Minor in Quantitative Methodology

Students pursuing a doctorate within the major of Psychology may now obtain a Minor in Quantitative Methodology.  

Approval to pursue the Minor is contingent on:

Being a student pursuing a graduate degree in Psychology in good standing. 
Written approval of the student’s primary advisor.  

Completion of the standard 2-course sequence in graduate statistics in the Department with a grade of B+ or higher, or an approved waiver of this criterion based on equivalent prior coursework. The two required courses are Statistical Analysis 1 (PSY 2005) and Statistical Analysis 2 (PSY 2010). 

Completion of 3 additional courses in advanced quantitative methods with a grade of B+ or higher. These courses may be completed within or outside of the Department of Psychology. Courses taken to fulfill this requirement from other departments require approval by the current faculty administrator of the Minor. 

The psychology department currently offers three advanced quantitative methodological courses on a regular basis: Structural Equation Modeling (PSY 2090), Applied Longitudinal Data Analysis (PSY 2575 – Special Topics in Psychology), and Mixed Effects Models (PSY 2575 – Special Topics in Psychology).  In addition, students may take advanced quantitative courses in other departments in the college (e.g., Department of Statistics, Department of Political Science), or outside of the college (e.g., School of Education, Carnegie Mellon University Machine Learning program).  

Attendance of at least one semester’s worth (6 lectures) of the Community for Advanced Methodological Learning (CAMeL: http://psychology.pitt.edu/graduate/camel) series, including a presentation of one lecture on a topic approved by the CAMeL organization committee.

Demonstration of mastery of quantitative methodology through the inclusion of an advanced technique as part of a milestone or independent project that has been approved by one of the affiliated faculty.   

For the purposes of evaluation, a number of faculty will constitute the Quantitative Minor review committee. Initially this review committee will comprise Drs. Aidan G.C. Wright, Elizabeth Votruba-Drzal, and Scott Fraundorf, and will be expanded or modified as needed moving forward and contingent on the availability of faculty with adequate expertise.  The review committee will meet in the early spring semester of each academic year to review applications for the minor and each of the proposed requirements from those students who are pursing the minor. Evaluation of each of the proposed requirements are as follows.  For academic requirements B and C above, successful completion of the coursework with a grade of B+ or higher in each of the 5 courses will be evaluated by a review of the trainee’s transcript.  The Psychology Department graduate administrator will maintain a list of courses that are approved.  Additional courses can be proposed by trainees and will be approved on an ad hoc basis following a review of the syllabus by a faculty member of the committee. For academic requirement D, confirmation of attendance to CAMeL will be ascertained by review of the sign-in sheets collected at each meeting, and satisfactory presentation will be judged by one of the review committee faculty in attendance on the date of the student’s presentation.  Finally, successful completion of requirement E, inclusion of an advanced methodological technique in a milestone project (i.e., Master’s Thesis, Comprehensive Exam, or Doctoral Dissertation) or independent project, will be evaluated by one review committee member.  The criterion for satisfactory completion will be commensurate with the requirements associated with the milestone project (i.e., the technique would need to be judged to be acceptable for satisfactory completion of the milestone project) or consistent with expected publication standards in the field, should the student choose to pursue an independent project.  A review committee faculty member is notrequired to be part of the milestone project committee, and in the case that there is not an affiliated faculty member on the committee an independent evaluation of the application of the advanced statistical technique will be performed.  We wish that students currently enrolled, and who began their graduate training on or after the Fall Semester of 2014, be allowed to enroll in the Minor and retroactively apply their previously completed coursework, projects, and participation in CAMeL to the requirements of the Minor.

See FAQs about the Minor