Columbia and NYU offering a course with practically identical course description

I discovered something unusual while poking around the websites of universities offering master’s degree programs.

The introductory course for two different programs in two different universities – Columbia’s Master of Arts in Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences (QMSS) and New York University’s Master of Arts in Applied Quantitative Research (AQR) – have the same exact course description, with some cosmetic differences.

From the course descriptions page and more specifically the class directory at Columbia:

QMSS Theory and Methodology (QMSS G4010)
This interdisciplinary course, taken in the fall semester, is a comprehensive introduction to quantitative research in the social sciences. The course focuses on foundational ideas of social science research, including strengths and weaknesses of different research designs, interpretation of data drawn from contemporary and historical contexts, and strategies for evaluating evidence. The majority of the course is comprised of two-week units examining particular research designs, with a set of scholarly articles that utilize that design (e.g., experimental designs, with a set of readings that use this method to examine discrimination in labor and housing markets).

From the course descriptions page at New York University:

Designs of Social Research
SOC-GA 1301 Wu. 4 points. 2013-14, 2014-15.
This course, taken in the fall semester, is a comprehensive introduction to quantitative research in the social sciences. The course focuses on foundational ideas of sociological research, including strengths and weaknesses of different research designs, interpretation of data drawn from contemporary and historical contexts, and strategies for evaluating evidence. The majority of the course is comprised of two-week units examining particular research designs, with a set of scholarly articles that utilize that design (e.g., experimental designs, with a set of readings that use this method to examine discrimination in labor and housing markets). The course is designed so that students will produce a proposal of their thesis as their final paper.

I don’t know anything about the inner workings of academia. Is this normal? I usually rely on course descriptions to tell me what’s going on in a course, and this description is pretty specific (right down to the “two-week unit” structure). Are the professors best buds and sharing the same syllabus?

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s