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Early questions for a PhD in Biostatistics [Fall 2016]


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Hello everyone,

I am a student living in Europe sorry in advance for the English mistakes I will make.

I am considering to apply to PhD program in Biostatistics for Fall 2016 and I wonder what are my chances and where should I apply.

I have a Bachelor degree in Statistics and Economy and I am completing a Master in Statistics and Economics with a Math Major this year and I am pursuing a Master in Applied Mathematics in another university too.

Undergraduate studies:

- Top tier university in my country. The best program in Statistics.

- 1rst and 2nd year: 4.0 GPA

but then I had huge health problems (I had to stop classes because I was at the Hospital). The Doctors said I should go into a less difficult program but I refused. But when I came back, I was not as good as I used to be and my GPA dropped to 3.5.

- Relevant courses: Probabilities, measure theory, calculus, real analysis, statistics, optimization.

Current graduate studies:

- 1rst year of Master in Stats and Economics. Graduation date: May 2016.

Relevant courses: statistics I and II, econometrics I and II, time series, introduction to process.

I am still ill and I will not probably live as long as the average but it's okay I feel better.

At the first semester my grads are better and I hope I will have a 3.8+ GPA.

- I am pursuing a "light" graduate program in Applied Mathematics (advanced probabilities, real analysis ++, statistical inference). Only 25% pass the exams. Graduation date: July 2015.

Next year:

- will complete my Master in Stats and Economics. I will take the Data Science major.

- I will be enrolled in the 2nd year of a Master in Biostatistics in a good Uni. I got an interview with one of the Director of the program and he said to me it was okay, but I don't know yet if I will take the Master by research or by coursework. By research it will take more time and I've heard only 33% pass the exams. Do you have any advice?

- Research experience: not yet but this summer I will work do a 4-month research in Biostatistics + consulting (design trials etc).

- Consulting experience: with 3 other schoolmates, I am working for the Statistic service of the government on a national survey in Health policy (November 2014 - May 2015). It may be published.

- programming: C++ (+++).

- statistical software: SAS (+++++), Stata (+++), R (+++).

In my university, every year, students often get accepted into top US or Oxbridge but for Master in Finance (Columbia, Stanford, Oxford ...). They are less interested in doing a PhD abroad (they prefer to stay at home:-p).

I will pass the GRE and the TOEFL in September. I know I will have to get good scores but right now it is quite hard to have time for that...

Is there any advantage to take a SAS certification?

For the LOR: what kind of reccomandations are the most relevant? From my Professor in Statistics this year (very famous)? Or previous year (good and he will know me better since I will have a course with him again next year) Maybe the Director of the Master in Biostatistics but he will not know me very well regarding the deadlines...

How can I optimize my application? What programs should I consider to apply to?

Thank you for reading,

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