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Course Details

Course Details

Course Code: SCIN400 Course ID: 4750 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Undergraduate

Research Methods for Natural Sciences is a course that focuses on providing the student the essential elements of scientific research and matters associated with the scientific method, experimental and non-experimental research design, and statistical data analyses. Students will familiarize with the current methodologies, tools, and instruments of modern research, such as: sampling, test design, data collection reporting, and the scientific writing process. In addition, they will develop a proposal to conduct an original research project within the field of Natural Sciences. This proposal is then used as the basis for the student to conduct an independent research project in SCIN499. Do not attempt this course until you have completed all Natural Sciences major required courses and all required courses in the Biology or Earth Science concentration. Contact Academic Advising for information and registration instructions. (Biology Concentration Prerequisites: BIOL240, BIOL241, BIOL342, EVSP416, and SCIN211. Earth Science Concentration Prerequisite: ERSC204, ERSC206, ERSC305, GEOG200, SCIN138, and SCIN261)

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
11/30/20 - 04/30/21 05/03/21 - 06/27/21 Spring 2021 Session I 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

The successful student will fulfill the following objectives:

CO-1: Compare and contrast major philosophical influences in scientific research.

CO-2: Interpret and reflect on ethical principles and standards in scientific research, including the roles of the Institutional Review Board.

CO-3: Develop a research plan that includes: (a) research problem, (b) theoretical framework, (c) review of the literature, (d) research design and methodology, and (e) analysis of results.

CO-4: Analyze primary and secondary sources of scientific information and scholarly material.

CO-5: Evaluate different sampling techniques and test construction techniques, including: (a) assessment of validity and (b) reliability factors.

CO-6: Analyze data, including: (a) descriptive statistics, (b) Z test, (c) t-test, and (d) X2 Test.

CO-7: Evaluate non-experimental research designs.

CO-8: Evaluate experimental research designs.

CO-9: Evaluate scientific journals and publishing process.

CO-10: Prepare and present a proposal for a research.

Eight (8) Weekly Forum Assignments

The student will be responsible for participating in eight Forum activities in which s/he will respond to questions posed by the instructor, will offer his/her feedback to the questions posed, and will respond to at least two classmates’ posts.

Course Project (Research Proposal)

The Course Project consists of writing a Research Proposal, and it is divided in four parts: (a) Research Problem and Theoretical Framework, (b) Literature Review, (c) Research Methodology and Design, (d) Presentation of the final Proposal.

Part 1: Research Problem and Theoretical Framework

Part 2: Literature Review

Part 3: Research Methodology and Design

Part 4: Presentation of Final Proposal

Please see the Student Handbook to reference the University’s grading scale.

NameGrade %
Forums 20.00 %
Week 1 Forum 2.50 %
Week 2 Forum 2.50 %
Week 3 Forum 2.50 %
Week 4 Forum 2.50 %
Week 5 Forum 2.50 %
Week 6 Forum 2.50 %
Week 7 Forum 2.50 %
Week 8 Forum 2.50 %
Research Proposal 40.00 %
Assignment 2: Literature Review 10.00 %
Assignment 3: Research Problem and Hypothesis 10.00 %
Assignment 4: Research Methodology & Design 10.00 %
Assignment 6: Research Presentation 10.00 %
Assignment Ethics 5.00 %
Assignment 1: Ethics in Natural Science Research 5.00 %
Quizzes 20.00 %
Quiz 1 20.00 %
Final Proposal 15.00 %
Assignment 5: Final Research Proposal 15.00 %

Required Technology

  • See the Technology Requirements section of the undergraduate catalog for the minimum hardware and software requirements.
  • Microsoft Office 365 is available to APUS students for free. To sign up, visit If you have questions about accessing the software, please contact Classroom support at

Additional Readings

Cambridge Rindge & Latin School. (2012). Basic steps in the research process. Retrieved from

Carpi, A., Egger, A. E. (2008). Research methods: The practice of science. Visionlearning, POS-2(1). Retrieved from

Day, R. A. (1977). How to write a scientific paper [electronic version]. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 20(1), 32-37. Retrieved from,+R.+A.pdf

Derntl, M. (2003). Basics of research paper writing and publishing [electronic version]. Dissertation, University of Vienna. Retrieved from corlissg/advice/06Materials/meth-se.pdf

Journal Prep. (2010). How to write and publish an academic research paper. Retrieved from

McComas, W. F. (1998). The principal elements of the nature of science: Dispelling the myths. Adapted from the chapter in McComas W. F. (ed.) The Nature of Science in Science Education, 53-70. Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers. Retrieved from

National Research Council. (2009). On being a scientist: A guide to responsible conduct in research, (3rd ed.) [electronic version]. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. Online version Retrieved from

Ratti, J. T., & Garton, E. O. (1994). Research and experimental design. Research and management techniques for wildlife and habitats. Fifth edition. The Wildlife Society, Bethesda, Maryland, USA, 1-23. Retrieved from

Spirkin, A. (1983). Philosophy and Science. In Dialectical Materialism, Ch. 1 Philosophy as a World View and Methodology [electronic version]. Retrieved from

The National Science Foundation. (2002). An overview of quantitative and qualitative data collection methods. In The 2002 user-friendly Handbook for Project Evaluation, 43-62. Retrieved from

Book Title:Research Methods for Science - e-book available in the APUS Online Library
Unit Cost:$36.20
Book Title:To find the library e-book(s) req'd for your course, please visit to locate the eReserve by course #.
Author: No Author Specified

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.