Fall 2007


Time and Place:

TR 8:00-9:25 AM, PH 320


J. Brandon Wallace, Ph.D.

Instructor's Office, Phone and Email:

TODD 330, 898-5976,

Instructor's Office Hours:

MWF 9:00-11:25 and MW 12:30-2:30. Other times by appointment.

It is the responsibility of each student to read and understand the syllabus. It serves as an agreement between the student and the instructor, specifying the rights and responsibilities of each. Be sure to clarify any questions you may have about the syllabus as soon as possible.


The required text for the course is Statistics: A Tool for Social Research, 7th Ed., by Joseph Healey. The textbook is available at the campus bookstore, but you may purchase it from the store of your choice.


This course is designed to provide students with the basic knowledge necessary to perform elementary statistical analysis of quantitative social science data. Students will learn both descriptive and inferential statistics, focusing on their application in the social sciences. Emphasis will be placed on choosing appropriate statistical analyses given the research question and data being analyzed, calculating the necessary statistics using SPSS statistical software, and using SPSS output to make decisions about research hypotheses. Class time will be split between lectures on statistical concepts, demonstrations of the use of SPSS, and discussions of the meaning and application of SPSS output. Out-of-class assignments will give students the opportunity to apply what is learned in class. While math is an important part of the course, it is not the primary focus. Most calculations will be performed by computer rather than by hand. All class documents, including the syllabus and course outline (which contains links to lecture outlines and out-of-class assignments), are available at


Students are expected to complete 6 out-of-class computer assignments worth 100 points each and a final comprehensive take home exam worth 200 points. These assignments require students to use SPSS statistical software to analyze quantitative data. SPSS is available on all computers in PH 320, which will be open 6-10 hours each week for students to complete assignments. Open lab times will be announced later. There are also 10 computers in the Business Computer Lab in BAS S137 that have SPSS installed. This lab is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with computers available on a first-come, first-served basis. Approximate due dates for each assignment are listed in the course outline. Specific due dates will be announced in class. Students will need two floppy disks, USB memory sticks, or CDs to save and store work from the assignments. I strongly recommend memory sticks.


A total of 800 points is available. Final grades will be determined by dividing the total points received by 8. Grades will be assigned based on the following scale: 90-100=A, 87-89=B+, 83-86=B, 80-82=B-, 77-79=C+, 73-76=C, 70-72=C-, 67-69=D+, 63-66=D, 60-62=D-, and less than 60=F.


Copying another's work, having someone complete assignments for you, and plagiarism (claiming another's written work as you own, including materials obtained from the Internet) will be considered cheating. Students engaging in such acts may not only be given a zero on the assignment in question, but may fail the course as well. Additionally, the professor may report such actions to appropriate university officials for subsequent action, including probation or suspension. (See the Student Handbook.)


To retain Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship eligibility, you must earn a cumulative TELS GPA of 2.75 after 24 attempted hours and a cumulative TELS GPA of 3.0 thereafter. A grade of C, D, F, or I in this class may negatively impact TELS eligibility. Dropping a class after 14 days may also impact eligibility. If you withdraw from this class and it results in an enrollment status of less than full time, you may lose eligibility for your lottery scholarship. For additional lottery scholarship rules please refer to your Lottery Statement of Understanding form, review lottery scholarship requirements on the web at, or contact the MTSU financial aid office at 898-2830.


Ryan Lorimer will be assisting with this class. Ryan will staff the computer lab in PH 320 for 6-8 hours a week and will be available to answer questions and meet with students as necessary. The lab hours and Ryan's contact information will be posted on the web next week.

If you have a disability that requires assistance or accommodation, or if you have any questions related to accommodations for testing, note taking, reading, etc., please speak with me as soon as possible. You may also contact the Office of Disabled Student Services (898-2783) with questions about such services. Students registered with the Office of Disabled Student Services will be accommodated as best as possible.

The Department of Sociology and Anthropology at MTSU hosts an Undergraduate Social Science Symposium each Fall to give undergraduate students an opportunity to present papers and research they have done in conjunction with various social science classes. If you are interested in participating, please contact the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at 898-2508.

Additional information of interest to sociology students, majors, and minors is available on the Department of Sociology and Anthropology web page at