Introduction to Social Network Analysis (SNA)

Introduction to Social Network Analysis

taught by Jennifer Golbeck

Aim of Course:

Social Network Analysis has existed for a long time, but social media has fundamentally changed the way we do this analysis. Data has become more plentiful and easy to collect, but this has pushed the boundaries  of existing techniques. Sociological methods do not easily scale to the size of these networks, but purely statistical methods miss the complex social interactions that take place.

This online course "Introduction to Social Network Analysis" will teach a mix of quantitative and qualitative methods for describing, measuring and analyzing social networks. We will learn how to identify influential individuals, track the spread of information through networks, and see how to use these techniques on real problems.

Considering Coursera or EdX?

This course may be taken individually (one-off) or as part of a certificate program.

Course Program:

WEEK 1:  Network Analysis Basics

  • Basic Terminology
  • Metrics
  • Visualization

WEEK 2:  The Social Network

  • Tie strength
  • Trust - User attributes and behavior

WEEK 3:  Analytics

  • Modeling
  • Sampling
  • Content Analysis
  • Propagation

WEEK 4:  Applications

  • Location
  • Filtering and recommender systems
  • Business use


In addition to assigned readings, this course also has supplemental video lectures and supplemental readings available online.

Introduction to Social Network Analysis (SNA)

Who Should Take This Course:

Marketing and IT managers, people who work in organizations with social media presences that they want to manage and analyze, and also people in organizations that have, or plan to have, their own social networks, who want to better understand the details of the environment they create.


Introductory / Intermediate

There are no prerequisites and no particular background is required. Computer scientists or those with humanities backgrounds will be equally capable of doing the work.

Organization of the Course:

This course takes place online at the Institute for 4 weeks. During each course week, you participate at times of your own choosing - there are no set times when you must be online. Course participants will be given access to a private discussion board. In class discussions led by the instructor, you can post questions, seek clarification, and interact with your fellow students and the instructor.

At the beginning of each week, you receive the relevant material, in addition to answers to exercises from the previous session. During the week, you are expected to go over the course materials, work through exercises, and submit answers. Discussion among participants is encouraged. The instructor will provide answers and comments, and at the end of the week, you will receive individual feedback on your homework answers.

Time Requirement:
About 15 hours per week, at times of  your choosing.

Students come to the Institute for a variety of reasons. As you begin the course, you will be asked to specify your category:
  1. You may be interested only in learning the material presented, and not be concerned with grades or a record of completion.
  2. You may be enrolled in PASS (Programs in Analytics and Statistical Studies) that requires demonstration of proficiency in the subject, in which case your work will be assessed for a grade.
  3. You may require a "Record of Course Completion," along with professional development credit in the form of Continuing Education Units (CEU's).  For those successfully completing the course,  CEU's and a record of course completion will be issued by The Institute, upon request.
Introduction to Social Network Analysis (SNA) has been evaluated by the American Council on Education (ACE) and is recommended for the upper-division baccalaureate degree category, 3 semester hours in computer sciences or information systems. Note: The decision to accept specific credit recommendations is up to each institution. More info here.
This course is also recognized by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) as helpful preparation for the Certified Analytics Professional (CAP®) exam, and can help CAP® analysts accrue Professional Development Units to maintain their certification .

Course Text:

The required text for this course is Analyzing the Social Web by Jennifer Golbeck.   Use the discount code “STAT15” for a 15% discount and free shipping from the publisher.



The required software is Gephi ( Windows users may also want to get NodeXL ( Both are free,



August 12, 2016 to September 09, 2016 February 24, 2017 to March 24, 2017 August 11, 2017 to September 08, 2017 February 23, 2018 to March 23, 2018 August 10, 2018 to September 07, 2018

Introduction to Social Network Analysis (SNA)


August 12, 2016 to September 09, 2016 February 24, 2017 to March 24, 2017 August 11, 2017 to September 08, 2017 February 23, 2018 to March 23, 2018 August 10, 2018 to September 07, 2018

Course Fee: $549

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