Qualitative Research Methods

PHD-GP.5905, 4 points.

Semester: Spring


This course offers a hands-on opportunity for doctoral and advanced masters students to experience the practice of qualitative research. We will address the nature of qualitative research in the administrative and policy sciences, with ample opportunities to discuss the implications of the choices made in designing, implementing and reporting on the findings of a “mock” project which we will determine in class, with your input. The course will require a considerable investment of time, with intensive reading and writing, recurrent team discussions based on assignments, and individual fieldwork (with journal writing before, during and after site visits). The course is a program requirement for doctoral students. For all masters students, it will help develop skills to collect qualitative data during capstone projects and for policy/finance students interested in a methods course sequence, it will also serve as a good complement to the available quantitative courses.  For all students, understanding the basics of qualitative research will make you a better researcher (independent of whether your research is only qualitative or only quantitative) and will increase your research competency by offering a foundation to do mixed methods.


Either one of the following: PADM-GP.2171 Program Analysis and Evaluation, PADM-GP 2172 Advanced Empirical Methods for Policy Analysis, PHD-GP 5902 Research Methods, an upper level research methods undergraduate course, or more than 3 years experience of research in a university or other research institution.  Masters students must fill an application and be approved to take the course.  The application is found on the Course Highlights page.

Semester Instructor Syllabus Link
Spring 2015Sonia M. OspinaSyllabus
Spring 2013Sonia M. OspinaSyllabus
Fall 2010Jennifer DodgeSyllabus
Semester Instructor Evaluation Link
Spring 2015Sonia OspinaEvaluation
Spring 2013Sonia M. OspinaEvaluation
Puck with Street Sign