Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
COVID-19 Update: GRE and TOEFL Requirements
We are aware that the COVID-19 situation may prevent applicants for enrollment in Fall 2020 from taking the GRE or TOEFL exams. We will therefore make the GRE optional for this year. Applicants who have already taken the GRE exam may still submit their scores.
Applicants required to take the TOEFL exam must also submit their scores if they have already taken it. Applicants required to take the TOEFL exam who have not yet done so may be required to participate in an interview with one or more members of the admissions committee via Zoom, Skype, or a similar program.
All applicants must submit all other application materials.
The QMSS Admissions Committee will review each file and may request additional writing samples or interviews as alternative means of assessing the qualifications typically measured by these standardized tests.
What will I learn from an M.S. in Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences?
Our flexible and interdisciplinary program allows you to master analytical approaches and statistical techniques developed across a number of social and behavioral science research areas. It is an excellent option for students looking to strengthen their quantitative abilities to analyze varied issues. Students will learn how to decide which analytic approaches and methodologies are most suitable for specific research problems and will master their application. They will graduate with proficiency in the procedures for acquiring, managing, and analyzing data and reporting their findings in a direct and compelling manner.
What kinds of specializations do you offer? Can I create my own?
Our program is designed to build on a set of fundamental skills in the required core courses and to allow students the flexibility to pursue one of four optional concentrations:
- Methods, designed for students who want to focus exclusively on quantitative techniques;
- Analysis of Socio-Economic Inequality at the Global, National, and Urban/Regional Levels
- Data Analytics for Learning; and
- Demographic Methods.
These concentrations draw on the expertise of faculty from a range of disciplines, including sociology, educational psychology, political science, demography, psychology, and education. Students have the opportunity to choose which classes they take in completing the concentration.
What will the program prepare me for?
The program is excellent preparation for professional opportunities that involve data analysis. These include positions in government and public policy, think tanks, social service agencies, technology companies, school systems and educational services organizations, and much more. Our program also prepares students for Ph.D. programs.
What kinds of backgrounds do you expect students to have?
Our program is designed for experienced professionals and scholars as well as recent college graduates. Students from a variety of academic backgrounds are welcome.
How do I apply?
You apply online, and applicants must meet the following criteria in order to be eligible for admission:
- Hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in the United States, or its equivalent abroad, with a cumulative overall GPA of 3.0 (B average) or higher;
- Completion of an introductory statistical methods course at the undergraduate level and preferably a research methods course;
- Prior courses in sociology, psychology, educational psychology, or other social science fields beyond the introductory level are expected;
- Submit transcripts of all college and graduate work;
- Submit two letters of recommendation, preferably from academics;
- Submit a personal statement of up to 1,000 words, explaining why you want to obtain this degree and how your interests and academic/professional background are relevant to the degree; applicants are also encouraged to submit writing samples, but this is not required;
- Submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores for the verbal, quantitative, and analytical parts of the exam. The GRE must have been taken within the last five years;
- Submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores for students who have not earned a degree in an English-speaking country.
How important are the GRE scores?
GRE scores taken within the past five years are required for admission, and they cannot be waived. Program faculty recognize, however, that GRE scores do not always fully capture applicants’ talents or preparation, especially so for those from other countries or those who have been out of school for some years. We carefully consider applicants’ entire admissions packages, of which GRE scores are only one element.
How long will the program take to complete?
The M.S. program is a 30-credit program, and how quickly students complete it depends on their chosen course load. For example, full-time students taking 9 credits (three courses) or more per semester can finish in a year and a half to two years; part-time students taking 6 credits (two courses) per semester will finish in two and half years.
How much does the program cost?
Information on Graduate Center tuition and fees can be found here.
Does the program offer online courses?
All courses are offered at the Graduate Center as face-to-face courses, which usually meet once a week.
Will I find a community at the Graduate Center?
You are likely to find many other students in the Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences program and in related master’s and doctoral programs who share your interests. Students at the Graduate Center participate in many student groups and advocacy organizations. There are numerous opportunities to attend speakers’ series hosted by many of the QMSS-affiliated programs at the Graduate Center, which regularly draw faculty and students from across the Graduate Center and CUNY.