Methods Requirement and Course Sequencing

Changes to the Government Department’s Methods Curriculum in Academic Year 2020-2021:

Drawing upon feedback from undergraduates and the Government Department's extensive faculty expertise in teaching statistical methods, the Government Department has thoroughly revised and updated its undergraduate curriculum in research methods for AY2020-2021.  

The basic requirement for all concentrators -- one course in statistical methods -- has not changed. However, the Government Department has redesigned its undergraduate methods courses to be more accessible to students with no previous training in statistics. Our new sequence of courses allows all students to gradually build the skills necessary to complete original political science research using quantative methods and even to take the first graduate-level course in quantitative analysis before they graduate, if they so choose. The chart below summarizes the new sequence in methods courses leading up to the graduate course Gov 2001:

Old Methods Courses: New Methods Course Sequence:
Gov 1005: Data Gov 50: Data
Gov 50: Introduction to Political
Science Research Methods
Gov 51: Data Analysis for Politics
Gov 1006: Models Gov 52: Models
Gov 2000/1000: Quantitative Methods I Gov 2001: Quantitative Analysis I


Students who wish to meet only the minimum requirement for the concentration should take Gov 50: Data. Students with previous experience in statistics (e.g., those who received a 5 on the AP Statistics exam) are welcome to start with Gov 51: Data Analysis for Politics.  The prerequisite for each course in the new sequence is the course before it (e.g., the prerequisite for Gov 52 is Gov 51 or the equivalent; the prerequisite for Gov 51 is Gov 50 or the equivalent). 

Concentrators are also still able to meet the methods requirement by taking a statistics course outside the Department (e.g., Stat 104), but those students are required to take one additional Government elective.

Please see our FAQ page if you have any questions about the methods requirement, or contact the undergraduate office with questions.