Computational Social Science Graduate Certificate*

This 15-credit program is designed for students who seek training in computer simulation and related computational methods for analyzing social systems and processes. The program is open to all students with graduate standing at Mason and all students who hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. The CSS certificate allows students with social science or computational backgrounds to acquire new knowledge and modeling skills to improve their qualifications and attractiveness to employers in government, academia, or industry. The core courses provide a common foundation; additional elective courses allow for a variety of student interests across diverse social domains.

Admission Requirements

Applicants should have an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution, with a GPA of at least 3.00. To apply, prospective students should forward a completed Mason graduate application, one copy of official transcripts from each college and graduate institution attended, and a current résumé to the CSS Graduate Admissions Processing Center. TOEFL scores are required of all international applicants. Applicants should read the full description of university-wide graduate admissions requirements at

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Students intending to obtain the CSS certificate must apply to the CSS certificate program before beginning any CSS course work intended to satisfy requirements.

CSS Certificate Requirements
2 required core CSS courses (6 credits):

  • CSS 600 - Introduction to Computational Social Science (3 Credits)
  • CSS 610 - Computational Analysis of Social Complexity (3 Credits)

9 credits minimum in elective courses:
*For example,

  • CSS 605 - Object-Oriented Modeling in Social Science (3 Credits)
  • CSS 620 - Origins of Social Complexity (3 Credits)
  • CSS 645 - Spatial Agent-based Models of Human-Environment Interactions (3 Credits)
  • CSS 692 - Social Network Analysis (3 Credits)

Note: Students may include a maximum of 3 credits of programming courses to meet the elective requirements. Such programming courses as procedural, object-oriented languages, or other approved programming approaches such as CSI 603 or CSI 604 Introduction to Scientific Programming I or II may be used with permission of the director. Some courses on computational techniques, modeling, or statistics, such as visualization, graphics, and statistical and database packages (such as CSI 606 and 607), may also be used to meet the requirements with prior approval of the director.

Total: 15 credits

*Note: Because it requires less than 18 credits, the CSS certificate is not eligible for Title IV Financial Aid .