Certificate in Survey Methodology


The Post Baccalaureate (Graduate) Certificate in Survey Methodology is designed for the working professional whose education omitted courses in the field of survey statistics and methodology. Both domestic U.S. and international students are welcome to apply.  The program is a short but comprehensive treatment of the field at the intermediate level. Courses cover all of the key areas of survey methodology, from the beginning of the design to the completion of the estimation phase. The program is taught at the graduate level but does not require the advanced courses included in the onsite M.S. program in survey methodology offered by JPSM.

The program provides advanced training in areas needed to professionally design and execute surveys of households, business establishments, institutions, and other populations.  Students will learn the construction of questionnaires that reliably measure desired concepts, use of computer assistance in data collection, how different modes of data collection can be used to improve survey data, cognitive psychological applications to survey measurement, and methods of non-sampling error reduction. Students will also learn how to analyze survey data properly reflecting the complex survey design features.

Certificate in Survey Statistics

The Post Baccalaureate (Graduate)Certificate in Survey Statistics offers training in sampling design and estimation for individuals who have graduate-level coursework in statistics but desire specific knowledge and training in survey statistics. Both domestic U.S. and international students are welcome to apply. The program is taught at the graduate level but covers fewer topic areas than the onsite M.S. program in survey methodology offered by JPSM.
The program provides graduate-level certification of knowledge of the theories and application of survey sampling and estimation. The program assumes that entering students have graduate-level preparation in probability theory, mathematical statistics, and statistical methods. The certificate program supplements this knowledge with exposure to finite population sampling theory, applications in complex survey designs, inferential issues in complex sample survey estimation, and advanced topics in complex survey design.


Required Courses (18 credits)
  • SURV 400 - Fundamentals of Survey and Data Science
  • SURV 623 - Data Collection Methods
  • SURV 625 - Applied Sampling
  • SURV 630 - Questionnaire Design
  • SURV 701 - Analysis of Complex Sample Data
  • 3 credits of elective SURV courses, level 620 and higher
Required Courses (18 credits)
  • SURV 440 - Sampling Theory
  • SURV 625 - Applied Sampling
    - or -
    SURV 745 -Practical Tools for Designing and Weighting Survey Samples
  • SURV 742 - Inference from Complex Surveys
  • SURV 662 - An Introduction to Small Area Estimation
    - or -
    SURV 744 - Topics in Sampling **
  • and 6 credits of elective SURV courses (620 and above)

** For students able to take courses onsite, these three courses will also meet this requirement:

  • SURV 699X - Statistical Analysis with Missing Data
  • SURV 798B - Small Area Estimation
  • SURV 798Z - Bayesian Modeling and Inference




The certificate will require a total of 18 credits earned by taking the equivalent of six 3-credit courses.  Online courses are held on a term schedule with 4 terms per year. A 3-credit course runs for 12 weeks, a 2-credit course for 8 weeks, etc. Students may find that some of the required courses are modular (divided into 2 or 3 shorter courses).

Students admitted to the certificate program can take up to 6 credits a term. The expectation is that students would complete the program in two years or less.

Students will participate in the online courses using their own computers, providing flexibility for working professionals. The lectures will be recorded and accompanied by real time, weekly online office hours or discussion sessions.

  • Recorded lecture material will be posted online at a pre-specified time each week.
  • Students will be required to view the class within a set period (usually one week) and are required to submit regular homework assignments.
  • Mandatory online discussions hosted by the instructor will be used for answering questions and reviewing material presented in lectures.



Applicants must meet the following minimum admission criteria as established by the Graduate School:

  • Applicants must have earned a four-year baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution, or an equivalent degree from a non-U.S. institution.
  • Applicants must have earned a 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) in all prior undergraduate and graduate coursework.
  • Applicants must provide an official copy of a transcript for all of their post-secondary work.
  • International students must fulfill all requirements relating to international academic credentials, evidence of English proficiency, and financial certification. Since the students will not have to enter the U.S., visas will not be required. These requirements are found at the Graduate School's Web site
  • For the Survey Methodolgy certificate, students must have completed a basic statistics course at a graduate or undergraduate level covering concepts such as probability theory, t-tests, ANOVA and multiple regression. If a student cannot show completion of such a course, the student will be asked to follow a free online self-paced course on these topics and complete an online examination, scoring a B or better.
  • For the Survey Statistics certificate, students must demonstrate graduate level knowledge of statistics and probability theory. If the student does not already have a statistics or biostatistics graduate degree, the applicant must demonstrate completion of prior course work comparable to the following courses offered at UMD:  STAT 410 (graduate-level probability theory course), STAT 420 (graduate-level mathematical statistics course), SURV 615 and SURV 616 (a two-term sequence in statistical methods).(Please view syllabi here for comparison)


Application Process

When applying for a JPSM Graduate Certificate program, be sure to read the following information and to complete the steps in order.

  1. Read the "Unofficial Guide to Hacking the Graduate School Application Process", found here.
  2. Apply to the University of Maryland Graduate School using the process laid out by the previous document
  3. Complete the JPSM Graduate Certificate Program Application and submit to jpsm-contact@umd.edu, or fax to 301-314-7912


Notes regarding completion of the Certificate:

Before applying to the department to graduate with your Certificate, consider if you want to use the courses for the Professional Master's degree. If so, do not request the Certificate and instead apply to the Master's program. If the Certificate is granted, the courses cannot be "double counted" for the Master's.

Completing the Application for Graduation Form:

You will need to complete the Application for Graduation Form and submit it to the Graduate School by the deadline during the semester in which you are taking the last course requirements. In the drop down menu on the fillable pdf form, the program codes are as follows:

  • Program Code Z010- Graduate Certificate in Survey Statistics
  • Program Code Z011- Graduate Certificate in Intermediate Survey Methodology

When you submit your application for Graduation form to diploma@umd.edu please also cc jpsm-contact@umd.edu so that JPSM has a copy for our records.




1 Credit

3 Credits




Online Course Fee/academic  semester 



Application Fee (One time)







Note: These amounts are subject to change as per University of Maryland policies.