Graduate Certificate in Data Collection and Management

Click here to apply NOW for to begin in the Spring of 2017

Using large datasets of consumer information to inform business decision making is the new norm in this advanced stage of the information age. Private sector companies analyze large datasets internally or they hire data collection and management firms to interpret their data and merge it with other vital sources of information. But it's not just private companies that are doing this work. Non-profit research firms are doing the same.

‌‌The graduate certificate in Data Collection and Management trains students to join the front lines in collecting new data by learning how to design research methodologies that employ survey, interview, ethnographic and focus group techniques.  The Certificate is an excellent option for job candidates that want to strengthen their ability to collect, analyze, and interpret both quantitative and qualitative data. 

Students come to our program for a variety of reasons. Some want to become survey researchers for market research companies. Others want to assess the effectiveness of social policies and projects for non-profit research firms. Working for a political polling institute or for a grant funded research project are other promising career possibilities. Most of our applicants have recently earned their B.A. but many professionals come to us to improve their understanding of quantitative data as well. Still others are seeking graduate school experience before applying for a Master's Degree.

So what do they learn? Our students acquire project management skills in research design,execution, and analysis. They learn how to utilize surveys, interviews, ethnography, and focus groups to answer questions that private companies, non-profit research firms and many other organizations want to know. The skills that our students acquire are carefully selected from industry reports that tell us exactly what employers ask for most often in their job postings. We supplement that information with regular interviews and interactions with a wide network of companies and organizations whose employees have agreed to help us keep our curriculum current. We train students to build or enhance their skills in Qualtrics, SPSS, and Microsoft Excel, as well as their basic skills in leadership, writing, and oral presentation.

This 12-credit program can be completed in just two semesters. The four required courses, in Data Collection for Research and Evaluation, Survey Writing, Interviews and Focus Groups, and Data Analysis, can be taken in any order. Students in need of a refresher in basic statistics are welcome. They are advised to take the course in Survey Writing before Data Analysis.

Email Dr. Donoghue at to request a copy of our 6-page Job Market Analysis. You can also view more than 100 local job opportunities that we have posted in the last year by visiting our Careers Page.

Important Program Information:

  • The program requires 12 credits, or four courses.
  • Applicants should have a B.A. or Higher and a minimum 2.5 GPA.
  • Students may begin in the fall or spring semester.
  • Summer and online courses are not available.
  • Undergraduates with 105 credits completed may be eligible to take up to two classes.
  • Graduate students from other programs are welcome.
Contact the Graduate Program Coordinators for more information: