Master of Science program in Social Data Science (MS SDS)

How does the Internet change Society? How to follow, forecast and control the spreading of a pandemic? How to achieve larger participation of people in the decision-making processes using new technologies? 

Our digital era in the 21st century calls for data-driven reasoning to answer these and other similar new societal, organizational, and environmental challenges. In response, the MS program in Social Data Science aims to educate a new generation of data science experts, entrepreneurs, and policy makers with a strong affinity to the social sciences, who are able to understand digital societies and will be able to shape their future. 

Why MS in SDS at CEU?

  • English language data science program with a focus on the social sciences 
  • Degree with a global recognition that is accredited in Austria and the U.S. 
  • Specializations in four interdisciplinary fields
  • High-quality yet affordable degree
  • We develop employable graduates: CEU is perfect if you're looking to boost your employability skills and pursue a meaningful career with a deeper purpose

1-year and 2-year programs

Tailored to the unique ambitions of a student, we offer and 2-year full-time programs both accredited in Austria and the U.S. While the 2-year program offers the full Master program training (120 ECTS, 60 credits) in Social Data Science with specializations in various fields of the social sciences, the 1-year pogram (60 ECTS, 30 credits) builds on prior training in data science during an undergraduate or graduate program and it provides focused training in the specialization fields.

Program structure and course list 2024/25 (1-year program)

Program structure and course list 2024/25 (2-year program)

What will you gain from this program?

In our MS in SDS, you will learn to collect and analyze big data of social processes to understand the digital world with a socially responsible and critical approach.

  • A comprehensive top-level understanding of the core social data science methods combined with cutting-edge data science tools to approach societal, organizational, or data industry problems.
  • Improved understanding of what makes for good data science, and how the evidence should be used in effective decision making in business, government, law, administration and just about every other field.
  • The MS in Social Data Science program will provide you with the most sought-after skills on the data science labor market, while CEU will give you the best place to learn about the most pressing societal or environmental challenges from world-class experts in several fields of the social sciences.

Develop the best skills to accelerate your career

In the two-year program you will master state-of-the-art computational skills for the collection, curation, processing, preparation, and analysis of data. You will develop a high level of proficiency in methods from applied statistics, machine learning, web mining, network analysis, visualization, spatial analysis, natural language processing, and many more. Both 1- and 2-year programs will develop your skills via specializations to understand and model complex, networked, dynamic, social, economic, political, technological, or ecological systems with a critical reflexion on the advantages and dangers of data driven methodologies.

Choose your own specialization for your future  

Beyond becoming an expert in social data science, you will be able to choose among four specializations that we offer. Do you strive to become a data science professional or an entrepreneur in the social data industry? Choose our professional specialization in Applied Social Data Science! Do you envision your future in academic research? Specialize in an academic flield in Economics, Environmental Science or Political Science and Policy! Our students complete their study with exciting research internships in research teams, companies, and international organisations. 

Sample study plan of the 2-year MS in Social Data Science program

MSc in Social Data Science - 2-year program

Sample study plan of the 1-year MS in Social Data Science program

MSc in Social Data Science - 1-year program

Study in Vienna, the Heart of Europe

The Social Data Science program is a Master of Science degree program simultaneously accredited in the U.S. and Austria, providing a degree with both accreditation at once. Join CEU, a leading research institution in social sciences in Central Europe where students work under close supervision and enjoy the support of world-class researchers. We are committed to promoting the values of open society, self-reflective critical thinking and academic freedom. You will study in Vienna, the capital of music, a new business hub of Europe and, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit, the world’s most livable city.

Program Specific Requirements and Application

Bachelor’s degree in one of a broad range of disciplines, including computer science, social science, data science, physics, economics, environmental science, natural sciences, political science, and sociology. 

(Bachelor’s Degree in other fields will also be considered and evaluated individually.) 

  • Strong interest in interdisciplinary research 
  • Demonstrated ability to do quantitative studies
  • Proof of GMat or GRE exam, CEU Math Test or relevant Math training during university studies (except for students with degree from quantitative programs like Mathematics, Physics, Computer Science, Statistics, Economics, etc.)
  • Proof of previous training in programming
  • Proof of English proficiency 
  • Detailed account of earlier studies (academic transcripts and graduation certificates)
  • Two recommendation letters 
  • Motivation letter (max. 2 pages)
  • Statement of choice of specialization
  • Curriculum Vitae or Resume
  • Admission interview

For enrollment in the 1-year program:
- In addition to the proof of previous training in programming, that in statistics, machine learning and data science methods is also required;
- Applicants must have earned a first Bachelor’s degree of not less than 4 years of full-time studies, or equivalent.

For more details about the application requirements visit How to Apply.


Submit your application for September 2024 by

October 18, 2023
- if you’re a self-financing master’s applicant from any visa-sensitive country* (i.e. countries where it may take up to 12 months to obtain a study visa) who requires a study visa,
- if you’re a master’s applicant from any visa-sensitive country (i.e. countries where it may take up to 12 months to obtain a study visa) who requires a study visa and seeks general CEU financial aid, or
- if you're a self-financing master’s applicant from any country who seeks an early decision with no financial aid

February 1, 2024
if you’re a master’s applicant from any non-visa-sensitive country who requires a study visa and wishes to be considered for CEU financial aid 

March 15, 2024
- if you’re a self-financing master’s applicant from any non-visa-sensitive country who requires a study visa 

August 15, 2024
- if you’re a self-financing master’s applicant with citizenship or permanent residency in an EU/EEA country, including those applicants who are holders of a student residence permit in an EU/EEA country that is valid until at least the end of September 2024

We follow a rolling admission model where we evaluate and decide on applications as we receive them.

*The list of visa-sensitive countries can be found at the Application Guidelines

Online application is already open.

Tuition, Scholarship and Internship Programs

The MS in Social Data Science tuition fee is €12,000.

Access to education is one of CEU’s core values. It guides us in setting as affordable tuition fees as possible - without impacting the quality of the education we provide. Each year CEU offers talented master’s students generous, merit-based, partial tuition awards and scholarships through Financial Aid to help them focus on their studies.

Do you want to learn more about the MS SDS program?

  • Register and receive up-to-date information about the program.


Do you want to apply to the MS SDS program?

Learn more about the detailed application guidelinesadmissions information, and the application checklist.


Do you have any question?


Márton Karsai

Associate Professor

Program Director of MS SDS

Petra Kralj Novak 

Assistant Professor 

Balázs Vedres



Social Data Mining
Digital Data Collection Methods


Introduction to Machine Learning
Advanced Machine Learning


Conception of Social Dynamics
Social Networks

Christy Leung

Program Coordinator of MS SDS