Analytical Methods for Global Policy Studies (PA397G)


While data analysis can be challenging, applying data analysis methods to empirical social science studies adds a layer of complexity. This course serves three main purposes:

  1. To facilitate understanding of basic quantitative and qualitative empirical analysis methods.
  2. To equip students with the skills needed to conduct analysis both manually and using software packages.
  3. To impart knowledge on how to apply these analysis methods for answering research questions from a research design perspective, and how to assess the quality of an empirical study.

Given the diverse backgrounds of the students, expectations will differ accordingly:

  • For all students, it is expected that they will (a) gain an understanding of a set of core empirical methods and their applications in policy research, and (b) engage in customized self-development over the semester.

  • For students with minimal or no statistical training, approximately 9 hours of work is expected each week: (a) 3 hours in class, (b) 1 hour in a lab or self-guided session on Excel/Python/R, (c) 3 hours outside of class for assignments (including final tests and “customized learning”), and (d) 2 hours of preparation for upcoming sessions (including readings and “paper practice”).

  • For students with advanced knowledge of statistics, approximately 7 hours of work is expected each week: (a) 3 hours in class, (b) 3 hours outside of class for assignments (mostly on “customized learning” and a qualitative group project), and (c) 1 hour of preparation for upcoming sessions (including readings and “paper practice”).

Reading materials

Required textbook: Meier, K. J., Brudney, J. L., & Bohte, J. (2014). Applied Statistics for Public and Nonprofit Administration (9th edition). Cengage Learning.

Previous versions are fine as long as the course content is covered. If the contents are substantially different from the 9th edition, you can ask your classmates for help, or use the University Library’s service. We will provide scanned copies for the first few weeks so that you have time to prepare.

Bibliography of all readings


See a list of Assignments

  • A >= 95%, A- >= 90
  • B+ >= 87%, B >= 83%, B- >= 80%
  • C+ >= 77%, C >= 73%, C- >= 70%
  • D+ >= 67%, D >= 63%, D- >= 60%

Quick access to online documents


Study guides



  • Mental health: I urge students who are struggling for any reason and who believe that it might impact their performance in the course to reach out to me if they feel comfortable. This will allow me to provide any resources or accommodations that I can. If you are seeking mental health support, call the Counseling and Mental Health Center (CMHC) at 512-471-3515 (8a.m.-5p.m., Monday-Friday), or you may also contact Bryce Moffett, LCSW-S (LBJ CARE counselor) at 512-232-4449. Bryce’s office is located in SRH 3.119 and she holds drop in Office Hours on Monday from 1-2 pm. For urgent mental health needs, please contact the CMHC 24/7 Crisis Line at 512-471-2255.
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