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M.S./Ph.D. Biostatistics/Statistics profile evaluation


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Hello, I have done a lot of reading on this forum but I am still very unsure as to my graduate program prospects.


I have taken a year off since undergrad to work in an unrelated field. Due to some personal reasons I am only looking at programs in Texas. Ideally I would like to get into a PhD program (SMU Biostat PhD would be ideal), but I understand my gpa may hold me back from that. I did however have an upward trending gpa, finishing my last two years with a 4.0 which were almost all math courses. Very little research with nothing published.


Thanks for your help.


Undergrad Institution: small unknown in Texas
Major(s): Mathematics
Minor(s): Applied Mathematics
Overall GPA: 3.54
Type of Student: Domestic Male


GRE Q164 V157

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  • 2 weeks later...

If you're trying to stay in the DFW area then your only real options are SMU and UT Arlington (you can only do stats through UTA's math department though).  SMU seems to have a relatively large program, so that should increase your chances. Baylor is an hour from Dallas, but their program is much smaller and UT Austin seems to be very small as well.  Just for some perspective, I had a 3.94 GPA with a double Math/Econ major from a small unknown school with great LOR's and GRE scores of 155 V / 167 Q / 4.5 A and got rejected by both UT and Baylor;  I also had little to no research experience. 


Be sure to put a lot of time into your statement of purpose and be sure that it makes you stand out (not "I want to go to SMU because it has the only stats department in Dallas County") and I would be sure to emphasize that upward trend in your last two years of undergrad and anything else that shows you're a serious student with a serious interest in the field.  Also, LOR are very important; I would argue that they're the most important part of your application. 


Don't count out Texas A&M either.  It's about a two and a half hour drive from Dallas and is arguably the best stats department in the state.  They're also the 3rd largest program in the country and are pretty high in the USNWR rankings (if that gets your goat; I personally think school rankings are irrelevant and flawed).


Long story short, apply everywhere and let THEM tell you yes or no.  I would apply to SMU, UT Austin, Baylor, UTA, TAMU (of course), and maybe even Rice. 

Edited by Caesar
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