Introduction to Structural Equation Modeling using Mplus

Organizing institution
Utrecht University - Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
Course code
Course fee (excl. housing)
€ 600.00
Apply now!

We offer a 5-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, CFA, 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 behavioural 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.

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 and mediation and testing for measurement invariance are covered. On the last day participants can meet with Mplus experts for individual consultation, and work on their own data. On the other days, the morning session consists of lectures, and the afternoon session of a computer lab where participants practice with Mplus.


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 www.joophox.net.

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

A good follow up is our Summer School course ‘Advanced course on using Mplus’  

You might also be interested in the following Summer School courses:
- Theory-Based Hypothesis Evaluation Using the p-value, Bayes factor, and information criteria, an applied course on evaluating theory-based hypotheses (via Bayesian and information-theoretic model selection) and on addressing causes of the replication crisis.
- A gentle introduction to Bayesian Statistics, for Bayesian SEM
- Data Science: Multiple imputation in practice, for dealing with missing data 

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

Course director

Dr. Rebecca Kuiper


Prof. Dr. Ellen Hamaker, Milica Miočević, Kimberley Lek

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 max. of 80 number of participants will be allowed in this course.

Please note: selection for this course will be done on a first-come-first-served basis

Course aim

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 behavioural sciences. Moreover, participants will learn how to analyze datasets with Mplus, to interpret the output and to report the results.

Study load

Days 1-4: morning session consists of lectures, and the afternoon session of a computer lab where everyone can practice working with Mplus.
Day 5: individual consultations with Mplus experts and room to work on your own data.


Course fee
€ 600.00
Housing fee
€ 200.00

Housing through Utrecht Summer School

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.


To spare the environment, we only provide digital course material (a few days before the start of the course).

More information

Irma Reyersen; ms.summerschool@uu.nl
Recommended combinations
Hypothesis Evaluation: P-Values, Bayes Factor, and Information Criteria
Advanced course on using Mplus
Data Science: Multiple imputation in practice
A Gentle Introduction to Bayesian Statistics


Application deadline: 24 June 2019