Undergraduate Programs

Cluster 4: Data Analysis and Interpretation

How do we know the articles or books we read are actually valid? How should we read a poll about an election? The practice of sociology and the social sciences generally depends on a solid foundation of research design and methods. This cluster provides in depth training and practice in these topics. What’s more, employers across a range of industries look for candidates with such exposure to design and methods.

This cluster teaches students how to come up with research questions, decide which research method is best suited for the question, select and collect data to answer the question, analyze the data, and interpret it so as to advance an argument. While methods training can have a reputation for being dry, that is not the case for these courses. Here, students get hands-on experience with how to manipulate software and handle large databases. Emphasis is placed on students designing their own questions and coming up with their own studies. Students learn overarching concerns around research design as well as in-depth training in both qualitative and quantitative methods. Students also learn the ethics around certain methodological decisions.

Elective courses for the Data Analysis and Interpretation cluster
The Data Analysis and Interpretation cluster requires completion of four (4) of the following Sociology courses/opportunities:

  • SOC 100: Research Design and Interpretation
  • SOC 101: Quantitative Research Methods
  • SOC 102: Qualitative Research Methods
  • SOC 149-18: The Politics of Knowledge
  • SOC 197: Independent Study
  • SOC 198: Directed Research in Sociology
  • SOC 199: Senior Honors Thesis