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Summer Pre-College: Politics and Polling

Session II, July 10 - July 23 (In-Person)

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?

While polls are often the focus of hotly contested elections, polls permeate every aspect of American life, including how politicians govern and enact legislation. In this course, students will explore the unique intersection between the worlds of politics and polls.

With a focus on hands-on learning, the highly regarded professionals at the acclaimed Marist College Poll will lead students through the polling process from start to finish. Students will learn the steps of conducting scientific polls, what they mean for the public, and the role public opinion plays in a democracy.

Along the way, experts from polling, politics, and the press will join the discussion about current polls on President Joe Biden and the midterm elections.


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Welcome to Marist

Marist College is a highly selective and comprehensive institution noted for its leadership in combining a liberal arts foundation with a professional education. When prospective students visit Marist–our beautiful location on the Hudson River, top-notch facilities, the personal attention and expertise of our faculty, and the sheer enjoyment of their experience here–they want to join our community. At Marist, students get a premium education, develop career-ready skills, make lifelong friends, and graduate as the next generation of leaders ready to tackle a rapidly evolving world.

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:

  • Unravel the complex relationship between polling, elections, and governing in a democracy.

  • Analyze why Americans have lost trust in U.S. institutions.

  • Explore the question, “What is the future of American democracy?”

  • Receive hands on experience writing and conducting a poll.

  • Understand how public opinion is best communicated.

  • Debate the role of public opinion in America’s political dialogue.

  • Gain a basic understanding of the terms used in public opinion research.

  • Learn about the history of public opinion research.

Earn College Credit Over the Summer

Marist Summer Pre-College is geared toward sophomores and juniors 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

Please see below for the 2022 Pre-College program costs. Cost includes tuition & fees, housing & all meals, field trips, and all course materials. Cost does not include travel expenses. Students may wish to bring funds for incidentals, shopping at the Marist Bookstore or the local mall, souvenirs, and any personal items they wish to purchase.