Political Methodology is the field of political science devoted to developing the tools and techniques necessary to making inferences about the political and social world. These tools are widely used in all empirical fields of political science, and in many other scholarly discplines. Political Methodology is usually the second or third largest APSA section (of 47), and includes those who innovate or apply methods to numerous substantive problems. Whether you are planning to teach methods courses or to apply methods you learn here, you should be a member of the club.
Political Methodology is part of the broader data science movement, and is thus connected to the methodological subfields of many other disciplines, as well as statistics and computer science. Because political science is one of the most diverse academic areas of study, the range of methodological problems a political scientist will see in their career dwarfs that in most other fields. Political methodology is and benefits from being a cross-roads of methodological ideas and substantive problems from across academic fields.
In the Harvard Government Department, we attempt to give our graduate students the best methods training, both in the classroom and through work on actual methods research. A large portion of the top methodologists in the discipline were trained here, or were trained by those we trained. This document introduces the quantitative methods curriculum in the Government Department and highlights opportunities for students to become part of our broader community.