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Admissions Which PhD do I have a better shot in? Stats vs Applied Math?

  1. Dec 1, 2017 #1
    So I have a MS in Stats and a BS in Applied Math. For various reasons not related to raw ability, my GPA in Stats turned out to not be so good( 3.4) but my math GPA from undergrad is excellent ( 3.8). Should I even attempt continuing on in Stats or can I start over with a fresh plate in Applied Math?

    My ultimate goal is to get a data scientist job and a PhD drastically improves my chances at landing a position in a top company. A stats PhD would be more ideal as that is more directly relevant, but I'm sure that Applied Math is very reputable as well, i.e much of machine learning algorithms is based off of convex optimization, which is a subfield of applied mathematics.

    So which one should I apply to? And another question, is there any way to do damage control? That GPA is killing me.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 1, 2017 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    For damage control, your only options are to take more courses or to get your degree. I think your degree will speak volumes more than your grades in individual courses. Once you get established as a Data Scientist, your work experience will speak more than your transcripts and that too is your damage control.

    If you feel you can get a PhD in Applied Math then go for it. It doesn't pay to struggle in a field you don't enjoy. However, if you've committed yourself to Stat then you should talk with your advisors and complete the degree. Switching should be considered a more drastic move especially if you'll lose a lot of credits in the switch.
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