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National College Credit Recommendation Service

Board of Regents  |  University of the State of New York

Smarter Degree | Evaluated Learning Experience

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Research Methods (PSY 431)


Self-study, self-paced.

Various; distance learning format.

December 2023 - Present. 

Instructional delivery format: 
Online/distance learning
Hybrid course/exam
Proficiency exam
Learner Outcomes: 

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to: analyze and critically evaluate the research process, including its purpose, components, and ethical considerations, in order to develop a comprehensive understanding of social science research methods; compare and contrast different research methods and their strengths and limitations, in order to select and justify appropriate methods for specific research questions; apply theoretical frameworks to formulate research questions and hypotheses, demonstrating the ability to integrate theory into the research process; discuss qualitative research methods, such as interviews, focus groups, and observation, to collect data, and analyze and interpret qualitative data in order to generate meaningful insights; design and execute surveys, ensuring ethical considerations, and analyze and interpret quantitative data using appropriate statistical analysis techniques to draw valid conclusions; evaluate statistical results and interpret their significance, considering factors such as practical significance and statistical power, in order to make informed decisions and draw accurate conclusions; assess and apply strategies for establishing causation in social science research, including experimental and quasi-experimental designs, in order to understand and interpret causal relationships; and communicate research findings effectively in writing employing appropriate terminology and methodologies.


Major topics include: research methods in social science and focusing on strategies for understanding causation and description. Students will study the research process, theory development, qualitative and quantitative methods, measurement, sampling, data analysis, inferential statistics, multivariate statistics, causation, observational studies, experiments, and natural and quasi experiments. Through readings, writing assignments and practical exercises, students develop the skills necessary to design, execute, and evaluate research studies.

Credit recommendation: 

In the upper division baccalaureate degree category, 3 semester hours in Psychology, Sociology, or Political Science (3/24).