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SOSC 1200 Quantitative Social Analysis [3 Credits]

This course introduces students to quantitative social analysis by presenting a selection of influential classic studies from across the social sciences that make use of quantitative techniques to examine important topics as crime, careers, health, education, inequality, family, and economic, social and political change. The class will also present examples of recent studies that make exemplary use of innovative data and methods. Along the way, students will learn about the differences between the concerns, paradigms, and methodologies of the major social science disciplines.


SOSC 1210 First-year Seminar [1 Credit]

Through presentations from invited guests, this seminar will introduce students to quantitative research using social data being conducted by faculty in the Division of Social Science and elsewhere, and to applications of quantitative social analysis in government, industry, and non-governmental organizations. Remaining class sessions will introduce the goals and organization of the program, and survey careers in which students may make apply their skills in quantitative social analysis, and lead discussions about how to prepare for those careers. For QSA students only. For other students, instructor approval is required for enrolling in the course. Graded P or F.


SOSC 2400 Intermediate Statistics for Social Research [3 credits]

Introduction to quantitative methods used across social science disciplines. The course covers basic statistical inference, the linear regression model, and regression analysis in practice. The emphasis is applied. Students will learn to use a major statistical package to analyze social data of the type commonly used in research. Special attention will be given to the specification of models, the interpretation of results, and the challenges posed by reverse causality, omitted variable bias, endogeneity, and other issues that commonly arise in the analysis of social data. The course will briefly introduce elaborations the linear regression model developed to address specific situations such as limited dependent variables. Students who do not have the pre-requisites may enroll in the course with approval by the instructor. Prerequisite: SOSC 1100.


SOSC 3700 Quantitative Social Analysis Practicum [1 credit]

The course is intended to prepare students for the Quantitative Social Analysis Capstone Project by giving them practical experience in the quantitative analysis of social data by independently applying skills acquired in their required and elective methods courses. Students will either conduct a small research project related to the theme of a topical course in the Division of Social Science in which they are concurrently enrolled, or complete an internship that involves application of skills learned in their methods courses. Enrolled students will meet as a class at regular intervals during the semester and submit a final report. Students who plan to carry out a project are expected to be simultaneously enrolled in a topical Social Science course. May only be taken twice. For QSA students only. Prerequisites: SOSC 1100.

The course is intended to prepare students for their Capstone Project by allowing them to apply the skills they have learned in their quantitative methods courses in a real-world setting. They may earn 3700 credit by 1) participating in faculty research project, 2) having an internship in which they manage and analyze data, 3) carrying out a small project in which they analyze social data, or 4) completing a UROP that involves analysis of social data. Each enrollment of SOSC3700 is 1 credit, and students are required to have 2 credits.

Normally students will take SOSC3700 anytime between the summer before their 3rd year and the summer following their 3rd year. It is graded P/F. They should have both credits completed before starting their 4th year. Students may take SOSC3700 in their 2nd year if they have an appropriate internship or an opportunity to participate in a faculty research project but should talk to the program staff and program director well in advance to discuss their plans. While students may take SOSC3700 once they have completed SOSC1100, it is better if they have also completed SOSC2400 and possibly other methods classes.

Some Social Science faculty at HKUST provide opportunities for undergraduate students to participate in their ongoing research projects. These arrangements are typically made on an ad hoc basis, usually after a student comes to know a faculty member and their research by taking one of their classes. If you have an opportunity to work with a faculty member on one of their research projects, please contact program staff immediate to discuss whether and how to obtain 3700 credit. For permission to enroll we will need a description of the planned activities with an endorsement from the faculty member, and then for a grade to be assigned we will need a final report endorsed by the faculty member. While we expect most students who earn 3700 this way to do so by working with a professor in the Division of Social Science, we will also consider work done with faculty in other divisions or departments, as long as the data are social data.

Students must be approved for this option. If you are considering this, please contact us at qsapgm@ust.hk before starting the project..

Students may find internships in which they apply the skills they have learned in QSA to analyze social data in the private, public, or non-profit sector. For example, in recent years several students have had internships at private companies in which they analyzed customer or other marketing data and produced reports, or at non-profits or NGOs where they analyzed and reported on demographic or other data. Students must have prior approval to enroll in 3700 in connection with an internship. We have a procedure to follow for students who plan to seek credit for an internship. Students must submit an application including the job description before they start the internship, an initial report once they have been approved for credit and start their internship, and a final report before credit is awarded. Students should contact program staff immediately if they have are considering an internship for which they will seek 3700 so that they can complete all necessary paperwork before they start. It is especially important for non-local students to contact program staff as early as possible if they are considering an internship because of the rules regarding internships and work for non-local students.

For applications, please go to SHSS Internship for more information.

Students may earn 3700 credit by completing a small project of their own in which they analyze social data and prepare a report on the results. For this, students will need to enroll in an offering of 3700 in fall and/or spring of their third year that is specifically tailored for this. The project may be related to the theme of a class in which they are concurrently enrolled, but should be separate from any work they are submitting for credit for the other class. In other words, it is not acceptable to receive credit twice for work submitted in another class and 3700.

Students must be approved for this option. If you are considering this, please contact us at qsapgm@ust.hk before starting the project..

Students may use credited earned through a UROP to satisfy their 3700 requirement if they can show that the work involved analysis of social data.

Students must be approved for this option. If you are considering this, please contact us at qsapgm@ust.hk before starting the program..


SOSC 4100 Research Proseminar [1 credit]

Students will meet regularly to develop ideas for their Capstone Project. Faculty in the Division of Social Science and elsewhere who have datasets that students may use for their Project will be invited to introduce those datasets. Some class sessions will be devoted to meetings with speakers in the Division of Social Science seminar series, who will be asked to share their experiences developing their careers, and offer advice to students contemplating postgraduate studies. For 4th year QSA students only. Prerequisite: SOSC 3700.


SOSC 4110 Capstone Project [3 credits]

The capstone project aims to prepare students to conduct independent research in quantitative social science. Students will choose a topic, identify appropriate data and methodologies, design and execute an analysis, and write up and present the results. For 4th year QSA students only. Enrollment in the course requires approval of the course coordinator.