In offering this new program, the HKUST Division of Social Science draws on its experience with existing postgraduate programs that are well-known for their success in producing quantitative social scientists. PhD graduates have gone on to positions at top universities in the mainland, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, and more recently overseas. MPhil program graduates who do not stay at HKUST routinely go on to top PhD programs overseas. Building on our long track of educating postgraduates in quantitative social sciences, we now want to offer a program for undergraduates.
To our knowledge, this is the first undergraduate program in Hong Kong that emphasizes a balanced training in social science and quantitative analysis, with the intent of producing a well-rounded graduate equipped for the workplace or postgraduate training. While our program for the time being may be unique in Hong Kong, it is inspired by programs at other top universities around the world with similar goals, whose graduates are much in demand from employers and graduate programs. In design our own program, we have studied the curriculum of these other programs.
Programs that inspired us, and from which elements of our curriculum are drawn:
- The Concentration in Analysis and Research (CARS) at the University of Wisconsin. This is a long-established and successful program. It is a concentration within the undergraduate major of the Department of Sociology. Graduates have a rigorous training not only in sociology theory and substance, but quantitative methods.
- The Quantitative Social Science (QSS) major at Dartmouth College. Dartmouth is an elite private college in the United States.
- The Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences (MMSS) program at Northwestern University.