Social Science Research Methods (Certificate)

At a Glance: program details

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

Certificate Awarded: 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).

Degree Requirements

18 credit hours including the required applied project course (GCU 593)

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

Electives or Research (11 or 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 or four credit hours.

Students select four elective and research methods courses for a total of 11 or 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 their 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.

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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

Program Contact Information

If you have questions related to admission, please click here to request information and an admission specialist will reach out to you directly. For questions regarding faculty or courses, please use the contact information below.