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Qualitative Research Courses

Contemporary research involves a rich body of approaches and theories. Our program provides courses and guidance in many forms of qualitative inquiry, including case study, oral history, narrative, arts-based, feminist/critical, ethnographic, and post-structuralist approaches among others. We support students in conceptualizing, carrying out, analyzing, stretching, and representing research in these diverse traditions. 

SCFD 5913: Intro to Qualitative Inquiry

Examination of the major approaches and field work techniques of qualitative research as well as the challenges associated with conducting this form of inquiry


This course has no pre-requisites and is a good alternative to Qualitative I for graduate students interested in a basic introduction to qualitative research.


SCFD 6113: Theoretical Foundations of Inquiry

Explores the history and philosophical assumptions, undergirding theories, methods and issues of ethics and rigor associated with both qualitative and quantitative research in education and related fields. Foundational doctoral-level research course.


SCFD 6123: Qualitative Research I

This course investigates the traditions, philosophies and techniques of qualitative research, including participant observation, interviewing and document analysis. Students practice qualitative techniques and engage in preliminary data analysis. Prior knowledge or experience with research design (e.g. REMS 5013) is expected.


SCFD 6163: Ethnography

Theoretical and historical grounding of ethnography as a methodology, exposure to diverse ethnographic approaches such as auto ethnography, critical, visual and feminist ethnographies and opportunities to conduct a small scale ethnography project.

Pre-requisite(s): SCFD 5913 or SCFD 6123 or other graduate level qualitative methods course.


SCFD 6173: Visual Methodologies

Practical guidance, theoretical orientation and ethical considerations in the creation and interpretation of visual culture and its use with different qualitative methodologies. Pre-requisite(s): SCFD 5913 or SCFD 6123 or other graduate-level qualitative methods course.


SCFD 6183: Narrative Research Methodologies

Theoretical grounding, research design and practice in qualitative narrative research methodologies, such as narrative inquiry, auto/biography and life history.

Pre-requisite(s): SCFD 5913 or SCFD 6123 or other graduate-level qualitative methods course.


SCFD 6190: Qualitative Research, Selective Methods

Methods focus changes each term. Includes classic and new approaches such as arts-based, biography, case study, discourse analysis, auto ethnography, grounded theory, historical social science, writing and representation. One to three credit hours.


SCFD 6193: Qualitative Research II

This course focuses on various approaches to qualitative data analysis. Additional attention is given to issues of writing, representation, reflexivity and reciprocity. Students practice analytic techniques and writing up research.

Pre-requisite(s): at least one graduate-level qualitative course.

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