CEU Launches New BA in Quantitative Social Sciences

October 19, 2020

CEU’s new bachelor’s degree in Quantitative Social Sciences (QSS) has been accredited by the New York State Education Department, with parallel accreditation currently underway in Austria. This important new program will be offered in 2021 alongside CEU’s other undergraduate degrees in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) and Culture, Politics, and Society (CPS).

As modern technology is increasingly part of our everyday lives, it continues to produce an ever-greater amount of detailed information. This data allows us to understand human behavior and society like never before, and gives us the opportunity to better understand concepts such as how protest movements originate and grow; how political unrest spreads between countries; how innovations, information and misinformation spread on the internet; or how we can predict and prevent world-wide epidemic contagion, in addition to many others. The ability to make sense of this enormous amount of data is already a key requirement for many careers and continues to grow in importance.

Since we need new ideas and methods to meet these challenges, we must develop new tools to help us in our understanding of social systems. The new BA in QSS aims to provide students with a combination of these tools and the knowledge required to take on the many complex and urgent problems that our societies face today.

CEU’s BA in QSS blends the study of human societies with a thorough understanding of mathematics, statistics, computation and data science. Students will develop the skills to analyze societal data while also receiving in-depth training on data analysis and mathematical modeling, which are then combined with a solid foundation in the social sciences

The program includes mandatory modules in mathematics, programming and data analysis, and social sciences. After completing these, students will choose two of the five specialization tracks: Sociology; Economics; Environmental Sciences; Political Science; Data Science.

With the amount of data in the social sciences rapidly growing, quantitative approaches will significantly shape our understanding of how we interact with each other and our environment. This knowledge is increasingly important because professionals today need to have a broader understanding of social systems than ever before.

By developing a wide range of transferable skills, students will receive an excellent foundation to pursue a variety of career options. Today, the ability to analyze, interpret and communicate quantitative information is in high demand, and these skills will open many doors for QSS graduates, ranging from graduate school to options in the private, public and non-profit sectors. Additionally, QSS aims to be a significant milestone in our students’ lives as they become members of transnational cultural, political, and social communities.

“The scientific opportunities and risks emerging in the 21st century can no longer be easily categorized according to traditional academic disciplines. Our one-of-a-kind undergraduate program aims to equip students with the tools necessary to connect the different spheres of human behavior and societal processes that can be analyzed quantitatively. Consequently, we expect QSS graduates to be uniquely well-positioned to understand the various forces that shape how societies work and to address the challenges that they pose." — Tiago P. Peixoto, Associate Professor at the Department of Network and Data Science, Head of the QSS program