"Data is the ultimate roadmap, and job candidates who can navigate it are poised for success.”

-Mark Bregman, Chief Technology Officer, Neustar Inc.

Welcome to the new undergraduate major in Social Data Analytics (SoDA)!

Penn State has been a leader in Social Data Analytics at the graduate level through its innovative Big Data Social Science-Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (BDSS-IGERT). Now there’s a Social Data Analytics major available to undergraduates as well.

This site provides information about the goals of the major; degree requirements; and, internships and employment opportunities suited to students with skills in social data analytics.  You can also read about faculty research projects that involve students in the collection and analysis of social (aka “big”) data. We hope you enjoy learning about the exciting opportunities this new major provides! To check out the Political Science website, please click here.

What Is Social Data?

Social data is raw information generated in real time by a wide variety of human activities – including social media and internet use.  It is often called “big data” because the information captured through these activities is much larger and more varied than the kind that researchers typically worked with in the past.  It is also much more than can easily be visualized or analyzed with a laptop or PC. 

What is Social Data Analytics?

These are techniques for using the information we get from social data to learn about human behavior.  Where in the past social scientists relied on surveys and relatively small samples, we can now look at whole populations.  Social data analytics are ways of handling data that is too large and varied for ordinary statistical tools. 

Why Major in Social Data Analytics at Penn State?

To build a unique skill set suited to opportunities for working with big data.  SoDA majors develop data analytic skills and acquire the social-scientific knowledge needed to apply them to real world problems. Learn more here

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