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Statistics PhD - where to apply? Social sciences/applied focus

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I've almost completed a MA in statistics at a well-regarded university (though not top 20 in statistics), and I'm applying to PhD programs this fall.


GRE: Verbal 167 ; Quant 166 (scored 170 v/162 q my first testing with minimal prep); Writing 5
GPA: 4.0 in my masters so far with 2 more courses to go
Extras: 4 years working as an analyst in industry, a social science research/data analysis position over the summer
Coursework: 3 courses or so in probability theory / mathematical statistics, the rest geared towards applied methods in data science
Interests: Causation and the explanation/prediction in the social sciences, quantitative methods in the social sciences
Undergraduate background: Political science / economics major; calculus, linear algebra, differential eq
Domestic student

Admittedly, my math skills are fine but not rockstar level, I'm pretty confident I could get up to speed with the right coursework / pre-admission prep.

My plan is to apply to political science / economics (political economy) PhD programs, but I also plan to apply to a few statistics PhD programs with more of an applied focus.

My priorities: hopefully a top 30 program that has an applied focus, good funding, ideally some direct work in my field of interest.

Does anyone have any suggestions for some programs that might be well-suited to my interests? And perhaps a comment on my chances?

Thank you!



Edited by ArtVandalay
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I am also an applicant for the 2018 cycle looking to do (Bayesian) social science statistics.   I am only applying to Statistics PhD Programs.  Since I want to do Bayesian statistics that limits my options even more.  I have had some trouble finding professors/programs that do social science statistics.   The advice I was given by my professors was to be clear about your interests and see if they think you are a good fit.  I am looking for a department that is flexible on what field their students apply statistics to.     

Here is my current list:

UT Austin (Math heavy program, not a lot of social science research)

Baylor (very biostatistics focused, applying because of its Bayesian focus)

Florida State (don't recommend for you, applying since I have connections)

University of Missouri- Columbia (seems to do a lot of social science statistics from what have read)

Kansas State (applying because extremely interested in one professor's research)

Columbia (applying because extremely interested in one professor's research)

Virginia Tech (applying because they have a lot of Bayesian statisticians compared to other departments on my list)

Duke  (applying because of the Bayesian focus)


Check out Missouri and see if you like it.   Economics programs with Econometrics may be a better fit.  Hopefully someone more knowledge will have more advice.  

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