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The Certificate in Quantitative Social Data Analysis is designed to meet the growing need of employers for a workforce that is fluent in data-driven decision-making. Students in the certificate program are exposed to a breadth of data analysis topics, including research methods, Geographical Information System (GIS), multiple regression, and advanced electives on a variety of quantitative topics in various social science fields, as well as software packages that are in common use in the business world. The program is interdisciplinary - it draws on courses from 9 social science-related departments (Africology, Anthropology, Communications, Criminal Justice, Economics, Geography, Psychology, Political Science, and Sociology) and is intended to complement students’ social science major with concrete quantitative skills in data analysis. 

Students will take courses in statistics, regression, GIS, and research methods and will frequently be able to choose a course specific to their major. For example, a sociology major can choose "Research Methods in Sociology" to satisfy the research methods course requirement while a psychology student may choose "Research Methods in Psychology." These options allow students to focus their certificate training in their own field


The certificate is open to current UWM undergraduates, UWM bachelor’s degree holders, or graduates of other accredited four-year colleges; to be admitted to the certificate program, students must have a current overall GPA of 3.0 at UWM or their bachelor’s degree institution. Students completing the certificate not in conjunction with a degree are not eligible for financial aid. 

Program Type

Undergraduate Certificate

Program Format

On Campus

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What is a certificate?

Certificates are very similar to a minor – they require about the same number of classes. The difference is that a minor includes classes that are all from the same subject area. For example, a history minor consists of all history classes. A certificate includes classes from multiple subject areas that address the theme of the certificate.

The QSDA certificate draws on classes from political science, economics, sociology, and more.

Earning this certificate indicates that you have achieved subject matter depth in analyzing social science data and can enhance your resume. This certificate is ideal for many social science majors, not just sociology majors. Economics, history, political science, psychology, and business majors are particularly encouraged to explore the certificate.

The Sociology Department also participates in teaching courses in these other certificates.

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Admission to the QSDA certificate program requires an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher.


To obtain the certificate, the student must obtain a grade of at least C in any course used to satisfy the certificate requirements, and a cumulative GPA of 3.0 over all courses used for the certificate. Twelve of the 15-18 required credits must be earned in residence at UWM. 9 of the credits must be on the 300-level or above. Courses for the certificate may not be taken on a credit/no credit basis.

Students currently enrolled at UWM who have fulfilled some of the program’s requirements prior to the program’s approval may have their credits applied retroactively to the certificate program.

Students are required to take one course each from 5 areas:

  1. Introductory statistics (3-4 credits);
  2. Research methods (3-4 credits);
  3. GIS (3 credits);
  4. Multiple regression (3 credits); and
  5. Electives (3-4 credits).
Introductory Statistics3-4
Choose one:
Introduction to Statistics in African and African Diaspora Studies
Economic Statistics
Quantitative Analysis in Geography
The Quantitative Analysis of Historical Data
Psychological Statistics
Introduction to Statistical Thinking in Sociology
Research Methods3-4
Choose one:
Research Methods in African & African Diaspora Studies
Quantitative Research in Communication
Introduction to Political Science Research
Research Methods in Psychology
Research Methods in Sociology
Methods of Social Welfare Research
Choose one:
Anthropological Applications of GIS
Analysis Oriented Technology: Spatial Data Analysis; Crime Mapping; ArcGIS
Introduction to Geographic Information Science
Multiple Regression3
Choose one:
Introduction to Anthropological Statistics
Research Methods for Economics
Statistics for Economists
Introduction to Econometrics
Political Data Analysis
Experimental Design
Social Data Analysis Using Regression
Choose one: 1
Economic Forecasting Methods
Geographic Information Science
Spatial Analysis
Survey Research
Advanced Psychological Statistics
Social Networks
Total Credits15-18

Other courses not on this list but relevant to quantitative social data analysis may be accepted with the approval of the Certificate Program Coordinator. A student making such a request must submit syllabi from the courses involved to the coordinator.

Awarding the Certificate

Students currently involved in baccalaureate studies who successfully complete the requirements of the program will be awarded the certificate at the time of graduation.  Students who already have a bachelor’s degree will receive the certificate upon completion of the program requirements.

Certificate advising is provided by one of the co-directors of the program: either professor Aki Roberts or professor Thomas Holbrook. Currently enrolled UWM students can contact one of them with questions or proceed directly to the “Declare Certificate” button on this page.

Prospective students not yet enrolled at UWM can contact the college admissions office at (414) 229-7711 or


Prospective Students (not yet enrolled at UWM)

Prospective students, contact our admissions counselor at or 414-229-7711.

Current Students

General questions such as how to declare, how to change a major, general education requirements, etc. should be directed to the College advising office at or 414-229-4654.

Specific questions about Sociology, such as research opportunities, internship opportunities, major requirements, etc., should be directed to the Sociology Department.