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Introduction to Structural Equation Modeling - Online Course

A 3-Day Livestream Seminar Taught by

Paul Allison
Course Dates: Ask about upcoming dates
Schedule: All sessions are held live via Zoom. All times are ET (New York time).

10:00am-2:00pm ET (New York time): Live lecture via Zoom
4:00pm-5:00pm ET: Live lab session via Zoom (Thursday and Friday only)

Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) is a statistical methodology that is widely used by researchers in the social, behavioral and educational sciences. First introduced in the 1970s, SEM is a marriage of psychometrics and econometrics. On the psychometric side, SEM allows for latent variables with multiple indicators. On the econometric side, SEM allows for multiple equations, possibly with feedback loops. In today’s SEM software, the models are so general that they encompass most of the statistical methods that are currently used in the social and behavioral sciences.

Here Are a Few Things You Can Do With Structural Equation Modeling

  • Test the implications of causal theories.
  • Estimate simultaneous equations with reciprocal effects.
  • Incorporate latent variables with multiple indicators.
  • Investigate mediation and moderation in a systematic way.
  • Handle missing data by maximum likelihood (better than
    multiple imputation).
  • Adjust for measurement error in predictor variables.
  • Estimate and compare models across multiple groups of individuals.
  • Represent causal theories with rigorous diagrams.
  • Investigate the properties of multiple-item scales.

Because SEM is such a complex and wide-ranging methodology, learning how to use it can take a substantial investment of time and effort. Now, you have the opportunity to learn the basics of SEM from a master teacher, Professor Paul D. Allison, in just three days.

Starting November 4, we are offering this seminar as a 3-day synchronous*, remote workshop. Each day will consist of a 4-hour live lecture held via the free video-conferencing software Zoom. You are encouraged to join the lecture live, but will have the opportunity to view the recorded session later in the day if you are unable to attend at the scheduled time.

Each lecture session will conclude with a hands-on exercise reviewing the content covered, to be completed on your own. An additional lab session will be held Thursday and Friday afternoons, where you can review the exercise results with the instructor and ask any questions.

*We understand that scheduling is difficult during this unpredictable time. If you prefer, you may take all or part of the course asynchronously. The video recordings will be made available within 24 hours of each session and will be accessible for four weeks after the seminar, meaning that you will get all of the class content and discussions even if you cannot participate synchronously.

Closed captioning is available for all live and recorded sessions.


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"“I left this course feeling like I had a good grasp on these methods for the first time..."

“I left this course feeling like I had a good grasp on these methods for the first time, and feeling empowered to apply them in a practical setting with real-world data.”

Lauren Wilson

Duke University

"I feel confident..."

“SEM has come up a lot in my current line of work at University of Michigan. Since I had never taken a formal training on this, I was very unclear on the concepts. This course emphasizes simple examples to explain new concepts. It develops concepts very systematically. At the end of this course, I have a very good idea about path analysis, latent factor models, and confirmatory factor models. I feel confident that I can draw a conceptual diagram of a theoretical model and implement it in a statistical program. Thank you so much!”

Bidisha Ghosh

University of Michigan

“This course provided a great conceptual and technical introduction to SEM..."

“This course provided a great conceptual and technical introduction to SEM. The instructor is an expert in SEM and it showed! Plus he provided clear explanations and showed great patience in answering all our questions. I feel I can now go back to my job and apply what I’ve learned and extend my SEM skills, now that I have a solid foundation.”

Elizabeth Tarlov

Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital

"This course is immediately applicable to my own work..."

“This course is immediately applicable to my own work and work with students. Dr. Allison is available for detailed explanations. There was a clear integration of theoretical and statistical concepts.”

Paul Harrell

Eastern Virginia Medical School

“I learned a lot about SEM on principle and examples..."

“I learned a lot about SEM on principle and examples which will guide me to solve real problems in my work.”

You Li

University of Massachusetts

“This was a great course and covered a number of topics in depth..."

“This was a great course and covered a number of topics in depth. I signed up to learn more about how SEMs could be used to test mediation models but the section on FIML was interesting and I will try it out on my next missing data problem.”

Laura Pyle

University of Colorado