Our courses prepare students to execute their empirical research in skilled and credible ways. We have distinctive research strengths in experimental methods, multi-level models, multi-method research design, qualitative methods, social choice, spatial modeling, agent-based modeling, GIS, and interpretive methods.
Training in Methods
Graduate students fulfill a Methods Requirement as part of their graduate training, usually by taking Introduction to Probability and Statistics (PS 403) and Linear Models (PS 405).
Political Theory students are occasionally exempted from the requirement to take PS 403 and PS 405. Substitutions of methods courses from other departments or institutions must be approved by the Methods Field Chair.
Students who wish to continue their training beyond the department’s offerings often attend summer courses at the ICPSR, participate in the IQMR, pursue a Master’s degree in statistics while continuing graduate study in our department, or take methods courses in other departments after consultation with their advisors and the Field Chair.
Studying methods as a field
A qualifying exam in Methodology is available to highly prepared students each spring and fall. Alternatively, students pursuing methods as a second field may complete the field by taking five courses in methodology. These courses can include the department's required methods sequence, Introduction to Probability and Statistics (PS 403) and Linear Models (PS 405). Other relevant courses that are routinely offered include:
- Quantitative Causal Inference (PS 406)
- Experimental Political Science (PS 407)
- Methods of Political Inquiry (PS 408)
- Qualitative Methods (PS 495)
- Quantitative Methods for Categorical Outcomes (Sociology 401-2)
- Machine Learning and Text as Data (PS 490)
- Game Theory (PS 471)
- Bayesian Analysis (PS 409)
- Time Series and Panel Methods (PS 490)
A range of upper-division or graduate courses in the Statistics department can also count for the methods field with approval from the Field Chair.
The primary meeting place for methods faculty and students in our department and in Sociology is the Applied Quantitative Methods Working Group. The department also has an experimental lab that students and faculty members regularly use for methodological as well as substantive projects.