About - MACSS


Discover the People Behind the Numbers

Data about people and the social world do not “speak for themselves.” While we’ve gotten quite good at collecting and processing data, we still have a long way to go when analyzing data and using our findings to understand the social world. Simple statistical analysis and interpretation has its limits. But when you pair it with your training in the social sciences, you can start to answer complex questions about how society works and suggest innovative approaches to a wide array of social concerns.

Companies collect data on what people buy, where they go on the internet, how long they sit in traffic, how hard they exercise, and their social media habits. These types of social data have great potential to improve the efficiency and quality of a wide range of services and products. MaCSS graduates will be prepared for positions as data analysts and be able to identify, analyze, and interpret social data, and conduct practical research using computational tools and techniques in business strategy, marketing, public policy, and communications.

Data Stories are Human Stories

Across the private and public sectors, we’re seeing that data analysis has neglected important human concerns about privacy and bias, inequality and exclusion, community division and cohesion, access to health care and education, technological and economic change, and the consequences of pollution and climate change on individuals, families, and the communities in which they live.

Computer science and statistics, which are at the core of data analytics, do not provide the breadth of training and skills needed to address these pressing concerns. When you add social science theories and methods, you can make data analysis meaningful for people who go unseen using today’s limited tools. The MaCSS program is different from other data science and data analytics graduate programs: its heavy emphasis on social science ensures a more ethically responsible implementation of data science and interpretation of data that is attuned to many social issues.

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

The data-centric workforce is challenged by its narrow demography. Our goal is to change this by creating a diverse pathway into interesting and well-compensated data-analyst careers by including people from many different ethno-racial groups and with multiple gender identities.

The MaCSS program is explicitly designed to create a pathway from women’s colleges, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), and Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) through Berkeley and into the workforce. This will expand the range of job candidates eligible for well-compensated data-analyst positions in industry, government, and the nonprofit world.

We are committed to creating an inclusive learning environment where students from all backgrounds are valued, supported, and able to succeed.