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Profile Evaluation -- MS/PhD Stat Fall 2018


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Undergrad Institution: Public, large research university
Major(s): Economics, Political Science
Minor(s): Data Analytics
GPA: 3.96

Type of Student: Asian American
GRE General Test: (took twice, taking highest of each section)
Q: 164 (87%)
V: 169 (99%)
W: 6.0 (99%)

Programs Applying: Statistics MS, some PhD programs that are more applied than theoretical

Research Experience: 

  • Worked as an economics research assistant in government agency for two years. Helped with maximum likelihood estimation of truncated distribution, conducted statistical regressions, maintained a time-series model, scraped data, data visualization
  • Text mining, topic modeling political speeches as undergraduate research assistant
  • Undergraduate political science thesis included multinomial logistic regressions on predictors of a political phenomenon, received High Honors

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: University Medal Finalist, Undergraduate Researcher of the Year, Best Honors Thesis Award


  • Math/Stat: Mathematical Statistics (graduate level) -- B+; Multivariable Calculus -- A;  Linear Algebra -- A, Applied Probability and Statistics -- A, Econometrics I & II -- A+ in both, Calculus I & II (high school) -- 5 on AP exam
  • Programming: Intro to Java -- A, Python for Data Science -- A, Data Analytics -- A, Database Systems -- A, Economics Computer Methods -- A

Letters of Recommendation: Professor I did text mining research with who was also on my thesis defense committee (very strong letter); current work supervisor for whom I'm an economics research assistant; econometrics professor whose class I was the top student in

Goal: My research interests are more on the applied side rather than theory. Interest in helping evaluate/improve public policy.

Programs considering:


  • Duke
  • CMU Joint Statistics/Public Policy
  • Rice
  • Ohio State (they suggest applying for Ph.D. if undecided between Ph.D./MS)
  • NC State


  • Duke
  • Purdue
  • University of Minnesota -- Twin Cities
  • UNC - Chapel Hill
  • Northwestern M.S. in Analytics (safety)
  • Georgetown M.S. in Mathematics & Statistics (safety)
  • UVA (safety)
  • Berkeley
  • Chicago (extreme reach)
  • Stanford (extreme reach)


  • I know my math background/GRE is weak, and expect I'd have a better chance at Masters than Ph.D. I'd like to get a better sense of where I might get in, and am happy to be corrected about my expectations. I'm hoping strong rec letters will help (I'm pretty sure I'll have at least 2 strong ones)
  • Any advice on how to fund a Masters? 

Thanks so much!


Edited by Student2091
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Dear All,

I would like to ask for your advice, I am a bit insecure here. I would like to apply for a master program in Mathematics. My problem is that although I love Mathematics very much, my GPA is 2.82 because I did my bachelor's degree beside a full-time job. I also have a master's degree in Macroeconomics so as research I have the bachelor and the master thesis (if it counts). I am from Hungary so I plan to take the GRE General and the GRE subject tests in October. What do you think my chances are to get in to Math programs? Since we have just moved to Princeton I am considering the colleges/universities available in the area, like University of Pennsylvania, Rutgers University, New York University and Princeton University. Could you please give me some advice? I just do not want to throw money away. I study really hard for the upcoming exams and I am just wondering if I can take those exams with a pretty high score do I have a chance?

Thank you for your help!

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I think Duke's PhD program would be extremely difficult for you to get into. If I were you, I would target the larger state school programs like Penn State, TAMU, Purdue, etc. I know Penn State favors high writing GRE scores, so there's a big benefit for you.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi All

Prospective Fall 2018 MS Stat applicant here, looking for a profile eval and suggestions:

International Student from India

Undergrad Institution: Public, National Top 10 university
Major(s): Mechanical Engineering
GPA: 6.3 / 10  (Weak, I know)

Type of Student: Indian
GRE General Test: (took once, thinking of taking again to bolster profile)
Q: 166 (91%)
V: 158 (80%)
W: 4.0 (80%)

Programs Applying: MS - Statistics, will also apply for Operations Research programs

Work experience:Total 3 years

1.5 years as a Customer Insights Senior Analyst at a loyalty card company:

  • Retail shoppers segmentation using dimensionality reduction and clustering to provide customised offers per segment
  • Customer churn modelling using logit models
  • Online purchase propensity modelling using logit models
  • Developed an RShiny app to evaluate past SMS/Email promotional campaigns and plan future campaigns

1.5 years as a data analyst at a Fortune 200 Pharma MNC:

  • Doctor segmentation and response modelling for sales promotions
  • Goal setting tool for sales representatives using forecasting methods and optimization subject to constraints
  • General Business Intelligence work: Reporting, Dashboarding

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Won best project award twice at the pharma MNC


1. SAS certified base programmer
2. SAS certified statistical business analyst: Regression and Modelling
3. Machine Learning from Coursera

Letters of Recommendation: HOD from second firm is an ex professor at a top 10 business school in India. Strong recommendation. The other letters I expect to be moderate.

Goal: To develop a strong base of advanced statistical techniques and apply them in the online tech or consulting industry

Programs considering:


  • 1. Columbia
    2. University of Chicago (super reach)
    3. UCLA 
    4. Georgia Tech (I know a friend from undergrad with a similarly low GPA with no work ex but got accepted to the MS Civil Engg)
    5. University of Michigan
    6. John Hopkins
    7. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    8. University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (I know an ex colleague with a lower GRE score and a similar profile getting accepted for MS Stats last year)
    9. Duke
    10. Cornell


  • My undergrad GPA is pretty weak. Should I give the GRE again to make up for it? In practise tests, I was scoring higher than my current final score.
  • Advice on shortlisting universities and does my profile sort of 'fit'?
  • University recommendations


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Not much. The major problem of your application is lack of core math courses such as real analysis/advanced calculus, which makes admissions to phd you listed extremely tough. You have decent shots for masters though.

Edited by statfan
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