Research Design

In addition to the tremendous strength of the OSU Political Science Department in quantitative methods, OSU has a strong program in research design. Courses taught in the department cover an unusually wide range of topics from experimental methods to survey research plus coverage of qualitative methodology and content analysis.

Experimental Methods faculty: Kathleen McGraw, Tom Nelson

Experiment Methods are covered both as part of our introductory course on research design and in a special advanced course focusing on experimental methods, plus courses in the Psychology Department. Additionally, the Political Science department maintains a human subjects pool so that faculty and graduate students can conduct in-house experiments. The department's experimental lab has recently been renovated with a new round of modern personal computers, using Media Lab software that experimenters can program for their experiments.

Survey Research faculty: Tom Nelson, Herb Weisberg

Survey research is the focus of two advanced courses in the Political Science Department: a course on "Questions in Surveys" that focuses on question wording and questionnaire construction and a capstone Survey Research Practicum course in which students get practical experience in surveys in addition to reading and discussing the modern literature on the total survey error approach. Students taking these two courses, our basic research design course, our public opinion course, and a course in sampling qualify for certification in OSU's new Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization in Survey Research. Students focusing on survey research can also work in OSU's Center for Survey Research, which regularly conducts RDD samples of Ohio and the nation.

Ph.D.'s from Ohio State with specialization in survey research have been placed in a wide variety of academic and industry positions. Academic placements include Georgetown University, Rutgers, the University of Mississippi, the University of Cincinnati, and Brigham Young University. Non-academic positions taken by graduates of the program include several in the Washington D.C. area at the American Institutes for Research, Wirthlin Worldwide, and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, plus survey operations outside of Washington such as Yarnell Research, Saperstein Associates, the Strategy Team, and Retail Forward.