Graduate Certificates

Photo of UChicago students engaged in a course
A photograph of students in a classroom discussion

Whether focusing on a specific social science discipline or pursuing interdisciplinary interests, MAPSS students can also receive a graduate certificate in one of the areas outlined below. The Division of the Social Sciences also partners with other University of Chicago divisions and schools to offer further graduate certificates. Including a certificate in your UChicago graduate experience further distinguishes your accomplishments as you consider future doctoral programs and career aspirations.

Computational Social Science

The Computational Social Science Certificate provides an innovative, cutting-edge approach to computational skills valuable to students looking to deepen their research skills or develop a competitive portfolio for industry positions. The certificate is designed to complement the student’s training at the University of Chicago, allowing them to broaden their methodological expertise and apply this across a range of social scientific domains. Learn more about the Certificate here.

Education and Society

MAPSS students pursuing the Education and Society (EDSO) certificate specialize in one of three areas. “Individual Development and Learning” explores how students learn, which pedagogies are most effective, and how schools are best organized. “Schooling and Society” examines how schools are shaped by cultural, familial, and neighborhood contexts, what role schools play in their wider communities, and what impact schools have on social inequality. “Educational Policy and Evaluation” investigates what principles of research design, statistical analysis, and program evaluation are most effective for assessing educational interventions, and what the best evidence implies for core policies like how to improve reading instruction, whether charter schools are more effective than public schools, or how to attract and retain talented teachers in under-resourced institutions.

Each of these topical areas requires an interdisciplinary lens. For example, psychologists are interested in the cognitive and affective dimensions of learning, economists study the development of human capital, and sociologists explore the role of schooling in processes of social stratification. Consequently, a psychologist might see how children become better learners, an economist might think about how incentives shape teacher and student effort, and a sociologist would see how a school’s organization shapes social networks and opportunities.

Students earning the Education and Society Certificate complete courses that combine these interdisciplinary perspectives in a coherent program of study. In addition, students can seek research placements in one of several education-related laboratories, research projects, or organizations at the University, including the Urban Education Institute; the UChicago Consortium on School Research; UChicago STEM Education; the UChicago Science of Learning Center; the Urban Labs; the TMW Center for Early Learning and Public Health; educational programs within the Office of Civic Engagement; or any number of ongoing faculty-led projects.

Formation of Knowledge (IFK)

How do we know what we know? What makes expertise? What can we gain in the 21st century by exploring the contexts of knowledge production, past and present? Housed at the Institute on the Formation of Knowledge (IFK), the Formation of Knowledge MAPSS certificate explores how claims to knowledge are shaped by disciplinary, social, historical, and political contexts, as well as local cultural factors both explicit and unspoken. Students in the Formation of Knowledge MAPSS certificate are introduced to the nascent and dynamic field of inquiry into the formation of knowledge through a broad range of historical, sociological, and anthropological case studies that exemplify and challenge disciplinary practices in the social sciences. In addition to traditional social science research, the certificate highlights experiential learning, collaboration, and opportunities guided by a faculty advisor. 

Learn more about the Formation of Knowledge Certificate.

Gender and Sexuality Studies

Students pursuing the Graduate Certificate in Gender and Sexuality Studies must complete at least three courses in gender and sexuality studies (either cross-listed with GNSE or approved by the Center). They must also complete a major research paper (preferably the MA thesis) with a substantial gender/sexuality component, and attend a minimum of six Gender and Sexualities Studies Workshop and/or or Working Group meetings.

Latin American and Caribbean Studies

The Certificate in Latin American and Caribbean Studies (LACS) requires students to enroll in a foundational course and take three additional electives in Latin American Studies; demonstrate language proficiency in a regional language (most often in Spanish or Portuguese); write an MA thesis on a theme or topic related to Latin America, advised by a faculty member affiliated with CLAS, or approved for that purpose by CLAS; and present their research in one of the Latin America-focused workshops.

LACS students are strongly encouraged to participate in CLAS-sponsored events and one of the two Latin America-focused workshops. CLAS brings dozens of Latin American scholars, activists, writers, and policymakers to campus each year.