are the engines of innovation and creative new theoretical perspectives.
Ph.D. Program Policies and Requirements
The key components of the Ph.D. in Survey Methodology, are:
examination in the theory and methods of survey methodology.
An advisory committee
that will assist the student in tailoring a program of study permitting the
student to demonstrate both theoretical and applied knowledge and skills in
the conduct of research in an area of survey methodology.
A set of doctoral
courses in key areas of survey methodology and statistics as well as in a
basic discipline from which survey methodology draws.
examinations to demonstrate requisite theoretical and applied knowledge.
Completion of a
dissertation to demonstrate research skills.
Qualifying examinations will be given to all students seeking the Ph.D. These
will generally be taken by the end of the first year of the student's enrollment
in the program. The goal of the examination is to assure that all Ph.D. students
share a basic foundation of the interdisciplinary knowledge important to survey
methodology. The Ph.D. advisor assigned to the student will provide counsel on
what preparations are needed for the individual student prior to taking the
The qualifying examination will cover the material treated in courses required
of both the statistical and social science concentrations of the M.S. in Survey
Methodology. In addition, it will cover two specialty content areas: one on
statistical theory and methods for those Ph.D. students seeking to specialize in
statistical science; one on statistical methods and data analysis for those
seeking to specialize in the social sciences.
No course work is required prior to taking the qualifying examinations, although
many students may choose to take courses to fill gaps in their backgrounds.
The Role of the Advisor
The student's advisor will help shape a course of study
tailored to the interests of the student. The plan devised
by the student and the advisor must assure that by its
successful completion the student will demonstrate both
theoretical and applied knowledge at the doctoral level and
the ability to conceptualize, design, and conduct complex
The advisor will be a faculty member in the Joint Program of
Survey Methodology. The advisor will assist the student in
identifying existing graduate courses suited to the doctoral
student's interests and background, and might devise
individual reading and research courses. The advisor will
approve the student's proposed course plan.
Ingredients of a Course Plan
The Ph.D. student's advisor is free to shape a schedule of courses
tailored to the educational needs and research goals of the student.
Courses can be classified in several categories.
All Ph.D. students will be required to take four semesters of the Ph.D.
seminar. The Ph.D. seminar will taught by at least two faculty members,
one from the statistical science and one from the social science group
of the JPSM faculty.
First Year Ph. D. Seminar
This is a two term, six credit introduction to the integration of social
science and statistical science approaches to the design, collection,
and analysis of surveys. The seminar will focus on six to eight areas of
the statistical and methodological literature that have benefited from
alternative approaches. Students will demonstrate mastery of those
literatures through critical review papers, ideas for extensions of the
literature, and empirical projects related to the research reviewed.
Second Year Ph.D. Seminar
This is a two term, six credit seminar designed to develop and hone skills
involved in the identification of research problems, specification of
hypothesis/theorems to extend current understanding of the field, and
planning for original research. A common set of readings in advanced
research activities of JPSM faculty will be studied, with the faculty
engaged in the research discussing areas of potential innovation. There will
be four to six such topics, with students completing technical proposals for
future research in each. Students will present the proposals in both written
and oral form, and critique proposals.
Advanced Research Seminars
JPSM will also offer doctoral seminars focusing on topics such as
longitudinal design, collection, and, analysis, advanced topics in survey
statistics, and advanced topics in the social and cognitive foundations of
Courses in Other Departments
Students will also take courses in another department (or in some cases, other
departments), as specified by their advisory committee. The departments (e.g.,
Economics, Psychology, Sociology, and Mathematics) will represent disciplines
from which survey statistics and methodology draw. For some students two full
years of courses will be required; for others, somewhat less.
When the student has completed the planned course of study, the Examination
Committee will craft a comprehensive examination tailored to the student's
particular course of study. The examination will be a thorough measurement
of the student's knowledge in the theories and methods of the chosen area of
After successful completion of the comprehensive examinations, the student
with the ongoing guidance of the dissertation committee, will propose and
conduct dissertation research, leading to an original scholarly
contribution. At least twelve credit hours of dissertation research are
required. The dissertation will involve the creation of new knowledge in the
field of survey methodology, demonstrating that the student has mastered the
research skills necessary for a career in advanced research.
The Ph.D. in Survey Methodology is designed to equip its graduates with the
knowledge and skills to create new methodologies for the collection and
analysis of quantitative data suitable for statistical inference to large
populations. The first and second year Ph.D. seminars are designed to
provide students with exposure to cutting edge research issues in the field.
The courses of study designed by the student and the advisory committee will
create intellectual bridges between survey methodology and more traditional
disciplines with a focus on seeking knowledge to improve surveys.