Survey Research

Course Descriptions

PP 5322 Evaluating Public Programs

This course will provide the student with an overview of public policy analysis and program evaluation – what it is, how to do it, and most important, how to critically assess studies others have done. The course will examine both quantitative and qualitative methods for analyzing public policies and programs, with an emphasis placed on research strategies, designs, and interpretation of results.

PP 5330 Practicum in Survey Research

This course allows students to practice the skills learned through coursework in an applied, professional setting. Prospective interns generally identify a desired placement and work with their supervisor and a faculty advisor to develop an appropriate scope of work. This is a required course for the Master of Arts in Survey Research. students can earn up to six credits. Professional experience may be substituted with faculty approval.

PP 5332 Advanced Quantitative Methods

This course covers a number of basic and advanced statistical methods for public policy and survey research. Students will review some of the basic concepts of statistical analysis, study methods for hypothesis testing appropriate to frequency counts and percentage, discuss methods to analyze data in interval and ratio scale format, and study quantitative methods for conducting and analyzing multiple regression. Students will also explore minimizing error through scale construction and the use of exploratory factor analysis. The end of the course will provide a very brief introduction to the basic ideas underlying confirmatory factor analysis.

PP 5376 Applied Quantitative Methods

A review of basic statistics, designed to develop an intuitive and practical understanding of statistical techniques that will enable students to understand, evaluate, generate, and present data. The course will review the following key elements of statistics: descriptive statistics, exploratory data analysis, probability theory, statistical inference, hypothesis testing, and regression analysis. By the end of the semester, students will have basic facility with describing a data set, using it to make inferences about the world, and to begin analyzing management, public policy, program evaluation, or public opinion issues.

PP 5377 Qualitative Methods in Survey Research

This class will covers the qualitative research process from development to reporting. Students explore a variety of qualitative research paradigms (ethnography, case studies, applied research, and critical studies), analyze a research question and propose qualitative research plan, construct qualitative instruments, and apply a variety of qualitative research skills.

PP 5379 Principles and Methods of Survey Research

The foundational course in the Graduate Program in Survey Research (GPSR). This course provides a comprehensive review of survey research methods, and prepares students in the fundamental skill areas necessary to design and conduct survey research projects. These areas include survey research design, questionnaire construction, and scientific sampling.

PP 5385 Attitude Formation

Students will examine theories of attitude formation and attitude change paying special attention to the psychology of the survey response. This course begins with a psychological look at the historical conundrum of Converse’s (1964) non-attitude claim. It investigates different models of attitude formation which political scientists have devised to explain Converse’s findings. We will discuss where individuals get their political attitudes from: parents, peers, and/or political events. Based on our understanding of attitude formation, we will discuss ways in which survey respondents may interpret the questions that policy researchers ask of them and how this may influence the results of research.

PP 5384 Political Polling

This course examines the roles of opinion polling in the various dimensions of American politics. Students explore the value provided by polls as well as their negative effects, assess the survey techniques used to gauge American political opinion, and review the approaches that are used to analyze poll results. Additionally, this course examines how polls (1) gauge what Americans know and don’t know about politics, (2) document the values and core beliefs of citizens (3) provide an understanding of election outcomes (4) monitor the performance of the economy and of political actors and institutions (5) reflect public opinion on social and domestic issues as well as foreign policy problems.

PP 5383 Advanced Questionnaire Design

This course introduces students to the art and science of designing survey questionnaires. Special attention will be paid to the psychological and social processes that may influence the survey response in unanticipated ways. This will enable the student to assess and minimize the risk of eliciting response effects that might lead to biased results. Drawing on theory from psychology, sociology and linguistics, topics covered include: question wording and order effects, response options, the interview setting, and the interpretation of survey responses. We will also discuss issues of questionnaire translation, inter-cultural response comparison, and scale construction.

PP 5386 Survey Research Analysis and Reporting

This course focuses on the development of research reports and report-writing. Topics include: using graphics to present survey findings, preparation of a full-length survey research findings report, preparation of executive summaries of survey findings, reporting survey methods and technical aspects of survey findings. This course is writing-intensive, as students will prepare research reports throughout the semester.

PP 5382 Project Management in Survey Research

This course will explore the application of project management techniques to the management of survey research projects. Students will examine the relationship between survey design and survey management, how to plan a survey research project in a variety of industry sectors, learn how to develop and implement a project budget, manage project contracts and lead a project team.

PP 5387 Surveys for Market Research

This class explores the application of survey research methods in the market research industry. How are surveys used by companies to better understand consumer markets? To develop new products and services? To measure customer satisfaction? To define market segments? To price products and services? To expand and improve sales and market share? In addition to exploring the use of surveys to address these questions, the course will provide an overview of the market research industry including the job market for research professionals. Also, the course examines the key elements in the conduct of market research survey projects: proposal writing, questionnaire design, and sampling.

PP 5397 Applied Survey Analysis with SPSS

This one-credit short course provides an introduction to SPSS. Students will manage a data set in SPSS, define missing values, and create new variables. Students will also run frequency tables and crosstabs, conduct chi-square-tests in SPSS and build scales assessing Cronbach’s alpha. Further, we will compare means in SPSS using t-tests and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). Students will learn how to specify OLS regression models and dichotomous or ordered logit or multinomial logit for categorical dependent variables that typically exist in survey data sets.

PP 5397 Applied Survey Analysis with R

This one-credit short course is an introduction to R. Students will manage a data set in R, define missing values, and create new variables. Students will also run frequency tables and crosstabs, conduct chi-square-tests in R and build scales assessing Cronbach’s alpha. Further, we will compare means in R using t-tests and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). Students will learn how to specify OLS regression models and dichotomous or ordered logit or multinomial logit for categorical dependent variables that typically exist in survey data sets.

PP 5397 Applied Survey Analysis with Stata

This s one-credit short course gives an introduction to Stata. Students will manage a data set in Stata, define missing values, and create new variables. Students will also run frequency tables and crosstabs, conduct chi-square-tests in Stata and build scales assessing Cronbach’s alpha. Further, we will compare means in Stata using t-tests and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). Students will learn how to specify OLS regression models and dichotomous or ordered logit or multinomial logit for categorical dependent variables that typically exist in survey data sets.

PP 5397 Introduction to Multipopulation Survey Research Methods 

This course provides an introduction to methods for designing multilingual and multicultural survey research projects. It will also introduce some of the key considerations for designing multinational surveys. Students will be introduced to unique methodological considerations for multilingual/multicultural studies throughout the project lifecycle, including: sampling, questionnaire design, fielding, data interpretation and analysis.

PP 5397 Seminar in the Future of Survey Research

Technological developments and innovations over the past decade have presented the survey research industry with a wide number of of both challenges (such as the generalizability of samples) and opportunities (such as marrying survey data with mega-data). This seminar explores these changes and their implications for the future of survey research through intensive student-directed research, discussion and presentation.


Individual Courses

Online Individual Graduate Courses in Survey Research

Individuals with a bachelor’s degree or higher can take UConn’s online Survey Research courses as “non-degree” students. The “non-degree” designation allows students to take courses for credit without being formally admitted to the University. A maximum of 6 credits can be taken as a “non-degree” student. These courses may be used toward a Certificate or a Master of Arts in Survey Research. Students must earn a “B” or better and the courses must have been taken within six (6) years in order to be counted.

If you are interested in registering for a course but are not a current UConn student, please contact Candace Fitzpatrick, Department of Public Policy Interim Administrative Program Director, at candace.fitzpatrick@uconn.edu.