I got full 4.00 GPA in graduate school. Chance for fully funded top universities?

I got a 3.62 GPA in undergraduate, and 4.00 full GPA in Master. How likely I can get into any top universities for fully funded phD like Harvard, Stanford or Ivy?

Getting a PhD requires more than getting a 4.0. What field are you interested in?

My daughter’s graduate program has the opportunity for a PhD. They look at more than grades- they look at recommendations, fit, volunteer experience, research etc.



ETA…according to your other thread, you are pursuing a masters. Are you done with this masters? Also, are you an international student?

Did you have this conversation with your grad school advisor and a mentor? Those folks would have been able to give you some direction about PhD programs. Agree with others…it’s not all about grades. It’s about the programs desire to have you in their cohort for some reason…either connections with previous professors you have worked with, some relation you have already established with their program, research if that is applicable to your major…things like that.

What field are you in?

The schools you me mentioned are highly highly competitive for any admissions, including PhD. Personally, I think you need to cast a broader net…but then we know nothing about your accomplishments (not grades…things you did relative to the PhD you are seeking).

According to OP’s other thread, she has her Bachelor’s degree in product design (and will obtain her Master’s degree in the same field later this year), but she intends to pursue her PhD in statistics.

@Anne2021 What matters most (and nothing else compares) in a PhD program is the professor you’re going to be working with, not the school or even the department. Many highly selective PhD programs will ask you, when you apply, to identify the professors/PIs that you’d like to be working with and why. In most cases, they’re the ones who are going to decide whether to admit you or not. They will look at your academic preparation, focusing on relevant coursework (not your GPA) and research experiences. LoRs from professors (especially ones who are known to the PIs whom you identify in your application) in the field will be highly influential. The only other factor that really matters is if you belong to an underrepresented group and the school/department is looking to increase representation from that group.


Most PhDs in the US are funded, by research grants that your team has won. You ‘earn’ your funding by doing some of that research.

Here is what Harvard gives as the qualifications for their PhD in statistics program:

The minimum mathematical preparation for admission to graduate study in statistics is linear algebra and advanced calculus. Ideally, each student’s preparation should include at least one term each of mathematical probability and mathematical statistics. Additional study in statistics and related mathematical areas, such as analysis and measure theory, is helpful. In the initial stages of graduate study, students should give high priority to acquiring the mathematical level required to satisfy their objectives.

Successful applicants demonstrate that they understand what the discipline of statistics entails, and show evidence of involvement in applications or a strong theoretical interest. They are able to articulate a strong motivation for studying statistics.

As statistics is so intimately connected with computation, computation is an important part of almost all courses and research projects in the department. Preferably, students should have programming experience relevant for statistical computation and simulation.

For any PhD application, you will need three academic LoRs, GRE, and a Statement of Purpose. Again, from Harvard (but essentially the same everywhere):

The statement of purpose is very important to programs when deciding whether to admit a candidate. Your statement should be focused, informative, and convey your research interests and qualifications. You should describe your reasons and motivations for pursuing a graduate degree in your chosen degree program, noting the experiences that shaped your research ambitions, indicating briefly your career objectives, and concisely stating your past work in your intended field of study and in related fields. Your degree program of interest may have specific guidance or requirements for the statement of purpose, so be sure to review the degree program page for more information. Unless otherwise noted, your statement should not exceed 1,000 words.

If you don’t have research experience you will have trouble getting into any PhD program, much less a top-tier program



Nice to meet you! Thank you so much for replying me and sharing the information. I’m interested in a statistics phD that offers math trainings from the basics, as my undergrads and Master programs didn’t offer advanced math studies.

Wow! Thank you for offering me this head of thinking. This looks fabulous, like an insider. I know where I can start off based on what you said.


PhD programs assume you HAVE the basics. These are advanced programs, not introductory ones.

Is there any chance you can take these math courses before you apply for doctoral studies.

And are you an international student?

You need to connect with your main mentor and advisor and develop a plan.


Yes, I’m an international student. I saw some accelerated Master programs like 2+1, 3+1 offering basic trainings. So I was trying to find if there is any phD program that has similar structure as well.

Checking for clarity…you are hoping for a fully funded PhD program but you don’t have the math courses needed for this program?

If that is the case…getting accepted will be a challenge, and getting full funding even more challenging…in my opinion.


Thank you very much for posting the Harvard’ requirement on math preparation. This helped me step forward to get the idea. Okay, I understand they need certain level of math background. Seems I’m not a good fit for that one.
I did have research experience and took some introductory data analysis course, but my degree didn’t offer much math studies like calculus.

Hmm. I will see what I can do. THANK YOU!

Thank you for the advise. Yea, I know most Phd programs don’t offer fundamental math trainings. I know some accelerated Master program like 2+1, 3+1 have this kind of offering.

What math have you taken? I don’t know much about statistics but IMO you are not ready to apply to PhD programs .

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You need to talk to your advisor about future plans ASAP. They can help you evaluate what courses you have, as well as suggest possible next steps.

If you don’t have the basic courses for a doctoral program in statistics, how would you get full funding?

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