Comparing Course Workload – Quantitative Methods

StudyTime2Week-by-week comparison of course content for the introductory quantitative methods course at Harvard, Michigan, NYU, and Wisconsin

There is little publicly available information on course and/or program workload in MPP and MPA programs. Very few programs provide information on their public websites about the expectations for hours of study. This is likely due at least in part to the imperfect relationship between hours of instruction or hours of study and demonstrable learning. Teaching and learning are complex phenomena that include many factors that cannot be captured in contact hours and study times, including quality of instruction, nature of students, interaction among courses, and co-curricular activities. The comparisons on this page should therefore be treated as suggestive rather than definitive.

The table below compares the first-year, one-semester courses in quantitative methods for the Harvard MPP, the Michigan MPP, the NYU MPA, and the Wisconsin MPA.

Comparison of Weekly Course Content for a Quantitative Methods Course at Harvard, Michigan, NYU, and Wisconsin
Harvard HKS
Michigan Ford
NYU Wagner
Wisconsin La Follette
API201[1] Quantitative Analysis And Empirical Methods
PP529 Statistics
GP1011 Statistical Methods for Public, Nonprofit, and Health Management
PA818 Introduction to Quantitative Methods for Public Policy Analysts
Text Book
(Fall 2013)

Text: Introduction to the Practice of Statistics (Moore, McCabe, and Craig) 7th Edition

 

OPTIONAL: Open Intro Statistics. David Diez, Christopher Barr, Mine Çetinkaya.

 

OPTIONAL 2: How to Lie With Statistics. Darrell Huff, Irving Geis. W. W. Norton & Company; Reissue edition, 1993.

(Winter 2015)

Text: Statistical Methods for the Social Sciences (4th Edition) by Alan Agresti and Barbara Finlay

 

Supplement: A Gentle Introduction to Stata by Alan C. Acock (Optional)

(Spring 2015)

Text: The Essentials of Statistics: A Tool for Social Research (3rd Edition), Wadsworth/Cengage Learning 2013

 

Supplement: J. Blustein’s SPSS: The Wagner Way

(Fall 2014)

Text: David M. Diez, Christopher D. Barr, and Mine Cetinkaya-Rundel (2012) OpenIntro Statistics 2nd Ed. (Creative Commons).

Hours/ week of class:
Lecture: Tues & Thur 1:10 ~ 2:30 (160 minutes total)

Weekly Review Sessions: 80 minutes Total: (240 Minutes x 14)

Lecture: Mon/Wed @ 10 AM ~ 11:30 AM = 180 Minutes

Discussion: Fri @ 10AM ~11:30AM = 90 Minutes Total: (270 Minutes x 14)

Lecture: 06:45 ~ 8:40 PM (115 Minutes) Lab: 10:00AM ~ 11:40 AM (100 Minutes) Total: (225 Minutes x 13) Lecture: Mon/Wed @ 2:30 ~ 3:45

Total: (150 Minutes x 15)

Eval- uation
Problem sets (10%) + Participation (15%) + Final Exercise (15%) Midterms (15% x 2 = 30%) + Final Exam (30%) First Quiz (10% ) + Midterm exam (25%) + Second Quiz (10%) + Final Exam (25%) + Problem Sets (25%) + Attendance (5%)

 

Mid-term Exam (25%) + Analytic Memo Assignment (25%) + Final Exam (35%) + Homework & Contribution (15%) All [Warm-up, Application, Problem Set] Assignments (30%) + Mid-term Exam (25%) + Final Exam (35%) + Data Analysis Project (10%)
Week 1: Topic: Introduction/ Descriptive Statistics #1

Work Load: [Read 2 Text Sections]

Topic: Overview of course; Introduction to Stata; Sampling and measurement + Descriptive statistics

Work Load: [Read 3 Chapters of Text]

Topic: Introduction (Uses of Stats & Basic Descriptive Statistics)

Work Load: [Read 2 Chapter of Text] + [Read 1 Chapter of Supplement] + [Homework Assignment]

Topic: Introduction: Description, Stochastic Modeling, Estimation, Inference, Prediction

Work Load: [Read 1 Chapter of Text]

Week 2: Topic: Descriptive Statistics #2 + Basic Probability

Work Load: [Read 6 Text sections] + [Problem Set 1 Due]

Topic: No Class + Descriptive Statistics (Cont’d)

Work Load: [Read 1 Chapter of Text] + [Problem Set 1 Due]

Topic: Central Tendency & Dispersion

Work Load: [Read 2 Chapter of Text] + [1 Chapter of Supplement] + [Homework Assignment]

Topic: Basic Concepts and Discrete Distributions

Work Load: [Read 1 Chapter of Text] + [Warm-up Exercise 1 Due]

Week 3: Topic: Conditional Probability + Bayes’ Rule

Work Load: [Read 1 Text sections] + [Read 1 Journal Article] + [Problem Set 2 Due]

Topic: Probability Theory

Work Load: [Read Optional Readings posted] + [Problem Set 2 Due]

Topic: Normal Curve (Normal Distribution & Z-Scores)

Work Load: [Read 1 Chapter of Text] + [Homework Assignment]

Topic: Continuous Distributions

Work Load: [Read 0.5 Chapter of Text] + [Problem Set 1 Due] + [Warm-up Exercise 2 Due]

Week 4: Topic: Application: Public Pensions in Mexico + Probability Distributions

Work Load: [Read 2 Text sections] + [Read 1 Case Study] + [Problem Set 3 Due]

Topic: Quiz, Probability Theory Cont’d + Probability Distributions

Work Load: [Read 1 Chapter of Text] + [Problem Set 3 Due]

Topic: Sampling & Sampling Distribution (Sampling errors, techniques & Central Limit Theorem)

Work Load: [Read 0.5 Chapter of Text] + [Read 1 Chapter of Supplement] + [Homework Assignment]

Topic: Additional Topics and Stochastic Models: Monte Carlo and Queuing Models

Work Load: [Read 1 Article] + [Warm-up Exercise 3 Due]

Week 5: Topic: Conditional Expectations + Introduction to Decision Analysis

Work Load: [Read 1 Case Study]

Topic: Probability distributions + Sampling Distributions

Work Load: [Problem Set 4 Due]

Topic: Estimation (Confidence Levels, bias & efficiency)

Work Load: [Read 0.5 Chapter of Text] + [Read 1 Chapter of Supplement] + [Homework Assignment]

Topic: Agent-Based Models

Work Load: [Read 1 Chapter of Text] + [Read 2 Journal Articles] + [Application Exercise 1 Due] + [Warm-up Exercise 4 Due]

Week 6: Topic: Continuous Distributions + Mid-term Review + Mid-term Exam

Work Load: [Read 2 Text sections] + [Problem Set 4 Due] + [Midterm]

Topic: Statistical inference (Estimation)

Work Load: [Read 1 Chapter of Text] + [Problem Set 5 Due]

Topic: Hypothesis Testing Part 1. (Null & Research Hypothesis, type I & II errors, the t-distribution)

Work Load: [Read 1 Chapter of Text] + [Homework Assignment]

Topic: Decision Analysis: Extensive and Normal Forms

Work Load: [Read 2 Journal Articles] + [Problem Set 2 Due] + [Warm-up Exercise 5 Due]

Week 7: Topic: Introduction to Statistical Inference + Sampling Distributions for Proportions

Work Load: [Read 1 Text Section]

Topic: Mid-Term Exam Review Class + Mid-term Exam

Work Load: [Study for Exam] + [Exam]

Topic: Hypothesis Testing Part 2. (Difference of means & Difference of Proportions)

Work Load: [Read 1 Chapter of Text] + [Homework Assignment]

Topic: Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Design

Work Load: [Read 1 Journal Article] + [Warm-up Exercise 6 Due]

Week 8: Topic: Confidence Intervals for Proportions + Statistical Inference for Proportions

Work Load: [Read 1.5 Text Sections] + [Problem Set 5 Due]

 

Topic: Statistical inference (Significance tests)

Work Load: [Read 1 Chapter of Text]

Topic: Mid-term Exam

Work Load: Mid-term Exam

Topic: Classical Statistical Inference: Introduction to Hypothesis Testing

Work Load: [Read 1 Chapter of Text] + [Warm-up Exercise 7 Due] + [Problem Set 3 Due]

 

Week 9: Topic: Statistical Inference for Means + Statistical Inference for Differences

Work Load: [Read 4 Text Sections] + [Problem Set 6 Due]

Topic: Statistical Inference Cont’d

Work Load: [Problem Set 6 Due]

Topic: Analysis of variance (ANOVA concept, Sum of Squares Within & Sum of Squares Between)

Work Load: [Read 1 Chapter of Text] + [Read 1 Chapter of Supplement] + [Homework Assignment]

Topic: Inference for Normal Samples + Mid-term Exam

Work Load: [Read 1.25 Chapters of Text] + [Warm-up Exercise 8 Due] + [Mid-term Exam]

Week 10: Topic: Application: Critical Assessment of Evidence + Significance, Power, and Other Key Concepts

Work Load: [Read 2 Text sections] + [Read1 Case Study] + [Problem Set 7 Due]

Topic: Comparison of two groups

Work Load: [Read 1 Chapter of Text]

Topic: Bivariate tables, chi-square & independent + dependent variables

Work Load: [Read 1.5 Chapter of Text] + [Read 1 Chapter of Supplement] + [Homework Assignment]

Topic: Applications and Introduction to Multiple Variables

Work Load: [Read 0.5 Chapter of Text] + [Warm-up Exercise 9 Due] + [Application Exercise 2 Due]

Week 11: Topic: Sampling and Survey Design + Midterm #2 Review + Midterm Exam #2 Work Load: [Read 1 Text section] + [Problem Set 8 Due] + [Midterm Exam] Topic: Quiz; Catch-up + Chi-square Test of Independence

Work Load: [Read 0.5 Chapter of Text] + [Problem Set 7 Due]

Topic: Bivariate Regression & Correlation (estimation between 2 continuous variables, coefficient of correlation (r), bivariate regression on SPSS) PART 1

Work Load: [Read 0.5 Chapter of Text] + [Read 1 Chapter of Supplement] + [Homework Assignment]

Topic: Optimization and Introduction to Ordinary Least Squares

Work Load: [Warm-up Exercise 10 Due] + [Read 1 Journal Article] + [1 Online Lesson]

Week 12: Topic: Regression Analysis I & II

Work Load: [Read 1.5 Text sections]

Topic: Correlation coefficient + ANOVA

Work Load: [Read 1.25 Chapters of Text]

CONTINUED FROM WEEK 11. Topic: Properties of OLS Estimators

Work Load: [Warm-up Exercise 11 Due] + [Read 1 Chapter of Text] + [Problem Set 4 Due]

Week 13: Topic: Chi-squared, F-tests and Cherry Picking Work Load: [Read 3 Text section] + [Problem Set 9 Due] Topic: Causation versus correlation + Putting the pieces together

Work Load: [Read 1 Chapter of Text] + [Problem Set 8 Due]

Topic: Controlling for Other Variables (multiple regressions, coefficient of multiple determination, dummy variables on SPSS etc.)

Work Load: [Read 1.5 Chapters of Supplement] + [Homework Assignment]

Topic: Multivariate Regression

Work Load: [Warm-up Exercise 12 Due] + [Read 0.5 Chapter of Text]

Week 14: Topic: Application: Assessment of Evidence + Final Review Work Load: [Read 1 Case Study] + [Read Problem Set 10 Due] + [Final Exercise] + [Final Exam in 1 week] Topic: Review/Catch-up + Final Exam Prep

Work Load: [Prepare for Final Exam Next Week]

Topic: Dummy Variables, Controlling for Other Variables Cont’d. (Violation of OLS assumptions, dummy coding of independent variables)

Work Load: [Read 0.5 Chapters of Supplement] + [Final Assignment Due] + [Final Exam Prep]

Topic: Maximum Likelihood Estimation and Discrete Dependent Variables

Work Load: [Warm-up Exercise 12 Due] + [Read 0.25 Chapter of Text] + [Application Exercise 3 Due] + [Data Analysis Project Due] + [Final Exam Prep]

Week 15:       Topic: Causality in Natural Experiments

Work Load: [Read 1 Journal Article] + [Final Exam Prep]+ [Final Exam]

[1] The course used for comparison is API-201 A,B or C section as opposed to Z section that assumes greater mathematical capabilities.

 

Page created by: Ian Clark, based on work of James Ban, last updated 15 December 2015.

Image: CBSE Portal, at http://cbseportal.com/exam/Help/Tips-And-Study-Schedule-to-Crack-Board-Exams, accessed 15 December 2015.