Quantitative Methods I – PLCY 810

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

Quantitative Analysis I discusses probability theory and hypothesis testing within the context of public policy decision-making. As an introduction to basic statistical distributions, this course covers the tests of difference in means, proportions, basic generalized linear themes such as regression and ANOVA. Also introduced are commonly encountered nonparametric tests.


PLCY 700


The field of Public Policy at the level of Ph.D. involves not only working familiarity with substantive issues but also mastery of the tools necessary for monitoring the status, progression, and potentialities for action to best guide decision-making by the testing of operative theories. As a core component to doctoral studies, students are required to demonstrate competency in the measurement of the scope and severity of policy problems, to assess risk, to systematically compare alternatives, and to test the validity of explanations offered as a basis for future action. Quantitative Methods I, PLCY 810 serves as a thorough introduction to statistical procedures that undergird decision-making. This course has been specifically designed for the student to gain proficiency in the use of quantitative methods, demonstrating the ability to develop testable hypotheses and carry out basic appropriate statistical procedures on those hypotheses, tools that support both the practical and theoretical advancement of the field.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Understand the logic of scientific inquiry.
  2. Demonstrate scientific method's applicability to the field of public policy.
  3. Demonstrate familiarity with research design strategies, experimental and quasi-experimental.
  4. Demonstrate proficiency in the use of statistical terminology.
  5. Recognize appropriate use of quantitative methods.
  6. Demonstrate the ability to develop testable hypotheses and then accurately carry out basic, appropriate statistical procedures on those hypotheses.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (3)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be 800 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 1 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be 500 words.

Computational Labs [CL] (4)

These exercise are designed to cover the use of “R” Programming in the performance of the various Quantitative Analysis I statistical procedures. Using data sets provided, the student will perform designated statistical operations and then check work against the solutions provided. Then, once that initial work is successfully achieved, the student will find data pertaining to the policy area of specialization and perform the same operations on the data retrieved. Then, the student will write a brief statement of findings.

Quantitative Research Project

The student will provide a policy paper that discusses: the background of the selected public policy problem, its scope and severity, a well-specified statement of the problem, policy alternatives, criteria by which the policy alternatives should be judged, and recommended action(s).

Comprehensive Examination

The examination will cover all the Reading & Study material for the all of the modules. The exam will be open-book/open-notes and consists of three parts.