Methods Taught in Public Policy Programs: Are Quantitative Methods Still Prevalent?

Göktug˘ Morçöl, Nadezda P. Ivanova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


This paper presents the results of a content analysis of the titles and descriptions of methods courses offered in 44 graduate programs in public policy at universities and colleges in the U. S., and compares the results to those of an earlier survey on the methodological preferences of policy professionals. The rationale for classifying methods courses as quantitative and qualitative and the results of the past research on methods courses are discussed. The results of the analyses show that quantitative methods are used in a large majority of the courses studied and that they are prevalent in the practice of policy professionals. The authors question whether the prevalence of a quantitative/positivist methodological approach in public policy programs and practice is a good match for the demands of today’s complex world of governance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-277
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Public Affairs Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Public Administration


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