Course code:



A - Advanced

Class size limit:


Meets the following requirements:

  • HS - Human Studies

Lab fee:


Typically offered:

Every other year

This course introduces students to the process of designing social science research, focusing specifically on developing research questions, selecting suitable methods, and designing the research plan. The social sciences have a long history of debates over the value of qualitative versus quantitative research; operating from the position that research questions should drive methods selection, this course covers a range of qualitative and quantitative approaches. Topics covered include: the link between theory and the development of research objectives, questions, variables, measures, and hypotheses; research design and threats to validity; systematic data collection procedures including surveys, semi-structured and structured interviews, participant observation, and cognitive methods; mixed-methods and exploratory versus explanatory approaches; probability and non-probability sampling; data management; numerical, text, and narrative data analysis; and proposal design. Students are evaluated based on class participation, fieldwork and field notes, and a final research proposal that integrates and applies the methods and concepts covered in the course. This course is of particular value for third and fourth year students preparing for their senior projects.


Permission of instructor and at least two social science courses such as anthropology, economics, media studies, political science, psychology, or related fields.

Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.