Certificate in Social Science Analytics

Big Data

Why Social Science Analytics?

The certificate will help students learn how to collect, analyze, and interpret social science data. With the rise of so-called “Big Data”, the ability to employ a broad variety of data and data analysis techniques to make informed decisions has become ever more important. The certificate provides students with a course of study to learn the basics of quantitative social science research fused with a variety of techniques to develop more advanced skills, such as:

  • Geo-spatial data (geographic databases, maps, spatial dependence);
  • Network data (social networks, social media, connections between states);
  • Text analysis (social media data, political speeches, newspaper stories);
  • Statistical and computer programming (web scraping, data collection, data manipulation);
  • Visualization (graphs, presentations, maps, networks).

The certificate will focus on developing appropriate technical training in combination with an understanding of the social processes and theories that highlight the substantive nuances and context of the data at hand.

Relevance for Sociology Majors

Learning these skills will help make students with a social science background more competitive for graduate schools as well as jobs in business, policy analysis, governmental organizations, data science and many others. More so than ever, employers in a wide variety of settings are looking for individuals who can manage, analyze, and interpret data. Further, the certificate will offer sociology students the opportunity to interact with and collaborate with other undergraduates in the social sciences and mathematical sciences who are interested in social research.

What is a Certificate?

A Certificate is an official University credential indicating that you have specific gained expertise by engaging in focused studies in a specific area, usually related to your major. It provides clear evidence of this focused strength to potential employers or graduate schools.

Social Science Analytics is an undergraduate Certificate offered through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) and is supported by the departments of Geography and Sustainability Sciences, Political Science, Sociology, and Statistics and Actuarial Sciences. Its academic home is the Department of Political Science.

Description of the Certificate

The certificate requires 18 semester hours. Students must complete requirements in each of the different components of the certificate, totaling 6 courses overall. No more than 6 semester hours of course work towards a major may be counted towards the certificate. 

NEW Requirements starting Fall 2017! They can be found here.