Ph.D. Research Methods Course Listing

Students are not limited to the courses below, this listing is just to provide some help in navigating courses across the university. Students (and committees) should feel entirely free to identify additional courses and approval of any course as a Methods course is in the hands of each student's committee. Students should also consult students further on in their studies for options and guidance.

(Please check with your advisor and committee for approval of the courses you select.)

The methods classes are organized into the following sections:

  • Quantitative Methods
  • Qualitative Methods
  • Mixed Method Approaches
  • Quantitative Methods (Specific Techniques)
  • Qualitative Methods (Specific Techniques)
  • Other Methods (Discipline Driven)

Department Key:

School of Information
INF = Information Science

LBJ School of Public Affairs
P A = Public Affairs
College of Communication
ADV = Advertising
CMS = Communication Studies
J = Journalism
RTF = Radio-Television-Film
College of Liberal Arts
ANT = Anthropology
C L = Comparative Literature
HIS = History
PSY = Psychology
SOC = Sociology
School of Education
EDA = Educational Administration
EDC = Curriculum & Instruction
EDP = Educational Psychology
SED = Special Education
McCombs School of Business
MAN = Management
MIS = Management Science & Info Sys
MKT = Marketing
College of Natural Sciences
M = Mathematics


Introductory Courses (Does not count toward 12 credits of Methods)
INF 397C Introduction to Research in Information Science
Nature of social science research and its role in library and information science. Critical evaluation of research in the literature. Performance and reporting of empirical research. Qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis techniques, including descriptive and inferential statistics.
Quantitative Methods
ANT 383M Quantitative Analysis in Archaeology
Archaeological data lend themselves to quantitative analyses. Virtually all modern archaeological research uses some form of computer based methodology, including the collection, storage, manipulation, and analysis of data, and the communication of results. This course is intended to be an introduction to the broad spectrum of quantitative methods available to archaeologists. It is not a course in statistics, and is not designed to give students a high degree of competency in abstruse multivariate analyses. Rather, the course is intended to help you learn to be comfortable working with quantitative data, and to be a sampler of commonly used quantitative methods in archaeology. The underlying philosophy of the course is that quantitative methods, especially those done using a computer, allow archaeologists to look at their data in new ways and gain greater insights than they could without them. Being able to see data in new ways involves learning and internalizing an exploratory approach to data analysis, and learning to be comfortable using a computer to search for structure and patterns within quantitative information. Gaining such proficiency requires experience and practice.
EDA 381P Quantitative Research Design & Analysis
Skills needed to conduct educational research: the understanding of empirical techniques and the ability to manage software and databases. Emphasis on theory and application of survey research, including sampling, measurement, questionnaire construction, validity and reliability, data reduction and analysis.
EDP380E Fundamentals of Statstical Inference
Ron Houston says: Conceptual development of stats up through ANOVA, including z, t, F, various correlations, and chi square. Great course, well-presented, 2 chances at every quiz, but a KILLER of a final exam. Fills up fast. You gotta talk to Sandy in the EDP office if it's full. Taught by Gary Borich.
EDP482K Experimental Design & Statistical Inference
This course is a second course in statistics that introduces the student to experimental designs most frequently used for dissertations and applied research in education and the social and behavioral sciences. It covers most variations of analysis of variance from one-way through multifactor and covariance designs. This course also introduces the student to the statistical package SPSS for deriving computer solutions to the above designs on the student's personal computer.
EDP 382K.4 Survey of Multivariate Methods
The topics covered include: review of matrix algebra, multiple regression methods, Hotelling's T-squared, MANOVA and MANCOVA, discriminant function analysis, principal components and factor analysis, and canonical correlation.
EDC 684PA Research Design & Analysis I
EDC 684PB Research Design & Analysis I I
P A 397c Applied Quantitative Analysis II
SOC 384L Social Statistics: Basic Concepts and Methods
This course covers basic statistical methods and concepts in the social sciences. It is intended to provide graduate students with the foundation in quantitative sociological methods as preparation for future courses in social statistics. Topics include: frequency distributions, probability theory, random variables and probability distributions, sample statistics and sampling distributions, estimation, and inference. The first half of the course deals primarily with methods for descriptive statistics and the theoretical foundations of inference. The second half of the course focuses on statistical techniques and various applications including the use of t -tests for comparing means and proportions, Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) for effects of categorical variables on a continuous dependent variable, contingency tables and measures of association for categorical data and ordinal data, and simple and multiple regression techniques for the analysis of effects of continuous and categorical variables on a continuous dependent variable.
ANT 388K

Ethnographic and Qualitative Research Methods
Philosophically, the course emphasizes a critical, reflexive style of ethnographic practice that acknowledges poststructuralist, Marxist, feminist, and critical race critiques of ethnography. The more theoretical readings lead to discussions of epistemology, ethics, and writing style. We also read several practical books on interviewing, participant-observation, fieldnotes, and two ethnographies that I have written. The more practical readings lead to discussions about the nuts and bolts of collecting and analyzing empirical data. Ideally, the readings help students complete a semester-long fieldwork project. If students have finished their fieldwork for a master's thesis or PhD dissertation, they can write up an aspect of that experience in lieu of the fieldwork project. The course usually draws students from a variety of departments besides anthropology, e.g. education, journalism, Asian studies, geography, sociology, psychology, advertising, art history, RTF, and American studies. It works particularly well for someone doing their thesis or doing a pilot for their dissertation.

CMS 386N Qualitative Research Methods
This course emphasizes developing texts in the field for analysis and includes all areas of communication studies. Students complete a field research project using interview, observational, and archival methods.
EDA 381Q Qualitative Research Design
Types of qualitative research, including the broad categories of phenomenology, case study research, ethnography, and critical research. The philosophies, methodologies, and issues associated with various kinds of qualitative research.
EDA 381S Advanced Qualitative Research
Advanced philosophies and methodologies for conducting qualitative and ethnographic research. Includes development and research designs, interviewing and observation methods, document analysis, analysis of verbal data, and interpretation and representation of data. Also examines critical issues in qualitative research.
EDP 384.8 Qualitative Research Methods
This course examines research methods that are descriptive, field-based, interpretive, and discovery-focused, in contrast to methods that use quantitative summaries of data in order to test null hypotheses or to produce numerical indicators of pre-determined psychological constructs. Topics covered include varieties of qualitative research (emphasizing grounded theory, but also including case studies, ethnography, and other forms of qualitative inquiry), identifying questions and phenomena for research, planning and conducting qualitative research, coding and other analytic procedures, developing an interpretation, and trustworthiness issues in qualitative inquiry. We will emphasize approaches that are more suited to smaller scale, lower budget projects conducted by a single investigator.
Mixed Method Approaches
ADV 380J Quantitative and Qualitative Research
SOC 388M

Integrating Qualitative and Quantitative Methods
This course seeks to examine the possibilities and problems associated with the integration of qualitative and qualitative methodologies, and the importance of mixed methodological approaches for cross case comparison. It uses a “hands on” approach to data collection and analysis, with assignments geared toward gaining experience with specific methodological approaches. By the end of the course you will be familiar with research ethics, the basic issues associated with qualitative and quantitative questions, probability and non-probability sampling/case selection, basic survey analysis, observational investigations, focus groups, and in-depth interviews. As our time in the course is limited, a grant proposal takes the place of a formal research paper as the final project, in order to enable participants to design complete mixed methods study with expanded time and resources.

Our goal is examining the ways in which combining methodological tools can be used to strengthen the validity or generalizability of research findings. Mixed methodological approaches are strongly encouraged. However, even those anticipating a career as an advocate of ethnography or an unapologetic analyst of secondary data can benefit from learning about the norms, methods, and principles concerning how the “other half” works. In each seminar we will cover key methodological elements of a variety of specific methods, explore examples of research utilizing the methodology, and discuss linkages and fissures between the key assumptions of and data generated by various methodologies.

Quantitative Methods (Specific Techniques)
CMS 386N Designing Effective Surveys
EDP 380P.1 Measurement and Evaluation
This course provides a basic background in measurement and evaluation necessary to be appropriately critical of tests and instruments that are used in educational and psychological measurement situations. Topics include general principals and basic concepts, types of reliability and validity, basic elements in item response theory, and applications of measurement devices in evaluating tests, schools and programs.
EDP 380P.4 Evaluation Models and Techniques
Teaches basic concepts and procedures for evaluating educational and human service programs in applied settings. The course serves as a graduate-level introduction to program evaluation for students preparing for careers in the social and behavioral sciences. Major goals of the course include: 1) to trace the contemporary development of evaluation in education and human service; 2) to examine the relationship between research and evaluation; 3) to present and synthesize evaluation strategies and concepts; 4) to provide a description of evaluation methodologies; 5) to present critical considerations on evaluation design, criteria for judging evaluation, and measurement problems related to evaluation.
EDP 380P.14 Applied Psychometrics
Topics to be covered include: methods of equating test scores (equipercentile; linear; and item response theory); methods of setting standards (judgements based on test items; judgements based on individual examinees; and judgements based on a group of examinees); selection, placement, and classification (regression technique; multiple cutoff score technique; bias in selection); methods of detecting differential item functioning (item response theory;Mantel-Haenszel).
EDP 380P.6 Item Response Theory
Content includes background, theory (classical true score theory, objectivity in mental measurement, the Rasch test model, normal ogive and logistic item response theory, dichotomous and polytomous models, item parameter and ability estimation, information functions, multidimensional IRT models), and applications (relative efficiency of tests, flexilevel and two-stage tests, computerized adaptive tests, mastery tests, test equating, differential item functioning, affective measurement).
EDP 382K.2 Correlation and Regression Methods
The first part will introduce correlation and its properties, testing correlation for statistical significance, applications to measurement theory, and range restriction. The second part of the course explores linear regression, both simple and multiple, least squares estimates, F-tests, analysis of residuals, and some applications.
EDP 382K.2 Factor Analysis
Basic matrix algebra; Spearman's one-factor model; review of correlation and regression; principal components analysis; common factor analysis (principle axes); rotation procedures; factor scores; image and alpha factor analysis; Procrustes factor analysis; maximum likelihood factor analysis; confirmatory factor analysis; full-information factor analysis.
EDP 382K.6 Structural Equation Modeling
This course will build upon students' knowledge of multivariate statistical analysis by introducing them to one of the newer and more sophisticated multivariate techniques ? structural equation modeling. This technique encompasses an entire family of methods known by many names, among them covariance structure analysis, latent variable analysis, confirmatory factor analysis, path analysis, and causal modeling. An understanding of structural equation modeling will be developed by relating it to students' previous knowledge of multiple linear regression and exploratory factor analysis, and expanding to allow for correlated and causally related latent constructs.
M 384D Mathematical Statistics
This course is designed to provide a solid theoretical foundation in mathematical statistics. It focuses on the theory of point estimation, interval estimation, and hypothesis testing. Although this is largely a course in classical methods, some materials on hierarchical models, Bayesian methods, and decision theory are included.
M 384E

Analysis of Variance
This is one of two courses in analysis of variance and the design of experiments. The analysis of variance is the main statistical tool used in the design and analysis of experiments. The first applications were to agriculture. Its applications spread to engineering experiments after World War II. We shall cover the material in the first part of Design and Analysis of Experiments by Douglas Montgomery, published by Wiley. A considerable amount of additional material will be included.

In the first half of the course I shall discuss the basic ideas of experiments with one and with two factors, interaction, blocking, components of variance, and nested designs. In the second half I shall discuss the larger experiments that are commonly used in agriculture and by engineers in gauge studies. These involve questions of fixed, random and mixed models. I shall also include split plot designs which occur in both the agriculture and engineering contexts and, if time permits, an introduction to incomplete block designs.

A moderate knowledge of multiple regression will be an advantage. I shall use the MINITAB software package to do the computations. Grades will be determined on the basis of two take-home examinations - mid term and the final that will involve the use of the computer.

M 394C

This is an initial course in the theory of statistical sampling. Most of the earlier applications were in the the field of agriculture. Lately sampling has become an important area in business and politics.

In the first part of the course I shall discuss the standard topics, such as: simple random samples from finite populations, stratified sampling, ratio and regression estimates, cluster sampling and two stage sampling.

I shall be referring to the book "Sampling: Design and Analysis" by Sharon L. Lohr, published by the Duxbury Press. In the second part of the course I discuss industrial applications to acceptance sampling, including such topics as single and multiple sampling plans, average outgoing quality, and sequential sampling. I may also include some lectures on cumulative sum control charts.

I shall be using the MINITAB software package. Many of the calculations can be done on a spread sheet such as Excel. My present plan is that grades will be determined on the basis of two take-home examinations - mid-term and the final - that will involve the use of the computer.

SOC 385K Discrete Multivariate Models
This course provides an introduction to the methods and models for the analysis of categorical data. Examples of categorical data include outcomes typically studied by social scientists, such as birth, marriage, schooling, employment, migration, divorce, and death.

Techniques for analysing categorical data have undergone rapid development in the past 25 years but these developments have often been spread across many disciplines. This course provides a systematic treatment integrating two approaches common to categorical data analysis: the transformational approach familiar to researchers in demography and biostatistics and the latent variable approach taken by economists. In keeping with the applied nature of this course, we will draw many examples from sociological research.
SOC 385L Social Statistics: Linear Models/Structural Equation
This course provides an introduction to the use of multiple regression models in sociology. We consider the basic concepts needed to apply these models, but we do not emphasize mathematical statistics beyond that covered in an introductory course such as SOC384L. Basic statistical concepts are reviewed in the first two weeks of the course. After taking this course, students should be prepared to understand many quantitative sociological research articles. They should also be better prepared to undertake a major quantitative research project of their own.
SOC 386L Social Statistics: Dynamic Modeling/Longitudinal Data Analysis
The main objective of this course is to review the nature and illustrate the applicability of techniques for the analysis of longitudinal data. The subject matter includes methods related to multiple regression analysis that are designed to handle data collected on the same subjects over time, as well as methods for analyzing event histories. The first half of the course provides an introduction to growth curve models, which are appropriate for the analysis of change in a continuous dependent variable over time. We will also cover latent growth curve models, which use a structural equation modeling (SEM) approach. This approach can handle more complicated models, including parallel growth processes.
SOC 391L Basic Demographics Methods and Materials
HIS 397K Historiography
Survey of historical writing and historiography from colonial times to the present. May be repeated for credit when the topics vary. Required of all entering graduate students in United States history. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of the graduate adviser; additional prerequisites vary with the topic and are given in the Course Schedule.
SOC 388K Field and Observational Methods
SOC 388L Historical and Comparative Methods
Other Methods (Discipline Driven)
EDC 385G Interactive Multimedia Research
The purpose of this course is to provide you with a background in interactive multimedia/hypermedia research with specific emphases on (1) identifying major research issues in the field (2) examining major research findings (3) understanding appropriate theoretical frameworks and (4) conducting research in one's own interest area.
EDC 385G Analysis of Research in Instructional Technology
The focus of this course is to examine multiple research paradigms currently used to document and evaluate instructional technology. This course is designed to help students determine appropriate research methods to analyze the design and implementation of educational technologies in real-world settings. We will investigate these research paradigms by examining published research on IT that relies on quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-method approaches. This course will be conducted as a seminar. Students will apply their methodological understanding by spending the second half of the semester conducting a pilot-study aligned with their interests in instructional technology.
MAN 390.1 Research in Organizational Science
MAN 393.3 Research in Strategic Management
MIS 381N.26 Research Methods in Information Systems
The information systems (IS) field is very diverse in terms of problems addressed, theoretical foundations and reference disciplines, and methods to analyze, collect and interpret data. This course is intended as a comprehensive overview of the variety of research methods used to study IS problems. The course explores fundamental concepts and criteria for use and evaluation of both quantitative and qualitative and positivist and interpretive research methods. The use of methods is illustrated through both classical and the most current state-of-the-art articles published in top IS journals. The students are not expected to become experts in each method discussed in the course, but rather to become familiar enough with each method in order to (a) pursue in detail the ones they are more interested in, and (b) become educated consumers of others' research.
SED 396T Single-Subject Research Design
The purpose of this course is to provide advanced training on single-subject research design. Emphasis will be given to the use of single-subject research designs in the development and evaluation of educational and behavioral interventions for students with special educational needs. The course will include a consideration of ethical issues. We will also explore application of the scientific method to the study of behavior and learning. Students will gain competencies in behavioral observation and data collection, designing single-subject research studies, evaluating data from studies using single-subject designs, and disseminating research findings. The course will include a discussion of the use of single-subject research as part of a more general approach to implementing evidence-based education.
SOC 387J Fundamentals of Research Methods
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