Mathematical Modeling in Political Science and Economics

The use of mathematical techniques has gained growing acceptance in fields like political science, economics, business, and psychology. Departments at the University of Rochester have made numerous contributions to the increasingly mathematical aspects of their fields and are uniquely positioned to teach students who wish to focus on the uses of mathematics in the social sciences.

This program draws on classes in economics, mathematics, and political science. Students must achieve a minimum overall grade point average of 2.0 in these courses. Interested students should apply by spring semester of their junior year.

The certificate program is managed by three professors:

Certificate Requirements

Students must fulfill all of the requirements listed below. No course used to satisfy these requirements may be taken satisfactory/fail.

Calculus/Linear Algebra

One of the following calculus sequences:

  • MATH 161: Calculus IA and MATH 162: Calculus IIA
  • MATH 141: Calculus I, MATH 142: Calculus II, and MATH 143: Calculus III
  • MATH 171: Honors Calculus I and MATH 172: Honors Calculus II

Plus MATH 165: Linear Algebra with Differential Equations


One of the following:

  • ECON 230: Economic Statistics
  • PSCI 200: Applied Data Analysis
  • MATH 203: Mathematical Statistics
  • STT 213: Elements of Probability and Math Statistics

Modeling Rational Behavior

Choose one of the following:

  • MATH 217: Mathematical Modeling in Political Science
  • PSCI/ECON 288: Intro to Game Theory
  • ECON 207: Microeconomics

Social Science Applications

For the certificate to be truly interdisciplinary, students need a strong foundation in both the tools for analysis and their application. For this reason, students will additionally choose three approved classes in political science and economics, with at least one from each department.

Additional Math (or Social Science) Course

Students who select MATH 203 (for statistics) and MATH 217 (for modeling) are required to take an additional social science application course rather than an additional math course. All other students will take an additional math course selected from the approved list.

Approved Social Science and Math Courses

  • MATH 164: Multivariable Calculus
  • MATH 201: Introduction to Probability
  • MATH 202: Introduction to Stochastic Processes
  • MATH 203: Mathematical Statistics
  • MATH 208: Methods of Operations Research
  • MATH 210: Financial Mathematics
  • MATH 217: Mathematical Modeling in Political Science
  • MATH 235: Linear Algebra
  • MATH 240: Introduction to Topology
  • MATH 265: Functions of a Real Variable
  • ECON 207: Microeconomics
  • ECON 209: Macroeconomics
  • ECON 220: Fair Allocation
  • ECON 231: Econometrics
  • ECON 256: Game Theory and Social Choice/Topics in Game Theory
  • ECON 273: Economic Growth and Development
  • ECON 274: Mathematical Economics
  • ECON 282: Introduction to Positive Political Theory
  • ECON 288: Introduction to Game Theory
  • PSCI 203: Survey Research Methods
  • PSCI 272: Theories of International Relations
  • PSCI 280: Political Accountability
  • PSCI 281: Formal Models in Political Science
  • PSCI 288: Game Theory
  • PSCI 404: Probability and Inference
  • PSCI 405: Linear Models
  • PSCI 407: Mathematical Modeling
  • PSCI 408: Positive Political Theory