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Hi all,

I'm a rising senior this year double majoring in Statistics and Psychology. I really love both of these fields and want to pursue doing statistical research in the social sciences in graduate school (specifically masters programs). The only problem is I'm not sure what programs or field would best combine statistics and social science for me.

From what I've seen, most psychology/stats programs are about psychometrics which mainly concerns working in the field of education which I have no background in and know very little about. I've taken a class on networks and social network analysis and I'm very very interested in that, but unsure what graduate programs would specialize in that or what kind of career that would lead to. I excelled in my Psychology Research Methods courses and really like doing that kind of research, but there are very few quantitative psychology masters programs.

Does anybody have any advice for potential career options and for strong masters programs? Again I'm really interested in applying statistical modeling and methods to study human behavior and population trends. Thanks for your help!

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Psychometrics is definitely a good choice. Not everything is in the education field. In fact, modern psychometrics were based off of the military drafts! They realized too many people had "shell shock" and wanted to develop tests to screen for it. Really, psychometrics are necessary in a slew of research areas including:

  1. Program/policy analysts who are looking at population health trends. More specific trends began in areas such a suicide rates, co-morbidities, severe mental health and homelessness, etc. That would be more a public health degree with a mental health/behavioral health focus.
  2. Industrial/Organizational Psychology which focuses on big-business. They look at employment trends, trainings, how to make the workforce more productive, etc.

I'm sure there are many others that I'm not considering. Really, think about the types of psychology problems you want to solve with your statistics. That will help you narrow down your focus a bit more.

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