The New Minor With Major Value

The University of Michigan’s new Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences (QMSS) program encourages undergraduate students to apply social, data, and computational sciences to the world’s many unanswered questions. Enrolled students will engage with a series of core and elective courses that develop their analytical, problem-solving, and communication skills, enhancing their academic and professional careers.


At the moment, nearly 0.5% of the world’s data is being analyzed. With the ubiquity of technology, today’s world experiences an unprecedented explosion of information and, with that, an increasing necessity for understanding it. Since data drives plans, processes, and policies, this influx of information holds immense value for all realms of life. Therefore, understanding this newly generated data is an integral part of many industries. A marketer’s knowledge of users’ social media activity will enhance their messaging in the same way that lawyers’ success depends on their ability to analyze and apply precedent. This new reality allows for the opportunity to best grasp humanity’s complexities, demanding unity between the many skills of data scientists and social scientists.

The University of Michigan has launched the Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences (QMSS) program, which grants undergraduate students the ability to strengthen their interest and exposure in social science and data science areas. With classes like QMSS 251: Computational Social Sciences and QMSS 451: Social Sciences Study Management, the program advances students’ understanding of the connection between computational science, statistics, and social science. Students will engage with a series of courses that explore the many ways data addresses existing social problems. These core courses encourage students to look beyond their classes to apply concepts to real world obstacles. Students also have the freedom to choose from a long list of electives across all social science majors. From POLSCI 485: Elections Forensic to SOC 430: World Population Dynamics to LING 412: Speech Perception, QMSS electives utilize interesting and contemporary concepts to demonstrate important quantitative and analytical frameworks. This program perfectly complements all social science majors with the methodical and statistical background that takes them to the next level.

With critical thinking practice and hands-on exposure to real data exploration, QMSS prepares students to actively participate in today’s data-dominated domains. Students who plan to pursue careers after college will soon find data collection, information analysis, and quantitative reasoning are necessary tools for almost all industries. For many students, this level of research and analytical application requires a graduate degree. Although, QMSS exposes students to these practices in their undergraduate career, so they graduate with the ability to effectively uncover solutions. Students advance far beyond their years with courses that meet them at their levels. So, if you’re planning for your years after college or are thinking about maximizing the time that is left, QMSS will optimize your undergraduate career at Michigan.



Wassén, Olivia. “Big Data Facts – How Much Data Is out There?” NodeGraph. May 20, 2020.

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