The Joint Program offers a Master of Science in Survey Methodology from the University of Maryland, with three tracks of study namely, Statistical Science, Social and Psychological Science, and Data Science

The statistical science track is designed for students who wish to specialize in areas such as sample design, estimation in complex samples, variance estimation, statistical measurement error models, and statistical adjustments for missing data.

The social science track is designed for students who wish to specialize in areas such as questionnaire design, design of interviewing systems, computer assistance in data collection, effects of mode of data collection, cognitive psychological insights into survey measurement, and efforts to reduce various non-sampling errors in data collection.

The data science track is designed for students who wish to specialize in the more computational aspects of survey methodology and research involving "big data," including data visualization, management and analysis of large and messy data sets, human-computer interaction in survey research, and machine learning algorithms.

The three areas of specialization share a set of courses in the core curriculum, including a two term survey practicum, a course in data collection methods, two terms of statistical methods, a two term course in total survey quality, and a survey design seminar.

The key components of the program are:

  • Total of 46 credit hours with an average grade of B, or better

  • 3-month internship with a government agency or private survey firm

A student who has already taken courses in probability and statistical theory, statistical methods, or social statistics at the levels of the required courses in these subjects may, with the approval of his or her faculty advisor, replace these courses with more advanced courses.

M.S. students can not apply more than one grade of C towards their graduation requirements. Students who are working in a job related to survey methodology during the time of their matriculation can use that job to satisfy the internship requirement. The degree must be completed within five years of date of entry.

3 Tracks: Social and Psychological, Survey Statistics, and Data Science (tentative schedule)

 

JPSM Degree Requirements

 

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Full-time Students admitted in Fall 2014 to Fall 2016

NOTE: JPSM intends to offer these classes as scheduled; however, depending on enrollments or unforeseen circumstances, these schedules may need to be altered. Each semester JPSM publishes the schedule of classes for the next semester and sends these to all students and others on the JPSM mailing list. Courses for the JPSM MS degree program may not be taken online.

The 21 month course schedule (and course credit hours) for a full time student in each of the tracks are listed below.

Term Statistical Science Social Science

Fall, Year 1

410:  Intro Probability (3)

615:  Stat Methods I (3)

623:  Data Collection (3)

672:  Introduction to the Federal Statistical System (1)

10 credits

615:  Stat Methods I (3)

623:  Data Collection (3)

632:  Social and Cognitive Founds. (3)

672:  Introduction to the Federal Statistical System (1)

10 credits

Spring, Year 1

420:  Intro to Stat (3)

440:  Sampling Theory(3)

616:  Stat Methods II (3)

640:  Surv Practicum I (2)

11 credits

616:  Stat Methods II (3)

625:  Applied Sampling (3)

630:  Questionnaire Design (3)

640:  Surv Practicum I (2) 

11 credits

Summer, Year 1 Internship Internship
Fall, Year 2

641:  Survey Practicum II (Data Analysis) (2)

720:  Total Survey Quality I (2)

745:  Practical Tools for Sampling and Weighting (3)

746:  Applications of Statistical Modeling (3)

Elective (3)

13 credits

641:  Survey Practicum II (Data Analysis) (2)

701:  Analysis of Complex Data (3)

720:  Total Survey Quality I (2)

722:  Random and Nonrandomized Research Design (3)

746:  Applications of Statistical Modeling (3)

13 credits

Spring, Year 2

721:  Total Survey Quality II (2)

742:  Inference (3)

744:  Statistical Topics in Survey Methodology (3)

772:  Design Seminar (3)

11 credits

721:  Total Survey Quality II (2)

772:  Design Seminar (3)

Elective (3)

Elective (3)

11 credits

Total Credits 45 45

Part-time Students admitted in Fall 2014 to Fall 2016

NOTE: JPSM intends to offer these classes as scheduled; however, depending on enrollments or unforeseen circumstances, these schedules may need to be altered. Each semester JPSM publishes the schedule of classes for the next semester and sends these to all students and others on the JPSM mailing list. Courses for the JPSM MS degree program may not be taken online.

The schedule below illustrates a 33 month completion of the program.

Term Statistical Science Social Science

Fall, Year 1

410:  Intro Probability (3)

615:  Stat Methods I (3)

672:  Introduction to the Federal Statistical System (1)

7 credits

615:  Stat Methods I (3)

632:  Social and Cognitive Founds. (3)

672:  Introduction to the Federal Statistical System (1)

7 credits

Spring, Year 1

420:  Intro to Stat  (3)

616:  Stat Methods II (3)

640:  Practicum I (Data Collection) (2)

8 credits

616:  Stat Methods II (3)

630:  Questionnaire Design (3)

640:  Practicum I (Data Collection) (2)

8 credits

Summer, Year 1

Elective (3)

3 credits

625:  Applied Sampling (3)

3 credits

Fall, Year 2

440:  Sampling Theory (3)

623:  Data Collection (3)

641:  Practicum II (Data Analysis) (2)

8 credits

623:  Data Collection (3)

722:  Random and Nonrandomized Research Design (3)

641:  Practicum II (Data Analysis) (2)

8 credits

Spring, Year 2

744:  Statistical Topics in Survey Methodology (3)

772:  Design Seminar (3)

6 credits

Elective (3)

Elective (3)

6 credits

Summer, Year 2 Internship Internship

Fall, Year 3

720:  Total Survey Quality I (2)

745:  Practical Tools for Sampling and Weighting (3)

746:  Applications of Statistical Modeling (3)

8 credits

701:  Analysis of Complex Data (3)

720:  Total Survey Quality I (2)

746:  Applications of Statistical Modeling (3)

8 credits

Spring, Year 3

721:  Total Survey Quality II (2)

742:  Inference (3)

5 credits

721:  Total Survey Quality II (2)

772:  Design Seminar (3)

5 credits

Total Credits 45 45

Admission Deadline
Applications must received by January 7, 2020. 

Admission Criteria
  • Hold a baccalaureate degree with at least a "B" average
  • Complete the University of Maryland Graduate School application form
  • Provide an official transcript for all undergraduate and graduate courses
  • Complete an essay describing your experience and interest in survey methodology
  • Submit three letters of recommendation
Special Instructions / Information for Admission

1. Codes for Graduate Program and Interests/Specialization:
On the Application for Graduate Admission, you are asked to enter a 4 letter alphabetic code for the Proposed Graduate Program/Department. Enter "SURV" in those fields.

2. Statement of Goals and Research Interests
The Statement of Goals and Research Interests (page 31 in the Graduate Admission Application) forms an important part of the admissions committee's evaluation of your application. The committee uses the essay to measure your experience and interest in various components of survey methodology.

  • Survey Management
  • Budgeting and Cost Modeling / Sample Design and Selection
  • Questionnaire Design and Pretesting
  • Survey Data Entry, Coding, and Data Management / Weighting and Imputation
  • Estimation and Analysis of Survey Data / Writing Survey Reports

Identify the components you have experienced and describe the nature of that experience. Describe how you hope the MS program will advance your training in survey research. For applicants without experience in survey research, be specific about which components of survey methodology you find particularly interesting, and why.
The committee prefers essays that are no more than three typewritten pages (single spaced, 12 point font).

3. Letters of Recommendations
The admissions committee uses letters of recommendation to help judge how well you might perform in the M.S. Program. There are two equally important criteria to use in choosing people to ask for recommendations: That the individuals know you well and that they are able to comment on your academic abilities in statistical and research methodology. Persons knowledgeable about the demands of technical graduate programs often can make the most informed judgments about the likelihood of your success in such a program.
Applicants who are returning to school after years in the work force face a more difficult task in seeking recommendations from persons with the attributes listed above. The admissions committee is aware of this difficulty and seeks to take that into account when evaluating applications. In these cases, persons who have current knowledge about the applicant's aptitude and skills are more desirable recommenders than professors whose knowledge pertains only to academic performance many years earlier.
It is important to ask the recommenders to focus their evaluation on your academic aptitude in statistical and research methodology.

4. Prerequisite Courses
You must submit a supplemental form, Summary of Prerequisite Courses (found here), which describes the coursework required for admission to the MS Program. For the statistical science track, three courses in calculus, one course in linear algebra, and one statistics course are required. For the social science track, two quantitative courses, at least one of which must be a statistics course, and at least two undergraduate courses in the social sciences are required.

Several features of the Joint Program are designed with the working student in Mind:

  • Many class times are tailored to be compatible with the work day
  • A 12-month curriculum offers core courses throughout the year
  • The work experience requirement can be integrated with work activities
  • Some courses are offered at the federal agency's facility
  • Remote access to the JPSM Network is available 24 hours a day for students to use our computer network and software.
  • A computer lab set up solely for use by JPSM students
  • Course email groups are created in which students share questions and answers on course content and assignments.
  • Most class materials are available online, allowing student to access these from anywhere with an internet connection.
  • Some course electives are available online*

Successful completion of a graduate program by working students requires a partnership between the student, the employer, and the educational program. The M.S. program can be undertaken in a variety of ways and according to many different schedules. JPSM works with potential students to choose a program of study that fits best into their lives and is sensitive to differing levels of support from employers.
Some working students pursue the M.S. curriculum at the rate of four courses per term (full-time students), to complete the program in 21 months. Others pursue the program at the rate of two courses per term (half-time students). The 12 month (i.e. fall, spring and summer semesters) core curriculum permits the half-time students to complete the M.S. program in 33 months. Finally, some working students may elect to pursue the program at the rate of one course per term (part-time students). Such students will take 57 months to complete the program. The University of Maryland requires that all coursework for the M.S. degree be completed in five years.

*All MS required courses must be taken on-site.