Aug 21, 2018  
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog 
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog

Survey Research (Graduate Certificate)

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The Program

The Department of Sociology and Center for Survey Research offer a 15-credit Graduate Certificate Program in Survey Research Techniques, designed for survey research professionals working in the academic, governmental, nonprofit, and commercial research sectors.

The program’s focus is balanced to give students an appreciation of the theoretical foundations of survey methodology and proficiency in practical aspects of survey design. Core courses introduce students to the major areas of the field of survey research: sampling, data collection methods, question writing and questionnaire design, question evaluation and pretesting, post-survey processing,m and analysis. Elective courses allow students to learn about specific topics of interest and receive hands-on experience in the field. Students can enroll in either the concentration within the graduate program in sociology or in the freestanding post-baccalaureate certificate program.

Coursework is designed to be completed in either a single year, including a summer session, or over the course of two years. These two options allow students flexibility in scheduling around full-time employment or graduate degree requirements.


A range of computational and research resources is available to students in the program. Major statistical packages and other software are available in computer labs and graduate student offices.

These resources are complemented by extensive social science data archives and ongoing social science research projects. Through the Center for Survey Research at UMass Boston, the program maintains close ties to survey research projects. Ongoing faculty research provides additional opportunities for student projects. Through the Social and Demographic Research Institute at UMass Amherst, students have access to data obtained from Gallup polls, surveys of prison inmates, observations of plea bargaining, records of Massachusetts court cases, and hundreds of other studies of national and local populations.

The Healey Library offers an extensive online journal collection, as well as books, journals, and government documents on-site. University membership in the Boston Library Consortium permits students and faculty access to periodicals, books, and a variety of technical material not available in the university’s Healey Library.

Degree Requirements

Students in the certificate program complete four 3-credit core courses and 3 more credits in electives.

Admission Requirements

Please see the general statement of admission requirements for all graduate studies programs in the “Admissions” section of this publication.

The following are required for application:

  • Complete college transcripts
  • BA in a social science or related field
  • Undergraduate GPA of 3.2 or higher
  • GRE test score
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement (500 words) concerning career plans and survey research interests
  • English proficiency exam scores (TOEFL) for non-English speakers

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