PUAD 332 is an introductory course to quantitative research methods that are used broadly in the social sciences. The context of the course is public administration and public policy analysis, but the concepts are applicable in many other contexts. We will cover a broad set of statistical techniques but will do so through a lens of the practical application. We will review the foundations of quantitative research, data measurement, descriptive statistics, and inferential statistics. The final weeks of the course will focus on regression, a powerful and widely used method in the social sciences. The aim of this course is to make students knowledgeable consumers, practitioners, and presenters of data analysis. As such, this course will concentrate on analysis, interpretation, and presentation skills to prepare students for future settings, whether graduate school or a professional career.
The course addresses the NASPAA (Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration) programmatic learning objectives for undergraduates to analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems, and make decisions. Upon completing this course, students will leave with the following:
- Familiarity with research designs and methods used in the social sciences
- A working knowledge of Excel and R for data analysis Understanding of descriptive and inferential statistics
- The ability to compute, interpret, and communicate quantitative findings