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Introduction to Structural Equation Modeling (SEM)

Introduction to Structural Equation Modeling (SEM)

This course will teach you the fundamental concepts and theory of Structural Equation Modeling, including model specification, model identification, model estimation, model testing, and model modification.


This course covers the theory of Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) – a general statistical modeling technique to establish relationships among variables. It explores the key feature of SEM – that observed variables are understood to represent a small number of “latent constructs” that cannot be directly measured, only inferred. It includes practical work with computer software and real data.

  • Intermediate
  • 4 Weeks
  • Expert Instructor
  • Tuiton-Back Guarantee
  • 100% Online
  • TA Support

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of this course students will be able to specify different forms of models using observed, latent, dependent and independent variables. Student will be able to conduct confirmatory factor analysis, and diagram SEM models.

  • Install LISREL, enter and edit data
  • Specify various SEM models
  • Define and identify latent variables
  • Test and modify SEM models
  • Implement models in software

Who Should Take This Course

Researches and analysts who want to go beyond simple models and incorporate multi-directionality, multiple causes and latent variables.

Our Instructors

Dr. Randall E. Schumacker

Dr. Randall E. Schumacker

Dr. Randall E. Schumacker is Professor in Educational Research at the University of Alabama, and was the founder, editor (1994-1998), and is the current emeritus editor of Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal.  He is now the editor of Measurement: Interdisciplinary Research and Perspectives. Randall also founded the Structural Equation Modeling Special Interest Group at the American Educational Research Association.

Course Syllabus

Week 1


  • LISREL software installation
  • Data entry and Data Edit issues
  • Correlation and Covariance Data Files

Week 2


  • SEM Basics
  • Regression models
  • Diagramming Models
  • Path Analysis Models

Week 3

Measurement Models

  • Exploratory vs. Confirmatory factor analysis
  • Latent Variables
  • CFA models

Week 4

Developing Structural Equation Models

  • Combining Path and Factor Models
  • 5 Basic SEM steps
    • Model Specification
    • Model Identification
    • Model Estimation
    • Model Testing
    • Model Modification
  • Amos Audio/Video Presentation

Class Dates


10/27/2023 to 11/24/2023


Participants should have some familiarity with statistical modeling (e.g. regression) and the basics of educational measurement and assessment.

Karolis Urbonas
Susan Kamp
Stephen McAllister
Amir Aminimanizani
Elena Rose
Leonardo Nagata
Richard Jackson

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Introduction to Structural Equation Modeling (SEM)

Additional Information


Homework in this course consists of short answer questions to test concepts, guided data analysis problems using software, and guided data modeling problems using software.

In addition to assigned readings, this course also has supplemental readings available online, and an exam.

Course Text

All necessary materials are provided in the course.  For those wishing more detail and a ready reference the recommended course text is A Beginner’s Guide to Structural Equation Modeling, 4th edition, published Dec 2015, by Randall E. Schumacker and Richard Lomax.


The course will provide illustrations in LISREL, a programming environment. You can download a free student version of LISREL from the textbook website. The Introductory guide and user’s manual are also available here. TA’s can provide LISREL support if needed.

Course staff will not be available to illustrate or help with examples other than those included in the course. Students are encouraged to visit each software website to obtain the latest student versions of the software. Some, but not all software can be obtained on vendor websites.

MAC users note: LISREL software is not available for Macintosh. Mac end users run the Windows editions of the software products using Virtual PC or VM on Power PC Macs (G series) or the Windows OS on Intel-based Macs.

Supplemental Information

Literacy, Accessibility, and Dyslexia

At, we aim to provide a learning environment suitable for everyone. To help you get the most out of your learning experience, we have researched and tested several assistance tools. For students with dyslexia, colorblindness, or reading difficulties, we recommend the following web browser add-ons and extensions:







  • Navidys (for colorblindness, dyslexia, and reading difficulties)
  • HelperBird for Safari (for colorblindness, dyslexia, and reading difficulties)

Register For This Course

Introduction to Structural Equation Modeling (SEM)