The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Overview of M.S. DACSS (UMass Amherst)

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. Students can follow a one-year fast track plan with the last 3 months (mid-May through mid-August) compatible with full-time work, or choose a moderately paced 18- to 24-month path. 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.

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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 Science (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.

Applications and Admissions

Students are admitted to the in-person degree twice each year following a competitive admissions process. Apply through the standard UMass Graduate School application process. 

For Fall enrollment,  deadlines are January 1st for Priority Admissions and February 15th for Regular Decision to join the next Summer cohort. For Spring enrollment, October 1st is Priority Admission deadline and October 15th is the deadline for Regular Admission. Application requirements can be found here. If you are interested in applying and have questions, please contact us.

Financial Arrangements

The Master’s of Science in Data Analytics and Computational Social Science at UMass Amherst offers a superior education at a competitive rate. Our 10-month accelerated track allows students to spend fewer months in full-time graduate education and more rapidly join the workforce. Updated graduate tuition rates are posted each year on the UMass Bursar's website, or see here for estimated program tuition. M.S. DACSS students are not eligible for appointment to jobs that receive tuition waivers under the GEO contract, but some financial aid may be available from various sources.