I'm currently an undergrad student looking for advice. The below information is based on what I've done/what I expect to have done by graduation.

Undergraduate Institution: Decent US State school with a solid statistics department but not particularly known for math. Ranked around 50 according to US News

Major: Math and Economics

GPA: 4.0

Math GPA: 4.0

Type of Student: Domestic white male (first gen if that matters at all)

Classes taken/to take:

**Undergrad**: Calc 1-3, linear algebra 1-2, proofs, ODE, PDE, numerical analysis 1-2, probability, stochastic processes, machine learning, real analysis 1-2, complex variables, introductory statistics, mathematical statistics 1-2, intro programming, python for economics, game theory, R for economics, intermediate micro/macro, financial econometrics

**Grad**: Real analysis 1-2, Econometrics 1-2

GRE Not taken (maybe I will but not decided yet)

Research: I'm planning on applying for REUs this summer focusing on something along the lines of financial math and probability.

Idk if this counts but I also plan on doing directed reading classes for the upcoming semesters, been looking into topics recently.

Programs applying to: Applied Math, Statistics, Operations Research

With all this in mind my questions are:

1. Around what rank should I be aiming for?

2. What can I do to improve my profile?

3. Are programs in applied math/stats/OR less competitive generally than those for pure math?

4. Since I'll be lacking heavily on research would it be worthwhile to do a thesis based masters before applying?

Thanks