Research Methodology Modules

Each research methodology module requires passing two courses.

Module 1: Applied Statistics and Econometrics

Advisors: Ingrid Gould Ellen and Rajeev Dehejia

This module prepares the student for empirical research using advanced methods of applied statistics and econometrics including both the Classical and Generalized Regression Model, and more specialized topics such as time-series and panel data techniques, systems of regression equations, limited dependent variables, etc. 

Students who elect this module must take courses from the following sequences across NYU.  In some circumstances, alternative econometrics courses may be approved to count toward this module.  Students wishing to take alternative courses should first talk to the module advisors.

Doctoral-level sequence at Stern

Prerequisites: substantial calculus and matrix algebra at the level of two semesters of calculus and one semester of linear algebra; plus STAT-GB.3301 Introduction to the Theory of Probability (fall) and STAT-GB.3302 Statistical Inference and Regression Analysis (spring), or their equivalents.

  • ECON-GB.3351 Econometrics I (fall)
  • ECON-GB.9912 Econometric Analysis of Panel Data (spring; requires ECON-GB.3551 or equivalent.)

Masters-level sequence in GSAS Economics

Prerequisite for this sequence: ECON-GA 1001 Math for Economists (fall and first summer session) or equivalent.

  • ECON-GA 1101 Applied Statistics and Econometrics I  (fall and the first summer session)
  • ECON-GA 1102 Applied Statistics and Econometrics II  (spring and second summer session)

Doctoral-level sequence in GSAS Politics (TBD)

Doctoral-level sequence at Steinhardt

2-credit courses are equivalent to half of one course for the module requirement.  Check prerequisites

  • APSTA-GE 2004 Topics in Multivariate Analysis (2-credits, spring)
  • APSTA-GE 2011 Classification and Clustering (2 credits, January)
  • APSTA-GE 2012 Causal Inference: Statistical Methods for Program Evaluation and Policy Research (fall)
  • APSTA-GE 2013 Missing Data (2-credits, spring)
  • APSTA-GE 2040 Multi-Level Modeling Growth Curve (fall)
  • APSTA-GE 2042 Nested Data Models (spring)
  • RESCH-GE 2139 Survey Research Methods

module 2: Qualitative Research and Methods

Advisors: Sonia Ospina and Natasha Iskander

In Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choosing among five approaches, John W. Creswell defines qualitative research as follows: “Qualitative research begins with assumptions and the use of interpretive/theoretical frameworks that inform the study of research problems addressing the meaning individuals or groups ascribe to a social or human problem. To study this problem, qualitative researchers use an emerging qualitative approach to inquiry, the collection of data in a natural setting sensitive to the people and places under study, and data analysis that is both inductive and deductive and establishes patterns or themes. The final written report or presentation includes the voices of participants, the reflexivity of the researcher, a complex description and interpretation of the problem, and its contribution to the literature or a call for change” (2013, p. 44).

By completing the Qualitative Research Module it is expected that students will:

  1. Clarify the epistemological and methodological assumptions that support the choice of interpretive methodologies to answer a research question;
  2. Identify and differentiate among the various qualitative research traditions, their interpretive frameworks and the appropriate research designs and techniques associated with each (e.g. case studies, ethnography, historical analysis, narrative inquiry, phenomenology and grounded theory among others);
  3. Gain proficiency in selected methods and/or techniques and practices of qualitative research;
  4. Identify the criteria to assess the quality and trustworthiness of interpretive research.

Given the diversity of qualitative inquiry approaches, fulfilling the Qualitative Research Module will offer students a roadmap and the motivation to further expand and deepen their knowledge and research practice on their own.  The required course PHD-GP 5905 Qualitative Research Methods (or approved alternative) is a gateway course will help students understand qualitative research from conception to implementation.

In addition to this required course, students should choose two additional qualitative methods courses from those listed below.  The options include two NYU Steinhardt sequences that help students gain a detailed knowledge of qualitative methods writ large; and five individual courses offered throughout NYU that help students acquire proficiency in a specific method or practice of qualitative inquiry, or emphasize a particular topic. 

Steinhardt Sequence 1:

  • RESCH-GE 2140 Approaches to Qualitative Inquiry. Colleen Larson, Associate Professor of Educational Administration, Elizabeth Norman, Professor of Nursing.

Description: The purposes of this inquiry course are to:

  1. Examine the nature, purposes, theories & methods of qualitative research;
  2. Introduce several approachesto inquiry, including: ethnography, case study, phenomenology, grounding theory,& narrative inquiry to name a few;
  3. Practice the art of interviewing, observing,& making meaning of social settings;
  4. Explore a variety of methods for analyzing qualitative data such as thematic analysis, narrative analysis, & discourse analysisto name a few;
  5. Learn how to assess the quality & trustworthiness of interpretive research.
  • RESCH- GE 2141 Case Study/Ethnographic Inquiry. Colleen Larson, Associate Professor of Educational Administration.

Description: Conceptual and methodological activities build on and extend those begun during the previous semester in E10.2140. Strengthening fieldwork skills. Second half of the fieldwork project to be completed with an emphasis placed on emergent, complex data analyses. Various ways of writing up results for presentation in dissertations and other publishable forms are examined. Guidelines for qualitative, field-based dissertation proposals are reviewed.

Steinhardt Sequence 2:

  • RESCH-GE2147 Fieldwork: Data Collection. Lisa Stulberg, Associate Professor of Educational Sociology.

Description: This course focuses on data collection. This includes a focus on gaining access to a field site, selecting a case, matching a research question with a methodology,and the nuts and bolts of taking and writing field notes. The course is designed primarily for doctoral students who would like training in this method for their dissertation work.

  • RESCH-GE2148 Fieldwork: Data Analysis. Lisa Stulberg, Associate Professor of Educational Sociology.

Description: This graduate-level seminar is primarily intended for doctoral students and reviews the fundamentals of data analysis for qualitative and ethnographic fieldwork projects, specifically focused on the analysis of ethnographic and observational data and the integration of coded data into write-ups in articles, reports, and dissertation/book chapters. Students enrolling in this course must have original data that they have collected during Fieldwork: Data Collection (or, by prior approval of the instructor, for other projects such as dissertations).

Other courses at NYU

These individual courses are devoted to a specific mode or practice of qualitative inquiry, or emphasize a particular field of study:

  • RESCH- GE 2142 Interview & Observation. Steinhardt. Anna Smith, Professor of Applied Psychology (and others).

Description: A practicum in semi-structured interviewing and participant observation—primary modes of qualitative data generation in the social sciences. Students learn these techniques by using them to gather novel empirical data. The course provides instruction on note-taking, data organization, preliminary analysis, and the ethics and politics of research with human subjects.

  • RESCH- GE 2135 Historical Research. Steinhardt. Robert Cohen, Professor of Social Studies Education.

Description: Identification and analysis of historical problems. Exploration of concepts, language and techniques of historical research. In order to comprehend fully the development of a historical interpretation, each student should enter this course with a clear research problem and in command of the literature related to it. For students with limited experience in historical methodology, E55.2000, Historical Writing, is highly recommended as a prerequisite.

  • RESCH-GE 2138 Writing Empirical Research in Education, Behavioral, Health, Humanities and Social Science Professions. Steinhardt. Elizabeth Norman, Professor of Nursing.

Description: This course will help students strengthen the writing competencies they need to produce quantitative and qualitative method dissertations that will convey research findings in a clear, objective style. Course content will position students to begin contributing writings in their scholarly communities. Sequences assignments will address various writing forms and allow students feedback on their work.Note: this course addresses both qualitative and quantitative research; it is included here because qualitative researchers must have particularly strong writing skills to present their analysis and results.

  • NURSE-GN 3358 Using Qualitative Methods in Nursing Research. Nursing. Prof. Michele Shedlin.

Description: This course is designed for graduate nursing students interested in furthering their ability to carry out qualitative research. Topics will include the approach and implementation of in-depth interviews, focus groups, and participant observation, as well as issues of proposal development, sampling, and recruitment of subjects, informed consent and analysis. Exercises will permit group interaction and hands-on practice of research design, instrument development, interviewing, group facilitation, observation, analysis and write-up of findings. Several guest speakers will provide first hand experiences of the development and implementation of their studies. Students will be expected to research methodological issues, carry out field exercises and write up "reports" of their experiences and data analysis. A final research project including design, instruments and human subjects’ issues will be required in lieu of an exam.Note: this course covers some of the same ground as other courses, but it is likely to emphasize the health sector and attract students interested in this topic.

  • RESCH-GE 2143 Participatory Action Research. Steinhardt. Donna Nevel, Co-coordinator of PARCEO.

Description: Introduction to various approaches to Action Research with an emphasis on approaches that encourage the participation of stakeholders. The course will cover action research traditions, issues of positionality, methodology, validity, and ethics. Students will engage in various field exercises to practice data gathering skills. Note: PARCEO stands for “Participatory Action Research Center for Education Organizing” and this course seems to attract a number of masters’ students interested in social justice and social organizing; it should be relevant to doctoral students interested in these topics or in a basic introduction to action research.