Data Analytics and Computational Social Science

The Master of Science degree in Data Analytics and Computational Social Science (DACSS) is an interdisciplinary degree program designed to train students to fill roles that require cutting edge data analysis and computational social science training and/or involve regular interaction with trained computer scientists and other data science professionals. Possible career trajectories include analyst and consulting positions in public policy, market research, public relations, corporate communications, population studies, and survey research. Students will also be well-prepared to pursue a PhD or other advanced graduate studies.

Current UMass Amherst students are eligible to apply for M.S. DACSS while still enrolled as an undergraduate, and apply up to 4 courses taken prior to graduation towards M.S. degree requirements. This allows students to more easily complete all 30-credits in a single academic year, while having time to pursue advanced research and internship opportunities.


Degree curriculum has been carefully designed to prepare students for the workforce and reflects current industry standards for data science professionals. The Master of Science degree in Data Analytics and Computational Social Sciences (DACSS) requires satisfactory completion of 10 courses, or 30 credits. Coursework will consist of:

  • Four core courses that ensure students are able to meet industry standards in data analysis and communication and effectively use data to support decision-making,
  • Three technical electives that ensure students have cutting edge training in one or more methods such as survey research, advanced statistics or econometrics, network analysis or computational text analysis, and
  • Three additional technical or substantive electives that round out the degree curriculum.

With DACSS approval, current UMass students may transfer up to 12 credits (4 classes) of graduate coursework taken while an undergraduate into the M.S. program, with up to two of those courses simultaneously counting towards bachelor’s and master’s degree requirements. More information about accelerated master’s programs at UMass is available from the Graduate School.

Applications and Admissions – 

Current UMass students in their junior or senior year may apply to join DACSS through the 4+1 M.S. program. All students are admitted to the in-person M.S. following a competitive admissions process. Apply through the standard UMass Graduate School application process.

Please apply to start the M.S. the term after you expect to graduate.


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Relevant Classes

DACSS 601: Data Science Fundamentals

DACSS 603: Intro to Quantitative Analysis

DACSS 602: Research Design

PoliSci 328: Research Design

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