Master of Professional Studies in Survey and Data Science (MPDS)


As public and private organizations are increasingly combining various data sources, including survey data, for the purpose of decision making, the need for professional development in data generation, quality and analysis is on the rise. The online International Master’s in Survey and Data Science, will provide post-baccalaureate training for individuals interested in broadening their knowledge and understanding of the emerging field of data science, the conduct of sample surveys, practical applications of data analysis and survey methodology, and data management, along with the skills needed to communicate results.



Online:  The online environment is convenient for working professionals who cannot easily travel to a traditional campus. Like our Certificate programs, online lectures are prerecorded and accessed on a weekly basis from the course website. At a designated time each week, students will meet online as a class, along with the instructor, to discuss material. All courses require students to have a webcam, headset with a microphone, and have a reliable computer and Internet access. 
Schedule of courses:  Courses are held on a term (or quarter) system. Each term is 12 weeks with Term I beginning at or around September 1 each year. A 3-credit course will run all 12 weeks. However, most courses are intentionally designed to be 1 or 2 credits so that students can more easily fit them into their schedules as well as build on top of introductory courses in a modular way.  In the case of a 1-credit course, there are 4 units/weeks; a 2-credit course is 8 units/weeks. Therefore, a 1-credit course advertised as beginning in Term I may begin October 1 and still finish within the term.
International:  This program is unique because of its international reach. Courses are shared with our international partners, providing a rich perspective to class discussions.

To achieve the Professional Master's degree, students must complete 30 credits of coursework from the online courses offered. Of these 30 credits, 19 credits are from core courses and 11 credits are from electives.
For the core coursework, students will follow a course of study with 5 areas of focus: Research Question, Data Generating Process, Data Curation/Storage, Data Analysis, and Data Output/Access. From each area, students must complete a designated number of credits (noted in the table below) that comprise the 19 core credits for the degree. There is some flexibility within each area to choose courses of interest, however, there are six classes that are required. These are designated in the table below with the bold outline (e.g., Ethics for 1 credit, Sampling for 2 credits, etc.). The first course a student should take is Fundamentals of Survey and Data Science which is one of the few 3 credit courses. This course will provide a broad overview for the rest of the material but also serves as a prerequisite for many of the other courses.
To read the table below: Students must complete the minimum number of credits from each area of focus. The five areas of focus build on top of each other so that it may be conceptually easier to read the table from the bottom to the top. 
As an example, 4 credits must be completed about the Data Generating Process. One course in this focus area is required (signified with a bold outline): Sampling. Therefore, 2 of the 4 credits are predetermined. A student can choose from the three courses noted to satisfy the remaining 2 credits. If a student chooses the Traditional Modes course, the 4 required credits are achieved. If the same student chooses to also take Web Surveys, the 1 credit will count towards the 11 elective credits needed to reach 30 credits in total.
Additional courses are offered beyond the ones noted in the table.  See the "Course Offerings" section of our website for a full list.



Admission to Program
Please apply through the Graduate School at the University of Maryland. (  Under the list of all programs, scroll to find "Survey and Data Science" which is the MPDS online degree. This page will provide information about the application procedure.




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.