QSSS is explicitly designed to appeal to able undergraduates who possess both a strong quantitative orientation and deep intellectual interests in social science questions. While some departments already offer a pathway through which students can pursue a more quantitative approach to their own discipline, QSSS broadens these opportunities to embrace a much wider range of social sciences at CMU. The program seeks to attract outstanding students by offering them a unique and notable experience that does not exist at most peer institutions.
As the social sciences become increasingly quantitative, adoption of common methodologies is beginning to erode the traditional boundaries between some established disciplines. Recognizing this, QSSS is explicitly interdisciplinary. It aims to provide an educational pathway that combines solid training in modern research techniques with the with the pursuit of a wide range of undergraduate social science majors. The program explicitly seeks to recruit students from a range of disciplines and create a cohesive interdisciplinary learning community among its students.