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Program Overview


Empirical analysis in political science is entering a new era of Big Data where a broad range of data sources have become available to researchers. Examples include network data from political campaigns, data from social media generated by individuals, campaign contributions and lobbying expenditures made by firms and individuals, and international trade flows data. Employers across government, private, and non-profit sectors increasingly use data to help achieve organizational goals. Data-related positions have increased along with shortages of qualified applicants in the proliferation of new organizations specializing in data analytics and existing firms adding capacity in this area.

The Master of Science in Applied Political Analytics (MS-Applied Political Analytics) provides aspiring professionals with the foundations of political science and training in the principles and practices of survey research, enabling students to delve more deeply into the technical aspects of data collection, survey methods, and statistical modeling. Developing and working with social and behavioral data presents unique challenges in measurement design, data collection, ethics and governance, communication, data management, modeling, and analysis. A professional with a firm foundation in theoretical and empirical research, communicates effectively and adapts easily to new questions and issues, contributing to such success. This graduate training will allow students to stand out in a growing, but crowded, job market for political analysts.

The MS-Applied Political Analytics is a 36-credit graduate program designed to provide students with two different sets of skills. The first is a solid technical background to work with data sets of an order of magnitude unimaginable to previous generations. Data driven strategies are key to success when planning messaging or providing needed services. The second is a rich background in political science in order to meaningfully apply analytical skills to important policy questions and issues. 

The MS-Applied Political Analytics features both seminar-style, face-to-face learning and online learning. Face-to-face classes meet at the College Park campus. UMD’s online learning environment delivers online content through easy to use web-based technology that enables learning in an engaging, interactive environment. Instruction is provided by university faculty and experts in the field. The program uses the semester academic calendar with classes held in fall and spring semester (16 weeks each) and winter session (3-weeks).

Academic Program Director Contact Information

The MS-Applied Political Analytics is offered jointly through the Department of Government and Politics and the Joint Program in Survey Methodology in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences. The program provides an opportunity for students to apply acquired core skills to address real-world problems. Students with specific academic questions may contact:

Dr. Candace M. Turitto
Department of Government and Politics
College of Behavioral and Social Sciences
1155 Tydings Hall
7343 Preinkert Drive
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742-7215

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