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Academic Resources

There are a number of resources available at Columbia University to support students as they pursue their graduate studies. Listed below are a number of academic resources that may be useful to QMSS students throughout all stages of coursework, writing, and research.


Writing Resources

The Writing Center: Consultants at the Writing Center will work with you on any type of writing, at any stage in the process. Students may even visit the Writing Center to brainstorm. Consultants are also willing to help you read difficult texts or create outlines. There are limited drop-in hours, as well as appointment times. Try to make an appointment about a week before you would like to visit the Writing Center, as they can be very busy, especially around midterms and finals seasons. For more information and to make an appointment, see their website

The American Language Program (ALP): The American Language Program is designed to help improve a student's academic English. QMSS has a special relationship with ALP given our large international student population.


Statistics/Math Resources 

The Applied Statistics Center: The Center provides statistical consulting by appointment and also operates the statistics Playroom in International Affairs Building. For more information, please see the calendar on their website.

Math Help Rooms: Columbia and Barnard Math departments maintain help rooms that are open every weekday for assistance with Algebra, Analytic Geometry, Calculus I, II, III, and IV, ODE, Linear Algebra and all upper-level mathematics courses. Please see their website for the current schedule.

Other Statistical Computing Resources: UCLA hosts a very useful database of learning modules and statistical computing resources. Select the appropriate program from their options to see detailed help topics. 

There are numerous associations that hold conferences each year as well as publish journals. We encourage you to take advantage of them, their websites and the opportunity to network and/or present your work-in-progress-thesis at the conferences if you’re in the area. For more information please visit our Conferences and Associations page.


Research Resources

Columbia Libraries: The Columbia library system has over twenty-two physical libraries and also hosts many electronic resources.

Electronic Data Service is operated by the Digital Social Science Center. It is a lab and service point for users doing quantitative work and needing assistance with either GIS or statistical software. It also helps provide access to a large number of data collections.

Climate Data Library    

The IRI/LDEO Climate Data Library contains over 300 datasets from a variety of earth science disciplines and climate-related topics. It is a powerful tool that offers the following capabilities at no cost to the user:
  • access any number of datasets;
  • create analyses of data ranging from simple averaging to more advanced EOF analyses using the Ingrid Data Analysis Language;
  • monitor present climate conditions with maps and analyses in the Map Room;
  • create visual representations of data, including animations;
  • download data in a variety of commonly-used formats, including GIS-compatible formats.

Database and Journal Access:  Columbia pays for access to most of the online academic databases, so students can access any of them easily, and without logging in, if using Columbia internet. If at home or somewhere else, Columbia affiliates can still access all of the same resources, but must connect through Columbia using their UNI. There are two ways to do this:

  1. Go to the "databases" section on the library website (here) and select whichever database you wish to use. You can also access E-journals, etc., by clicking on the "E-Resources" tab at the top of the page. When attempting to connect to the database, it should prompt you to enter your UNI and password.
  2. On the Columbia home page, search in the upper right search box for the name of the database you wish to use, and go to the first result in the results page. For example, if you search JSTOR - it will take you to this, and then click "Connect."

QMSS's Warren Mitofsky Memorial Library: Thanks to a generous donation from Mrs. Mitofsky, QMSS is the proud owner of a collection of books from Warren Mitofsky's personal library. Warren Mitofsky (1934 - 2006) was a well-regarded American pollster credited with the invention of the exit poll. Mitofsky graduated in 1957 from Guilford College and was executive director of the CBS News election and survey unit from 1967 to 1990. He also previously served as an executive producer of CBS election night broadcasts. Prior to CBS, Mitofsky worked with the Census Bureau where he designed a number of surveys. Along with Joseph Waksberg, Mitofsky is credited with developing an efficient method of sampling telephone numbers using random digit dialing, which has since been widely adopted as a sampling method. In 1999, the American Association for Public Opinion Research presented him with its lifetime achievement award for his "continuing concern for survey quality".

  • Please stop by Suite 807 if you're interested in borrowing a book from this expansive library, which holds books on a variety of topics, including:

    • Statistical Methods
    • Survey Sampling and Polling
    • Voter Behavior
    • Media/Journalism and Politics
    • Politics (American and International)
    • Political Biographies
    Please see the program coordinator for the complete file of books available for borrowing privileges. We simply ask that you return the books in a timely manner.

QMSS E-Lessons: QMSS received a grant several years ago to create web-based-lessons for those struggling with quantitative techniques in the social sciences. These interactive lessons are designed to provide users with an understanding of fundamental issues common to all data-based social sciences, and to specific statistical tools used in analysis and research.