johnson02 Posted July 20, 2016 Share Posted July 20, 2016 Hello, I'm interested in obtaining a PhD in Statistics or Mathematics, and most likely going into academia afterwards. I was wondering if I could some advice about my applications - there are going to be many unusual parts to my application and I'm concerned about whether or not they will affect my admission prospects. Firstly, I'm going to be the first person to graduate with an undergraduate degree in Statistics from Texas A&M. I know A&M has a reputation for having a good graduate program, but they've never had undergraduates before, and I was wondering if that would negatively (or positively) affect my applications. Also, I'm graduating in two years which means I'll be significantly younger than most of the other applicants. Anyways, I'm putting my profile below, and if anyone could help me out with where I should be applying, or any other just general advice, I would greatly appreciate it! Undergraduate Institution: Texas A&M University Double Major: Applied Mathematical Science & Statistics Minor: Astrophysics GPA: 3.8+ GRE: Haven't taken them yet. Undergraduate Math/Statistics Courses: Calculus 1-3, Advanced Calculus/Elementary Real Analysis, Linear Algebra, Cryptography, Fourier Series and Wavelets, Engineering Statistics 1-2 Graduate-Level Courses: Introduction to Classical Analysis, Special Problems in Statistical Computations and Analysis, Regression Analysis, Theory of Statistics - Distribution Theory, Theory of Statistics - Inference, Design and Analysis of Experiments, Applied Biostatistics and Data Analysis, Statistical Bioinformatics, Introduction to Applied Bayesian Methods Research Experience: Helped very minimally with R package for Bayesian variable selection scheme that was developed for logistic regression (under guidance of department head). Another independent project involving analysis of genomes. Pertinent Activities/Jobs: Worked as an undergraduate researcher in the Department of Statistics, Mathematics, and Educational Psychology during different times. Member of Pi Mu Epsilon and Phi Eta Sigma. Letter of Recommendation: 2 from Statistics professors - One is the department head, and the other is my academic advisor as well as the professor for one of my graduate courses. My last recommendation letter will be from my academic advisor from the Math Department. All will be fairly strong, and all of them are fairly well known. To reiterate my questions: 1. Will being from a new program, or graduating in two years hurt my chances? 2. What programs should I be applying to? Are there any excellent programs outside of the United States? 3. My academic advisor for Statistics got his PhD under a prominent statistician who is currently at Princeton, would this affect my chances of being accepted there? 5. Any other advice or thoughts on my situation would be appreciated. Thank you! Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

cyberwulf Posted August 4, 2016 Share Posted August 4, 2016 It sounds like you have a relatively strong profile. To your questions: 1. Chances are, nobody will know how "new" TAMU's stat major so that won't be an issue. Graduating in two years is pretty unusual, and comes with pluses and minuses. On the plus side, it is an impressive academic accomplishment, and shows that you likely have a large 'bandwidth' which is an important predictor of success in academia. The minus is that students who graduate quickly often don't get to know their professors and can have rather 'blah' letters of recommendation; fortunately, it doesn't sound like this is an issue for you. 2. Hard to say without seeing your letters and transcript, but it sounds like most departments would give your application strong consideration. I would consult with your advisor in selecting target programs. It's pretty rare for Americans to leave the U.S. for a PhD in statistics, since 1) most of the top programs are here, and 2) most international programs operate on the British model and require a Masters degree first. 3. Depends on whether this statistician at Princeton is involved in admissions decisions, and whether your advisor is willing to reach out to them to advocate on your behalf. In any case, it can only help you. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

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