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2013 Applications and Results Thread

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Hey everyone, I figured this would be helpful for people viewing this site in the future trying to figure out where they should apply.

Reply to this thread in the same format as me, and hopefully we can help out future applicants!


Undergraduate Institution: Ohio State University
Major: Economics, Math, BS

GPA: 3.56 Cumulative, 3.8 Major
GRE: Verbal 163, Quant 159, AW 5.0

Graduate Institution: N/A

Important Classes: Probability, Real Analysis, Differential Equations, Linear Algebra, Econometrics, Numerical Analysis, Multivariable Calculus
Research Experience: 1 year working for an Econ professor

Publications: None

Grants: None

Teaching experience: 1 year as a department-hired Economics tutor

LORs: 1 from Econ professor I did research for, 1 Stats professor, 1 Well-known Econometrician


Applied: Northwestern (PhD), Rutgers (PhD), UIUC (PhD), OSU (PhD), Virginia (PhD)     All Statistics


Accepted: Rutgers (no $$), UIUC ($$), OSU ($$), Virginia ($$)
Rejected: Northwestern
Attending: UIUC

Comments: I am very excited to be attending UIUC!

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Undergraduate Institution: University of Calgary
Major: Statistics, BSc (minor in Economics)

GPA: 3.57 Overall, 3.4 Major

Citizenship: Canadian

Graduate Institution: N/A

Important Classes: Theoretical Probability, Complex Variables 1. 10 Statistics courses at Senior level. No Real Analysis, no discrete math/proof courses besides theo prob.
Research Experience: None

Publications: None

Grants: None

Teaching experience: 1 year as TA, first year Stats course.

LORs: 1 from instructor/associate head of department who knows me very well, 1 from professor (Monte Carlo) who mentored me a lot through the process, 1 from professor (Theoretical Probability) who doesn't know me well

Additional Information: Did badly in important math courses: B- in Calc 3, B- in Linear Methods 2, C+ in Calc 4. A+ in Complex Variables. GPA of almost 3.9 in my last 2 years, upward trend in grades.


Applied: Simon Fraser University, University of Victoria, University of Manitoba (all Statistics Msc)


Accepted: SFU ($), UVic ($)

Attending: SFU

Comments: I withdrew my application from UManitoba. At all three schools I contacted professors whose work I was interested in beforehand - got encouragement to apply from all of them. I skyped with a professor from SFU prior to applying (we spoke back in November), and he agreed that if I got in he would supervise me - also skyped with one of his PhD students. I really think this interaction helped me get in, given my GPA and lack of research experience.


(I hope this helps future Canadian applicants looking on here! I didn't bother to apply to Toronto/McGill/Carleton/Waterloo etc because I was terrified I wouldn't get in, and none seemed like a good fit for me)

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For what it's worth, if you have any idea about how strong your recommendations are, that information is worth posting. I know most of the time you won't without seeing them, but recommendations are possibly the most critical part of the application.

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Undergraduate Institution: Top 50 Public

Major: Mathematics

GPA: 3.74 Cumulative, 3.81 Major (approximate)

GRE: Verbal 161, Quant 170, AW 4.5

Citizenship: Permanent Resident Asian

Graduate Institution: N/A

Important Classes: Just the standard pure math schedule with a decent number of applied electives.

Research Experience: Next to none

Publications: None

Grants: None

Teaching experience: None

LORs: I'd guess that these were above average for a student coming out of a huge public school without much relevant research experience. One of the recommenders is pretty well known in the Stats/Biostats field and said he wrote me a "good" recommendation, and the other two aren't as well known but wrote me "good" or "great" recommendations.

Additional Information: My time to degree was only about 2.5 years, but really less than that since I was only one class short of graduating after my 2nd year. I also have a gap of about 4 years after undergrad in which I worked in some not-too-related fields.


Biostats PhD: UWashington, Johns Hopkins, UNC Chapel Hill, UMichigan, UMinnesota, UCLA, Yale, UPenn, Brown, Emory, UFlorida, UPittsburgh, USC

Stats PhD: UWisconsin

Biostats MS: Harvard, Berkeley, Columbia, Duke, WashU, Stanford (MS Stats)

Accepted: UWashington, UNC Chapel Hill, UMichigan (MS/PhD), UMinnesota, UCLA, USC (MS/PhD), Harvard (MS), Columbia (MS), Duke (MS), WashU(MS)

Rejected: Johns Hopkins, Yale, UPenn, Brown, Emory, UFlorida, UPittsburgh, UWisconsin, Stanford, Berkeley (Brown and Emory sent me MS offers)

Attending: UWashington

Comments: I do find it weird I didn't get into a lot of my safeties while I got into a decent number of programs where I thought I was a reach/reasonable. It might be because of the respective department sizes and while some big departments were willing to take a chance on me, other smaller departments filtered me out because of things like lack of research experience and gap in academic education. I probably should have applied to less schools, but really had no idea what my chances were going in. My recommendation for future applicants who aren't sure and feel a bit shaky on their credentials is to not apply to too many smaller departments, and find a right balance of reach/reasonable/safety schools to apply to.

Most of the PhD offers were fully funded, and most of the MS offers were partially funded.

Edited by Shostakovich
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Undergraduate Institution: Top 10 UK university, top 3 department
Major: 4 year BSc integrated Masters programme in Statistics
GPA: Overall 66%, 4th year 69%
GRE: Verbal 164, Quant 169, AW 4.5
Citizenship: Non-American international student
Graduate Institution: N/A
Important Classes: Measure Theory, Probability Theory, Stochastic Processes, Biostatistics and Medical Statistics modules
Research Experience: Summer attachment in my undergraduate institution, summer attachment at a research institute in my home country, Fourth year dissertation on multiple testing, currently doing a 6 month attachment in machine learning at the same research institute in my home country
Publications: First author publication in peer-reviewed undergraduate research journal (from summer attachment in my UG school), second author in conference paper (from second summer attachment)
Grants: None
Teaching experience: None
LORs: 1 from my personal tutor (well-known professor) who pretty much knew what I was doing both in and out of the classroom in those 4 years. 1 from my dissertation supervisor/first summer attachment supervisor (relatively young American PI) who liked the work I did under him. 1 from my current supervisor who was my co-author on the conference paper.
Applied: Boston (Biostatistics), Berkeley (Statistics), Carnegie Mellon (Statistics), Duke (Statistics), Minnesota(Statistics), Michigan (Biostatistics), Stanford (Statistics), UBC (Statistics), UCLA (Biostatistics), UWash (Statistics and Biostatistics), Warwick (Statistics).
Accepted: None
Waitlisted: Michigan (have been told they are full already though)
Rejected: The rest
Attending: None, obviously!
Comments: I was pretty upset after being told by Michigan that they are full, as I was told previously that I was high up on the waitlist. 
I'm not sure which part of my application I should focus on improving. My first 2 LORs should be pretty good, as they both have experience of writing LORs and know me well. My third letter writer is pretty junior, and isn't familiar with the US system at all, but knows me well enough as well. I'm also unsure what to do with the extra year now - current supervisor suggests that I should try for an RA position in one of my target schools, but I'm pessimistic wrt visa issues etc. Another friend working in the local health ministry has suggested the possibility of a statistician type position, and would be happy to help me to secure one.
And obviously, relook at my choice of schools to apply to for next year.
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Undergraduate Institution: Large state university -- >20,000 undergrads, regionally ranked by USNWR (not in the national rankings)
Major: Biology
GPA: 3.50 Cumulative, but ~3.8 last 70 hours (after 2.8 freshman year)
GRE: Verbal 159, Quant 162, AW 4.5
Citizenship: Natural norn U.S. Citizen 
Graduate Institution: N/A
Important Classes: Calc 1 (B, took my freshman year), Calc 2 (A, last semester), Linear Algebra (A, last semester), Biostatistics (applied statistics course for Bio majors -  A), Computer Statistics (prograaming class in R and SAS - A), Calc 3 (In progress), and Probability Theory (In Progress)
Research Experience: Not statistics related, but biology research that consisted of some programming experience in R
Publications: none so far, but manuscript had been submitted at time of applications
Grants: None
Teaching experience: None
LORs: Having not read them myself, these are assumptions based off the communication I had with my writers. 1 great one from the professor I've done research with (but he is a newer, less established professor), 1 good one from another Biology professor, and 1 good one from my Biostatistics professor 


Applied: UWash, UNC, Minnesota, Michigan, Emory, Brown, Yale, Pitt, Boston U, Medical U of South Carolina (MUSC), Vanderbilt


Accepted: Michigan (MS/PhD fastrack), Emory (MS), Brown (MS), Boston U (PhD), MUSC (PhD)

Rejected: UWash, UNC, Minnesota, Yale, Pitt

Other: Waitlisted by Vanderbilt and I had them take my name off the list before a decision was ever made. 



Comments: Obviously, I have less stellar credentials than most applicants have on these forums. I wasn't all that surprised by the rejections I got, although I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed. I think my low ranked undergrad university and my lesser math background (given that I'm currently taking Calc III and lack any deeper math classes like Real Analysis) was cause for concern about my ability to handle the rigor of the more theoretical stat courses, and is therefore the reason I was admitted to the MS program rather than PhD program for 3 of the 5 programs I was accepted by. I was offered funding at BU and MUSC, partial tuition remission at Brown and Emory, and no funding at Michigan. A big part of my decision was obviously funding, so as much as I would have liked to attend Michigan, I had to turn down there offer because I couldn't rationalize the debt for an MS when I had funded PhD offers elsewhere (albeit, at lower ranked institutions). I also turned down Emory and Browns offers for the same reason... Now, if my career goals were strictly to remain in academia for theoretical/methodological research at a top ranked institution, I would have given more serious consideration to taking out loans and making UMich work. Ultimately I made my decision after campus visits, speaking with faculty, comparing research interests, etc..... For anonymity reasons, I'd like to leave it at that and simply say that I chose one of the two schools - Boston U or MUSC. 

Edited by Noco7
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Guest dot.matrix

Undergraduate Institution: Large state university, I'm sure its (lack of) reputation did not help me.
Major: Biochemistry, BS

GPA: 3.55 Cumulative undergrad; 3.8 Major undergrad; 3.8 Math undergrad; 3.8 Biostat MS
GRE: Verbal 165, Quant 170, AW 4.5

MCAT (7/2011) (submitted to SOPHAS and JHU): 12 Physical, 13 Biology, 13 Verbal, Q Essay, 98.4-99.0 overall percentile

Citizenship: US

Graduate Institution: Currently second year MS in biostatistics, relatively new (unranked) small program affiliated with medical school

Important Classes: Calculus I-IV (through vector calc), differential equations, applied biostatistics sequence, survival analysis, clinical trials, SAS, design and analysis of surveys, 2 bioinformatics courses including algorithms and statistical methods, currently taking probability/Casella & Berger math stat sequence and linear algebra so this was not on my transcript.  

Research Experience: One biostatistics lab course and master's thesis, both focused on microarray data analysis methods, working with the same advisor for both, use of R/Bioconductor packages

Publications: None

Grants: None

Teaching experience: 7+ years math science tutor for elementary through undergraduate level, currently TA for year-long applied biostatistics sequence for MPH, biostatistics, and bioinformatics graduate students

Work experience: Two years as an electronic medical records tutor and one year as emergency department scribe/scribe trainer, working in hospitals with physicians

LORs: 1 from thesis advisor/biostat professor, 1 biostat linear regression professor, 1 bioinformatics professor, 1 philosophy of science professor (for schools that would allow more than 3). I think I probably had the strongest recs from my advisor and the philosophy prof, whom I have visited with extensively.  Others are probably average, I preformed very well in their courses but did not know them incredibly well. Also I asked my employer (an emergency room physician) to send an extra letter to JHU because it was my top choice, maybe this was in February or March. I asked her to send a 'glowing' letter. She gave me a copy; it seemed nice enough but I think they would be more impressed with straight A's in a real analysis sequence :).  


Applied: All Biostat PhD -- UW, Berkeley, UCLA, Harvard, JHU, UNC, Emory, Boston University, Columbia, Pitt


Accepted: Pitt (full funding with TA/RA position)
Rejected: Everywhere else 
Attending: Pitt

Comments: I believe I was immediately disqualified at UW and Boston U for no linear algebra (probably should have checked with the departments before applying), if not more, and other schools for lack of higher level math courses (and perhaps other reasons). I was originally planning to do medical school, hence the biochemistry undergrad, the MCAT, and the medical related jobs.  Also I worked many random jobs after high school and did not really apply myself to undergrad studies until I became focused on pre-medical preparation, so my undergrad transcript stretches over 10 years with most work concentrated in the last 4 years. My advice to future applicants: take a lot of math courses (if you are not already a math or stats major)! Maybe I should note that Columbia asked if I wanted to be considered for DrPH in biostatistics, which I declined as I would like to continue learning more statistical theory and I would prefer the PhD degree. Very happy with how things turned out, regardless of all the rejection, which was kind of depressing, but motivating as well, I suppose. Now I am glad to be able to stop worrying about all this rankings nonsense and focus on becoming the best (bio)statistician I can possibly be.  

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Undergraduate Institution: Mid-sized, low-ranking State University in the Midwest
Major: Math, Economics, BA

GPA: 3.54 Cumulative, 3.87 Major
GRE: Verbal 167, Quant 167, AW 4.5

Graduate Institution: Large, mid-ranking State University in the South

Grad Major: Economics (PhD program, dropped out after 2nd year and received an MS)

Grad GPA: 3.3

Important Classes: (Undergrad) Mathematical Statistics, Computational Statistics, Real Analysis, Elem. Point Set Topology, Differential Equations, Linear Algebra, Matrix Theory, Econometrics, (Grad) Survival Analysis, Panel Data, Limited Dependent Variables, Econometrics, Time Series
Research Experience: 1 year working for an Econ professor

Publications: One empirical paper in a decent peer-reviewed economic journal, another empirical paper published by the Joint Economic Committee of Congress.  

Grants: None

Teaching experience: Principles of Microeconomics at my Graduate School, Econometrics at my Alma Mater.

LORs: 1 Econometrics Prof (Grad), 1 Stats Prog (UGrad), 1 Econometrics Prof (UGrad).  I don't think any are particularly well known.


Applied: Ohio State (PhD), UC-Davis (PhD), Bowling Green (PhD), UCLA (Masters), Stanford (Masters), University of Washington (Masters), Chicago (Masters), UNC-Chapel Hill (Masters), Johns Hopkins (Masters), Columbia (Masters), Carnegie Mellon (Masters).  All Statistics


Accepted: Bowling Green, UCLA, Johns Hopkins,
Rejected: Ohio State, UC-Davis, Stanford, Carnegie Mellon

Waitlisted: Chicago, Washington (implied), UNC-Chapel Hill (implied), Columbia (Implied)
Attending: UCLA

Comments:  I've been working as an economist for the past 4 years.  Also, I had a number of classes in grad school that show up as "expired incomplete" and then again with course grades (interestingly enough, all incomplete courses eventually became As.)  

Edited by econ_to_stats
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Undergraduate Institution:  Small Private Top 40 U.S. School

Major:  Physics BS

GPA 3.26

GRE 159 Q 161V 3.5 W

Important classes, Calculus I to III, differential equations 

Linear Algebra and Diffeq taken at a tier II university A's in everything except calculus II ( which was a B )


LOR- three from co-workers (I worked in industry as a physicist for 8 years before going back to school, I dont think my professors remembered me). All of which were positive, but none of them worked in academia


Applied: Akron (masters) Bowling Green (Masters) Ohio State (PhD) University of Pittsburgh (Phd)

Accepted: Akron (fully funded!), Bowling Green

Rejected: Ohio State, UPitt

Going: Akron


Comments: I figure my lack of math experience, low GPA, recommendations from former co-workers and poor GRE grades kept me out of contention for the two PHD programs I applied to.  However I did get into two Masters programs, and I will work on improving my application over the next couple of years.  I cant change my GPA, but I can change everything else!

Edited by superbean
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Undergraduate Institution: Small Private Liberal Arts School
Major: Math BA, Early Childhood/Childhood Education BA

GPA: 3.83 Cumulative, 3.57 Major
GRE: Verbal 164, Quant 162, AW 4.5

Graduate Institution: N/A

Important Classes: Real Analysis, Differential Equations, Linear Algebra, Number Theory, Combinatorics/Graph Theory, Abstract Algebra, Mathematica Coding
Research Experience: 2 REUs (UNC-Asheville 2011, LSU 2012)

Publications: 2 in the pipeline

Grants: None

Teaching experience: Student teaching for education degree, but none at the college level.  Tutoring, both group and individual.

LORs: 2 from professors with whom I had taken several classes, 1 from research advisor at LSU.


Applied: RPI (Applied - PhD), Colorado State (Pure - PhD), Brandeis (Pure - PhD), Florida State (Pure - PhD), Louisiana State (Pure - PhD), Rice (Pure - PhD), University of Iowa (Pure - PhD), SUNY Binghamton (Pure - PhD)


Accepted: RPI (Declined before offer of $$), Binghamton ($$), LSU ($$)
Rejected: CSU, Brandeis, Rice

Removed from consideration after accepting other offer: FSU, Iowa
Attending: LSU

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Undergraduate Institution: Small, private Top 50 U.S university
Major: Math BS, Computer Science BS

GPA: 4.00
GRE: Verbal 170, Quant 166, AW 4.5

Graduate Institution: N/A

Important Classes: Foundations of Analysis, Real Analysis, Linear Algebra, Numerical Computing, Probability Theory, Mathematical Statistics, Statistical Analysis, Lots of CS
Research Experience:  Worked with professors at my institution for a senior thesis and a URP  

Publications: 1 perhaps upcoming

Grants: None

Teaching experience: Worked as a math mentor for Calc 1 and as a tutor for elementary school students

LORs: 2 from professors of Industrial Engineering with whom I've done research, one from Math professor of course where I was top student.  One LOR from full professor of IE was stellar.  He in fact offered me a job as a consultant with his company after our research experience.  Second IE professor probably gave a pretty solid rec, as I did very well in his Mathematical Statistics course and had also begun research with him on a problem in operations research.  Third rec was very good for a Did Well in Class rec, but as we all know these only go so far.


Applied (all Stat PhD): Washington, CMU, Harvard, Berkeley, Wharton, Duke, Michigan, Minnesota, UCLA


Accepted: CMU, Washington, UCLA, Michigan, Minnesota (not officially, told them I was no longer interested when gauged for interest at "top" of wait list)
Rejected: Harvard, Berkeley, Wharton, Duke

Declined: UCLA, Michigan, Minnesota

Attending: Either CMU or Washington (Extension until May 1)

Edited by timmmythetooth
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  • 2 weeks later...

Undergraduate Institution: Trinity College Dublin (University of Dublin)
Major: Mathematics B.A.

GPA: 4 (outright top of class, so far every year!)
GRE: Verbal 164, Quant 170, AW 5.0

GRE Math: 91st percentile.... Can't remember the score, 8xx

Citizenship: Ireland

Important Classes: real/multivariable/complex/functional analysis, multivariate calculus, linear algebra, measure-y stuff, etc. I've also done some probability and statistics courses: some "basic" ones plus generalised linear models, baysian inference, time series, stochastic processes, all the MCs
Research Experience: Final year thesis with one of my LORs

Publications: -

Grants: Have a full-ride scholarship (trinity scholar)

Teaching experience: Some - taught some revision classes, graded HW

Other stuff: Represented Ireland in the IMO (badly...), internship with Data vis stuff with Ernst & Young

LORs: Knew them all very well, had done well in their classes, as mentioned done some minor thesis work with one, and had corrected homework for another

Applied: UPenn, Stanford, UChicago, Harvard, Columbia, Cornell, UCLA, Berkeley, Northwestern, NYU, Duke, UW, JH, Princeton, UMich (all Stats PhDs except NYU and Princeton: Operations Research)


Note: I turned down NYU during their interview process, and turned down Duke after their initial shortlisting (i.e. both before they made a decision)


Accepted: All except NYU, Duke (I turned them down) and Berkeley, Northwestern
Rejected: Berkeley, Northwestern
Attending: UPenn


So not Stanford! I'm pretty happy with the decision though, don't think I'll regret it.

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Undergraduate Institution: Emory University
Major: Applied Math BS
GPA: 3.97 Cumulative, 4.0 Major
GRE: Verbal 167, Quant 165, AW 5.0
Graduate Institution: N/A
Important Classes: Real Analysis, Numerical Analysis (graduate), Matrix Analysis (graduate), Partial Differential Equations
Research Experience: 1 summer developing image processing software, 1 year working on large scale inverse problems
Publications: None
Grants: None
Teaching experience: Effectively none
LORs: One from my advisor who is very well known in his field (I had several people during interviews comment unprompted that this letter was extremely strong. I attribute this letter to much of my success). One from the professor I was writing software for and another from a professor who just loved me.

Applied: Emory (Computational Math, PhD), University of Maryland (Applied Math, PhD), Rice (Computational and Applied Math, PhD), FSU (Scientific Computing, PhD), Stony Brook (Applied Math, PhD), University of Arizona (Applied Math, PhD), Georgia Tech (Computational Science and Engineering, PhD), UT-Austin (Computational Science, Engineering and Mathematics, PhD)

Accepted: Emory ($$), Rice ($$), FSU ($$), Stony Brook (no $$), University of Arizona ($$), Georgia Tech ($$), UT-Austin ($$$ extra money)
Rejected: University of Maryland
Attending: UT-Austin

Comments: As I mentioned, I think my very strong rec letter had a lot to do with my acceptances. My GPA is good, GRE scores are acceptable, but I was a little weak in terms of research. I expected to get in to Maryland, but not Georgia Tech (screwed up the application, but ran into a faculty member at a conference and got everything cleared up). No money from Stony Brook was surprising, but not disappointing because I already had several acceptances by then. I chose UT because it is an excellent program and I got offered much more money from there than from anywhere else and I really liked the people I met when I visited. If I could go back in time, I might apply to Stanford's Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering. I intended to apply, but the application deadline was too early and I didn't think that I had much of a shot anyway. I wanted to apply to CSE at UCSD and I think a similar program at Berkeley, but all the UC schools required the math GRE for stuff like that and I never took it (my advisor said that I probably wouldn't need to).

Edited by k3ithk
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Undergraduate Institution: Big State University
Major: Mathematics 

GPA: 3.94 
GRE: Verbal 160, Quant 164, AW 4.0

Math GRE:700

Graduate Institution: N/A

Important Classes: Real Analysis, Abstract Algebra, Complex Variables, Probability, Number Theory, Vector Spaces
Research Experience: One semester of required undergraduate research experience (Topic in Harmonic Analysis)

Publications: None

Grants: None

Teaching experience: One semester as TA for a Multivariable Calculus class.

LORs:  All letters of recommendation were excellent.


Applied: (Ph.D. Programs) Texas A&M, Georgia Tech, LSU, Indiana University


Accepted: Texas A&M, LSU  

Waitlisted: Georgia Tech (later accepted)
Rejected: Indiana University
Attending: Texas A&M


Like Caesar, I'm looking forward to some SEC football.

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