Applied Research Certificate

(Download application form)

The Certificate in Applied Sociological Research prepares individuals in developing the ability and skills needed to conduct independent social research and be better prepared to enter graduate programs with these skills and knowledge.

Individuals who are interested in data analysis and research methodology are exposed to a more comprehensive coverage of research techniques and theories in both qualitative and quantitative areas, and get more in-depth training in computer applications for research.

In the process of completing the four required courses for the certificate (12 units total), individuals gain research experience that can help improve individuals, groups, and communities.

Individuals who complete the Certificate in Applied Sociological Research will be able to:

  • Understand the basic principles and techniques in doing both quantitative and qualitative social science research.
  • Have in-depth knowledge and skills in one or two areas of social research as their emphasis, such as in survey research, evaluation research or experimentation.
  • Collect data either quantitatively or qualitatively and be able to enter data into appropriate computer program for analysis.
  • Use SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences) and NVIVO for data entry, data cleaning, variable reformation (recoding, grouping, etc.), and data file management (combining or dividing data sets for later analysis).
  • Use SPSS to do statistical analysis, such as T-tests, ANOVA, Multiple Regression, and Chi-square.
  • Understand and use content analysis.
  • Design a research project by its goal and topic, with appropriate quantitative or qualitative methods.

The following four 3-unit courses are required for the Certificate in Applied Sociological Research Methods:

  1. SOC 125   Statistics for the Social Sciences (or equivalent Behavioral Statistics course*)
  2. SOC 174   Computer Data Analysis
  3. SOC 175   Quantitative Research Methods in Sociology
  4. SOC 176   Qualitative Research Methods in Sociology

Three of the four courses--125, 175, & 176--are offered every semester, and Soc174 is offered every spring semester. 

*University statistics courses accepted in lieu of Soc125 include Crim50, PlSi90, PH92, Psych42, and ERA153.

Soc175 & Soc176 serve as the "capstone experience" of the Certificate in Applied Sociological Research.  Each of these two courses is designed to have the student complete the course with a relatively well-developed research paper that could be presented at an undergraduate research conference.  Our Sociology Club applies each year for ASI Instructionally-Related Activities (IRA) funding to help sponsor sociology students who wish to present their paper at such a conference. Faculty often work with students on an "Independent Study" (Soc190) to assist students in preparation for this culminating experience. 

Those students considering pursuing a doctoral degree who are first-generation college students and/or from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds in graduate education are encouraged to apply for participation in the McNair Scholars Program at Fresno State.