Summer Pre-College

One of the Nation's Top Summer Pre-College Programs

COVID-19 Summer Pre-College Update

At Marist, our top priority is ensuring the safety and well-being of our students. With that in mind, the decision has been made to adapt our Summer Pre-College 2021 program to a 3-week online experience from July 12 - 30 with 14 course options.

Summer Pre-College: Data Science for Polling and Political Communication

You’ve seen them on social media, online, and even in the news. But, have you ever wondered, what is a poll? How are polls conducted? How are they analyzed? How are they reported to the public, and can they be trusted?

In this course, you will be introduced to the fundamentals of scientific public opinion research and explore what polls mean in American politics and society. The highly regarded professionals at the acclaimed Marist Poll will lead students through the theory and practice of the polling process from start to finish. You will receive hands-on experience and work with The Marist Poll team to scientifically design a survey questionnaire, conduct the poll, find the story behind the data, and report the findings to the public, including creating data visualizations for distribution on social media.

The required synchronous course time for this class for Summer 2021 will be from July 12 - 30, 2021, Monday - Friday 1:00 - 4:00 pm EST.



The Marist Poll is the first college-based survey research institute to involve undergraduates in its polling process. For its accuracy and scientific rigor, Nate Silver gave The Marist Poll an A+ rating in his FiveThirtyEight pollster ratings.

Program Goals:

  • Students will gain an understanding of the basic concepts and terminology of public opinion research.
  • Through guided experiential learning, students will understand how to write poll questions and create a survey questionnaire.
  • Students will be introduced to the science and methodology behind polling and will learn how to effectively conduct a public opinion poll through hands-on experience.
  • Students will learn how to effectively and accurately analyze data to determine its larger context and meaning.
  • Students will be introduced to the public release and data visualization process and how to best communicate survey results.
  • An examination of social media will be included and used to inform students about the appropriate platform(s) on which to distribute poll results.
  • An overview of the history of public opinion research will be included so that students may explore how the field, including modes of design, has evolved over the last century.
  • Students will be able to decipher quality, scientific polls from polls with less rigor that lack scientific validity.

Earn College Credit Over the Summer

Marist Summer Pre-College is geared toward sophomores, juniors, and seniors in high school. Upon successful completion of the Data Science for Polling and Political Communication program, each student will earn three (3) transferable college credits for a Marist course.

Program Cost