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Profile Evaluation: MS in Biostatistics


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Undergrad Institution: Small Private Liberal Arts College

Major(s): BA in Mathematics and Biology (two majors)

Minors(s): Computer Science, Statistics

GPA: ~3.35 (Math major: 3.45, Bio major: 3.19)

Type of Student: Domestic Male

GRE General Test:

Q: 163 (84%)

V: 164 (94%)

W: 3.5 (42%)

GRE Subject Test in Mathematics: N/A

Research Experience:

1) Summer internship at University of MN with bioinformatics research team

2) Currently doing cell biology/bioinformatic research at undergrad institution (2 months in)


Courses: Calc 2 (B), Multivariable Calc (B), Linear Algebra (B), Math/CompSci Proofs (B), Math Model Building (A), Scientific Computing (A), Modern Algebra (B), Nonparametric Stats (A), Parametric Stats (IP), Dynamical Systems (IP), Comp. Sci I (A) and II (A) - not sure if these are relevant

Letters of Recommendation: Professor/Supervisor at internship listed above (medium-strong), Undergrad math advisor (strong), Undergrad advisor (strong)

Work experience: ~1 year as a Calculus TA/Tutor at undergrad, worked for 2+ years over holidays at construction office doing IT work

Awards: Honorable Mention (2017), Meritorious Winner (2016) in COMAP Mathematical Contest in Modeling


Applying to:  

Mostly MS Biostatisics Programs


UMinnesota (goal)

U Washington

UW Madison (Biomedical Data Science program)

U North Carolina





1. Low Analytical Writing Score. I'm fairly confident my actual writing isn't representative of that score, so I'm hoping my statement of purpose will alleviate some doubt there.

2. Low grades in core math classes


As I have narrowed down my options in the past few months, I am struggling to determine how competitive of an applicant I actually am. I am feeling like a weak candidate at many of the schools I have listed and would like to add one or two more schools to that list that I would be a competitive applicant at. Thanks for any input.

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AWS probably will not affect your application. Most departments won't consider it. 

It might help if you can get a LOR from one of your math instructors: something along the lines of "hardworking/dedicated student, invests time into understanding subject" may benefit you.

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Thanks for the input! I've taken a few classes (with As) with my math advisor and worked with him through both of the competitions listed above, so I have faith that he will provide a letter similar to what you recommend.

Also, there's a slight typo in my original post, the third letter is from my undergrad biology advisor.

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