Please Contact:

Dee Bagshaw
BDSS-IGERT Project Coordinator


BDSS-IGERT is a collaboration of the social, computational, statistical, and visual sciences. As part of the BDSS-IGERT traineeship, IGERT Trainees will engage in a full disciplinary PhD program in one of the areas listed above, as well as in multidisciplinary curriculum that spans these areas.

The curriculum includes:

Core seminars for all IGERT Students. (Beginning 2014)

  • Approaches and Issues in Big Social Data
  • Approaches and Issues in Social Data Analytics

Analytics distribution, one course in a core approach to analytics:
statistical / machine learning or visual analytics.

  • Data Mining (STAT/IST)
  • Machine Learning (CSE)
  • Visual Analytics: Leveraging Geosocial Data (GEOG)

Ethics and Scientific Responsibility distribution requirement

  • Privacy in Statistical Databases (STAT/CSE)
  • Data Privacy, Learning, and Games (CSE)
  • Big Social Data and the Law (PLSC/CLJ)
  • The Information Environment (IST)

Social Data Analytics electives (examples) with substantial non-social science content (Social Science students)

  • Network Science (PHYS)
  • Vision-Based Tracking (CSE)
  • Computational Regularity on Interdisciplinary, Large Data Sets (CSE)
  • Pattern Recognition (CSE)
  • Information Retrieval and Organization (IST)
  • Web Analytics (IST)
  • Spatial Analysis (GEOG)
  • Most graduate courses in Statistics

Social Data Analytics electives (examples) with substantial social science content (Non-Social Science students)

  • Modeling Interdependent Data (CAS)
  • Political Event Data and Forecasting (PLSC)
  • Social Network Analysis (SOC)
  • Causal Inference (PLSC)
  • Democratic Representation: Big Data Approaches (PLSC)
  • Multilevel Modeling (SOC)
  • Spatial Demography (SOC)
  • Intensive Longitudinal Data (HDFS)
  • Geospatial Science in Anthropology (ANTH)

BDSS-IGERT students must be admitted to a participating Penn State PhD program

Statistics, Computer Science & Engineering, Information Sciences & Technology, Geography, a participating social science department in the College of Liberal Arts (Political Science, Sociology, Anthropology, Economics, Communication Arts & Sciences) or the College of Health & Human Development (Human Development & Family Studies, Health Policy & Administration). Students in the dual-title degree in Demography, regardless of home department, are also eligible. BDSS-IGERT is, for most departments, a program taken up in the second and third year of the PhD program. (For programs that admit directly to a Masters, they might take up IGERT in years one and two of the PhD; there may be other exceptions.)

In additional to curriculum requirements, BDSS-IGERT students are engaged in a wide variety of noncurricular training opportunities, including workshops, conferences, and multiple short-term and long-term research challenges and experiences.

Social Data Analytics at Penn State University 

BDSS-IGERT is designed to help establish a set of new dual-title Ph.D. programs, and associated minors, in Social Data Analytics (SoDA). Once established, IGERT and other students in participating departments will be able to complete the SoDA degree in addition to the their home discipline Ph.D., through coordinated coursework, exam, and dissertation mechanisms.

This degree program is not yet available.

Please contact to receive further information about this program as it becomes available.