The Individual Concentration in Social Statistics is offered through the Center for Statistics and the Social Scientists (CSSS). The Concentration is open to PhD students in social science programs and PhD students doing research that is primarily social science, provided that the student’s home program does not have a similar CSSS-sponsored offering (track, minor, field, or concentration). A list of these programs is given below.
The Individual Concentration in Social Statistics enables PhD students to develop expertise in applied statistical methods and training in specialized statistical tools for carrying out quantitative research in the social sciences. The Concentration is built around a curriculum developed by the CSSS (course code: CS&SS). Students who complete the Individual Concentration will have undertaken a coherent sequence of courses with advanced training in social statistics that is relevant to their research.
The CSSS awards a Letter of Recognition to students who successfully complete a Concentration.
Students must develop an individual program that consists of four courses in social statistics. Ideally, the courses will fulfill the research student’s research needs and will provide a methodological specialization for the student. The courses must be in addition to any courses required by the student’s Ph.D. program. Each course must be taken and passed with a grade of 3.3 or above. Additionally, a minimum of two quarters of the CSSS seminar, CS&SS 590 must be completed.
Advanced courses offered by CSSS qualify for the Concentration (a list is given below). CSSS offers courses in topics like generalized linear models, hierarchical models, Bayesian methods, event history analysis, game theory, simulation methods, and analysis of network data. At least three of the four courses in the Concentration must be CSSS 500-level courses from the list below.
One numerically graded advanced course in Anthropology, Economics, Psychology, Political Science, Psychology, Public Health, Sociology, Statistics, or other department may be considered as part of the program, as long as the course helps meet the goals of the student’s individual program and is approved by the CSSS Graduate Committee. A current syllabus for any non-CS&SS course must be submitted with the proposal for the Individual Concentration.
Prior to taking a course in the Concentration, a student must complete any preparatory courses that provide statistical and mathematical background necessary to succeed in the course. The required skills and knowledge is specific to each course and instructor, but will always include algebra, elementary probability theory, and basic statistics. Some courses require additional background in differential calculus, integral calculus, matrix algebra, or advanced probability theory. Knowledge of the R statistical programming language is helpful or required for many CS&SS courses.
A PhD student interested in developing and completing an Individual Concentration should meet with the chair of the CSSS Graduate Committee as a first step in developing an individual program. This meeting should take place as early in the program as possible.
Following the meeting, the student will develop a one to two page Individual Concentration plan that includes:
The final plan will be submitted to the CSSS Graduate Committee for approval.
Changes to the Concentration plan may be made at any time by notifying the Committee and providing a written rationale for the change.
After completing the course requirements, the student will submit a packet to CSSS Graduate Committee (e-mail email@example.com) that includes:
Other programs offer CSSS-sponsored concentrations that are similar to the Individual Concentration in Social Statistics offered through CSSS. Students must undertake the concentration through their home program if a program exists.
Proper preparation is essential for success in CSSS courses. Students are encouraged to contact course instructors and the Graduate Chair in order to ascertain the mathematical, statistical, and programming language background necessary for a course.
Basic preparation in concepts of mathematics and probability is provided by Math Camp, an intensive one-week introduction offered in September.
Other CSSS one-credit preparatory courses are:
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