The QMSS Curriculum

To view a list of all UCSB courses that satisfy the QMSS requirements below, click here.


Course Requirements

The QMSS curriculum is designed to provide students with the rigorous mathematical and statistical background necessary for advanced quantitative work. The required mathematics and statistics courses are:

  • A one year sequence of statistics (for instance, Psychology 221A, B, and C, or the equivalent year-long sequence offered in many participating departments).
These requirements can be met with equivalent courses, or waived if equivalent courses have already been completed.

The QMSS curriculum is also designed to provide a broad interdisciplinary perspective on the use of quantitative methods in the social sciences. To meet that requirement we require:

  • At least three quantitative social science methods courses, at least two of which are outside the student's home department. A list of courses that satisfy this requirement is here.
  • Enrollment in the QMSS colloquia for at least three quarters.
  • At least one presentation of original quantitative social science research at the QMSS colloquia.

Dissertation Requirements

The QMSS curriculum is designed to train students to conduct quantitative social science research that draws on or has implications for the social sciences beyond the student's Ph.D. discipline. To that end we require:
  • A Ph.D. dissertation that is focused on an issue that is appropriate to the QMSS emphasis. For instance, the dissertation could develop a quantitative method that could be applied to social science fields beyond the student's discipline, or adapt a quantitative method used in a social science field outside the student's discipline for researching a substantive problem within the student's discipline.
  • A dissertation committee that includes at least one core QMSS faculty member from outside the student's home department. Note that according to the most recent Academic Senate requirements, the committee must include at least three UC ladder faculty members, two of whom must be members of the home department. One of the home department members must serve as chair or co-chair.

Optional Electives

The QMSS curriculum is designed to train students in cutting edge statistics and research methods to enhance their prospects for successful careers in academia and industry. In consultation with their QMSS advisors, students are encouraged to add additional quantitative or methods courses to their Course Contract, as needed. For example, students pursuing careers in data science may be advised to take additional courses in mathematics (e.g., a sequence in Calculus or Linear Algebra) or programming (e.g., courses in Python, R, SQL, Hive, or Spark). We encourage students to work closely with their QMSS advisors to develop a course contract that best meets their training and career goals.

Upon Completing These Requirements

Once completing the requirements listed above, students should submit all records of courses, seminars, and research to the QMSS Coordinating Committee, which will certify to the Graduate Division that the requirements for the emphasis have been satisfied. The Graduate Division will verify completion of the emphasis and convey this information to the Registrar, which will in turn include the QMSS emphasis on the final transcript. Students who complete the requirements will graduate from their home department with an emphasis in QMSS — for example, a student in the Education department who completes the requirements will receive a Ph.D. in "Education, with an emphasis in Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences."



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Last Modified January 6, 2021