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MS stats profile eval / where to target

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Hi all,

My profile has some good aspects and some not-so-good aspects, and therefore I'm not sure what to expect with my applications.  Maybe you can help me  figure out which programs are a good fit.

I know the answer will probably include a little "don't get your hopes up too much", and that's okay.

Undergrad Institution: Top 10 US, known for grade deflation
Major(s): Econ
GPA: 3.4
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE General Test:
170 (97%)
V: 170 (99%)
W: 5.5 (98%)
GRE Subject Test in Mathematics:
M: didn't take

Grad Institution: Less-well-known professional school at well-known quant-y university
Concentration: Social-science-y yet quant-y
GPA: 3.4
Programs Applying: Mostly masters' programs in stats, beginning autumn 2018, and probably a couple masters' programs in math
Research Experience: I do research at my job, but no publications.
Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Mostly just grade-related.
Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Lots of statistic-y jobs.
Letters of Recommendation: From bosses and colleagues, who will say very nice things about me, but aren't academics themselves.
Any Miscellaneous Points that Might Help: Math/stat classes include Real Analysis 1 and 2 (B, C+), Econometrics (A-), Mathematical Statistics (A), Linear Algebra (A).  My grades went up (during undergrad), down (first year of master's), and up (second year of master's).  I've been reading Baby Rudin, I plan to retake real analysis at a prestigious university this spring, and I expect to do well.  I will try to make the case that I have become good at proof-based math now that I've made it a priority, even though I wasn't so good in undergrad.

Applying to Where: You tell me.  My bet is that the non-elite masters' programs will accept me, because I have the minimum math classes, I have solid test scores, I have solid grades in less-rigorous math/stat classes, and I've already made it through a master's.  I also bet that the elite masters' will not accept me, because I haven't gone beyond real analysis, my grades in real analysis were bad, and my GPA is just okay.
For example, suppose I applied to masters' programs in statistics at:
  1. Baylor
  2. Chicago
  3. Columbia
  4. Duke
  5. Ohio State
  6. University of Iowa
  7. Virginia Tech
Who do you think would let me in?  Who do you think wouldn't?  How come?


Edited by abacadabra12
fiddling with punctuation
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I am a statistics PhD program applicant for fall 2018, so I am not an expert.  I have however read most of the applicant profiles threads, and old posts about admission chances.  

Baylor doesn't really have a masters program.  I am not sure if it will let you apply.  Baylor is my first choice and I have visited.  They say they only have PhD students and the master's program exists in case people want to leave with a masters degree after two years.   You might have a shot at Baylor's PhD program,  but your real analysis grades will likely hurt you.   Your GRE much higher than the average 164Q/155V they told me.  Baylor's program is biostats focused but they have people doing other things.  You mentioned in your other thread that your endgoal is a PhD, so I am not sure if you want to go straight into a PhD program.

I think you would have a shot at getting into most public non-elite masters' programs,  but I don't know if anyone would fund you or if you need funding.   Some domestic students have gotten funding at Florida State and Iowa State in the past for their masters' program, but I don't think they fund all of their domestics.   Duke and Columbia are very competitive and I think your math background could not be strong enough.   Columbia has a MS in quantitative methods for social science which I imagine wouldn't care about your math background, but I don't know if that would help you get into a Statistics PhD program.   It also depends on what your undergraduate institution was.  If it is UChicago or someplace that is commonly known for grade deflation, that may help cancel out the grade because a B/C+ there might be As and B+s at some places.

Really it depends on whether or not you need funding, and what you want to do after you graduate.  If your end goal is a PhD in stats I would get an MS in statistics that requires/allows you to take theory over an  MS in math.  I know nothing about applying to math programs but I think it would be easier to get into a stats program over a math program if you don't have a strong math background.   There aren't a lot of math people on this forum but you can go to mathematicsgre.com and ask on there.  It might be better to wait a year do well in real analysis and apply for programs for fall 2019.  I think an A in real analysis could really improve your chances at both the MS and PhD level. 

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21 hours ago, Bayesian1701 said:

I think you would have a shot at getting into most public non-elite masters' programs... Duke and Columbia are very competitive and I think your math background could not be strong enough... It might be better to wait a year do well in real analysis and apply for programs for fall 2019. 

That's also what I concluded from reading old posts on this forum.  Seems like maybe statfan has a different opinion, though?

I'll to apply to some places where I don't think I'll get in.  Maybe there's enough entropy in the decision-making process among schools for me to get lucky here and there.  Or maybe there isn't, and I'll get to see that for myself.

Nice username, by the way.  I like to think that the tricorders were running MCMCs.


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