PhD Programs with Quantitative Concentrations

The University has PhD degree programs in various departments and schools that provide a concentration on quantitative methods. New doctoral applicants who are interested in developing specialty in quantitative methods, depending on their disciplinary interests, may look into one of these degree programs.

Doctoral Programs in Quantitative Methods

Business Administration

Econometrics and Statistics, one of the eight dissertation areas in the Booth School PhD program, is concerned with the combination of economic, mathematical, and computer techniques in the analysis of economic and business problems such as forecasting, demand and cost analyses, model-building, and testing empirical implications of theories. Study in this area integrates a comprehensive program of course work with extensive research. The program is designed for students who wish to do research in statistical methods that are motivated by business applications. Students are able to design an individual program of study by combining courses in specific areas of business, such as economics, finance, accounting, marketing, or international business with advanced courses in statistical methods.  Empirical work has always been an important part of the research effort at Chicago Booth in all fields of study. Econometrics and statistics courses are thus useful choices in satisfying the basic discipline or coordinated sequence.


Quantitative Methods are a key component of the Core curriculum. Specialized Fields in Quantitative Methods include:

  • Quantitative Study of Inequality
  • Applied econometrics

Public Policy

         Tools of Policy Analysis provides in-depth and technical expertise that can be applied to a broad range of subject
         areas.The following are included among the five specialties: Program evaluation, statistics, and survey methods. 

Comparative Human Development

Methods in Human Development Research. Research on human development over the life span and across social and cultural contexts thrives on multiple theoretical perspectives. This research requires creation and improvement of a wide range of research methods appropriately selected for and tailored to specific human development problems. Faculty in the department employ research methods that span the full range from primarily qualitative to primarily quantitative and to strategic mix of both. Across all the substantive domains in Comparative Human Development, theoretical understanding is greatly advanced by methodology; therefore the Department pays serious attention to research design, data collection, analytic strategies, and presentation, evaluation, and interpretations of evidence. The Department has contributed some of the most influential work on psychological scaling on the basis of the item response theory (IRT), multivariate statistical methods, analysis of qualitative data, modeling of human growth, and methods for cross-cultural analysis. Current research interests include (a) assessment of individual growth and change in important domains of development that are often intertwined, (b) examination and measurement of the structure, process, and quality of individual and group experiences in institutionalized settings such as families, schools, clinics, and neighborhoods, and (c) evaluation of the impact of societal changes or interventions on human development via changes in individual and group experiences, with particular interest in the heterogeneity of growth, process, and impact across demographic sub-populations and across social cultural contexts.

Public Health Sciences

Concentration in Biostatistics,The PhD program in the Department of Public Health Sciences is supported by a core methodological curriculum in population-based research on human health. Students completing a concentration in biostatistics will be prepared to develop state-of-the-art quantitative reasoning and techniques of statistical science, mathematics, and computing, and to apply these to current and future research problems in biomedical science and population health. In addition, these students will complete a minor program of study in a substantive area of application. As such they will be particularly well prepared to engage in collaborative population-based health research. 

Political Science

Methodology is one of the five fields in the department. Many students choose the department’s introductory sequence in quantitative methods, followed by more advanced seminars in data analysis and model building. Students with more advanced methodological skills can take further coursework in the department or related courses in economics, public policy or statistics.


Special Fields in Methodology. The Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago has a rich group of faculty members who provide graduate training and conduct research in methods and models for sociological research. These methods can be divided roughly into four categories: Field and ethnographic methods; statistical methods; survey and related methods; and mathematical modeling methods. PhD. students are required to demonstrate competence in two special fields. The Special Field Requirement is generally met during the third and fourth years of graduate study. Students must pass the Preliminary Examination at the PhD. level before meeting the Special Field Requirement. This requirement may be met in three ways: by examination, with a review essay, or through a specified sequence of methods courses. Five types of special fields in methodology are recognized: (1) social statistics, (2) survey research methods, (3) qualitative methods (4) methodology for social organization research, and (5) mathematical sociology.