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Need advices for grad school selection

DQZ1213DQZDQZ1213DQZ Registered User Posts: 42 Junior Member
edited January 9 in Graduate School
I am a sophomore at a public ivy college double majoring in math and philosophy, and I hoped to go to decent statistics master program after graduation.
However, I am not getting good grades at all. This semester I got a B- in linear algebra, and my cumulative GPA dropped to 3.48. For math, I've taken Calc I(A), Calc II(A), Discrete Math(B) and Applied statistics(A-).

All I can say on my behalf at this point is that I will adjust my study habits for the coming spring semester and try to bring my grades up as much as possible. I understand that if I start to work very hard, the B- in linear algebra might be justified by good grades in later courses, but after all, linear algebra is a core course, and I am uncertain about how much I can justify it.



QUESTIONS:
I wonder how bad will this B- in linear algebra hurt me in graduate admission process if I could do reasonably good in later courses?
I am looking at programs that are ranked around 20-50, such as the University of Virginia, or Boston University, etc. Is it still realistic for me to think about getting into these programs?
If 20-50 institutions are no longer within my reach, what kind of program should I look at if I don't want to go into industries immediately after undergrad?
Will my school name help me in any ways?


I also took a fair amount of psychology courses, and therefore by the time of my graduation, I should be able to meet the standard of psychology minor. I am trying to get into undergraduate psychology research next semester as well. Should I consider graduate schools in psychology?
Base on my recent readings, I came to realize that the chance of getting into a psychology grad school is low (usually about 7-15%). And I am wondering, will a B- in linear algebra decrease my chance of getting into a desirable program so that the chance of getting into 20-50 institutions for stat become comparable with the chance of getting into a psychology grad school?

Thank you for your time and patience! Any response will be greatly appreciated!

Replies to: Need advices for grad school selection

  • psycholingpsycholing Registered User Posts: 296 Junior Member
    I have helped with graduate student selection at 4 institutions -- as a professor or postdoc. In my experience, for graduate school admissions the most important component is your research (is it relevant and innovative, and does it match with the interests of the faculty member who would be your mentor) and your letters of recommendation. They care WHO the letter is from -- not just what it says. GREs are important in some programs -- for the best programs they have some minimal threshold for GREs and grades, and after that those factors fall out of consideration. At other programs the department competes against other departments for University wide graduate funding (Dean's or Provost's fellowships that are contingent on very high GREs.)

    I think you will have a hard time getting into a top psych program without research pertaining to psychology. On the other hand, being strong in math and stats is a huge asset in psychology -- if you are adept at multilevel models and can use R with proficiency, and you have done some experimental psych research with an Ivy professor, you might have a good shot. Just try to keep your overall GPA above 3.5. Learning a bit of programming -- such as with python or matlab -- would also be a plus.
  • MandalorianMandalorian Registered User Posts: 1,724 Senior Member
    I don't think your GPA is going to keep you out of statistics programs. You basically have a 3.5 which is a good GPA. If the rest of your application is strong (GREs, Essays, LoRs, resume, research, teaching, etc) you are qualified for the programs you listed.
  • juilletjuillet Super Moderator Posts: 12,298 Super Moderator
    You have one B-. One B- is not going to totally torpedo your chances at grad school. A B- isn't even all that bad a grade, especially not in the context of the other ones.

    You can still shoot for top programs. 20-50 is very reasonable.
    I also took a fair amount of psychology courses, and therefore by the time of my graduation, I should be able to meet the standard of psychology minor. I am trying to get into undergraduate psychology research next semester as well. Should I consider graduate schools in psychology?

    Do you want to be a psychologist? Do you want to do research in psychology or work some other kind of career that would benefit from graduate work in psychology? If no, then no, you shouldn't.
    Base on my recent readings, I came to realize that the chance of getting into a psychology grad school is low (usually about 7-15%)

    As a budding statistician, here's what you'll learn - acceptance rates are NOT chances. If a given program has a 10% acceptance rate, that does not mean that you, as an individual applicant, have a 10% chance of admission to the program. Your individual probability may be higher or lower depending on how competitive an applicant you are; it is largely unknowable, although you can make an educated guess.

    That being said, this question
    And I am wondering, will a B- in linear algebra decrease my chance of getting into a desirable program so that the chance of getting into 20-50 institutions for stat become comparable with the chance of getting into a psychology grad school?

    is unanswerable. It depends a lot on the program itself, your other achievements and experiences, etc. For example, if you wanted to get into a developmental or social psychology program as a math major, psychology minor you'd be less competitive...but if you wanted to get into a quantitative psychology program, you'd be quite competitive!
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