I'm ranked as one of top 4% users of Data Science Stackexchange. I'm applying for a PhD program in related field.

Shall I mention my Stackexchange rank in my resume? If yes under what title?

  • 5
    You shall mention everything which you think increases your chances in your admissions application; however, having high rank in a famous site may not indicate anything significant about your academic capabilities to the admissions committee.
    – enthu
    Dec 10, 2015 at 22:37
  • 2
    Mention your ranking in the class you are graduated from, too. (For instance, something like top 5 in a class of 25 students, honors the 1st, etc.); if you have some honors like this.
    – enthu
    Dec 10, 2015 at 22:39
  • Thanks for the comment! And what if I don't have such honors? Dec 10, 2015 at 23:34
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    I would put this with extra curricular activies, and treat it as such. It is an interesting bit of information, but may not be too interesting to the committee. If I saw this as a feature on your resume, I personally would think it strange the person has put so much value to that website. Dec 10, 2015 at 23:55
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    If someone actually checks your profile on that site they will see a score of 1.2k which could seem low relative to other relevant stackexchange sites (I realize this is a young beta site). For example, stats.stackexchange has a lot of data/stats/ML questions and there a score of 1.2k would not be considered super-high.
    – Bitwise
    Dec 11, 2015 at 0:18

2 Answers 2


Yes, it is worth including in your PhD application somewhere, if you are applying to a department where data science knowledge would be a significant asset. Don't expect it to receive a lot of weight, but it can't hurt.

Many PhD applications allow you to include a link to your web page(s). I suggest you include a link to your Data Science profile page as one of these links, so members of the admissions committee can see example questions and answers you've written there, if they wish.

I don't know if I'd include rank as a percentage, as it's hard to evaluate what 4% means or how many users there are there. In your case, I would seriously consider listing it as 13th highest-rated user (out of N users) on Data Science Stack Exchange, a question-and-answer site for technical questions related to data science.

I also agree with Wolfgang that rather than merely mentioning your involvement, it might also be helpful to have an explanation or narrative about why you believe this makes you a stronger candidate. To give some examples: Does it provide you with valuable knowledge about how to do research in your area? If so, can you give a specific example? Did your involvement lead you to become enthusiastic about research in your chosen area? Perhaps you are especially motivated by bringing ideas from the research literature to a broader audience and helping practitioners benefit from the research literature, and your involvement in Data Science.SE is motivated by that? Members of the admission committee might not be familiar with this site or why your involvement is relevant to the admission decision. Give them a concrete reason why this makes you a better candidate for admission or what this says about your interests and preparation.


You may mention it, but it's not going to carry a lot of weight. What I'd focus on would not be the particular rank you have there, but that you have been active in the community of Data Scientists for a good while and believe that this has given you a good overview of this area. That's what matters, not what you do in your spare time.

  • Thank you @Wolfgang. Helpful as always. I assume it should not carry much weight but I wanna know if I can use it as a score for what you called "being active in the community". In other words, how would you measure if somebody is active in the community or not? Dec 10, 2015 at 23:33
  • 1
    I tend to trust emphatic statements in writing. So if you say "Over the past two years, I have been very active in answering questions about X in online forums such as StackExchange", then I am ok with that. It's a statement that is in principle verifyable, so it's unlikely that anyone would blatantly lie about it, and that makes it ok to not offer further proof from your side. Dec 11, 2015 at 1:55

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