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Our one-year M.S. in Computational Social Science gives students the ability to apply causal social science and computational models, simulations, and analysis to “big data” to uncover how people think, decide, and act in groups, markets, and states.

The curriculum offers foundational structure in technical domains, surveys current areas of interest in the field of CSS, and provides the flexibility to apply these methods to impactful social questions, with real-world project-based learning. 

Students connect with graduate and faculty mentors across the Social Sciences, use techniques such as social network analysis, natural language processing, and machine learning and apply them to topics such as democratic campaigns and propaganda, eyewitness memory, housing policy and economic inequality, and internet activism, among many, many others.  This program prepares students for impactful careers in public policy, education, non-profits, or for further academic study in a Ph.D. program.

In the kick-off summer bootcamp, students learn foundational skills in math, programming, and analysis.  Ongoing coursework solidifies and expands on these skills, with flexible electives to delve deeper into areas of interest, such as econometrics, geographic information systems, or visual computing.

The capstone project provides real-world, hands-on training in applying computational social science in a business, non-profit, organizational, or research setting, culminating in a portfolio-worthy project.

Our students also participate in a Research Seminar, learning from invited distinguished speakers from academia and industry and engaging with others in the broader CSS community within and beyond UC San Diego.

As a STEM field, international students in the CSS program are eligible for up to three years of optional practical training in the United States after completing the program without a change to visa status. 




If you have any questions about our program, please email us at