New Institutional Social Science

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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

10 Required credits: NISS 701, NISS 710, ECON 762, POLS 762.

3 electives credits from: PSCY 670 or SOC 733

Survey of New Institutional Social Science. NISS 701. 1 Credit

An introduction to institutional perspectives in economics, political science, psychology, and sociology.

Workshop in New Institutional Social Science. NISS 710. 3 Credits.

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.
Experimental Social Psychology. PSYC 670.  3 Credits.

Examination of historical and contemporary theory and research in social psychology. Study of the relationship between the individual and social context. 2 lectures, equivalent of 2-hour laboratory.

Organizations and the State. SOC 733. 3 Credits

This course tackles the complex set of historical, economic, political and sociological issues that effect 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. 

New Institutionalism in Political Science. POLS 762. 3 Credit.

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

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.