Data and Models Certificate

What is the Certificate in Data and Models in Political Science? 

The Data & Models Certificate gives students the theoretical knowledge and technical skills to conduct theoretically-informed and data-driven Political Science research.  Students who finish this certificate will have a deep understanding of how collective decision-making and political conflict relate to topics such as democratic elections, legislative negotiations, market trade, international disputes, and civil wars. The certificate prepares students for employment opportunities in policy analysis and survey research or for graduate training in Political Science and related disciplines.

Who is eligible for the Data & Models Certificate, and how do you apply?

Students do not apply for the Data & Models Certificate. Instead, students become eligible for the Data & Models Certificate through their academic performance in POLI 110 and POLI 220-002. Specifically, students must:

  1. Pass POLI 110 (3): Investigating Politics: An Introduction to Scientific Political Analysis with a grade of 75 percent or higher.[1]
  2. Pass POLI 220-002 (3): Political Systems Around the World as one of the top-20 students on the Data & Models track (this is an optional track in POLI220-002 that offers students different readings and assignments).

The top-20 students in the Data & Models track in POLI 220-002 each year are invited to complete the Data & Models certificate.

Students who accept this offer are guaranteed seats in POLI 482: Data and Models Capstone Seminar subject to the conditions set out below.[2]

How do you complete the Certificate?

Students complete the certificate by taking 15 credit hours in addition to POLI 110 and POLI 220-002. Nine (9) credit hours must be from:

  • • POLI 380 (3): Quantitative Methods in Political Science [3]
    • POLI 381 (3): Managing Quantitative Data in Political Science
    • POLI 482 (3): Data and Models Capstone Seminar

And 6 credits from any of the following courses [4]:

  • • POLI 310 (3): The Strategy of Politics
    • POLI 320A (3): Introduction to US Politics
    • POLI 328 (3): Topics in Comparative Politics
    • POLI 333 (3): Issues in Comparative Politics
    • POLI 360 (3): Security Studies
    • POLI 385 (3): Public Opinion and Elections
    • ECON 485 (3): Political Economy

We advise students admitted to the certificate to do the following:

  1. Complete and pass POLI 380 and POLI 381 as soon as you can after being admitted to the certificate, and ideally no later than the end of your third year. This is because POLI 380 and 381 are prerequisites for POLI 482.  Let the Data & Models Certificate Coordinator, Prof. Christopher Kam know if you are having trouble registering in POLI 380 or POLI 381.
  2. Immediately after you have completed POLI 380 and POLI 381, fill out the Intention to Take POLI 482 (Data and Models Capstone Seminar) Form to alert the Data & Models Certificate Coordinator that you have fulfilled the prerequisites for POLI 482, and are ready to take the capstone seminar the following year. Note that the Department offers POLI 482 annually contingent on sufficient demand. To the extent possible, POLI 482 is scheduled in the winter (Jan. – Apr.) semester.
  3. Complete POLI 482 in your fourth year, or as soon as you can after completing POLI 380 and 381.
  4. Complete 6 additional credits from the courses listed above at any time during your third or fourth year.
  5. After you have competed steps 1-4 above, fill out the Notice of Data & Models Certificate Completion AIR form to let the Department know that you have completed all the requirements. The Department will check your records, and notify Enrolment Services.



[1] The qualifying grade of 75% in POLI 110 may be adjusted at the Department’s discretion to ensure the efficient operation of the certificate.

[2] The offer of admissions will be extended electronically.  Students will be invited to fill out an AIR form to indicate their acceptance of the offer by an announced deadline. If less than 20 students accept the offer in a given year, the Certificate Coordinator may extend additional offers to a wait-list of eligible students from POLI 220-002. Wait-list invitations will be issued strictly in order of POLI 220-002 grades, with POLI 110 grades used as a tie-breaker. The annual intake into the certificate may be increased or decreased at the Department’s discretion to ensure the efficient operation of the certificate.

[3] Students can substitute POLI 380 for ECON 328 or STAT 201 with the approval of the Data & Models Certificate Coordinator, Prof. Christopher Kam.

[4] Students can request to substitute some of the courses above for courses in other departments.  Please consult the Data & Models Certificate Coordinator, Prof. Christopher Kam regarding the courses applicable to the certificate program in any given year.

For more information, please contact:

Poli Sci Undergraduate Advisor

Certificate Coordinator: Professor Christopher Kam

Undergraduate Director: Professor Carey Doberstein

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