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Stats PhD chances, low GPA high GRE

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Mostly I'm wondering what kind/what tier of programs I should be aiming for since I'll be applying this fall (current senior). Obviously my GPA and lack of research will keep me out of Stanford and the like, but I'm hoping that I have a shot elsewhere. Also any tips to help my application would be greatly appreciated.

Undergrad college: top 10 LAC according to US news

Major: Math

GPA: 3.1 (ouch) with an upward trend

Math courses: the standard fare

Stats courses: Probability

GRE: 161V, 167Q, 4.0AW

Research experience: none

I'm planning on taking more stats courses this year but as it stands, my letters of recommendation will be written by pure math professors. I'm also considering taking a year off so that I can apply with more stats courses under my belt but I don't know how useful that would be since most of the programs I've seen only require students to have gone through the Calc sequence + Linear algebra.

Also I should mention that I would be completely open to obtaining an MS first in order increase my GPA, but I'm not aware of which programs provide funding for masters.

Am I reasonable to apply to schools like Northwestern, NYU, BU, Virginia Tech, etc.?

Edited by applicant720
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Obviously I'm an applicant just like you, so take what I say with a grain of salt, but your GPA is extremely low (I've seen a lot of schools with a cutoff of 3.3) and your GRE actually isn't very good (although it would probably be fine if you had a 3.75+ GPA). I think Northwestern and NYU are way out of your league, but I don't know enough about the others to comment on whether you have a chance there. Looks like you're either gonna have to pick a very low ranked PhD program, which might not have funding anyways, or bite the bullet and pay an exorbitant amount to get a masters first. You don't mention a reason for your low GPA so take a good hard look at yourself and ask if you really think you can get a higher GPA in a masters, because if not that option could be a huge waste of money. Don't kid yourself by saying "oh I just didn't work very hard in undergrad", I've never seen anyone drastically change their GPA by just "working harder" unless they were literally not attending a single class or doing any studying.

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