Module 6: Structural Equation Modelling I

Dates - Venue - Description - Target audience - Exam - IMPORTANT: Incorporation in DTP and reimbursement by DS
Course prerequisites - Teachers - Course material - Fees - Enrol


Two days in April 2018: Monday April 9 and Tuesday April 10, 2018, from 9 am to 12 pm and from 1 pm to 4 pm.
Please note: the deadline for UGent PhD students who want a refund to open a dossier on the DS website (Application for Recognition) is March 9, 2018.


Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Site Dunant, Dunantlaan 2, Ghent.


Structural equation modeling (SEM) is a general statistical modeling technique to study the relationships among observed variables. It spans a wide range of multivariate methods including path analysis, mediation analysis, confirmatory factor analysis, growth curve modeling, and many more. Many applications of SEM can be found in the social, economic, behavioral and health sciences, but the technology is increasingly used in disciplines like biology, neuroscience and operation research. SEM is often used to test theories or hypotheses that can be represented by a path diagram. In a path diagram, observed variables are depicted by boxes, while latent variables (hypothetical constructs measured by multiple indicators) are depicted by circles. Hypothesized (possibly causal) effects among these variables are represented by single-headed arrows. If you had ever found yourself drawing a path diagram in order to get a better overview of the complex interrelations among some key variables in your data, this course is for you.

The first day of the course provides an introduction to the theory and application of structural equation modeling. On the second day, we discuss several special topics that are often needed by applied users (handling missing data, nonnormal data, categorical data, longitudinal data, etc.). Hands-on sessions are included in order to ensure that all participants are able to perform the analyses using SEM software. The software used in this course is the open-source R package `lavaan' (see

    Target audience

    This course targets everyone with an interest in testing theories or models that involve relationships between both observed and latent variables. The audience for this course can include both novices with little or no previous experience with SEM, as well as existing users who wish to refresh or update their theoretical and practical understanding of structural equation modeling.


    Participants can, if they wish, take part in an exam. Upon succeeding in this test a certificate from Ghent University will be issued to participants with a university degree at the bachelor level or an equivalent degree.
    Please note: For UGent PhD students it is no longer necessary to participate/succeed in this exam to be able to incorporate the course in the DTP.

    Incorporation in DTP and reimbursement from DS for UGent PhD students

    As a UGent PhD student, this course can only be included in your Doctoral Training Program (DTP) if followed together with Module 7 'Structural Equation Modelling II'. To get a reimbursement of the registration fee from your Doctoral School (DS) you need to follow strict rules: please take the necessary action in time. The deadline to open a dossier on the DS website (Application for Recognition) for this course is March 9, 2018.

    Course prerequisites

    Participants should have a solid understanding of regression analysis and basic statistics (hypothesis testing, p-values, etc.). Some knowledge of exploratory factor analysis (or PCA) is recommended, but not required. Because lavaan is an R package, some experience with R (reading in a dataset, fitting a regression model) is recommended, but not required.


    Prof. dr. Yves Rosseel obtained his PhD from Ghent University, Belgium. He is now an associate professor at the Department of Data Analysis, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Ghent University. His research interests include computational statistics, connectivity and causality, and structural equation modeling. He is the author of lavaan, an R package for structural equation modeling.

    Course material

    Copies of lecture notes.


    A different price applies, depending on your main type of employment.

    EmploymentModule 6Exam
    Industry/Private sector1 600 30
    Non-profit, government, university outside AUGent2 270 30
    (Doctoral)student outside AUGent2 210 30

    1 If three or more employees from the same company enrol simultaneously for this course a reduction of 10% on the module price is taken into account.

    2 AUGent staff and AUGent doctoral students who pay through use of an SAP internal order/invoice can participate at these special prices.

    Enrol for this course