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Computational Social Science Courses

Lower-Division Coursework

  • CSS 1: Introductory Programming for Computational Social Science (4)
    • This course develops computational thinking practices and skills critical for defining, describing and analyzing social science problems using a computational approach. Students will learn to program in Python in the context of computational social science problems. Please see our FAQ for our next planned offering
  • CSS 2: Data and Model Programming for Computational Social Science (4)
    • This course explores the use of computational methods across the social sciences. Topics include thinking like a computational social scientist; research design for big data; legal and ethical dimensions of Computational Social Science (CSS). Students will implement demonstrations of these methods in Python. Please see our FAQ for our next planned offering
      • Prerequisites: CSS 1 AND chooseof the following courses:
        • COGS 14B, MATH 11, MGT 3, POLI 30, POLI 30D, PSYC 60
          • Did you take a different statistics course? Please see the Frequently Asked Questions page for instructions on how to request authorization to enroll in CSS 2.

Upper-Division Coursework

  • CSS 100: Advanced Analytic Programming for Computational Social Science (4)
    • This course develops advanced computational problem solving skills including common algorithms, data structures, and advanced tool and library options. The class provides further development in Python. Please see our FAQ for our next planned offering
      • Prerequisite: CSS 2

Elective Courses

Students completing the CSS minor are required to take 4 for of the following elective courses. 

Please note the following:

  • No more than 1 Upper-Division CSS elective course may be taken for Pass/No Pass.
  • At least 2 of these electives must be taken from departments outside of the student's major field of study
  • Students are advised to strongly consider MATH 10A-B-C or MATH 20A-B-C and MATH 18 as preparation for upper-division electives.
  • Please visit UC San Diego's general course catalog to view the course descriptions as well as any prerequisites needed for the courses listed below.  
    • Please note that each individual department controls their prerequisites.  Please work with their respective academic advisors for questions on their prerequisites.

Computational Social Science

  • CSS 120.** Environmental Data Science (4)


  • ANAR 104. Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for Anthropologists and Archaeologists (4)
  • ANAR 115.** Coastal geomorphology: an example from Israel, south-Eastern Mediterranean - today and yesterday (4)
  • ANAR 120.** Documenting Climate Change: Past and Present (4)
  • ANAR 121.** Cyber-Archaeology and World Digital Cultural Heritage (4)

Cognitive Science

  • COGS 108. Data Science in Practice (4)
  • COGS 109. Modeling and Data Analysis (4)
  • COGS 118B.Intro to Machine Learning II (4)
  • COGS 118D. Mathematical Statistics for Behavioral Data Analysis (4)
  • COGS 119. Programming for Experimental Research (4)
  • COGS 123. Social Computing (4)
  • COGS 137. Practical Data Science in R (4)
  • COGS 144. Social Cognition: A Developmental and Evolutionary Perspective (4)


  • ECON 120A. Econometrics A (4)
  • ECON 120B. Econometrics B (4)
  • ECON 120C. Econometrics C (4)
  • ECON 125. Demographic Analysis and Forecasting (4)
  • ECON 176. Marketing (4)
  • ECON 178. Economic and Business Forecasting (4)


  • LIGN 165. Computational Linguistics (4)
  • LIGN 167. Deep Learning of Natural Language Understanding (4)

Political Science

  • POLI 100F. Social Networks (4)
  • POLI 112A.** Economic Theories of Political Behavior
  • POLI 118.** Game Theory in Political Science
  • POLI 171. Making Policy with Data (4)
  • POLI 172. Advanced Social Data Analytics (4)
  • POLI 175.** Machine Learning for Social Scientists (4)
  • POLI 176. Text as Data. (4)


  • PSYC 193.* Topics in Psychology: Advanced Quantitative Methods (4)
  • PSYC 193.* Topics in Psychology: Data Analysis and Visualization in R (4)
  • PSYC 193:* Topics in Psychology: Perception & Computation (4)


  • SOCI 102. Network Data and Methods (4)
  • SOCI 103M. Computer Applications to Data Management in Sociology (4)
  • SOCI 109. Analysis of Sociological Data (4)

Urban Studies and Planning

  • USP 189.* Special Topics in Urban Planning: Urban Data Science (4)
  • USP 191A.** Intermediate GIS for Urban and Community Planning (4)
  • USP 191B.** Advanced GIS for Urban and Community Planning (4)

*Course topics vary; course will only count towards the minor when the topic matches that listed above. Other topics may be petitioned.

** Please send a VAC message to the CSS Program to have this course count for your CSS minor. 

College General Education Requirements

Computational Social Science courses can be used to satisfy general education requirements for five of the seven colleges at UC San Diego.  Please see below for the general education areas that can be satisfied using CSS courses.

Roger Revelle College

CSS courses cannot currently be used for Revelle's general education requirements.

John Muir College

CSS courses cannot currently be used for Muir's general education requirements.

Thurgood Marshall College

  • Computer Programming & Logic - CSS 1 
  • Social Science Lower-Division Disciplinary Breadth - CSS 1, CSS 2
  • Social Science Upper-Division Disciplinary Breadth - CSS 100 

Earl Warren College

  • Formal Skills Requirement- CSS 1, CSS 2

Students majoring in the Humanities/Fine Arts and Math/Science/Engineering disciplines may also count the CSS minor in lieu of their Social Science Program of Concentration or Area Study

Eleanor Roosevelt College

  • Quantitative & Formal Skills Requirement - CSS 1, CSS 2

Sixth College

  • Information Technology Fluency Requirement - CSS 1

Seventh College

  • Quantitative Reasoning  - CSS 1, CSS 2, CSS 100 

Concurrent Enrollment (CE) and University & Professional Studies (UPS) students

Concurrent Enrollment through UC San Diego Extended Studies provides the opportunity for those who are not registered UC San Diego students to enroll in UCSD courses. CE/UPS students are part of the UC San Diego community and are expected to follow University and UC-wide policies, including the Student Conduct Code and the Policy on Integrity of Scholarship

The procedures & policies laid out below are specific to the Computational Social Science Program. For any questions about the concurrent enrollment process, please direct them to UCSD Extended Studies. Questions about courses in other departments should be sent directly to those campus departments. 

The CSS Program process:

  1. CE/UPS students must obtain instructor approval before submitting an “Add” request for a CSS course.
    • Students obtain instructor approval via email.
    • Students send the approval email to with the following:
      • Subject line: CE/UPS: Quarter, course #, Instructor last name (student last name). Send one email per CSS course.
      • Example: CE/UPS: SP23 CSS 1, Prof. Triton (Garcia)
  2. Department will process “Add” requests beginning the Tuesday of Week 2 (and not before).
    • 1. Students must forward the instructor approval email to CSS
    • 2. For undergraduate courses, there must be open seats in the course and no active waitlist for staff to consider processing the request.
      • IMPORTANT: "Add" requests will not be approved for courses that are full, so please only submit for courses with open seats.
    • For any requests where 1. and 2. are not completed/available, the CSS Program will keep the "Add" request pending, and final decisions will be made on Friday of Week 2.
    • "Add" requests will not be reviewed or processed after Friday of Week 2.
  3. If the request is approved, the Department will notify Extended Studies, and Extended Studies will provide further guidance on the next steps and payment process. If the request is denied, the student cannot enroll or attend the course.