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Hey, I was wondering if anyone knows of any good grad programs that focus within both IR and data science or applied analytical research? It seems like a lot IR or IA programs do have a applied analytical approach to their curriculum, but I am not sure if they are specifically the same as or similar to the actual data science program in terms of the quantitative aspects in relations to computer programming languages like R, SAS, SPSS, or MySQL. I know that the programs I am looking for do include a bit of quantitative methods in research and some R programming, but I am not sure how in depth they seem to be. I want to find a program that will be within International Affairs, but on the quant and tech side in terms of being an analyst.

I know I could get a MS or MA in International Relations with a professional certificate in data science that are also offered at the schools I am looking into. Its just hard to find any other dual master programs for what I am looking for. It seems I have to get two separate degrees within both field. Overall, my perspective career goals are to work within IR and to also have the skills and educational background in data science/IT, and applied quantitative research methods so it can look more into applied quantitative IR research, or consulting.

I have a BA in Political Science and I have a little bit of survey research, data collection, and R programming and Excel skills from when I was in undergrad via work and classes. I am also taking the Johns Hopkins Data Science Specialization certificate program online to get more of a feel of data science and learn the fundamentals of programming languages more, generally speaking before I decide to jump into any grad program.

The only programs I know that are like this are the Columbia dual degree program QMSS and MIA programs http://gsas.columbia.edu/content/academic-programs/quantitative-methods-social-sciences-dual-degree-ma-mpa

Edited by saraya90

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University of Chicago has a two-year combined program with its master of arts in public policy and Committee on International Relations: http://harris.uchicago.edu/degrees/masters-degree/am-ma-cir

UChicago also has a new master of science program focusing on computational analysis in public policy: https://capp.sites.uchicago.edu/

It may be possible to go into the AM/CIR program and take some relevant CAPP coursework as electives; that's what I'm tentatively planning to do as an MPP student. 

Edited by RCtheSS

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6 minutes ago, RCtheSS said:

University of Chicago has a two-year combined program with its master of arts in public policy and Committee on International Relations: http://harris.uchicago.edu/degrees/masters-degree/am-ma-cir

UChicago also has a new master of science program focusing on computational analysis in public policy: https://capp.sites.uchicago.edu/

It may be possible to go into the AM/CIR program and take some relevant CAPP coursework as electives; that's what I'm tentatively planning to do as an MPP student. 

Thank you for your response! I have heard of those programs, and was interested in them as possible grad school programs to apply to. My only gripe with those programs is the location. The University of Chicago is one of the most highly revered universities for political science and IR, but I couldn't bear another bitter winter after I survived the last two horrid winters here in NY for undergrad. A bit superficial, yes, but at this point I feel like I want to move to a location with a good grad program for what I am looking for that doesn't have long, dreary bitter and extreme weather. I will still put it within my considerations and apply non the less to see where I stand, and if they might give me decent funding. 

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Hey, I think weather is a totally fair factor to consider when thinking about admissions! If you're planning to live somewhere for at least 2 years, or possibly longer, you should try your best to balance your personal happiness and lifestyle along with a program's overall fit and resources.

I'm originally from the state of Florida and I don't think I'll ever be ready for Midwestern winters. I'm just going to stock up on as many layers as I can cram into my suitcase and try to persevere as best as I can! ^_^

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While you would definitely be well served going to a program that is generally more quant-oriented, I wouldn't stress as much about finding course offerings, concentrations, or dual-programs in Data Science. Because there isn't anything approaching a standardized curriculum in DS yet you may end up spending a lot of time and money on a program where the instructors are still trying to figure out how/what to teach you.

Also, because there is no standard curriculum, the field is changing so quickly, and there are so many free options out there (such as the Coursera specialization you are working on, as well as lots of stuff on Udacity), you may be better off getting the DS skills on your own. I have had a number of coworkers who have done DS certificate programs, such as the one at Georgetown, and while they have said that the courses were informative, they would not have done the programs had they not been paid for by our employer. 

IMHO, unless you decide to pivot towards a masters program in CS, math, stats, or econ, you'll have a very hard time being competitive for primarily DS roles based on your degree choice alone. Instead, you may want spend your time in your masters focusing on becoming a subject matter expert and gaining domain knowledge. Then once you get a job in your substantive area of interest, you can find ways to add value using the DS skills you've learned on your own (for free), start building a bit of a portfolio, and carve out a niche through professional accomplishments.

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Between your desire for quant heavy coursework and hatred of the cold you're basically stating that you want to go to UCSD's GPS/IRPS.

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On May 25, 2016 at 11:45 AM, saraya90 said:

but I couldn't bear another bitter winter after I survived the last two horrid winters here in NY for undergrad.

NY winters these past two years were nowhere near "horrid." You're right, you shouldn't be considering UChicago if you thought the past couple of winters were bad haha

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