs....

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wait, so someone with

- decent undergrad (depending on school), with 3.6/4.0

- MS in biostatistics (!) at a top 20, with 3.9/4.0

- good GRE scores (at least quant portion)

- relevant research projects in biostats (!)

is not going to be competitive for a top 10 biostats program?

The bar for international students is substantially higher than for US citizens/PRs. Places like UNC/Mich/Minn typically select international PhD applicants from a small set of elite schools in China, India, Korea, etc. Having a Masters degree from a biostat program outside the top 10 (I assume) boosts the profile a little, but it's not a huge help. Same goes for relevant research in biostat; unless the OP has a first-authored paper in a solid biostat journal (which would be extremely rare for a Masters student anywhere), it will have only a small amount of influence.

I don't mean to sound too negative; I still think the OP has a decent chance to be admitted to fairly good departments like Emory. But a top 6 place could be out of reach.

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The bar for international students is substantially higher than for US citizens/PRs. Places like UNC/Mich/Minn typically select international PhD applicants from a small set of elite schools in China, India, Korea, etc. Having a Masters degree from a biostat program outside the top 10 (I assume) boosts the profile a little, but it's not a huge help. Same goes for relevant research in biostat; unless the OP has a first-authored paper in a solid biostat journal (which would be extremely rare for a Masters student anywhere), it will have only a small amount of influence.

I don't mean to sound too negative; I still think the OP has a decent chance to be admitted to fairly good departments like Emory. But a top 6 place could be out of reach.

Thank you so much, Cyberwulf and sisyphus!

Actually I think my bio background in undergrad may be a negative point. My undergrad institution is now well-reputed in US, but it's like top 15 in our country. My grad institution in US is good-reputed for biostat, about top 10 program.

I will take a shot at those top PhD programs but will keep my options open.

Thank you for your suggestions!

I

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Actually I think my bio background in undergrad may be a negative point. My undergrad institution is now well-reputed in US, but it's like top 15 in our country. My grad institution in US is good-reputed for biostat, about top 10 program.

Sorry, it's "not", not "now"

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Hey cyberwulf, I'm also an international student and I'm wondering how attending a US institution for my undergrad degree affects my chances of admission -- does it improve it all, or is the competitiveness for international applicants more about limited funding?

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Sorry to hijack the thread but CyberWulf, I have a question on how adcoms determine academic levels of unknown overseas institutions.

My school is in country J (heavily populated, one of the major economies in asia), and is ranked roughly #5 ~ #7 nationwide.

The school is highly regarded domestically, but I think it has almost zero international recognition.

I understand that if this were China, South Korea, or India, adcoms have ways to figure out how good a school is, i.e. through past experience or asking their own grad students/faculty.

However, students/faculty from country J are severely underrepresented in U.S. stat programs, and I strongly doubt adcoms have much experience handling applications from there.

For complicated reasons I qualify as a domestic applicant so I figure I'll be compared to applicants from U.S. schools.

My question is: since my school is unknown, is it likely that it would be treated similarly to an unknown state school in the U.S. (or worse)?

Honestly, I think the academic level (at least in quantitative disciplines ) at my school shouldn't be that much different from a top 25 U.S. school, but there really isn't any way to prove that.

FWIW, my gre general is Q170(99th) V160(83rd).

Could you give me some insight? (currently debating whether I should make my school list more conservative or not; I have a limited budget)

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It's not always easy, but adcoms will generally do their best to figure out the caliber of your school. The Internet and its various university rankings can usually provide a good enough approximation.

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