Johns Hopkins introduces master's, certificate in government analytics

In an increasingly data-driven world, there is an urgent need for individuals with the analytical skills necessary to address contemporary political, policy, and governance issues. To this end, Johns Hopkins University is launching two new programs—a Master of Science degree program and a certificate program in government analytics. The new programs will prepare students to be leaders in the data revolution.

"The demand for individuals who can perform sophisticated data analyses, draw substantive conclusions, and communicate the results to improve decision making in the public and private sectors has never been greater and will continue to grow," said Jennifer Bachner, who helped develop the programs at the university's Center for Advanced Governmental Studies in Washington, D.C., and teaches quantitative methods courses in the center's MA in Government program.

All areas of politics and policy can benefit from a greater reliance on data. The new programs will prepare students to take on such challenges as predicting where crime is likely to occur, evaluating the effectiveness of new health care initiatives, identifying the best placement of a proposed public transportation route, and developing voter mobilization strategies.

The flexible, two-year MS degree is built on a foundational sequence of courses that cover statistics, programming, research design, and data visualization. Students can then tailor the degree by developing expertise in one of four concentrations: advanced statistical analysis, geospatial analysis, public management, or political behaviors/policy analysis. The certificate is a five-course program to develop foundational skills in these areas of government analytics. The degrees are designed to be accessible to students with either a minimal or substantial background in this area.

Benjamin Ginsberg, a political science professor and chair of the Center for Advanced Governmental Studies, said, "The era of big data creates big opportunities—the new government analytics degrees provide students with opportunities to understand the broader implications of big data and apply cutting-edge tools to large data sets to examine important questions related to every aspect of politics and policymaking."

More information about the Master of Science in Government Analytics can be found at

More information about the Certificate in Government Analytics can be found at

An online open house for the new degrees will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. on Feb. 12.