Phd in Statistics

#1
I applied for a Phd in statistics this year but was unable to land a spot. I just wanted to know what sort of requirements universities are looking for in accepting students since I want to try applying again next year. My graduate (ie. masters) GPA was high (3.8), but my undergraduate GPA is quite low (3.1). I felt my research proposal was clear but it could have been fleshed out more.

I feel that my math background may be lacking as I have not taken either analysis (2nd year) or real analysis (3rd year). Also, I have not had the opportunity to do any sort of research with another professor.

Any help/opinions would be appreciated!
Thanks.
 
#2
I applied for a Phd in statistics this year but was unable to land a spot. I just wanted to know what sort of requirements universities are looking for in accepting students since I want to try applying again next year. My graduate (ie. masters) GPA was high (3.8), but my undergraduate GPA is quite low (3.1). I felt my research proposal was clear but it could have been fleshed out more.

I feel that my math background may be lacking as I have not taken either analysis (2nd year) or real analysis (3rd year). Also, I have not had the opportunity to do any sort of research with another professor.

Any help/opinions would be appreciated!
Thanks.
well, there could be many factors because of which you were not able to land a spot. If you could share your profile elaborately..may be something may be suggested.Still i have few points for you to ponder

- Your selection of university. May be you targeted only the high profile ones! Whenever applying for any graduate/post graduate, it is essential that you do your research. You should certainly apply to those which you feel are out of reach but you have an outside chance, then those where you have good chances and the last set of decent universities you may think of going if any other option does not work out. For this, you should definitely consult your professors who would be willing to help you to create that list of universities and your own research/interactions with students in those programs

- Secondly, as you pointed out..low gpa could be one of the reasons. This is one the prime factors that reflects a student seriousness about the subject and study in general. To improve upon this, you may just repeat few courses and/or somehow highlight your graduate gpa in your application (through SOP may be). Another thing you could do it give GRE Math subject test (not sure if this is relevant to your applications)

- Good recommendations carry a lot of weightage. So ask professors under whom you have very good grades and/or with whom you have done considerable project/research work

- You can work an research assistant with any willing professors. This will serve two purpose- one that you will have some research experience and secondly you may get a solid recommendation if the prof is happy with your work.
 

noetsi

Fortran must die
#3
Another option is to write a letter pointing out your much better graduate performance, why you did less well as an undergraduate, factors such as standardized scores etc. Getting good letters of reccomendations also may help if you did not do so already.

But the point about applying multiple places is also very true. If you apply to elite schools there may simply be someone with higher qualifications. Commonly there are limited number of slots and so your record might be fine, but not enough to get into an elite university. If you plan to work in a non-university local after school where you go to school won't be the critical issue at most jobs (well that is my guess - there aren't all that many people with PhD's in statistics). :p
 

noetsi

Fortran must die
#4
Another option is to write a letter pointing out your much better graduate performance, why you did less well as an undergraduate, factors such as standardized scores etc. Getting good letters of reccomendations also may help if you did not do so already.

But the point about applying multiple places is also very true. If you apply to elite schools there may simply be someone with higher qualifications. Commonly there are limited number of slots and so your record might be fine, but not enough to get into an elite university. If you plan to work in a non-university local after school where you go to school won't be the critical issue at most jobs (well that is my guess - there aren't all that many people with PhD's in statistics). :p
 
#5
Thanks for the advice. I was aiming to get some sort of lecturer or professor post after my Phd, so I was only applying for some of the more medium to top tier universities in statistics. Since I'm in Canada, that would be McGill, Toronto, Waterloo and UBC.
 

hlsmith

Not a robit
#6
In the interim, can you enroll as a non-degree seeking student and Ace at least one related course. Say, a course the first year PhD students are required to take.

You may also be able to approach the department chair or chair of admission committee and ask where you were not competitive enough.

What was your Masters degree in?
 

noetsi

Fortran must die
#7
In the interim, can you enroll as a non-degree seeking student and Ace at least one related course. Say, a course the first year PhD students are required to take.

You may also be able to approach the department chair or chair of admission committee and ask where you were not competitive enough.

What was your Masters degree in?
I second this suggestion although the corse would have to show clearly you can do the doctoral course work.
 
#8
Share your application with a prof you know and like from your master's program. Ask him what he sees as its main strengths and weaknesses. If he's tenured, he's probably sat on admissions committees. From your description, I would be most worried about your math background. I would consider multi-dimensional analysis, matrix algebra, and probably differential equations to be a minimum for a PhD student. I am a little confused by your assumption that your application should contain a detailed research proposal. In my experience, while PhD programs want to know your area of interest, they expect your advisor, not you, to specify the research.
 

soxi

New Member
#9
aiming to get some sort of lecturer or professor post after my PhD
If that is your goal, then imo, one really, really, really needs to assess just how realistic that would be. Hopefully not, but you might find that open positions are rare and hundreds of applications are submitted per position. Sorry for the buzzkill.

Here is related book:

A Career in Statistics: Beyond the Numbers

http://www.amazon.com/A-Career-Statistics-Beyond-Numbers/dp/0470404418
 
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#10
hlsmith: My MSc was in statistics, and my BSc was in compsci. I've taken one year of linear algebra at the undergraduate level, but I think I am sorely lacking in terms of analysis courses.

soxi: No problem! Thanks for letting me know. It's good for me what sort of chances I would have of getting a teaching/professor post after Phd.

Again, thanks to everyone for your advice.
 
#11
I applied for a Phd in statistics this year but was unable to land a spot. I just wanted to know what sort of requirements universities are looking for in accepting students since I want to try applying again next year. My graduate (ie. masters) GPA was high (3.8), but my undergraduate GPA is quite low (3.1). I felt my research proposal was clear but it could have been fleshed out more.

I feel that my math background may be lacking as I have not taken either analysis (2nd year) or real analysis (3rd year). Also, I have not had the opportunity to do any sort of research with another professor.

Any help/opinions would be appreciated!
Thanks.
Another choice is to create a correspondence directing out your much better graduate student performance, why you did less well as an undergrad, aspects such as consistent ratings etc. Getting excellent characters of reccomendations also may help if you did not do so already.



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