MS in DH & SS

Applications will open in Fall 2017

Students in the MS in DH & SS program will take five required programming courses that have a particular focus on objects of study central to the liberal arts. These project-based courses will challenge students to think rigorously and creatively about how to collect, manipulate, analyze, and present data in ways that provide insight into substantive questions in the humanities and social sciences. In tandem with taking the required five programming courses, students will have the freedom to choose three electives from among a broad range of graduate level courses in the humanities and social sciences.

The MS in DH & SS culminates in a capstone seminar wherein students will creatively apply the technical skills and subject knowledge they have accumulated toward a project of their own design. The project-based nature of the program will not only equip students with coding and computer science skills, but also provide them with the valuable opportunity to apply those skills in creative and innovative ways.

Students who complete the MS program will be fluent in a variety of programming languages and applications, particularly Python and R. They will be able to:

  • Retrieve and clean web-based data of all kinds.
  • Analyze texts and images computationally for pattern and structure.
  • Populate and manipulate large databases.
  • Construct informative and engaging data visualizations.
  • Conduct basic statistical analyses.
  • Build interactive websites to allow users to directly engage with underlying datasets.
  • Think creatively about how to deploy computer science-based tools in the context of specific projects.

A full-time student could complete this program in one academic year, including one summer, with the following schedule:

Fall Term
Spring Term
Summer Term
Introduction to Programming
CSCI-GA 1120
Programming Applications
CSCI-GA 1123
Capstone Project Seminar
DHSS-GA 2000
Working With Data
CSCI-GA 1121
Web Development
CSCI-GA 1122
Statistics: Understanding and Using Data
DHSS-GA 1100
Elective Elective

The Capstone Project Seminar, DHSS-GA 2000, will be offered in both the spring and summer term. Students may enroll in it as long as they have completed 3 of the 4 core Computer Science courses as well as Statistics: Understanding and Using Data, DHSS-GA 1100.

Students in the program can pursue their own interests through their choice of electives.

For example, a student interested in journalism might take Journalism electives in order to develop expertise in the use of programming-based tools to visualize and present data for a general audience, across a variety of media outlets.

A student interested in literature might take electives in English, Comparative Literature, and/or the language departments in order to develop expertise in the analysis of literary texts using computer-science based tools, a rapidly developing field.

A student interested in the preservation of historical and cultural knowledge might take courses in History in order to better understand how to preserve historical and cultural documents in searchable and user-friendly digital archives, knowledge that is valuable in a variety of settings such as museums, archives, and the public sector.

A student interested in art and/or archaeology might take courses at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World and/or in the Museum Studies program in order to gain insight into how computer science-based tools can help in the study and presentation of artistic and archeological artifacts.

A student interested in public policy and governance might take a series of electives in Politics and International Relations in order to gain insight into the use (and misuse) of data by governmental actors, and the opportunities to use programming-based tools to improve the quality of information used in policy making.

The examples above are intended not to be exhaustive, but rather merely to illustrate curricular possibilities. Students might also choose to take electives across disciplines in order to gain the particular subject knowledge most suited to their own interests.