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Statistics-Need advice for going back to school

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Hello all.  I am going to be applying to some statistics grad programs over the next few months and I am looking for some advice.  Here is my profile:


Domestic male


Undergrad: Big 10 school


Major: Actuarial Science


GPA: 3.75, 3.90 Major (graduated in 3 years)



3+ years as an actuary for an insurance company (financial)

Undergrad Math TA (precalc 1 quarter)

Calc tutor - 2 years


GRE: 149V/169Q/4.5AW


LOR: will have decent letters from math professors


Related courses:

Calc II-A

Calc III-B+

Calc IV-A


Intro to Mathematical Stats I-A

Intro to Mathematical Stats II-A

Linear Algebra-A

Applied Regression Analysis-B+

Actuarial courses-Life contingencies (3 courses, all A), Interest theory (A-), Financial Economics (A)


Actuarial Exams: Probability, Financial Mathematics, Life Contingencies, Financial Economics, Construction and Evaluation of Actuarial Models, 2 Written assessments bason on actuarial readings and practices.  I am an Associate of the Society of Actuaries.


Schools: Wisconsin, NC State, Iowa State, Purdue, Ohio State, Illinois, Va Tech, Missouri


My concerns/weaknesses are:

-I have been out of school for 3 years

-I have a low Verbal GRE score

-I was not a traditional math major and have not taken real analysis

-I do not have any research experience


I ultimately want to earn a PhD.  Is it reasonable for me to be accepted to any PhD programs in Fall of 2014 based on my profile?  Would I need to get a MS first then try for a PhD since I don't have analysis?  Is it worth it to retake the GRE to try to improve my Verbal score?  How hard is it to be accepted to a school's MS program then transfer into their PhD program-easier than applying for PhD?  Is my list of schools too optimistic?


Any other advice or feedback is welcomed.  Thanks in advance for your help!

Edited by statswannabe
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