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Profile Eval Request for Stat/Biostat MS/PhD

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Looking for some feedback on my application to some Stats and Biostats Masters and PhD programs.


  1. BS with double major in Statistics and Mathematics GPA on track for 3.75, but not finished yet so could turn out as high as 3.85 or so.
    • From top 50 Statistics at a big state school in the south.
    • Also graduated from the Honors College which was recently ranked #1 public honors college in the country (whatever that's worth??)
  2. Three significant scientific research involvements and 2 unrelated internships.
    • Independent research for my Honors Thesis involves statistical analysis of water quality data from a non profit I did research with.
    • Two other non statistical research projects in Plant Biology and Microbiology 
    • Two non-scientific environment and sustainability related internships with non profits.

The bad news... I had one catastrophic semester during my sophomore year due to family issues that drew me away from campus both mentally and physically. Outside of that semester I have only one B and the rest A's. The damage that was done that semester was I withdrew from two computer science classes with WF's and finished an upper level Discrete Math with a D. I pulled out a B in Honors Calc 3 though thankfully. I will definitely be retaking those three bad classes and anticipate getting an A in all of them. 

Relevant Classes:

  • Calc I(A), Honors Calc II/III (B)
    • The honors sections of math classes are considered much more challenging and stimulating though, does this balance out the B at all?
  • Honors Linear Algebra (A)
  • Honors Vector Analysis (A)
  • Real Analysis (A)
  • 3 semester Mathematical Statistics sequence (A's), various applied stats courses (A's), Bayesian Data Analysis (A's) R programming (A)
  • Honors Applied Mathematical Biology and Financial Mathematics (A's)
  • Haven't yet taken Differential Equations or Abstract Algebra, so they will not be on the transcript I send to admissions committees.

I also tutor math and believe I have solid letters of rec from my stats profs.

Looking to apply to (ordered from my first to last choice) University of Georgia (MS/PhD Stats), Auburn (MS/PhD Stats), University of South Carolina (MS/PhD Stats), University of Florida (MS/PhD Stats), Medical University of South Carolina (MS/PhD Biostats). 

How realistic are those choices, and how should I frame my explanation of my one bad semester?


Edited by django4321
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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks for the reply cyberwulf. Do you think I'm being realistic with those schools listed? Ideally I'd want to have a funded PhD offer from one of UGA, USC, UFL, MUSC, or Auburn, but I wouldn't have a problem starting with a Masters as long as funding was offered. I would probably throw applications at UNC and Duke for my reach schools as well. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Those choices seem realistic assuming you have strong letters and a strong GRE as well.  Funding is much less likely from a MS program than from a PhD program.  Also the programs you list vary substantially in terms of the focus.  I would also add SC biostat given that you have SC stat and MUSC on your list.


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