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SWK 6503H – Special Studies III: Advanced Statistics - Elective

Prerequisites:  SWK 6301H Intermediate Statistics, or equivalent.

This course is designed for graduate students in social work and other disciplines who do not specialize in statistics but who need a significant familiarity with the most commonly used statistical techniques. The course will provide students with the opportunity to understand and apply major statistical techniques in social work research.

The course has two major goals: (1) that students can correctly identify and apply the most suitable technique for their own research and (2) that students become capable of critically examining the appropriateness of statistical techniques used in the literature. Emphasis will be placed on the understanding of the assumptions of each statistical procedure, applying the procedure and interpreting computer outputs and not on the mathematical derivations of the formulas. Students will become competent users of SPSS computer software through hands on assignment applying the major statistical techniques to different data sets.


Several basic statistical techniques will be presented including: (1) Survival analysis, (2) Factor analysis and (3) Meta analysis. The software package SPSS will be used to apply the above methods on small-to-medium size data files. A brief overview of the following topics will be presented: (1) Reliability and validity of measurements, (2) Structural equation modeling and (3) Multi-level modeling. Students will have the opportunity to select two more topics for discussion.