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QMSS 201

Intro to Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences

This course addresses “What is Quantitative Social Science?” by introducing substantive problems that can be solved with data. The pedagogy includes training in descriptive statistics, data collection, data management, and data cleaning. It provides an overview of research design (e.g., experiments, surveys), data-gathering (e.g. large databases), and hands-on experience using data to ask and answer research questions, and educates students about ethical issues around data, data analysis, and reporting. The laboratory component takes questions introduced in lecture and shows how to work with them using data. The hands-on course components include instruction in data cleaning, basic data organization and usage skills, and data analysis techniques. The focus is on learning how to apply the appropriate technique to answer real-world questions. Students are encouraged to ask for extra support and tutoring at any stage in the process. QMSS 201 is typically taken in the fall of the sophomore year. Click here for QMSS 201 in the LSA Course Guide.


Examples of topics covered in QMSS 201 during previous semesters:

  • Analyze what factors show correlation with COVID-19 rates in different states
  • Use tableau for data visualizations
  • Cleaning data sets
  • Determining correlates with level of food insecurity in Michigan


Click here to view the QMSS 201 Flyer