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MS Data Analytics in Social Sciences

Academics

Our 36 credit, terminal master’s degree program prepares students to collect, interpret and communicate the results of data analysis across a wide berth of social science fields. Students are first introduced to basic/intermediate statistics courses and computation programming/data manipulation. They will then take research courses both within and outside of their preferred discipline, culminating in a research project or thesis on a topic of their choice (in conjunction with an advisor).

Additional academic and pre-professional opportunities include:

  • Summer Research Institute. The program partners with the Summer Research Institute in Statistics (SRI), hosted within the Department of Sociology. Since 2017, SRI has offered intensive statistics and quantitative analysis seminars. DASS students can earn credit for these seminars – the aggregate credit for three of these seminars can count for one Advanced Statistics class or the Specialized Statistics class.
  • Professionalization Seminars. In addition to formal coursework, professionalization seminars will be held every semester (typically, two to three), in coordination with Graduate Student Associations, to discuss various career interest and issues related to the field of data science.

Advisement

Each student will meet with the Director of Graduate Studies for the DASS program each semester. At this meeting, the director will provide academic advice to students on every relevant matter, including the students’ course schedule for the upcoming semester. Students will also select a faculty member in their specialty department for thesis or project guidance. The project advisor must be selected no later than at the end of students’ second semester of full-time study.

Program Outline

The 36 credit program requires:

  • 12 credits of statistics
  • 6 credits of computation programming/data manipulation
  • 6 credits of research methods
  • 6-9 credits of coursework in advanced data analysis within one social science discipline
  • 3-6 credits of project or thesis guidance

Each student will be required to take at least 9 credit hours in a department other than their specialty discipline to increase familiarity with the methods of adjacent fields.

Final Project/Thesis

The MS project or thesis will be submitted to two faculty members from two distinct departments (including the student’s project advisor), who have the sole responsibility for its review, revision and acceptance. Each committee member must be in one of the participating social sciences departments and hold membership in UB’s graduate faculty. In exceptional cases (and if the project warrants), one member of the MS committee might be from a non-social science department.

Admissions

Admissions guidelines for the program are as follows:

  • BA/BS in a social science discipline, though special provision may be made for students with degrees in the humanities (particularly those interested in digital humanities)
  • 3.0 undergraduate GPA in social science area courses
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation
  • Resume or curriculum vitae (CV)
  • One (1) writing sample
  • Statement of educational and career goals
  • International students will need to provide proof of English proficiency via standardized test scores.

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