PASS

Programs in Analytics and Statistical Studies

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Social Science

Since its founding in 2002, the Institute has been the global pioneer and leader in statistics and analytics education.  The Institute now offers 100+ online courses in statistics and analytics, plus four certificate programs. 

This particular certificate program focuses on those courses relevant for the study of topics in social science, which include the statistical methods needed for designing and analyzing studies (including Bayesian analysis), conducting surveys and analyzing the data they yield, and a unique concentration strand devoted to Rasch methods .  Most courses are 4 weeks long, do not require you to be online at specific times during the week, and offer continuing education credits.  The workload for the entire program is the equivalent of 21 credits in the U.S. academic system.

Program Objectives

The program consists of fourteen 4-week courses.  You will learn:

  • The design and analysis principles for research studies
  • The fundamental concepts behind statistical modeling
  • How to fit linear and logistic regression models, interpret output, and conduct diagnostics
  • Appropriate designs and sampling plans for surveys
  • How to determine sample size for a study, and how to calculate power
  • Techniques for analyzing categorical data (electives)
  • Bayesian methods for analyzing data (electives)


The courses are taught by recognized authorities with whom you share a private discussion forum for the entire course period.

Most PASS candidates choose to take one course at a time.  With courses starting every week of the year, there is considerable scheduling flexibility.  Admission applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year.

Program Fees
The total cost of the program varies depending on the electives chosen. Actual fees may differ from the estimate below. Fees are subject to change without prior notice.

Application Fee: $75
Program Registration Fee:$695
Estimated Required Course Tuition: $3473
Estimated Electives Course Tuition: $3699
Estimated Material Cost: $980
Estimated Total Cost: $8922

Social Science

Program Content

The program consists of courses offered completely online at Statistics.com. There is a small group of required topics, plus a number of electives. Students may select a concentration strand (see below) to guide their choice of electives.

Concentration Strands (optional) and Electives
The program offers a set of core courses that are required, as well as a set of electives from which you can choose those of interest. Different concentration strands within the program are available, corresponding to different sets of suggested electives.  These strands are optional; if you successfully complete the courses in the strand this will be reflected on your PASS transcript. In addition to the concentration electives, students select several additional electives from among the general Program electives.

  • Research Methods: The Institute offers several dozen courses from which you could choose, depending on the nature of the data you are most likely to see in your work.  Call to discuss if you need guidance.
  • Survey Methods: We suggest Survey Analysis, The Analysis of Survey Data From complex Sample Designs, and Survey Analysis in R
  • Rasch Measurement: We suggest Practical Rasch Measurement - Core Topics, Practical Rasch Measurement - Further Topics, Many-Facet Rasch Measurement, and Rasch Applications in Clinical Assessment, Survey Research, and Educational Measurement
  • Bayesian Statistics: We suggest Introduction to Bayesian Statistics, Introduction to Bayesian Computing and Techniques, Bayesian Regression Modeling via MCMC, Bayesian Hierarchical and Multi-Level Models, and Bayesian Statistics in R.

Other electives, besides these strand-specific ones, are also available.

Plan your PASS

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Planning your Program

Most courses are four weeks long, and are scheduled either once or twice a year. Courses start on specific dates, but do not require you to be online at any particular time of the day. Since various courses are available throughout the year, the Program provides flexibility in scheduling.

Use the interactive "Plan Your PASS" tool to map out your program.  Additionally, the required and elective courses are listed below in alphabetical order with the next available date.  IMPORTANT:  The interactive planning tool does not include detailed information on prerequisites for each course.  See the course description for that information.

After your successful acceptance into PASS, you can begin your program with any course, based on your own background, the level of difficulty and whether you meet individual course prerequisites.

As a PASS candidate, you are eligible for the academic affiliation tuition reduction - indicate "PASS" when prompted for your academic affiliation during online registration.  As an added benefit, if you register online for three courses simultaneously, an automatic $200 reduction is applied.  Please note that payment of tuition and fees does not include the purchase of any required texts or software.


Required Courses (7)

  • Designing Valid Statistical Studies This course covers the issues you need to address in designing studies to produce statistically valid conclusions.  Topics covered in the course include: overview of validity and bias, selection bias, information bias, and confounding bias. Tuition: $469 (5.0 CEUs) New available dates: January 16, 2015 to February 13, 2015 more >>
  • Introduction to Statistical Modeling This course provides a solid introduction to the ideas and techniques of statistical modeling. Tuition: $469 (5.0 CEUs) New available dates: June 13, 2014 to July 11, 2014January 02, 2015 to January 30, 2015 more >>
  • Logistic Regression Logistic regression extends ordinary least squares (OLS) methods to model data with binary (yes/no, success/failure) outcomes. Rather than directly estimating the value of the outcome, logistic regression allows you to estimate the probability of a success or failure. Tuition: $549 (5.0 CEUs) New available dates: June 13, 2014 to July 11, 2014September 05, 2014 to October 03, 2014 more >>
  • Matrix Algebra Review This course will provide the basics of vector and matrix algebra and operations necessary to understand multivariate statistical methods, including the notions of the matrix inverse, generalized inverse and eigenvalues and eigenvectors. After successfully completing this course, you will be able to use and understand vector and matrix operations and equations, find and use a matrix inverse, and use and understand the eigenset of a symmetric matrix. Tuition: $469 (5.0 CEUs) New available dates: June 27, 2014 to July 25, 2014November 14, 2014 to December 12, 2014 more >>
  • Regression Analysis In this course you will learn how multiple linear regression models are derived, use software to implement them, learn what assumptions underlie the models, learn how to test whether your data meet those assumptions and what can be done when those assumptions are not met, and develop strategies for building and understanding useful models. Tuition: $499 (5.0 CEUs) New available dates: May 16, 2014 to June 13, 2014October 03, 2014 to October 31, 2014January 23, 2015 to February 20, 2015 more >>
  • Sample Size and Power Determination This course shows you how to make sample size determinations for various statistical tests and for confidence intervals, as needed for experimental studies such as comparison studies, as well as for other types of experiments. Tuition: $549 (5.0 CEUs) New available dates: May 16, 2014 to June 13, 2014 more >>
  • Survey Design and Sampling Procedures This course covers the crafting of survey questions, the design of surveys, and different sampling procedures that are used in practice. Longstanding basic principles of survey design are covered, and the impact of the trend toward increased respondent resistance is discussed. Tuition: $469 (5.0 CEUs) New available dates: July 11, 2014 to August 08, 2014July 10, 2015 to August 07, 2015 more >>

Elective Courses (7 required)

  • Advanced Logistic Regression After taking this course, participants will be able to specify, implement and interpret the output of a variety of advanced logistic regression models not covered in the first course, Logistic Regression. Tuition: $549 (5.0 CEUs) New available dates: April 25, 2014 to May 23, 2014April 24, 2015 to May 22, 2015April 22, 2016 to May 20, 2016 more >>
  • Advanced Structural Equation Modeling This course covers many popular advanced SEM models with practical exercises. Models covered include Multiple Indicator and Multiple Causes models (MIMIC), Multiple Group models, Multilevel (HLM) models, Mixture models, Structured Means models, Multitrait-Multimethod models, Second Order Factor models, Interaction models, and Dynamic Factor models. Tuition: $549 (5.0 CEUs) New available dates: June 27, 2014 to July 25, 2014January 09, 2015 to February 06, 2015 more >>
  • Analysis of Survey Data from Complex Sample Designs This course teaches you how to estimate variances for complex surveys, and also how to model the results using linear and logistic regression, and other generalized linear models. Tuition: $549 (5.0 CEUs) New available dates: October 10, 2014 to November 07, 2014 more >>
  • Bayesian Regression Modeling via MCMC Techniques This course covers the application of Markov Chain Monte Carlo techniques (MCMC) to Bayesian statistical modeling using WinBUGS software. Tuition: $549 (5.0 CEUs) New available dates: April 25, 2014 to May 23, 2014October 24, 2014 to November 21, 2014April 24, 2015 to May 22, 2015October 23, 2015 to November 20, 2015 more >>
  • Bayesian Statistics in R Using R and the associated R package JAGS, you will learn how to specify and run Bayesian modeling procedures using regression models for continuous, count and categorical data. Tuition: $549 (5.0 CEUs) New available dates: September 26, 2014 to October 24, 2014 more >>
  • Bootstrap Methods This course covers the basic theory and application of the bootstrap family of procedures, with the emphasis on applications. Tuition: $549 (5.0 CEUs) New available dates: September 19, 2014 to October 17, 2014 more >>
  • Categorical Data - Applied Modeling This course continues the analysis of categorical data, contains a review of logistic regression, and introduces multinomial responses for logistic regression, probit, logit and loglinear analysis. Tuition: $549 (5.0 CEUs) New available dates: November 07, 2014 to December 05, 2014 more >>
  • Categorical Data Analysis This course will cover the analysis of contingency table data (tabular data in which the cell entries represent counts of subjects or items falling into certain categories). Topics include tests for independence (comparing proportions as well as chi-square), exact methods, and treatment of ordered data. Both 2-way and 3-way tables are covered. Tuition: $549 (5.0 CEUs) New available dates: September 26, 2014 to October 24, 2014 more >>
  • Generalized Linear Models

    This course will explain the theory of generalized linear models (GLM), outline the algorithms used for GLM estimation, and explain how to determine which algorithm to use for a given data analysis. GLM allows the modeling of responses, or dependent variables, that take the form of counts, proportions, dichotomies (1/0), positive continuous values, as well as values that follow the normal Gaussian distribution. Logistic, Poisson, and negative binomial regression models are three of the most noteworthy GLM family members.

    Note:  Detailed study of model specification and the interpretation of software output is handled in statistics.com's individual courses on regression, logistic regression, count data modeling, etc., and in the  Categorical Modeling course.

    Tuition: $549 (5.0 CEUs) New available dates: April 03, 2015 to May 01, 2015 more >>
  • Introduction to Assessment and Measurement

    The aim of this course is to provide an overview to the main statistical and measurement tools that are associated with interpretation of data from tests, including standardized educational tests. Participants will learn how to interpret test results.

    Tuition: $549 (5.0 CEUs) New available dates: To be scheduled. more >>
  • Introduction to Bayesian Computing and Techniques Participants in this course will learn why Bayesian computing has gained wide popularity, and how to apply Markov Chain Monte Carlo techniques (MCMC) to Bayesian statistical modeling using WinBUGS software. Tuition: $549 (5.0 CEUs) New available dates: August 29, 2014 to September 26, 2014 more >>
  • Introduction to Bayesian Hierarchical and Multi-level Models This course extends the Bayesian modeling framework to cover hierarchical models, and to add flexibility to standard Bayesian modeling problems. Tuition: $549 (5.0 CEUs) New available dates: May 23, 2014 to June 20, 2014November 21, 2014 to December 19, 2014 more >>
  • Introduction to Bayesian Statistics This course will introduce you to the basic ideas of Bayesian Statistics. You will learn how to perform Bayesian analysis for a binomial proportion, a normal mean, the difference between normal means, the difference between proportions, and for a simple linear regression model. Tuition: $549 (5.0 CEUs) New available dates: July 04, 2014 to August 01, 2014January 30, 2015 to February 27, 2015 more >>
  • Introduction to Resampling Methods The course introduces the basic concepts and methods of resampling methods, including bootstrap procedures and permutation (randomization) tests, with little or no complex theory or confusing notation. Tuition: $389 (3.75 CEUs) New available dates: July 04, 2014 to July 25, 2014January 23, 2015 to February 13, 2015July 03, 2015 to July 24, 2015 more >>
  • Introduction to Social Network Analysis (SNA) This course will teach a mix of quantitative and qualitative methods for describing, measuring and analyzing social networks. Tuition: $469 (5.0 CEUs) New available dates: August 15, 2014 to September 12, 2014 more >>
  • Introduction to Structural Equation Modeling This course covers the fundamental concepts and theory of Structural Equation Modeling:  model specification, model identification, model estimation, model testing, and model modification.  Reading assignments, examples and exercises are included using the LISREL software package. Tuition: $549 (5.0 CEUs) New available dates: May 16, 2014 to June 13, 2014November 07, 2014 to December 05, 2014 more >>
  • Many-Facet Rasch Measurement This course will cover the analysis and interpretation of judge-intermediated ratings, like essay grading, Olympic ice-skating, therapist ratings of patient behavior, etc. Tuition: $549 (5.0 CEUs) New available dates: August 08, 2014 to September 05, 2014 more >>
  • Maximum Likelihood Estimation This course will cover the derivation of maximum likelihood estimates, and their properties. Tuition: $249 (2.5 CEUs) New available dates: August 01, 2014 to August 15, 2014November 28, 2014 to December 05, 2014 more >>
  • Meta Analysis This course will explain meta analysis - the methods that are used to assess multiple statistical studies on the same subject and draw conclusions. Dr. Rothstein will be the primary discussion leader for this course. Tuition: $629 (5.0 CEUs) New available dates: July 25, 2014 to August 22, 2014November 28, 2014 to January 09, 2015 more >>
  • Meta Analysis 2 Meta-Analysis refers to the statistical analyses that are used to synthesize summary data from a series of studies.  This course covers some advanced issues in meta-analysis.  Participants should have completed the basic course in meta-analysis or an equivalent. Tuition: $549 (5.0 CEUs) New available dates: August 29, 2014 to September 26, 2014 more >>
  • Mixed and Hierarchical Linear Models This course will explain the basic theory of linear and non-linear mixed effects models, including hierarchical linear models. It will outline the algorithms used for estimation, primarily for models involving normally distributed errors, and will provide examples of data analysis. The course aims at providing a basic understanding and knowledge of the mixed effect models that will allow you to use them in practice. Tuition: $549 (5.0 CEUs) New available dates: May 09, 2014 to June 06, 2014May 08, 2015 to June 05, 2015 more >>
  • Modeling Count Data This course deals with regression models for count data; i.e. models with a response or dependent variable data in the form of a count or rate. The course will cover Poisson regression, the foundation for modeling counts, as well as extensions and modifications to the basic model. Tuition: $549 (5.0 CEUs) New available dates: May 23, 2014 to June 20, 2014October 31, 2014 to November 28, 2014 more >>
  • Modeling Longitudinal and Panel Data This course covers the extension of Generalized Linear Models (GLM) to model varieties of longitudinal and clustered data, called panel data. Tuition: $549 (5.0 CEUs) New available dates: July 18, 2014 to August 15, 2014 more >>
  • Multivariate Statistics This course covers key multivariate procedures such as multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA), principal components, factor analysis and classification. Tuition: $549 (5.0 CEUs) New available dates: July 11, 2014 to August 01, 2014 more >>
  • Political Analytics This course will teach you how to apply predictive modeling methods to target voters in political campaigns. Tuition: $549 (5.0 CEUs) New available dates: August 29, 2014 to September 26, 2014March 06, 2015 to April 03, 2015August 28, 2015 to September 25, 2015 more >>
  • Practical Rasch Measurement - Core Topics Rasch analysis constructs linear measures from scored observations, such as responses to multiple-choice questions, Likert scales and quality-of-life assessments. This course covers the practical aspects of data setup, analysis, output interpretation, fit analysis, differential item functioning, dimensionality and reporting. Tuition: $549 (5.0 CEUs) New available dates: May 30, 2014 to June 27, 2014October 17, 2014 to November 14, 2014January 02, 2015 to January 30, 2015 more >>
  • Practical Rasch Measurement - Further Topics Continues the exploration of Rasch theory and its application in the Winsteps software begun in Practical Rasch Measurement-Core Topics. The visual step-by-step tutorial propels you along the road to success. This course introduces exciting new topics and delves into earlier topics more deeply. Tuition: $549 (5.0 CEUs) New available dates: July 04, 2014 to August 01, 2014 more >>
  • Principal Components and Factor Analysis In this course, you will learn how to make decisions in building a factor analysis model - including what model to use, the number of factors to retain, and the rotation method to use. Tuition: $549 (5.0 CEUs) New available dates: May 23, 2014 to June 20, 2014 more >>
  • Rasch Applications, Part 1: How to Construct a Rasch Scale This course is a practicum.  You will learn how to construct a scale for a test or survey that is likely to produce data fitting dichotomous or polytomous Rasch models, and you will deploy it in an actual survey or test. Tuition: $549 (5.0 CEUs) New available dates: September 12, 2014 to October 24, 2014 more >>
  • Survey Analysis This course covers the analysis of data gathered in surveys. Tuition: $549 (5.0 CEUs) New available dates: August 15, 2014 to September 12, 2014 more >>
  • Survey Analysis in R The purpose of this course is to teach survey researchers who are familiar with R how to use it in survey research. Tuition: $499 (5.0 CEUs) New available dates: March 20, 2015 to April 17, 2015 more >>

Earn a Certificate

When To Apply

Applications are accepted and students are enrolled year round on a rolling basis. You pay an application fee and submit it with your application form. You may pay the fee online here, or enclose a check (USD drawn on a US bank) with your application. NOTE: The application is your opportunity to specifically outline your past education and experience, and provide any other information you want us to consider during our review. The value of this background and experience is the ability to place the statistical methods covered in the Program in an appropriate application context. Once we have accepted your application, we will be happy to assist you with more specific questions about PASS.

Admission Criteria

  1. A Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university.
  2. The successful recent completion of an introductory statistics course equivalent to Statistics.com's Statistics 1 and Statistics 2,* (please provide proof in your PASS application).

*If you do not meet this requirement, you may still enroll in PASS. Upon review of your application, we will determine whether you need to take Statistics.com's Statistics 1 and 2. If you do require these foundational courses, we will register you for them and waive the entire tuition fee for these two courses.

Procedure for Enrollment and Matriculation in PASS

  1. Complete and submit the application, your photograph, and the payment of the application fee. Notification of approval is sent usually within one week.
  2. After your application is approved, enroll in the PASS of your choice here and pay the enrollment fee.
  3. If you have NOT already met the introductory statistics requirement, you will be registered for the Institute's Statistics 1 and 2 courses. Full tuition is waived for matriculated PASS candidates.
  4. After you submit your application and receive approval, pay the enrollment fee, and meet the introductory statistics requirement, you will be matriculated into the program and are considered a PASS candidate. You may now register for classes as a PASS candidate and receive our academic tuition deduction - specify PASS as your academic affiliation during the online registration process.

Rules and Policies

  • Once you are matriculated in PASS, you are considered a student at the Institute for Statistics Education at Statistics.com.
  • You must be a fully-matriculated PASS candidate to be eligible to receive the academic tuition deduction provided during online registration, and to receive PASS credit for courses.
  • The Program enrollment fee is a required one-time charge in addition to tuition for individual courses.
  • You are expected to complete all the courses in your Program within 5 years of your matriculation into the program. Any exceptions must be approved in writing by the Institute prior to that 5-year deadline.
  • Upon completion of your PASS, you will receive a Certificate and your official transcript.
  • Up to three Institute courses may be taken prior to enrolling in PASS; credit for these courses may be applied to your PASS transcript once you are a matriculated PASS candidate, provided that adequate marks are earned.
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From a Student Profile:

I hear IT people commenting that they’re always needing to learn new technology because things in their field evolve and change quickly. The same thing is true in analytics. New techniques are developing rapidly.

Robert Wood
Director, Advanced Analytics Group, Merkle

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