The major in Quantitative Social Science (QSS) combines mathematical training with one or more of the social sciences. These include, but are not limited to, economics, government, psychology, and sociology. Our QSS majors have secured excellent post-Dartmouth placements in graduate programs and in firms across the United States.

A Personalized Approach

QSS is a highly individualized major that culminates in a year-long research project. A student who chooses to major in QSS will be able to draw on courses throughout the college. QSS majors may take many of the same courses and work with the same academic advisors as do students who major in traditional departments, but in QSS each student works under flexible rules and requirements that are designed for honors students who seek challenges and take initiative.  A student considering a QSS major is advised to set up an introductory meeting with the QSS Chair to discuss the Program and course options.

Please note that the requirements described below are effective as of July 1, 2016.  Anyone who is a 2017 or a 2018 and had previously declared (that is, prior to July 2016) as a QSS major under the old requirements may choose to switch to the current requirements, or to continue to follow the original requirements which were in place at the time of major declaration. A student opting to switch would need to meet with the Program Chair to discuss their new major Plan.


The QSS major requires honors standing at Dartmouth.  For details on this, see the guidelines described in Organizations, Regulations and Courses (the ORC).

The prerequisites for the major in QSS are as follows:

  1. Programming: either COSC 1, ENGS 20, or another programming course approved by the QSS Chair.
  2.  Introductory statistics: either ECON 10, GOV 10, MATH 10, QSS 15, PSYC 10, SOCY 10, or another introductory statistics course approved by the QSS Chair.
  3.  Intermediate statistics: one of ECON 20, GOV 19.01, MATH 40, MATH 50, or another intermediate level statistics course approved by the QSS Chair
  4.  Modeling: either ECON 21, QSS 18/GOV 18, or another game theory course approved by the QSS Chair.
  5.  Introductory social science: one of ANTH 1, ANTH 6, ECON 1, EDUC 1, GEOG 1, GEOG 6, GOV 3, GOV 4, GOV 5, GOV 6, PSYC 1, SOC 1, or another course approved by the QSS Chair.

Methods-Oriented Requirements

(1) MATH 11, MATH 13, or MATH 22.


(2) Two courses from the following list:

COSC 74, Machine Learning and Statistical Data Analysis 
GEOG 50, Geographical Information Systems
GEOG 54, Geovisualization
MATH 36, Mathematical Models in the Social Sciences
MATH 50, Introduction to Linear Models
MATH 76, Topics in Applied Mathematics (to be approved by the QSS Chair)
QSS 17, Data Visualization
QSS 30, Special Topics in QSS
QSS 41, Analysis of Social Networks

The special topics course, QSS 30, may be taken more than once as long as different electives are selected. Moreover, with permission from the QSS Chair, students may substitute other courses for courses offered at Dartmouth for any of the two required courses listed above.

Social Science Requirements

Four non-introductory courses that focus on a social science area of the student’s choosing.  A student pursuing the major in QSS should consider the extent to which his or her social science courses are coherent, and the QSS Chair will be available to offer guidance on this.

Thesis Requirement

Each QSS major must complete an honors thesis and take QSS 88 for credit at some point during the student’s thesis year.   This course will in general be taken in the winter quarter.  The thesis will be graded and presented in accordance with Dartmouth College thesis rules and guidelines that have been established by the QSS Steering Committee and can be viewed on the QSS website.       

For detailed information on planning a QSS honors thesis, please consult the Thesis Guidelines.

Download the Course Planning Form.  Download the thesis cover page layout.

More details on QSS can be found at, and students should email with questions about the program.