Government analytics involves the use of cutting-edge tools of data science and analysis to address political, policy, and governance problems at federal, state, local, and organizational levels. This minor introduces students to the tools and context that are now commonly employed by government entities and agencies, as well as by the non-profit and private sectors. In particular, students will work with canonical programming languages (R and Python) and apply these tools to substantive issues in political science, public administration, and international relations. The minor integrates a technical curriculum with real-world applicability and gives students the flexibility and independence to develop unique expertise and hone research skills. The curriculum also introduces students to issues of copyright and privacy that are integral to ethical government analytics. 


This minor is available to all Mason undergraduate students.


Eight credits of coursework must be unique to the minor and students must complete all coursework with a minimum GPA of 2.00. For policies governing all minors, see AP.5.3.4 Minors.

Banner Code: GVAN

Minor Requirements

Total credits: 19-20

Of the total of 19 credits, 9 credits must be unique to minor

Required Courses

CDS 101Introduction to Computational and Data Sciences (Mason Core)3
CDS 102Introduction to Computational and Data Sciences Lab (Mason Core)1
CDS 230Modeling and Simulation I3
Select one of the following:3
Scientific Information and Data Visualization
Scientific Data and Databases (Mason Core)
Scientific Data Mining
Introduction to Exploratory Data Analysis
Select two of the following: 16-7
Research Methods and Analysis (Mason Core)
Legislative Behavior
The American Presidency
Public Opinion and Electoral Behavior
Political Parties and Campaigns
Political Psychology
Interest Groups, Lobbying, and the Political Process
International Political Economy
Administration in the Political System
Nonprofit Sector in Society
Public Personnel Administration
Public Budgeting and Finance
Urban Planning
Nonprofit Financial Planning
Introduction to Environmental Policy
Intermediate Environmental Policy
Public Policy Making
GOVT 365
Public Policy Analysis
Money, Markets and Economic Policy (Mason Core)
Tools for Economic Policy Analysis
Issues in Political Analysis
Seminar Requirement
GOVT 490Synthesis Seminar (Mason Core) 23
Total Credits19-20

 An alternative 300-level GOVT course, especially including GOVT 319, or any 400-level GOVT course, may be substituted for any other GOVT course with the permission of the minor director, depending on the topic.


This Government Analytics capstone seminar will be offered annually and covers:

i) Open Government Data, in theory and practice

ii) Supervision of individual capstone projects

Enrollment in the capstone section is limited to Government Analytics minors and requires permission of the instructor.