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Data is in demand! As data-driven planning and decision-making have become more important for organizations in the public, non-profit, and private sectors, employees with research and data analysis skills are increasingly sought after.


About the Certificate in Social Data Analysis 

The Certificate in Social Data Analysis is an interdisciplinary program offered by the Department of Sociology and consists of 15-17 hours of coursework focused on research methods and data analysis. This certificate will help students in any major to develop skills in collecting, analyzing, interpreting, and communicating results from social science data (i.e., data on human attitudes, behaviors, and patterns of social interaction). This program is designed to prepare students to obtain entry-level positions in careers that involve managing and analyzing qualitative or quantitative data. The certificate also provides a strong foundation for students planning to pursue a graduate degree in the social and behavioral sciences or related fields.

Certificate Learning Objectives:

  1. Students will learn to distinguish between qualitative and quantitative analytical techniques and their uses in the social sciences.
  2. Students will develop basic competency in how to design, collect, analyze, and interpret results from both qualitative and quantitative data.
  3. Students will develop competency in using software programs to conduct qualitative and statistical analyses.
  4. Students will learn how to identify which data analysis techniques are best suited to addressing specific research problems.
  5. Students will develop skills to effectively communicate results from data analysis in written reports and presentations.
Can I get the Certificate?

The certificate is open to all majors and is composed of core requirements and elective courses from a variety of disciplines at UAH. The certificate is especially relevant to students majoring in fields that already emphasize research methodology and decision-making (e.g., sociology, business, economics, marketing, psychology, and political science). 

What are the Certificate Requirements?

Certificate in Social Data Analysis (15-17 hours)*

I. Basic Methods (3 hours) Choose one course from:

  • SOC 301 Research Methods
  • PY 303 PY Research Methods
  • MKT 343 Market Research Design

II. Basic Statistics (3-4 hours) Choose one course from:

  • SOC 303 and 304 Statistics for the Social Sciences
  • PY 300 and 300L Psychological Statistics
  • MSC 288 Business Statistics II

III. Advanced Social Data Analysis (6 hours) Complete both:

  • SOC 313 Qualitative Research Methods
  • SOC 314 Data Analysis (Quantitative)

IV. Specialized Application (3-4 hours) Choose one course from:

  • PY 302 Experimental Psychology
  • ECN 480 Intro Econometrics
  • EH 442 Usability Studies
  • Any course from Category I not already selected.

 *Note: A grade of C or better is required in all courses counted towards the certificate.

Academic Catalog 
How Can I Complete the Certificate?

Many students who decide to pursue the Certificate in Social Data Analysis, can complete the requirements efficiently by taking certificate courses that also count for their major, minor, and/or general electives. This reduces the additional credit hours a student would need to complete beyond what is already required for their major and minor. However, students must be mindful of prerequisites for certain courses, especially SOC 313 and SOC 314. See the following examples. (Please note that these are sample plans. They do not take place of an advising appointment.)  

A Sociology major could take the following courses to satisfy requirements for both the major and the certificate, without needing to take any additional credit hours:

Required Courses for Sociology Major (Also Certificate Categories I and II)

  • SOC 301 Research Methods
  • SOC 303 and 304 Statistics for the Social Sciences

300+ Electives for Sociology Major (Also Certificate Category III)

  • SOC 313 Qualitative Research Methods
  • SOC 314 Data Analysis

General Electives (Also Certificate Category IV)

  • EH 442 Usability Studies

Ready to Start?

For more information, or to declare your intent to pursue the certificate, contact Dr. Kyle Knight, Chair of the Department of Sociology, at kyle.knight@uah.edu.