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School Choices for Data Science/Analytics/Applied Statistics/Computer Science


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Hello everyone. I am currently in my senior year at Wayne State University, will graduate in the winter with a BA in Mathematics and a minor in Economics, ~3.9 GPA and with Honors. I was originally planning on becoming an Actuary, I have passed the first two Actuarial Exams.

I have a 4.0 in math courses, and one A- in Econometrics.
Calc 2 - A
Calc 3 - A
Linear Algebra - A
Elementary Analysis - A
Abstract Algebra - A
Probability Theory - A
Numerical Methods (used a little bit of MATLAB) - A
Statistical Computing and Data Analysis (Teaches R, Professor is my current research adviser and is writing one of my letters) - A
Abstract Algebra - A
Econometrics (undergraduate) - A
Econometrics (Masters level) - A-
Operations Research - A
Will take: Mathematical Statistics

I took the GRE two weeks ago, and got V162/Q170/4.5.

I am currently doing research, using R, for my Honors thesis with a Statistics Professor. This is the only research I've done, and will not have anything completed by the time applications are due.

My programming experience is minimal, I am learning a lot of R, but wouldn't consider myself proficient at all. I understand the basics, and can use for loops, that's about it. I plan to take a MOOP course as an introduction to Python over the summer.

I have worked as a math tutor for the university's "Math Resource Center" for the past 3 years, no industry work experience or internships.

I am looking for a masters program that gives me a strong formal introduction to statistical theory, as well as computer skills in R/Python/SQL, data munging ie dealing with messy data. From the research I've done, the best programs at combining these two aspects are data science masters programs.

I'm trying to apply to the best schools with good programs, as well as some safety schools that also have great programs, although not as competitive. How does this list look?

Stanford - Masters of Data Science
Harvard - Master of Science in CSE
Carnegie Mellon - MISM Business Intelligence & Data Analytics
- Master’s in Statistical Practice
NYU - Data Science
Columbia - Data Science
Northwestern - Master of Science in Analytics
Purdue - Statistics-Computer Science Joint Masters
Indiana - Data Science
Virginia - Master of Science in Data Science
San Francisco - Master of Science in Analytics

Do I have a reasonable shot to get into the top schools? If not, I'd rather not waste the time and money applying to them. Are the lower schools "safe" enough? Any of these schools not worth considering? Any other program that I should also consider?

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I can't really answer your question because I'm not applying to the same type of programs, but I thought it was crazy how similar our backgrounds were (except you edging me out on everything lol). You're a math major with economics minor, I'm a mathematical economics major. You got a 162/170/4.5 on GRE I got 161/169/4.0. You worked as a tutor at your university math lab for 3 years, I worked at mine for 2.5 years. And we both have no industry experience or internships.


Sorry if this is random but it striked and irked me when I read your post haha.

Edited by JonesUCF
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