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Profile Evaluation: Stat/Biostat Ms/Phd with Background of Chemistry and Math


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I am about to begin start those applications but I am still not sure about the chances of getting into the schools on my list. Any feedback and suggestions will be highly appreciated. Thanks!

Undergraduate Institution: Top 2 in China

Major: Chemistry

GPA: 3.5

Double Major: Math

GPA: 3.9

GPA(all courses combined): 3.6(WES)


Type of Student: International Asian Male



GRE General Test:

Q: 170 V: 157 W: 4

GRE Subject Math Test:

Taken on Oct. 28th, waiting for result. Expect to be higher than 90%


Courses :

  • Calculus 1 - A+
  • Calculus 2 - A+
  • Linear Algebra - A+
  • Mathematical Analysis - A+
  • Advanced Algebra - A
  • Probability Theory - A
  • Statistics - A+
  • Statistical Programming(SAS) - A
  • Functions of Real Variables and Functional Analysis(something like real analysis) - A
  • Operation Research - A-
  • Abstract Algebra - A-
  • Applied Stochastic Processes - B-
  • Ordinary Differential Equations - B-
  • Applied Time Series Analysis - C+
  • Measure Theory - B
  • Applied Regression Analysis - B+


Research Experience:

  • Research on statistical genetics: more than one year but no result at this moment
  • Summer research for 2 months: statistical computing and Bayesian statistics

Letters of Recommendation:

  • Math professor from the course of Probability Theory
  • Statistics professor: my summer research instructor, from top public schools in US
  • Statistics professor: the instructor of my current research(on statistical genetics)

I intend to ask for a letter of recommendation from a professor whose course I am taking this semester.  It's a graduate level statistics course and the professor is IMS fellow/ASA fellow/ISI elected member. If he agrees, I will probably use this recommendation letter on programs with a deadline later than 12.20



I've not finalized my list yet so any suggestions would be appreciated.


  • University of Chicago Ms
  • Duke Ms
  • University of Michigan-Ann Arbor PhD 
  • University of Wisconsin—Madison  Ms
  • North Carolina State University PhD
  • University of Minnesota—Twin Cities PhD
  • Iowa State University PhD 
  • Purdue University—West Lafayette  PhD  
  • University of Florida PhD


  • Harvard Ms
  • University of Washington-Seattle Ms
  • University of Michigan-Ann Arbor PhD
  • University of Minnesota-Twin Cities PhD
  • University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill PhD
  • Yale PhD
  • Emory PhD



The first concern is from my chemistry background. It is definitely not as competitive as a math-major background. And the second concern is that I've got poor grades for several upper level courses(Time Series, Stochastic Processes, and a B for measure theory does not seem good as well, I guess). So I am really not sure what the admission committee will think of my math and statistics background.

I intend to go on pursuing a Doctoral degree. Therefore, for master programs, I only picked programs that are theoretical and useful for further application for PhD. Does anyone know some other statistics master programs that are useful for PhD application? 

Thanks in advance!

Edited by timaximum
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I'd say do not worry about several lower grades too much as your overall math grades are good. If you look into masters that would be helpful to your further application to phd, I advise you to look into some programs like UBC, Toronto, Waterloo in Canada as they are all research-based masters. The class size tends to be much smaller than that of US masters since you will be fully funded. This makes it easier to develop a strong relationship with professors. You can also choose to take some advanced stat courses as master/phd courses are held together. With that said, these programs serve as a stepping-stone to phd, and will certainly boost your chances significantly if you do well in the program. Most course-based masters programs in the US won't help you much when you apply to phd. 

Edited by statfan
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  • 5 months later...

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