Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts

Graduate Certificate in Survey Methodology

Graduate Certificate in Survey Methodology

Graduate Certificate in Survey Methodology

Social scientists with expertise in survey methodologies are in high demand in academia, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and in the private sector. The Graduate Certificate in Survey Methodology supplements traditional graduate degree programs by providing graduate students with an integrated program of study that goes beyond the training in a single department.

Students in many different graduate programs—ranging from marketing to nutrition, educational psychology to political science—are exposed to some methods relevant to survey research. The three required courses in the certificate program provide students with competence in the collection of data and the analysis of survey data, along with practical experience in survey research operations and administration.

Contact SRC Academic Advisor Dr. Eric Plutzer for more information on the certificate program.

Admission Requirements

Applicants may apply to the program after completing 18 credits of graduate training (with a GPA of 3.3 or higher). The application process includes:

  • An application at the Graduate School’s student portal.
  • A non-refundable application fee (currently $65) to the Graduate School.
  • An endorsement letter in support of your application from your advisor.

Required Courses

  • PL SC 518/SOC 518. Survey methods I: Modes of survey analysis
  • PL SC 519/SOC 519. Survey methods II: Analysis of survey data
  • PL SC 595a, SOC 595a, or equivalent. Internship in Survey Research


Students may select any two additional three-credit courses in intermediate and advanced applied statistics or interviewing techniques, as approved by the chair of the SRC Faculty Advisory Committee. There is no specific list of courses because offerings in the social and behavioral sciences change frequently and possibly offered under the 597 rubric. As a general rule, these courses must be at the 500 level, and they must have pre-requisites equivalent to two semesters of applied statistics.