This program is designed for students who seek training in computer simulation and related computational methods for analyzing social systems and processes. The program is open to all students with graduate standing at George Mason University and all students who hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited university. The Computational Social Science (CSS) certificate allows students with social science or computational backgrounds to acquire new knowledge and modeling skills to improve their qualifications and attractiveness to employers in government, academia, or industry. The core courses provide a common foundation; additional elective courses allow for a variety of student interests across diverse social domains.

This graduate certificate may be pursued on a part-time or full-time basis.


University-wide admissions policies can be found in the Graduate Admissions Policies section of this catalog.

To apply for this program, please complete the George Mason University Admissions Application.

Applicants should have an undergraduate degree from an institution of higher education accredited by a Mason-recognized U.S. institutional accrediting agency or international equivalent with a GPA of at least 3.00. To apply, prospective students should forward a completed George Mason University Admissions Application, one copy of official transcripts from each college and graduate institution attended, and a current résumé. TOEFL scores are required of all international applicants. International applicants should see information regarding the admission of international students

Students intending to obtain the CSS certificate must apply to the CSS certificate program before beginning any CSS coursework intended to satisfy requirements. They must also have their coursework plan approved by the director.


For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Banner Code: SC-CERG-CSS

Certificate Requirements

Total credits: 15

This certificate may be pursued on a full-or part-time basis.

Students should refer to the Admissions & Policies tab for specific policies related to this program.

Core Courses

CSS 600Introduction to Computational Social Science3
CSS 610Agent-based Modeling and Simulation3
Total Credits6


Nine credits of electives, selected from:9
Object-Oriented Modeling in Social Science
Origins of Social Complexity
Social Network Analysis
Other graduate courses in the fields of computational social science, social science, computer science, statistics, and other quantitative methods such as data visualization, information technology, and geographic information science. 1
Total Credits9

These courses should be selected in conjunction with, and approved by, the student’s advisor. Students may include a maximum of 3 credits of programming courses to meet the elective requirements. Procedural, object-oriented languages, or other approved programming approaches may be used with permission of the director. Some courses on computational techniques, modeling, or statistics, such as visualization, graphics, and statistical and database packages may also be used to meet the requirements with prior approval of the director.