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UCB, Umich, Duke, UIUC master of Statistics

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I am Esther. My major is statistics and I hope I can enhance my programming and language skills via a master degree.

Also, I hope to learn some data science knowledge.

I am quite glad that I can receive AD from UCB, Umich, Duke and UIUC.

i am now an actuarial analyst with ASA license and hope to find a analyst position (especially in actuarial firm) in US after completing my degree.

I am not really sure which university should I choose.

In my opinion, Umich and Duke are two years duration, so I would have more time to find an internship during summer term.

However, UCB has better location but shorter time. 

All of them contain some data science courses.


I am really appreciate any advice that anyone provide me.



Edited by newstyle27
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I got accepted to both UCB and Duke so probably I can offer you more info on these two schools.

I went to Duke's Open House event last weekend and enjoyed it a lot. All the professors are very nice and approachable, and it seems like the department cares a lot about the MSS program, which is kinda unusual comparing to other schools. TA and RA opportunities are plenty, so is opportunity to work with Duke Medical center on health-related projects (the director mentions year-long internship, it seems like the medical center really needs people who can analyze large datasets). The department is very Bayesian-focused, but I don't think it means a lot for employers. The curriculum strikes a great balance between theoretical and applied sides. And of course, two-year duration is always better than one-year.

However, from what the MSS students told me, firms in RTP hire more students from Chapel Hill and NC State than Duke, partially because Duke is trying to be 'national' and 'international'. Given its location, it is hard to go 'national'. So that has put Duke in a very awkward position. Jobs in Bay Area are certainly possible, but you need to work very hard by yourself. Staying in RTP is relatively easy (if not guaranteed), so most people use it as a back-up plan.

For UCB, it is possible to stay for a third semester if you become a TA for the 2nd and 3rd semester. The department is more theoretical. Opportunities in Bay Area are plenty, because of its location and alum network. But personally I don't think the department puts much emphasis on the MA program, especially when comparing with Duke.

I chose UCB at last. Although I believe going to Duke would be a MUCH MORE ENJOYABLE experience, and I like the program very much, I have succumbed to UCB's location and stronger alum network. 

Hope it helps.

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