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Research Design in the Social and Behavioral Sciences

2nd term
Health Behavior and Society
3 credits
Academic Year:
2022 - 2023
Instruction Method:
Synchronous Online
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Undergrads Allowed:
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor:
Rajiv Rimal

One term biostatistics or consent of instructor. Social or behavioral sciences recommended.


Provides an overview of the design and conduct of research in the social and behavioral sciences as applied to public health. Draws primarily from the research perspectives and methodologies of sociology, anthropology, and health promotion, students examine the formulation of a research question, selection of a research design, selection of a study site and population, issues and methods of data collection, and measurement validity and reliability. Evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of the major types of research design used in the social sciences.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Identify the role and importance of the scientific method
  2. Identify relevant ethical issues surrounding social science research
  3. Evaluate and critique existing social science research
  4. Evaluate qualitative and quantitative research designs
  5. Develop research aims intended to answer social science questions relevant to public health
Methods of Assessment:

This course is evaluated as follows:

  • 5% Homework
  • 20% Presentation(s)
  • 30% Midterm
  • 35% Final Paper
  • 10% Participation

Instructor Consent:

No consent required

Special Comments:

This is the virtual/online section of a course also held online. You are responsible for the modality in which you register.