Master of Public Policy   Master of International Affairs  

Statistics I: Inference and regression

This course offers an introduction to quantitative research methods for public policy. By the end of the semester, students should have a better acquaintance with quantitative methods conducive to empirical policy research and the ability to understand and critique the techniques employed by others. No prior knowledge of statistics is assumed and we will make every effort to address concepts both quantitatively and theoretically. Additionally, every student will attend a weekly lab session run by a teaching assistant in which concepts will be reinforced, where possible, through hands-on application using R. The goal of this course is not only to produce sophisticated consumers of quantitative research but to provide the necessary skills for students to conduct their own research. As such, we eschew the conventional stopping point for an introductory statistics course and spend several weeks on multiple regression. Almost no phenomena in the social world result from singular causality, so a useful applied course must train students in assessing multiple causality. We do so.

This course is for 1st year MIA and MPP students only.


  • Mark Kayser , Professor of Applied Methods and Comparative Politics