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Expectations of Methods Areas in Political Methodology

Research Design

Students are expected to show broad and deep knowledge of how to conduct scholarly research. Students should demonstrate mastery of the logic of inquiry; the ontological, epistemological and normative assumptions underpinning social science research; the debates and controversies in the field over the status of knowledge and explanation in the social sciences; the design of research.

Statistical Analysis

Students are expected to show broad and deep knowledge of statistical analysis in the social sciences. Students are expected to demonstrate mastery of the theory of statistical inference and the linear model. Students should also demonstrate they have the ability to solve specific problems in the statistical analysis of data.

Advanced Statistical Modeling

Students are expected to show broad and deep knowledge of statistical analysis in the social sciences. Students are expected to demonstrate mastery of the theory of statistical modeling. Students should also demonstrate they have the ability to solve specific problems in the statistical analysis of data in areas, models and applications beyond the linear model.

Formal Modeling

Students are expected to show broad and deep knowledge of the theory of formal modeling in political science as well as the applications of formal modeling in their primary field (American politics, comparative politics, and international relations). Students are also expected to demonstrate ability to build useful models in political science.

Experimental Methods

Students should develop broad and deep knowledge of the logic of experimental research as well as of the advantages and disadvantages of different types of experimental designs. Students should have a deep understanding of reliability and validity of measures, and external and internal validity of designs. Students are expected to be fully conversant in the tradeoffs made in using laboratory experiments, field experiments, natural experiments, and survey experiments. Students should also develop competence in statistical analysis of experimental data. Finally, students should demonstrate an understanding of the comparative advantages and disadvantages of experimental and observational data.

Qualitative Methods

Students are expected to have broad and deep knowledge of the logic and practice of qualitative methods in political science. Students are expected to demonstrate mastery of the theoretical and epistemological foundations of qualitative empirical research as well as of their applications in the various subfields of the discipline (American politics, comparative politics, and international relations). Students are also expected to demonstrate the ability to apply qualitative methods of analysis to specific empirical questions in political science.

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