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Biostat PhD Eval

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Just wondering what chances at getting into a top 10 biostats program for a PhD.  Some credentials


Institution: Top 60 National

Majors: Mathematics, Economics

GPA: 3.96 (4.0 except one A- in a graduate Mathematical Econ class)

Classes: Calc III (A), Linear Algebra (A), Probability and Statistics (Calc based) (A), ODE (A), Real Analysis (A), Econometrics (A)

Taking Real Analysis II, Linear Algebra II, Math. Stat., Combinatorics which are currently A's

Had a summer research experience in biostatistics through SIBS (Summer Institute in Biostatisitcs) at UofMinn. TC 

GRE (General): V-164 Q-163 W-Likely at least 5

Hold multiple jobs on campus (grader, math tutor)

Working on empirical econ thesis

Three solid letters from 1) Math. Statistics teacher 2) Real Analysis teacher 3) Thesis advisor


Im worried about my GRE Q score being 2 pts below the average at these programs and I am especially interested in UofMinn TC and curious if I have a reasonable chance (enough to justify applying to)

Duke, Johns Hopkins, Washington



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Sort of just asking a question here but I also did the SIBS program at Minnesota. Mine was in the summer of 2013.


Anyways, I was going to ask if you think the SIBS program is classified as research experience? From my year at least, I don't think we actually did any research; it was more like lectures and a broad introduction to biostatistics and statistical packages, culminating in a project at the end. 

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To the OP, with your profile it's not a waste of time to apply to good programs (though I should point out that, for biostat, Duke isn't anywhere near JHU and UW in terms of prestige). Don't worry about your GRE scores, they're fine.

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From one Packer fan to another, I think you have a great chance at top 10 biostats programs. You seem to have a bit more experience in math than stats, but SIBS gives you some biostats credibility. I think if you have a chance it might be worthwhile to get involved in some stats or epidemiology research. But if you're applying this year I guess the deadlines are coming up pretty soon. Anyway I think you'll have no problem getting in to UNC, Michigan, Minnesota, Emory, Penn, etc. Probably Hopkins too. May as well also apply to Harvard and UW. Best of luck to you.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Duke biostat is not competitive.  You'd ideally want the GRE-Q a bit higher for the top programs, especially if you're not at a top undergrad institution.  All the biostat programs will know what SIBS is, so you can just list it as SIBS on your CV.   With strong letters from profs in your proofs-based courses (esp analysis) you should not have trouble though.

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