New Institutional Social Science certificate

Study interdisciplinary perspectives on institutions.


The New Institutional Social Science graduate certificate program explores a multidisciplinary perspective on the study of institutions and how they affect and are affected by society.  


A New Institutional Social Science certificate expands the graduate student experience and opens up job opportunities by exposing students to diverse tools and ideas surrounding institutions and policies. Students will pursue research topics addressing society’s grand challenges and learn how institutions guide our political, economic, and social interactions. 


The certificate program is open to any student enrolled in an NDSU Graduate School program (masters or doctoral). The program has no additional admissions requirements. 

To Apply

Students enrolled in the NDSU Graduate School can add the certificate to their degree program by completing and submitting this form.

Students are responsible for filling out the top section of the form and providing contact information for members of their home department. The Certificate Program Coordinator for the NISS certificate is Jeremy Jackson, If you have questions regarding the form, please contact Melissa Selders-Ortez at 

Certificate Requirements

To receive a graduate certificate in New Institutional Social Science, students must earn 13 credits by complete the following:

NISS 701 | Survey of New Institutional Social Science (1 credit - fall)
An introduction to institutional perspectives in economics, political science, psychology, and sociology.

POLS 762 | New Institutionalism in Political Science (3 credits - spring)
This course surveys the new institutionalist literature in political science and examines applications of rational choice theory and its extensions to problems of politics and governance, while drawing on both theoretical and empirical research at the intersection of economics and political science.

ECON 762 | New Institutional Economics (3 credits - fall)
This course introduces theoretical and applied studies examining the role of formal and informal institutions that make economic activities possible. Topics include property rights, contracts, transaction costs, informal norms, culture, and conventions.

PSYC 670 or SOC 733 (3 credits)

PSYC 670 | Experimental Social Psychology (3 credits - fall)
This course examines historical and contemporary theory and research in social psychology. Topics include study of the relationship between the individual and social context.

SOC 733 | Organizations and the State (3 credits - spring)
This course tackles the complex set of historical, economic, political and sociological issues that affect embedded organizations. Students will learn applications of game and exchange theory models that will provide mechanistic explanations of power dynamics within and between organizations. The class plans to move beyond theories of embeddedness to emphasize, using models and quantitative data, precisely how states and organizations each shape the other.

NISS 710 | Workshop in New Institutional Social Science (3 credits - summer)
Intensive workshop incorporating multiple methodologies with a focus on developing research topics that include institutional analysis. Capstone for certificate. Prerequisites: NISS 701, ECON 762, POLS 762, and permission from the NISS certificate director.



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