Applied Public Policy Research Methods – PPOL 505

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 09/05/2023

Course Description

This course will study research methods, research strategies, and statistical analysis skills necessary to both produce and critically analyze research reports and data compilations used in forming public policy.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


The study of research is important for those in public policy. Understanding research is an important part of understanding how policy impacts people. In this course, the student will be challenged to explore the basic tenets of various research methodologies available to public policy researchers. This course will also challenge and equip the student to interpret research findings so that he or she can make policy decisions or provide others with the information needed to make policy decisions.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (3)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each discussion. Each thread must be 500-750 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be 200–300 words.

Practice Exercise Assignments (4)

Practice exercise assignments are an opportunity to practically apply the course materials. The student will use SPSS and course texts to answer various questions related to course content. Assignments will vary in length.

Research Paper: Annotated Bibliography Assignment

In this assignment, the student will begin to focus on the research question he/she has been assigned. The student will choose at least 8 peer-reviewed journal articles regarding the specific policy discussed in his/her research question. Four articles must contain qualitative research, and the other 4 must contain quantitative research. The student will then summarize each article in 200–250 words (for a total of 1,600–2,000 words). All formatting should be current APA format.

Research Paper: Final Assignment

The student will write a 1,750–2,500 word research-based paper in current APA format that focuses on an assigned public policy research question. The paper must include at least 8 references in addition to the course textbooks and the Bible. The paper must also use the dataset provided in the course to answer the research question using the statistical processes learned during the course.