The M.S. program in ERM provides training in the foundations of research methodology. The required courses of the program are distributed across four content areas:
In addition to the 24 required credits (8 courses), the M.S. degree includes six credits of electives that allow the student to gain a concentration in a particular methodological area of interest. Areas of concentration include:
Program Evaluation: Students can take courses in program evaluation theory, case study methods, and applied evaluation methodology where they are part of a real program evaluation team that is supervised by an ERM faculty member.
Measurement Sciences: Students can take courses in advanced measurement methods, such as item response theory, advanced item response theory, factor analysis and scale design, language assessment and testing, and other advanced measurement topics.
The courses offered in the M.S. program place and emphasis on application to real-world problems and the use of computer software in conducting relevant analyses. While it is assumed that students entering the M.S. program have taken an introductory course in statistics, our courses do not assume extensive previous training in statistics or methodology.
Degree Requirements: Click here for more information about the M.S. program requirements.
The M.S. program is intended for any individual with a professional or intellectual interest in how we can use data to inform: (a) the answers to research questions; (b) the mechanisms underlying educational and social programs; and (c) the assessment of knowledge, skills, abilities, and cognitive traits of individuals. The training provided by the program can be applied across a wide range of professional areas including education, psychology, the health sciences, and public policy. The M.S. degree is particularly well suited for individuals having one of the following professional goals:
Career in Methodology and Evaluation: The M.S. program offers the requisite training for a career providing methodological support to organizations involved in research, program evaluation, and assessment. Students completing the M.S. program have a range of career options in the areas of research study design, data collection and analysis, program evaluation, and assessment. Students graduating from the M.S. program are employed in a variety of professional settings, including school districts, state boards of education, assessment and testing organizations, organizations conducting research, organizations conducting program evaluations, school districts, and other organizations that make data-driven decisions.
Professional Advancement: The M.S. program is often attractive to individuals who are currently employed, but seek professional advancement through gaining valuable skills in research methodology. Most of the coursework of the M.S. program is offered during evening hours to accommodate individuals who are working during the day.
Pursuing a Ph.D. in Methodology: The M.S. program provides appropriate training for individuals looking to complete a Ph.D. in research methodology, quantitative methods, measurement sciences, and program evaluation.
Pursuing a Ph.D. in Other Research-Intensive Fields: The M.S. program provides fantastic training for individuals ultimately interested in doctoral training in substantive fields that employ quantitative research methods; examples of such fields include education, psychology, the health sciences, and public policy. Doctoral programs in these substantive fields often seek applicants having strong skills in research methodology and applied statistics, and thus the quantitative methodology training provided by M.S. program can be a strong asset to students applying to such programs.
The Ph.D. program aims to develop students into expert methodologists who are appropriately prepared to pursue influential careers in the fields of research methodology, measurement, and program evaluation. To this end, the training offered by the Ph.D. program has the joint focus of providing students with a comprehensive training across the major domains of research methodology, while also having students gain extensive knowledge in one or more areas of concentration that align with the student’s professional and intellectual interests. In ERM, areas of concentration typically correspond to one of three broad methodological fields:
Extended study in the student’s area(s) of concentration comes from the completion of advanced coursework in the area, the development of a line of research in the area, and mentored learning in the area under the supervision of the student’s graduate research advisor.
To accomplish the joint focus of a comprehensive training in research methodology along with a strong expertise in an area of concentration, the core training of the Ph.D. program involves three primary components:
Coursework: Students complete a wide range of coursework that span the measurement sciences, program evaluation methods, and statistical modeling. Students take a set of required courses, as well as a set of elective courses that allow students to gain a more extensive background in one or more areas of interest. Students interested in the measurement sciences have the opportunity to take courses in advanced item response theory, computer-based testing, equating, second language testing, multidimensional item response theory, and factor analysis and scale design. Students interested in program evaluation can take courses in program evaluation theory, applied evaluation methodology, survey methods, case study methods, and data presentation and reporting. Students interested in statistical modeling can take courses in multivariate analysis, structural equation modeling, and hierarchical linear modeling.
Research Experience: Students are actively involved in conducting research that advances knowledge and practice of research methodology. Initially, this research experience is under the tutelage of ERM faculty. However, as students progress through the doctoral program they develop their own research topics that ultimately lead to their dissertation topic. Many of our students present their research at national and international conferences, such as the annual meetings of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), the American Evaluation Association (AEA), and the National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME).
Applied Field Experiences: The Ph.D. program provides its students a range of opportunities to be involved in evaluation and data analysis projects. Some of these opportunities are internships in organizations specializing in research, large-scale testing, and program evaluation. Other opportunities stem from funded evaluation and data analysis contracts overseen by ERM faculty. In addition, some ERM students gain applied experiences through research-based placements in other UNCG units and the Greensboro community.
While all three of these components are important to the overall educational experience of our students, the focus on these three components varies across the progression through the Ph.D. program. Early in the program most of the emphasis is place on coursework and exploring different lines of research that align with the student’s professional and intellectual interests. As the student progresses through the program, a greater emphasis is placed on involvement in research and applied field experiences.
Degree Requirements: Click here for more information about the Ph.D. program requirements.
The Ph.D. program is intended for students who are interested in becoming an expert in research methodology, the measurement sciences, or program evaluation. Individuals applying to the Ph.D. program are assumed to have previous foundational training in quantitative methodology and/or evaluation, such as a master’s degree in a related field (methodology, measurement, evaluation, statistics, or mathematics) or other graduate training that aligns with the training provided by the ERM M.S. degree. Those who are interested in pursuing the Ph.D. in ERM, but have not completed the necessary graduate training in quantitative methodology and/or evaluation, are encouraged to apply to the joint M.S./Ph.D. program.
The M.S./Ph.D. program in ERM provides comprehensive training that spans the curriculums of the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. The M.S./Ph.D. program is designed to allow students to progress through the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees faster than if the student completed the M.S. and Ph.D. programs individually. The M.S./Ph.D. program contains the same core requirements of the individuals M.S. and Ph.D. programs with respect to ERM coursework, but gains efficiency by removing redundancies between the individual M.S. and Ph.D. programs completed separately.
Because the M.S./Ph.D. program is based on the curriculums of the individual M.S. and Ph.D. programs, information about the goals and curriculum of the M.S./Ph.D. program can be obtained from the descriptions of the M.S. program and Ph.D. program given on this site.
Degree Requirements: Click here for more information about the M.S./Ph.D. program requirements.
The M.S./Ph.D. program is intended for individuals seeking a Ph.D. in ERM who have not previously completed a graduate degree (e.g., master’s degree) in a related field (e.g., quantitative methods, evaluation, statistics). Students are expected to have taken at least an introductory course in statistics, but may have undergraduate training in a broad range of disciplines that include, but are not limited to, education, psychology, mathematics, statistics, and other fields in the behavioral and health sciences.
The Doctoral Minor in ERM is intended to provide methodological training to non-ERM doctoral students at UNCG. By way of pursuing the minor, students are able to obtain valuable research skills that can be applied to their own substantive areas. The skills obtained via the minor can improve research practices of students while attending UNCG and throughout their career.
The minor consists of 15 credit hours of 600- and 700-level ERM courses. Upon completing the minor, students will have developed a strong foundation in research methodology that can be applied to a wide range of research contexts and designs.
Degree Requirements: Click here for more information about the requirements of the ERM Doctoral Minor.
There is no formal application for the minor program, as it is available to any student enrolled in a UNCG doctoral program. In addition, the minor program can be completed concurrently with the student’s doctoral program such that ERM courses counting towards the student’s program of study can also count towards the ERM minor.