Master of Arts in Survey Research

UConn’s online Master of Arts in Survey Research is a 30-credit program designed to meet the needs of today’s survey research practitioners.

The program provides extensive training in all stages of the survey research process, including project design and management, questionnaire construction, sampling, methods of data collection, data analysis, and reporting. Many graduates go on to careers in public opinion polling, management, market research, health care, and public policy.

 

Apply to the MA in Survey Research Program

Cost and Financial Aid

Jobs and Outcomes


Program Details

Curriculum and Courses

The MASR program is organized around (1) core courses, (2) electives, and (3) a supervised internship. Learn more about our curriculum below.

Core Courses (21 credits)

PP 5376 Applied Quantitative Methods
A review of basic statistics, designed to develop an intuitive and practical understanding of statistical techniques that will enable students to understand, evaluate, generate, and present data. The course will review the following key elements of statistics: descriptive statistics, exploratory data analysis, probability theory, statistical inference, hypothesis testing, and regression analysis. By the end of the semester, students will have basic facility with describing a data set, using it to make inferences about the world, and to begin analyzing management, public policy, program evaluation, or public opinion issues.

PP 5377 Qualitative Methods in Public Policy
This class covers the qualitative research process from development to reporting. Students explore a variety of qualitative research paradigms (ethnography, case studies, applied research, and critical studies), analyze a research question and propose qualitative research plan, construct qualitative instruments, and apply a variety of qualitative research skills.

PP 5379 Principles and Methods of Survey Research I
The foundational course in the Graduate Program in Survey Research (GPSR). This course provides a comprehensive review of survey research methods, and prepares students in the fundamental skill areas necessary to design and conduct survey research projects. These areas include survey research design, questionnaire construction, and scientific sampling.

PP 5383 Principles and Methods of Survey Research II
This course introduces students to the art and science of designing survey questionnaires. Special attention will be paid to the psychological and social processes that may influence the survey response in unanticipated ways. This will enable the student to assess and minimize the risk of eliciting response effects that might lead to biased results. Drawing on theory from psychology, sociology and linguistics, topics covered include: question wording and order effects, response options, the interview setting, and the interpretation of survey responses. We will also discuss issues of questionnaire translation, inter-cultural response comparison, and scale construction.

PP 5385 Attitude Formation
Students will examine theories of attitude formation and attitude change paying special attention to the psychology of the survey response. This course begins with a psychological look at the historical conundrum of Converse’s (1964) non-attitude claim. It investigates different models of attitude formation which political scientists have devised to explain Converse’s findings. We will discuss where individuals get their political attitudes from: parents, peers, and/or political events. Based on our understanding of attitude formation, we will discuss ways in which survey respondents may interpret the questions that policy researchers ask of them and how this may influence the results of research.

PP 5386 Survey Research Analysis and Reporting
This course focuses on the development of research reports and report-writing. Topics include: using graphics to present survey findings, preparation of a full-length survey research findings report, preparation of executive summaries of survey findings, reporting survey methods and technical aspects of survey findings. This course is writing-intensive, as students will prepare research reports throughout the semester.

PP 5389 Capstone on the Future of Survey Research
Capstone research on problems and opportunities in the survey research industry for students nearing completion of the Master of Arts in Survey Research program. Technological developments and innovations over the past decade have presented the survey research industry with a wide number of both challenges (such as the generalizability of samples) and opportunities (such as marrying survey data with mega-data). This course explores these changes and their implications for the future of survey research through intensive student-directed research, discussion and presentation.

Elective Courses (3 - 9 credits depending on experience)

PP 5332 Advanced Quantitative Methods
This course covers a number of basic and advanced statistical methods for public policy and survey research. Students will review some of the basic concepts of statistical analysis, study methods for hypothesis testing appropriate to frequency counts and percentage, discuss methods to analyze data in interval and ratio scale format, and study quantitative methods for conducting and analyzing multiple regression. Students will also explore minimizing error through scale construction and the use of exploratory factor analysis. The end of the course will provide a very brief introduction to the basic ideas underlying confirmatory factor analysis.

PP 5341 Public Opinion and Democratic Processes
This course will theoretically and empirically explore public opinion and assess its place in American democracy. It will examine both the sources of political attitudes in democratic citizens and the role of those attitudes (public opinion) in campaigns, elections, and governance. Students will review research on the current state of public opinion as well as discuss the place of public opinion in politics in historical context.

PP 5382 Project Management in Survey Research
This course will explore the application of project management techniques to the management of survey research projects. Students will examine the relationship between survey design and survey management, how to plan a survey research project in a variety of industry sectors, learn how to develop and implement a project budget, manage project contracts and lead a project team.

PP 5384 Political Polling
This course examines the roles of opinion polling in the various dimensions of American politics. Students explore the value provided by polls as well as their negative effects, assess the survey techniques used to gauge American political opinion, and review the approaches that are used to analyze poll results. Additionally, this course examines how polls (1) gauge what Americans know and don’t know about politics, (2) document the values and core beliefs of citizens (3) provide an understanding of election outcomes (4) monitor the performance of the economy and of political actors and institutions (5) reflect public opinion on social and domestic issues as well as foreign policy problems.

PP 5387 Surveys for Market Research
This class explores the application of survey research methods in the market research industry. How are surveys used by companies to better understand consumer markets? To develop new products and services? To measure customer satisfaction? To define market segments? To price products and services? To expand and improve sales and market share? In addition to exploring the use of surveys to address these questions, the course will provide an overview of the market research industry including the job market for research professionals. Also, the course examines the key elements in the conduct of market research survey projects: proposal writing, questionnaire design, and sampling.

PP 5388 Introduction to Multipopulation Survey Research Methods
This course provides an introduction to methods for designing multilingual and multicultural survey research projects. It will also introduce some of the key considerations for designing multinational surveys. Students will be introduced to unique methodological considerations for multilingual/multicultural studies throughout the project lifecycle, including: sampling, questionnaire design, fielding, data interpretation and analysis.

PP 5397: Special Topics in Public Policy

  • Applied Survey Analysis with R
    This one-credit short course is an introduction to R. Students will manage a data set in R, define missing values, and create new variables. Students will also run frequency tables and crosstabs, conduct chi-square-tests in R and build scales assessing Cronbach’s alpha. Further, we will compare means in R using t-tests and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). Students will learn how to specify OLS regression models and dichotomous or ordered logit or multinomial logit for categorical dependent variables that typically exist in survey data sets.
  • Applied Survey Analysis with SPSS
    This one-credit short course provides an introduction to SPSS. Students will manage a data set in SPSS, define missing values, and create new variables. Students will also run frequency tables and crosstabs, conduct chi-square-tests in SPSS and build scales assessing Cronbach’s alpha. Further, we will compare means in SPSS using t-tests and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). Students will learn how to specify OLS regression models and dichotomous or ordered logit or multinomial logit for categorical dependent variables that typically exist in survey data sets.
  • Applied Survey Analysis with Stata
    This is a one-credit short course that gives an introduction to Stata. Students will manage a data set in Stata, define missing values, and create new variables. Students will also run frequency tables and crosstabs, conduct chi-square-tests in Stata and build scales assessing Cronbach’s alpha. Further, we will compare means in Stata using t-tests and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). Students will learn how to specify OLS regression models and dichotomous or ordered logit or multinomial logit for categorical dependent variables that typically exist in survey data sets.

Supervised Internship (6 credits)

Internships are an integral part of the MASR program. A student who has not had significant career experience must complete six internship credits. Students with significant career experience in the survey research field may request to substitute electives courses for the internship credits.

Online Individual Graduate Courses in Survey Research

Individuals with a bachelor’s degree or higher can take UConn’s online Survey Research courses as “non-degree” students. The “non-degree” designation allows students to take courses for credit without being formally admitted to the University. A maximum of 6 credits can be taken as a “non-degree” student. These courses may be used toward a Certificate or a Master of Arts in Survey Research. Students must earn a “B” or better and the courses must have been taken within six (6) years in order to be counted.

If you are interested in registering for a course but are not a current UConn student, please contact Survey Research Program Director Jennifer Dineen.

Model of Course Sequences

The Master of Arts in Survey Research may be completed full-time or part-time. Below are examples of how students typically complete the program. View more details about our courses on our course descriptions page.

Model Program - 3 Semesters (Full Time)


Semester 1

PP 5376: Applied Quantitative Methods

PP 5379: Principles and Methods of Survey Research I

PP 5385: Attitude Formation

Total Credits = 9

Semester 2

PP 5383: Principles and Methods of Survey Research II

PP 5377: Qualitative Methods

PP 5386: Survey Research Analysis and Report Writing

Total Credits = 9


Semester 3

PP 5389: Capstone on the Future of Survey Research

Elective

PP 5390: Supervised Internship (6 credits)

Total Credits = 12


Total Credits = 30

Model Program – 5 Semesters (Part Time)


Semester 1

PP 5376: Applied Quantitative Methods

PP 5379: Principles and Methods of Survey Research I

Total Credits = 6

Semester 2

PP 5383: Principles and Methods of Survey Research II

PP 5377: Qualitative Methods

Total Credits = 6


Semester 3

PP 5385: Attitude Formation

Elective

Total Credits = 6

Semester 4

PP 5386: Survey Research Analysis and Reporting

PP 5390: Supervised Internship (3-credits)

Total Credits = 6


Semester 5

PP 5389: Capstone on the Future of Survey Research

PP 5390: Supervised Internship (3 credits)

Total Credits = 6


Total Credits = 30

Media and Communication Campaigns Track

Media and Communication Campaigns Track

Students can tailor their degree towards an interest in media, culture, and creative industries through coursework offered by the Department of Communication.

  • COMM 5003 Advanced Communication Research Methods: Research techniques and procedures for the study of communication. Research design, multivariate statistics, and structural modeling.
  • COMM 5120 Communication Campaigns: Campaign theory and planning. Students learn how to conduct interviews and focus groups with members of a target audience, and work with non-profit organizations to design a campaign.
  • COMM 5150 Crisis Risk and Communication: Research, theory, and best practices in crisis and risk communication.
  • COMM 5640 Social Media Use and Effects: Research and theory on the social and psychological predictors and effects of social media use as well as social media platforms: their technology, functions, and analysis of collected data.

Joint Degree Program Options

Joint Masters Degree Program in Public Administration (MPA) or Public Policy (MPP) and Survey Research

The Department of Public Policy offers a joint master's degree programs in survey research and public administration, and a joint master's degree program in survey research and public policy. The joint programs prepare students with the functional skills and knowledge in public administration and public policy and at the same time engage them in interdisciplinary study and research related to survey design, data collection, and data analysis techniques. Students must apply to and be admitted by both programs.


Frequently Asked Questions

Admissions

Do I need to have an undergraduate degree in order to take survey research courses?

Yes. Proof of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year institution is required to register for classes. Graduates from all fields and majors are eligible to take courses in our program.

Do I need to be admitted to a degree or certificate program to take courses?

No. As a non-matriculated student, you may take up to 6 credits of coursework. After this limit is reached, you may apply for admission to the MASR program to continue your studies.. Non-matriculated students must have an earned bachelor’s degree.

Do I need to take the GRE?

The MASR program does not require any standardized test for admission.

What programs in survey research does UConn offer?

The Department of Public Policy offers two online survey research programs: a 30-credit Master of Arts in Survey Research and a 12-credit Graduate Certificate in Survey Research.

Can I start in the certificate program and switch to the master’s program later?

Yes. As long as you are accepted to the master’s program before your Graduate Certificate in Survey Research is conferred, the credits you have earned can be applied toward the MASR program. You cannot earn both a certificate and a master’s degree.

Who should write my letters of recommendation and how should they be submitted?

Your letters of recommendation should be written by people who know you and your work very well. Your writers may be current or past supervisors, college professors, or professional colleagues. For current and recent undergraduates we recommend that at least two letters are from recent professors. Letters can be uploaded to the application by the recommending individual when prompted via email from the application system. Or they can email dpp@uconn.edu directly to submit their letter. Letters can not be received directly from the applicant.

What are the admissions requirements for the Master of Arts in Survey Research?

Applicants are expected to submit the following to the Graduate School's online Apply Yourself system:

  • Completed online application
  • Personal Statement
  • Unofficial transcripts (for review, once accepted official transcripts must be sent)
  • Current Resume
  • Three letters of recommendation, and
  • $75 application fee
  • For non-native English speakers, TOEFL, IELTS, or the PTE exam scores are also required.

What are the application deadlines?

The MASR program begins reviewing fall applications on February 15 with a final deadline of July 15. For spring admission the deadline is November 1.

How are admissions decisions made for your programs?

The admissions committee takes a holistic approach when reviewing your application. All aspects are important and each should be considered and prepared with care. The committee will evaluate all aspects of the application including types of undergraduate courses taken, letters of recommendation, your personal statement and resume (professional experience and work choices, volunteer work and honors received). It is very important to us that there is a right “fit” with your career goals and our curriculum and program.

After the department reviews applications, the Graduate School then audits the student’s application to verify the transcript information. Once both reviews are complete, decisions are sent to applicants by the Graduate School.

Cost

How much do survey research courses cost?
The cost is the same for residents, non-residents, and international students. The cost is $825 per credit, all-inclusive; one 3-credit class totals $2,475.
Total cost for the 12-credit certificate: $9,900
Total cost for the 30 credits Masters degree: $24,750

Does the survey research MA program offer financial assistance or graduate assistantships?
No. The program does not offer financial assistance in the form of graduate assistantships.

Is financial aid (such as student loans) available?
Please note that financial aid may not be available for all students. Graduate students who are enrolled in a graduate certificate program (only) are not eligible to receive federal financial aid (Federal Stafford Loan and Graduate PLUS Loan funds). Students enrolled these programs may wish to consider UConn’s payment plan, or Alternative (Private) Loan financing. Financial aid is administered through the University of Connecticut Student Financial Aid Office. They can be reached at 860-486-2819 or at their website.

International Students

Can international students obtain a student visa if admitted to UConn’s MA program in survey research?
No, student visas cannot be issued for online education. International students can only participate if doing so from their home country.

Are tests of English proficiency required?
Yes. It is very important to our program that international students have mastered the English language before attending our program. All of our classes are taught in English and we expect strong English skills from international students. Applicants from non-English speaking countries should submit their Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score with their application materials. A strong applicant will have a TOEFL score of at least 600 (paper test)/250 (computer test)/ 100 (internet test), or an average overall band IELTS score of at least 6.5.

Online Learning

Are courses offered in a traditional face-to-face classroom environment as well as online?
Generally, no. All survey research courses are offered online. The Department of Public Policy offers traditional face-to-face courses through the Master of Public Administration and Master of Public Policy programs. As well as the Graduate Certificate programs in Leadership and Public Management and Public Financial Management.

How are online courses different from on-site courses?
Our online courses meet the same academic standards as on-site courses at UConn. The primary difference is that all of the assignments, communication, and class participation are completed using various technologies. All of the traits required to be successful in graduate school—effective time management, the ability to work independently and collaboratively, and possessing the abilities to write clearly and think critically are equally important for the online courses offered by the Department of Public Policy.

Does online mean that I will not have contact with professors and classmates?
No. Each course is an integral part of our online community, which means that there is an opportunity for significant interaction among students and faculty. Our faculty interact with students in a variety of ways. They contact students by e-mail or telephone, participate actively in discussion boards and chat rooms, provide extensive feedback on assignments, and even conduct online office hours.

Is the MA in survey research conferred by the Department of Public Policy identified as being online?
No. The transcript identifies the degree as a Master of Arts in Survey Research. Neither the transcript nor the credential refers to it as being an online course of study.

Schedule

When do classes start and when are they held during the year?
Classes are held in the fall, spring, and summer as specified by the University of Connecticut academic calendar.

Can I study full-time or part-time?
The majority of our students are professionals who take one or two 3-credit courses each semester, though a few have chosen the “full-time” route and taken three or four classes. Because the courses are billed at a flat fee-per-credit rate, the part-time/full-time designation does not have an impact on your bill beyond the cost-per-credit calculation.
Once you have matriculated as a master’s student, you must take at least one course in each consecutive fall and spring semester in order to stay active in your program and avoid reinstatement fees and the need to reapply.

How are the courses delivered?
The online courses are delivered asynchronously. Asynchronous refers to fulfilling course objectives through activities that do not need to take place at the same time for all students. An example of an asynchronous activity is the discussion board or threaded discussion, where students post to the board when it is convenient to them as long as the activity is completed by a pre-determined date. This contrasts to synchronous, which means that the activity takes place at the same time for all students. An example of asynchronous activity is an exam that must be completed by all students in a class during a 3-hour window. Our program is primarily asynchronous.