Message from the Director

Welcome to the Joint Program in Survey Methodology (JPSM)!  The founding of JPSM in 1993 resulted from an initiative of Federal Statistical Agency heads, the head of the Office of Management and Budget’s Statistical Policy Office, and the chair of the U.S. President’s Council of Economic Advisors. The founders of JPSM brought together a consortium of organizations, disciplines, and researchers to provide the necessary expertise in survey methodology. The original members of the consortium – the University of Maryland College Park, the University of Michigan Ann Arbor, and Westat – brought some of the essential ingredients with them and found cooperative partners in the federal agencies to create a robust program in survey methods and research.

Since its inception, JPSM has grown, offering onsite Master and PhD programs, online courses, and non-credit coursework for those seeking professional development in survey methodology. The onsite program has evolved over time.  We now cover three areas of specialization -- Social Science, Survey Statistics, and Data Science. The recent renaming of our Master of Science program as Master of Science in Survey and Data Science reflects the rise of nonprobability surveys and unstructured Big Data in the current state of the field, the instruction that the program provides, and the research that students conduct in their work.  For undergraduate students, JPSM offers a minor in survey methodology as well as a competitive summer internship for rising juniors.

The online graduate degree programs include a Master of Professional Studies and three certificate programs. In a collaborative effort with the UMD School of Information Sciences and the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, JPSM has been instrumental in the process of building the new Social Data Science Center (SoDa) that will support the research work of leading scholars who produce high impact data science and measurement research. In addition, the JPSM has co-launched a citation program with American Association of Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and an International Program in Survey Data Science, a web-based learning environment, that allows participants to take courses from anywhere in the world. Through its massive open online courses on Coursera, JPSM faculty have exposed over 100,000 students worldwide to the field of survey methodology.

Since its inception, JPSM has increased the quality of technical staff in the Federal Statistical System and is enriching the field of survey statistics and methodology itself. The greater accessibility of unstructured Big Data and advances in technology are now providing new opportunities for researchers to solve a wide range of problems in socio-economic, agricultural, health, transportation, and other areas.  Our faculty has been in the vanguard of research in survey and data science and strives to continue that leadership into the future.


Partha Lahiri

Director & Professor
Joint  Program in Survey Methodology
University of Maryland College Park

JPSM Dept. Overview