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Statistics MS/PhD


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I am about to apply to a mix of MS and PhD programs in Statistics and am having trouble narrowing down my list of schools. As an undergraduate, my interests remain broad, though with a few stats courses under my belt and having looked into faculty research at schools I am considering, I have at least a basic idea of what I do and do not want to do. I am interested in both theoretical and applied statistics; I am particularly interested in applications in the social sciences. This has helped me narrow it down somewhat, but most schools have a sufficent number and diversity of faculty to cover most areas.

At this point I am mainly interested in determining where I might be competitive. I can't afford to apply to many reach schools. I have sought counsel from my professors who have been a help, but they have limited experience sending undergraduates to programs. In general I feel they think I am more competitive than I really am. I am focusing on schools on the coasts; my partner will concurrently be applying to university staff positions, particularly in international programs and academic advising.

I have a perfect record at my current (tier 4) undergrad, though at my previous (tier 1) undergrad, over 7 years ago, a less mature me had stopped attending classes and received a number of F's in two noncontiguous semesters. I am holding back my transcript until my current grades are posted. After this my GPA in all coursework in the last 7 years (in actuality, a year and a half) will be 4.0, my "last 60 hours" will be 3.2, and my overall undergraduate GPA will be 2.7.

Math and stat courses include, with A's except in the one indicated: Discrete Math, Calculus III, Linear Algebra ("C"), Math Modeling, Mathematical Methods for Economics, Advanced Calculus I/II (rigorous), Numerical Linear Algebra, Intro to Probability and Statistics (calc-based), Intro to Probability Theory (calc-based with some proofs), and Statistical Methods and Models I/II (linear regression, ANOVA, and categorical data analysis).

Additionally, on my old transcript I have 9 computer science courses with A's or B's, and an economics minor at my new school. Next semester I plan on Intro to Mathematical Statistics, Ordinary Differential Equations, and one of {Stochastic Processes, Abstract Algebra, Complex Analysis, Numerical Analysis}. (Any recommendations?)

My GRE scores are 790 Q (92%), 710 V (98%), 5.0 AW (81%). My recommendations should be fairly strong, though I don't believe any of my professors are star researchers. I myself have no research experience.

Any help would be appreciated. If you are hesitant to name specific programs I completely understand; feel free to list representative schools or ranges, or to PM. Thank you very much. In return I will post my schools in my profile once I've applied and keep everyone updated when decisions come in!

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