The Political Science Department, drawing on the broader resources available within the School of Social Sciences and in other units at UCI, is one of the premier places to study formal modeling, and methodology in all its forms. Four department faculty, including Bernard Grofman, Marek Kaminski, Charles A. Smith, and Carole Uhlaner, do work in game theory and decision theory. Graeme Boushey works on diffusion models, and one emeritus faculty who is still involved in teaching, Rein Taagepera, is a world recognized leader in developing models that are inspired by those in the physical sciences.  A number of other political scientists, including Matthew Beckmann, Sara Goodman, Davin Phoenix and Michael Tesler teach courses that draw heavily on methods, including experimental methods. 

While specific courses in game theory, research design, and methods are taught by political science faculty, and course requirements in methodology are imposed within Comparative Politics and American Politics, the structure of graduate requirements in the Political Science Department, which allows for six of the eighteen required graduate courses to be taken outside the department, and the uniquely interdisciplinary tradition within the School of Social Sciences, facilitate the learning of sophisticated tools of analysis in courses taken outside the department. Training in game theory and formal modeling is carried out in conjunction with the Department of Economics, and in conjunction with the UCI Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Sciences, which includes several members of the National Academy of Sciences, and which offers an M.A. in Mathematical Behavioral Sciences in which political science graduate students with the appropriate background are eligible to participate. Training in quantitative methodology also draws on resources in the Department of Economics, such as courses in econometrics, and on courses in the Department of Statistics, as well as courses taught in Sociology and in Social Ecology, including courses in social networks and geographic information systems (GIS).

To further develop their skills, students with interests in advanced methodology are also strongly encouraged to participate in summer workshops.  Whole or partial funding is provided for such workshops.

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