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Structural Equation Modeling: Part 1 - Online Course

A 4-Week On-Demand Seminar Taught by

Paul Allison
Course Dates: Ask about upcoming dates

Each Monday you will receive an email with instructions for the following week.

All course materials are available 24 hours a day. Materials will be accessible for an additional 2 weeks after the official close on August 8.

Watch Sample Video

This seminar is Part 1 of a two-part sequence on SEM. Part 2 covers more advanced SEM topics, like instrumental variables, alternative estimation methods, multiple group models, models for binary and ordinal data, and models for longitudinal data. Part 2 will be offered August 15-September 12.

For the last several years, Dr. Paul Allison has been teaching his acclaimed short seminars on Structural Equation Modeling to audiences around the world. This seminar covers structural equation modeling (SEM) basics. It is is an introductory course, and no previous knowledge of SEM is presumed.

The course takes place in a series of four weekly installments of videos, quizzes, readings, and assignments, and requires about 6-8 hours/week. You can participate at your own convenience; there are no set times when you are required to be online. The course can be accessed with any recent web browser on almost any platform, including iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. It consists of 12 modules:

  1. Introduction and linear regression
  2. FIML for missing data, path analysis
  3. Direct and indirect effects
  4. Indirect effects
  5. Bootstrapping and partial correlations
  6. Latent variable models and classical test theory
  7. Parallel, tau-equivalent and congeneric measures
  8. Confirmatory factor analysis
  9. Maximum likelihood estimation
  10. Goodness of fit
  11. Modification indices, correlated errors, the general structural equation model
  12. Concluding thoughts and advice

The modules contain videos of the 4-day livestream version of the course in its entirety. Each module is followed by a short multiple-choice quiz to test your knowledge. There are also weekly exercises that ask you to apply what you’ve learned to a real data set.

Each week, there are 2-3 assigned articles to read. There is also an online discussion forum where you can post questions or comments about any aspect of the course. All questions will be promptly answered by Dr. Allison.

Downloadable course materials include the following pdf files:

  • All slides displayed in the videos.
  • Exercises for each week.
  • Readings for each week.
  • Computer code for all exercises (in Mplus, SAS, Stata, and R formats).
  • A certificate of completion.

More details about course content


Who should register?

Registration instructions

"Paul Allison is a fantastic instructor."

“Paul Allison is a fantastic instructor. He made the course easy to follow with clear and step by step presentation. The pace is perfect for me. I like the best his insightful remarks on assumptions, qualification, appropriateness and interpretation of statistical output.”

Christine Lai

Vanderbilt University Medical Center

“...broken up well into manageable chunks of work..."

“This seminar is broken up well into manageable chunks of work, which is especially important when completing the course online.”

Nicole Hammond

University of Ottawa

“I liked the link between the conceptual underpinning, the algebra, derivation of the tests..."

“I liked the link between the conceptual underpinning, the algebra, derivation of the tests and then the translation into practical code examples for all of the major languages.”

Craig Sinclair

Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA)

“...understandable and relatable to many disciplines..."

“I appreciated the numerous examples that made the content understandable and relatable to many disciplines. Having the Slack channel was a great option for questions and increased my engagement with the content.”

Gretchen Swabe

University of Pittsburgh

"Dr. Allison explains the material very clearly."

“Dr. Allison explains the material very clearly. Showing how to implement the statistical techniques in all of the most popular software packages greatly improves the student’s ability to translate the material to their own work. He also is very diligent about replying to all our questions on Slack. The office hour section, where he works through the week’s assignment, is my favorite part.”

Michael Foley

Washington State Department of Labor and Industries

"The instructor visually showed us how to run the queries in each platform."

“The instructor visually showed us how to run the queries in each platform. This mitigated a lot of the frustration that usually comes with trying to do homework without the instructor present.”

Alison Krompf

Vermont Department of Mental Health

“The way Dr. Allison explains and answers questions is very clear and comprehensible."

“The way Dr. Allison explains and answers questions is very clear and comprehensible. Also, the mixture of presentations, exercises, readings, and application in the software packages was great.”

Dorothea Müller