Quantitative Methodology

Quantitative Methodology

The Penn State sociology department has exceptional strength in quantitative research methods and statistical analysis techniques, both in its graduate faculty and in its consequent course offerings. Capitalizing on these strengths, as well as the interests of our students, students in Sociology can earn a Certificate in Quantitative Methods (QM) in place of a minor. To earn a QM Certificate, students must (1) complete four approved methods/statistics courses (12 hours) beyond Soc 513, 574, and 575; (2) include a quantitative methodologist on the Ph.D. dissertation committee and (3) a practicum in which the student demonstrates proficiency in the application or teaching of methods/statistics (i.e., by teaching a stats/methods course, lab or workshop; authoring or co-authoring a paper on methods/statistics; or completing an internship at an applied research agency such as the U.S. Census Bureau). Another requirement is that one of the areas covered in the comprehensive exam will be in quantitative methods.

Students in Sociology who take the Quantitative Criminology option do so by earning a Certificate in Quantitative Methods (as specified above). With the approval of the graduate committee, the QM certificate can be substituted for the Ph.D. minor area.

A quantitative methodologist is defined as a faculty member who teaches graduate level quantitative methods and/or who has a publication record in quantitative methods. The list of Sociology/CRIM faculty who meet this definition includes: Duane Alwin, Diane Felmlee, Steven Haas, Melissa Hardy, David Johnson, Thomas Loughran, Liying Luo, Molly Martin, Stephen Matthews, Eric Silver, Jeremy Staff, Jenny Van Hook, Ashton Verdery, and Scott Yabiku.

Committee members outside of the sociology department may also meet the qualifications to serve as the quantitative methodologist on the Ph.D. dissertation committee. The QM Certificate committee must approve any outside members who requests to serve in this role.

Courses listed below can be used to meet the four-course requirement. Additional courses will also be considered, and new ones will be added as we find out about then and they become available. Institute for Social Research summer institute courses can also be used upon the approval of the committee (one week workshops are excluded). A student may petition the QM committee to add a course to the list.

Course Number
Course Name
ECON 500
Mathematical Economics
ECON 501
ECON 502
Microeconomic Analysis
ECON 503
Macroeconomic Analysis
STAT 500
Applied Statistics
STAT 501
Regression Methods
STAT 502
Analysis of Variance and Design of Experiments
STAT 503
Design of Experiments
STAT 504
Analysis of Discrete Data
STAT 505
Applied Multivariate Statistical Analysis
STAT 506
Sampling Theory
STAT 509
Design and Analysis of Clinical Trials
STAT 510
Time Series Analysis
SOC 518
Survey Methods I: Survey Design
SOC 519
Survey Methods II: Analysis of Survey Data
SOC 572
Foundations of Causal Analysis in the Social Sciences
SOC 573
Demographic Techniques
SOC 576
Applied Mathematical Demography
SOC 577
Event History Analysis
SOC 579
Spatial Demography
SOC 597
Advanced Structural Equation Models
SOC 597
Categorical Data Analysis
SOC 597
Measurement Issues in Social Data
HDFS 517
Multivariate Study of Change and Human Development
Measurement in Human Development

Other courses not listed above may be approved to meet the QMC course requirement by the Sociology/CRIM Departmental QMC committee.

A student who has met the requirements for the QM certificate must write a letter to the Director of Graduate Studies specifying how they have been met and requesting the award of the Certificate. Students who are approved will receive a letter confirming the completion of all requirements and a signed certificate.