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Qualitative or Quantitative?


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I'm wondering if anyone has any tips on how to determine if a school focuses on Quantitative or Qualitative methodology? I'm primarily interested in Quantitative, but very few websites actually explicitly state which way they lean.

 

Currently, I'm looking at Duke, UPenn, Penn State, UNC Chapel Hill, Vanderbilt, Rutgers, UT Austin, Notre Dame, U Virginia, and Rice. I hope to specialize in Culture and Religion.

From what I've gathered, there are people at Penn State and Notre Dame that deal with survey data and quantitative methods, but I've no clue about the others. Can anyone shed some light on this?

 

Thanks!

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I'm in a different department (communication) but the sociology program at The University of Oklahoma is extremely quantitative in focus.  I don't know if you've looked into them or not.

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Just looking at the department websites won't give you enough info because a department "overall" is not the same thing as its faculty individually (and most departments will not outright say they are heavier in one methodology).  

 

Above all, make sure you look at whether the specific faculty you are interested in working with use quantitative or qualitative methods.  Reading a few of their (or even their students') recent articles can quickly shed light on their approach.  Of course, it's not completely impossible to do quantitative methods and have a qualitative advisor (I wouldn't want to do it, lol), but you will probably be a better fit if your advisor works with the same methodology.  Also, maybe take a look at the methods requirements for the department and its course offerings if you can access them.

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  • 2 weeks later...

You should also take a look at niche focuses of schools. For instance, UCLA, Stanford, and Cal are great schools for social stratification, which is primarily quantitative in nature.

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Also, I would suggest looking at the CV and recent publications of faculty in each department who specialize in your subject of interest.

 

For instance, at George Mason University there are several faculty who specialize in the quantitative study of families, migration, gender inequality, information technologies, etc. You wouldn't know that unless you look at the publications and CVs of relevant faculty, though.

 

So - don't just look at department websites, look at faculty profiles and C.Vs too.

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  • 5 weeks later...

 

Above all, make sure you look at whether the specific faculty you are interested in working with use quantitative or qualitative methods.  Reading a few of their (or even their students') recent articles can quickly shed light on their approach.  Of course, it's not completely impossible to do quantitative methods and have a qualitative advisor (I wouldn't want to do it, lol), but you will probably be a better fit if your advisor works with the same methodology. 

 

This is a fair point, but especially if you're a more independent worker then it really may not matter too much. You can compose a committee (even informally in earlier years) of folks using various methods. So if you're top advisor is a star in culture but not quant methods, you can try to find someone in the dept who knows the method that interests you. So diversity counts for a lot.

 

Also, Princeton I believe would qualify for your criteria. Good luck ;)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Rice is great for soc of religion and you can pick up quant skills from other profs that aren't necessarily in your substantive field. You're interested in quant so you don't need to worry about ending up in a department that doesn't have any quant support/people. Rather, there are departments where you can get literally no support in terms of qual methods. Looking at some faculty lists, these departments should be fairly easy to identify. 

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