You probably already have a sense of how social media manipulates opinions and influences users' views of the world. The degree digs deeper into the technology that powers social media's grip on society and offers students tools and insights to quantify those effects.
The MA in social technologies is for those interested in the ways new kinds of social data introduce challenges and opportunities to society.
The program combines a thorough grounding in digital social science with the skills needed for engaging in the analysis of social data. This unique combination provides graduates with the ability to understand and contribute to creating ethical social platforms. They are also well positioned to advise institutions, businesses and government agencies on appropriate policies, and to draw on large-scale trace data to help address significant social issues.
The rapid shift toward algorithmic structures of social interaction represents one of the most significant challenges to society, and questions of equity, privacy and autonomy have become a recurring theme running through many modern social problems. These technologies also may provide the keys for addressing substantial social issues. To critically analyze these socio-technical systems requires both technical abilities and an understanding of social theory.
ASU offers an MA in social technologies for those interested in engaging research at the intersection of data and society. It prepares graduates to be leaders in social data science, working with organizations to help them make ethical and effective use of social data, consulting on broader issues of social change and networked technologies, or continuing on to doctoral work in cognate fields.
Students in the program work through a series of courses that provide a grounding in social theory and digital research methods as well as opportunities to apply that knowledge to social issues.
At A Glance
See important dates and information on the Advising pages for both Online and Ground programs.
Required Core (27 credit hours)
STC 501 Theories of Data and Society (3)
STC 510 Data Wrangling (3)
STC 512 Data, Places, People and Things (3)
STC 527 Ethics and Policies of Social Data (3)
STC 536 Networked Publics (3)
STC 537 Technologies of Community (3)
STC 539 Social Search and Filtering (3)
STC 550 Computational Social Methods I (3)
STC 551 Computational Social Methods II (3)
Other Requirements (0 or 3 credit hours)
STC 528 Communicating Data Science (3)
Culminating Experience (3 or 6 credit hours)
STC 570 Social Data Projects (3) or
STC 599 Thesis (6)
Additional Curriculum Information
Students complete either a three credit hour capstone course (STC 570 Social Data Projects) or a six credit hour thesis (STC 599). Students who choose to complete the capstone course also complete STC 528.
Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences.
Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree, in any field, from a regionally accredited institution.
Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in applicable master's degree program.
All applicants must submit:
- graduate admission application and application fee
- official transcripts
- statement of purpose
- two letters of recommendation
- an academic writing sample (preferred) or professional writing sample
- GRE scores (optional)
- proof of English proficiency
Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of current residency.
The statement of purpose should describe the educational background, scholarly interests and academic and professional goals of the applicant.
It is preferred that the letters of recommendation be from faculty members who know the applicant's work well; if these are not available, then letters of recommendation from individuals in supervisory or professional roles will be accepted.
GRE scores are recommended, but not required for all applicants. Applicants who have a GPA of less than 3.00 in the last 60 credit hours of the bachelor's degree are strongly encouraged to provide GRE scores.
What are Accelerated Programs at ASU?
ASU students may accelerate their studies by earning a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in as little as five years (for some programs) or by earning a bachelor’s degree in 2.5 or 3 years.
Accelerated bachelor's and master's degree programs are designed for high-achieving undergraduate students who want the opportunity to combine undergraduate coursework with graduate coursework to accelerate completion of their master’s degree. These programs, featuring the same high-quality curriculum taught by ASU's world-renowned faculty, allow students to obtain both a bachelor's and a master's degree in as little as five years.
Accelerated bachelor’s degree programs allow students to choose either a 2.5- or a 3-year path while participating in the same high-quality educational experience of a 4-year option. Students can opt to fast-track their studies after acceptance into a participating program by connecting with their academic advisor.