Major in Social Data Analytics at Penn State

Welcome to SoDA!

Penn State is proud to be the first university in the world to offer undergraduates the opportunity to major in Social Data Analytics.

This site provides information about the goals of the majordegree requirements, and internships and employment opportunities suited to students with skills in social data analytics.  You can also read about faculty and student research projects that involve the collection, management and analysis of social data. We hope you enjoy learning about the exciting opportunities this new major provides!

The advising center for the B.S in Social Data Analytics is administered by the Department of Political Science and located in 202 Pond Lab. Visit the advising center website to meet the SoDa advising team, schedule an appointment, or see answers to frequently asked questions

WHAT IS SOCIAL DATA?
Social data is information generated in real time by a wide variety of human activities – including social media and internet use.  It often generates “big data” because the information captured through these activities is much larger and more varied than the kind that researchers typically worked with in the past. It is also often more complex than can easily be visualized or analyzed with a typical laptop or desktop computer. 

WHAT IS SOCIAL DATA ANALYTICS?
Social data analytics is focused on how we gather and manage social data, and how we use social data to learn about human behavior. It involves new techniques for analyzing nonconventional types of data like text, images, or video. It involves new techniques for learning about how humans interact, like the networks they form through social media use or the paths they trace with GPS devices. It involves the combination of social science methods like surveys and experiments with modern data science methods like machine learning and data mining.

WHY MAJOR IN SOCIAL DATA ANALYTICS?
Penn State SoDA majors develop a unique combination of highly valued skills, opening up many opportunities to learn from social data and apply that knowledge to solving real world problems. Learn more about what you can do with a degree in SoDA from Penn State here.