Comparing Course Workload – Quantitative Methods
Weekbyweek 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 cocurricular activities. The comparisons on this page should therefore be treated as suggestive rather than definitive.
The table below compares the firstyear, onesemester 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 CetinkayaRundel (2012) OpenIntro Statistics 2^{nd} 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%)

Midterm Exam (25%) + Analytic Memo Assignment (25%) + Final Exam (35%) + Homework & Contribution (15%)  All [Warmup, Application, Problem Set] Assignments (30%) + Midterm 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] + [Warmup 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 & ZScores)
Work Load: [Read 1 Chapter of Text] + [Homework Assignment] 
Topic: Continuous Distributions
Work Load: [Read 0.5 Chapter of Text] + [Problem Set 1 Due] + [Warmup 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] + [Warmup 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: AgentBased Models
Work Load: [Read 1 Chapter of Text] + [Read 2 Journal Articles] + [Application Exercise 1 Due] + [Warmup Exercise 4 Due] 
Week 6:  Topic: Continuous Distributions + Midterm Review + Midterm 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 tdistribution)
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] + [Warmup Exercise 5 Due] 
Week 7:  Topic: Introduction to Statistical Inference + Sampling Distributions for Proportions
Work Load: [Read 1 Text Section] 
Topic: MidTerm Exam Review Class + Midterm 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 QuasiExperimental Design
Work Load: [Read 1 Journal Article] + [Warmup 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: Midterm Exam
Work Load: Midterm Exam 
Topic: Classical Statistical Inference: Introduction to Hypothesis Testing
Work Load: [Read 1 Chapter of Text] + [Warmup 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 + Midterm Exam
Work Load: [Read 1.25 Chapters of Text] + [Warmup Exercise 8 Due] + [Midterm 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, chisquare & 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] + [Warmup 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; Catchup + Chisquare 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: [Warmup 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: [Warmup Exercise 11 Due] + [Read 1 Chapter of Text] + [Problem Set 4 Due] 
Week 13:  Topic: Chisquared, Ftests 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: [Warmup 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/Catchup + 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: [Warmup 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 API201 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/TipsAndStudyScheduletoCrackBoardExams, accessed 15 December 2015.