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Social Science Research Methods (Graduate Certificate)

Social Science Research Methods (Graduate Certificate)

Academic Programs / Graduate Degrees / Social Science Research Methods (Graduate Certificate)

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Data, Data Analysis, Data Management, Interdisciplinary, Research Methods, Social Sciences, statistics

Are you fascinated by the causes and consequences of human thought and behavior? You may be a social scientist. Boost your data analysis credentials with social science research methods. These skills are highly valued and transferable in the corporate world and in academia.

Program Description
Degree Awarded: Certificate  Social Science Research Methods (Certificate)

Many of the biggest problems today --- from tracking the outbreak of diseases to managing scarce water resources to understanding the impact of new technologies --- require collaboration across the medical sciences, the physical and biological sciences, the social sciences and engineering. ASU's emphasis on collaborative work across disciplines is crucial for understanding these complex problems and to develop solutions.

The interdisciplinary graduate certificate program in social science research methods prepares students to acquire, manage and analyze a broad range of data on human thought and human behavior. Data can be qualitative (e.g., text, images or sound) or quantitative (e.g., direct observation, surveys or geospatial). Data acquisition skills may include the downloading and managing of information from online sources or the primary collection of data in surveys or in direct observation. A key feature of this program is a focus on data analysis, so students and professionals will be able to analyze and interpret any data that they can collect. All students in this program demonstrate skills in statistical analysis as well as a selection of methods related to their interests.

This program is designed for applicants who hold a minimum of a bachelor's degree from regional, national or internationally accredited institutions, and in any field or discipline (e.g., anthropology, sociology, human development, sustainability, geography, political science or other fields with approval of the academic unit).

At a Glance
Degree Requirements

18 credit hours including an applied project course (GCU 593)

Required Core (3 credit hours)
Choose one from the following:
FAS 508 Structural Equation Analysis for the Social Sciences (3)
PSY 531 Multiple Regression in Psychological Research (4)
SOC 508 Structural Equation Analysis for the Social Sciences (3)
STP 530 Applied Regression Analysis (3)
STP 531 Applied Analysis of Variance (3)
STP 533 Applied Multivariate Analysis (3)

Electives or Research (12 credit hours)

Culminating Experience (3 credit hours)
GCU 593 Applied Project (3)

Additional Curriculum Information
Students select one of the multivariate data analysis core courses for a total of three credit hours.

Students select four three-credit hour elective and research methods courses for a total of 12 credit hours in consultation with the program directors. The program recognizes that other graduate-level courses on research methods are offered at ASU. Advanced courses on methods are often taught in omnibus courses, courses that have rotating content and whose content is not reflected in their titles. Students may include these courses in their certificate curriculum with approval of the program directors.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree from a regionally accredited institution in a field such as human development, sustainability, geography or political science. Other subject areas may be accepted with approval from the academic unit.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

Applicants must have completed an introductory statistics course before admission to the program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. statement of interest
  4. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of current residency.

International students who need an F1 or J1 visa first need to apply to and be accepted into a graduate degree program prior to being considered for the certificate program. International students residing in the USA on other types of visas must adhere to all Graduate College policies and procedures regarding admission to be considered for admission to this certificate program.

Examples of introductory statistics courses include:
CRJ 504 Statistical Tools for Criminology and Criminal Justice
NUR 617 Foundational Concepts in Science and Statistics
POS 603 Polimetrics I
STP 530 Applied Regression Analysis
or equivalent with approval of the academic unit

A statement of interest should include how the certificate program will enhance the applicant's graduate studies or professional work.

Career Opportunities

Professionals with expertise in social science research are in high demand across sectors and industries, including consulting firms, government agencies and community organizations. Skills in data acquisition, management and analysis are valuable to businesses and institutions relying on data-driven strategies in an interdisciplinary and collaborative marketplace.

Career examples include:

  • data analyst
  • economist
  • field researcher
  • human behavior researcher
  • social science research assistant
  • statistician
Contact Information

What are Accelerated Programs?
Accelerated Programs allow students the opportunity to expedite the completion of their degree.

3 year programs

These programs allow students to fast-track their studies after admission and earn a bachelor’s degree in three years or fewer while participating in the same high-quality educational experience of a 4-year option. Students should talk to their academic advisor to get started.

4+1 year programs

These programs allow students to accelerate their studies by combining undergraduate with graduate coursework, which may allow them to earn a bachelor’s and a master's degree in as few as five years (for some programs).

Each program has requirements students must meet to be eligible for consideration. Acceptance to the graduate program requires a separate application. During their junior year, eligible students are advised by their academic departments to apply.
What are Concurrent Programs?
Students pursuing concurrent degrees earn two distinct degrees and receive two diplomas. ASU offers students two ways to earn concurrent degrees: by choosing a predetermined combination or creating their own combination. Predetermined combinations have a single admissions application and one easy to follow major map. To add a concurrent degree to your existing degree, work with your academic advisor. Either way, concurrent degrees allow students to pursue their own personal or professional interests.
What are Joint Programs?
Joint programs, or jointly conferred degrees, are offered by more than one college and provide opportunities for students to take advantage of the academic strengths of two academic units. Upon graduation, students are awarded one degree and one diploma conferred by two colleges.

What constitutes a New Program?
ASU adds new programs to Degree Search frequently. Come back often and look for the “New Programs” option.
What are Online Programs?
ASU Online offers programs in an entirely online format with multiple enrollment sessions throughout the year. See for more information.
What is WRGP (Western Regional Graduate Program)?
The Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP) provides a reduced tuition rate to non-resident graduate students who qualify. Visit the WRGP/WICHE webpage for more information:

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