Introduction to Structural Equation Modeling using Mplus

Course code
Course fee (excl. housing)
Course Level
Advanced Master

We offer a five-day course on how to perform basic SEM analyses using Mplus. The main objective of this course is to learn how to analyse several models with Mplus (e.g., path models, multiple group models, mediation and moderation, confirmatory factor analysis, and longitudinal models). No previous knowledge of Mplus is assumed, but prior knowledge of SEM, although not mandatory, will make this course more useful.

Many researchers in the social and behavioral sciences are using, or want to use, Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) to investigate their theories. Mplus is a popular and flexible software package for doing SEM. We offer a 5-day course on how to perform basic SEM analyses using Mplus, where you can interact with Mplus experts.

The course starts with an introduction on how to use Mplus to perform regression analysis and how to ‘communicate’ with Mplus (e.g., how to specify a model, and how to deal with error messages). In the following days, basic models relevant for social scientists will be discussed, including multiple group models, confirmatory factor analysis, and cross-lagged panel models, and important topics such as moderation, mediation and testing for measurement invariance are covered. These days consist of lectures by Mplus experts and computer labs where participants practice with Mplus. On the last day, participants can meet with Mplus experts for individual consultation, and work on their own data.


Researchers are expected to have a basic knowledge of regression analysis and exploratory factor analysis (i.e., principal component analysis). These techniques are discussed in most books on multivariate statistics (e.g., Andy Field: Discovering Statistics; Tabachnick and Fidell: Using multivariate statistics).

Some knowledge of SEM and software like AMOS, LISREL, Mx or EQS is helpful, but not mandatory. If you have no experience with SEM, please read the following paper: Hox, J. J. & Bechger, T.M. (2007). An introduction to structural equation modelling. Family Science Review, 11, 354-373. Accessible via

No previous knowledge of Mplus is assumed. You also do not need to have any knowledge on matrix algebra, calculus, or likelihood theory. 

Please note that there are no graded activities included in this course. Therefore, we are not able to provide students with a transcript of grades. You will obtain a certificate upon completion of this course.

A good follow up is our Summer School course ‘Advanced longitudinal modeling in Mplus’  (S23)

Participants are requested to bring their own laptop computer. If needed, software will be available online.


We also offer tailormade M&S courses and in-house M&S training. If you want to look the possibilities, please contact us at

S20_Day-to-day_2023 .pdf
Course director
Dr. Rebecca Kuiper


Dr. Beth Grandfield, Jeroen Mulder

Target audience

Participants (Research Master Students, PhD students, or post-graduate researchers) from a variety of fields, including sociology, psychology, education, human development, marketing, business, biology, medicine, political science, and communication sciences may benefit from the course.

A maximum of 80 participants will be allowed in this course.

Please note that the selection for this course will be done on a first-come-first-served basis. Also note that there is always a one-day delay between the registration system and the information on the website about the availability of places.

For an overview of all our summer school courses offered by the Department of Methodology and Statistics please click here.

Aim of the course

The main objective of the course is to acquire a basic understanding of how to use Mplus for SEM as applied in the social and behavioral sciences. Moreover, participants will learn how to analyse datasets with Mplus, to interpret the output and to report the results.

Study load

Four to five full days.

Day 1: The morning session consists of lectures. In the afternoon session, participants obtain hands-on Mplus experience with the discussed topics and models during a computer lab.

Days 2-4: Both the morning and afternoon sessions consist of lectures followed by a computer lab where everyone can practice working with Mplus.

Day 5 (optional): Both the morning and afternoon sessions consist of individual consultations with Mplus experts and room to work on your own data. In the morning, we also provide some Q&A sessions for some of the learned topics

Please note that there are no graded activities included in this course. Therefore, we are not able to provide students with a transcript of grades. You will obtain a certificate upon completion of this course.


Course fee:
Fee covers
Course + course materials
Housing fee:
Housing cost
Housing provider:
Utrecht Summer School
Extra information about the fee

The tuition fee for PhD students from the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences from Utrecht University will be funded by the Graduate School of Social and Behavioural Sciences.

Utrecht Summer School does not offer scholarships for this course.

Additional information

If you would like to make use of the Utrecht Summer School student accommodation, please make sure to check this page. You can check in on or after Sunday 2 July 2023, after 12.00 (noon). More information regarding the check-in will be shared with you in the pre-departure document. This document will be available to all fully registered students, as of March 2023. 

Contact details

Team M&S Summer school | E:

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Application deadline: 
Registration deadline
19 June 2023