The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

School of Education - Educational Research Methodology

A Note to Prospective Students

We are delighted that you are considering applying to an ERM graduate program. Each year, we admit a cohort of students who are among the next generation of leaders in research methodology, the measurement sciences, and program evaluation. We go to great efforts to facilitate the success of our students, and part of this effort begins as early as the application phase when we strive to admit students having an academic background and professional aspirations that are well-matched to the properties and expectations of the ERM programs. To help you determine whether an ERM program is the right fit for you, we have included on our website extensive information about ERM programscareersERM faculty, current ERM studentsERM alumni, and opportunities for hands-on professional experiences through the Office of Assessment, Evaluation, and Research Services (OAERS). If you have any questions, please contact us so that we can provide you with any additional information that would be useful to you.

We understand that applying to graduate programs can be a complicated process with numerous steps. Below, we have outlined the steps required to apply to ERM graduate programs. If you have any questions concerning the application process, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Bob Henson (ERM’s Director of Graduate Studies) via e-mail at

Click here to view our informational video →

Admission Process

The M.S./Ph.D. and Ph.D. programs begin in the fall semester of each year. In order to be considered for admission to one of these programs, you are required to submit a completed application by December 15.

The M.S. Program begins in the fall semester of each year. In order to be given priority for admission to this program, you are encouraged to submit a completed application by March 1. We do consider applications submitted after March 1, but the availability of space and funding is often limited by this time in the application cycle. Review of applicants is conducted on a rolling basis and thus it is advantageous to submit your application materials prior to March 1. Students admitted to the M.S. program who wish to begin taking courses during the summer prior to the fall admission date may enroll in summer courses through the Division of Continual Learning.

The application process for the M.S., M.S./Ph.D., and Ph.D. programs is completely electronic. Please follow these steps to apply online:

1. Visit the Graduate School website by clicking here

2. Follow the link to Prospective Students

3. Once on the Prospective Students page, select the Apply Online option

Additional information about the Graduate School and the admission process can be obtained by clicking here. If you have any questions about the admissions process, please contact Dr. Bob Henson (ERM’s Director of Graduate Studies) via e-mail at

International Applicants: International applicants are required to accompany all transcripts with a transcript evaluation conducted by an NACES-affiliated credential evaluation service. More information about this is provided below under “Special Procedures for International Applicants”.

Do You Have Additional Questions?

We understand that finding the right graduate program is an important decision that requires a great amount of time and effort, and we want to provide you with as much information as possible about ERM graduate programs so that you can make an informed decision about your graduate training in research methodology. We also know that our website alone may not be able to answer all of your questions about what the training and student experience is like here in ERM. As a result, we welcome your questions – please feel free to contact Dr. Randy Penfield at with any questions you might have. And, if you would like to speak with a current ERM student about their training and experience in ERM, as well as life at UNCG and in Greensboro, contact Dr. Penfield ( and he will be happy to put you in touch with a current ERM student who can answer any questions you might have.

Special Procedures for International Applicants

Students having transcripts coming from countries outside of the United States must meet two requirements with respect to their transcripts:

  • All transcripts and supporting documents must be in English
  • All transcripts must be accompanied by a “detailed” transcript evaluation conducted by a NACES-affiliated credential evaluation service, as described in more detail below

Applicants may upload transcripts and accompanying transcript evaluations in the on-line application systems. Alternatively, applicants may also mail official documents to:

The Graduate School
Attn: Admissions 241 Mossman Building
1202 Spring Garden Street
Greensboro, NC  27412

Information about Transcript Evaluations: International Transcripts must be accompanied by a NACES-affiliated credential evaluation service, preferably Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE), Educational Perspectives (EP), International Education Research Foundation (IREF), or World Education Services (WES). For any application submitted on or after June 1, 2011, the credential evaluation is required at the time of application, along with the transcripts. Applicants should expect to pay an average fee of $125 and allow up to one month for processing and delivery.  Transcripts or diplomas must contain the name of the degree and date conferred; the NACES evaluation must also contain the name of the degree and the US equivalency. Applications for formally recognized UNCG Visiting Scholar or Exchange programs are exempt from this requirement.

Additional Questions for International Applicants: Additional information concerning the procedures for international applicants can be obtained from the Graduate School at If you have additional questions about the application procedures for international applications, please contact Grant Jolliff in the UNCG Graduate School at

About UNCG and the City of Greensboro

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) is one of 16 campuses that comprise the University of North Carolina system. Founded in 1891, UNCG has a rich tradition of high-quality education. Currently, UNCG has an enrollment of approximately 18,000 students, of which nearly 4,000 are graduate students. UNCG is described by the Carnegie Classification as being a Research Institution with high research activity.

campus scene

The campus of UNCG is situated on 210 acres that features lush vegetation, historic architecture, and expansive lawns for student recreation.College Avenue The long history of UNCG is apparent in the historic red brick colonial style of campus buildings, many of which have undergone restoration to preserve their historic luster. Beautiful campus buildings, tree-lined walkways, and serene courtyards all lend to the campus’ appeal as a site of higher education. The moderate climate of Greensboro allows students the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors throughout the year. A more detailed view of campus and its attractions can be found in our virtual tour of campus.

UNCG offers graduate training in an array disciplines across more than 50 academic departments. As such, ERM graduate students are part of a much larger community of graduate students spanning the UNCG campus. Graduate students at UNCG take advantage of the extensive academic resources offered on campus, as well as the many restaurants, coffee houses, entertainment venues, and retail stores neighboring the UNCG campus.

campus sceneLocated two miles west of the historic Greensboro city center, the UNCG campus provides a tranquil learning environment that is minutes from the amenities and culture of the city. Downtown Greensboro boasts a wide range of shopping, dining, nightlife, and entertainment. As the third largest city in North Carolina, Greensboro offers conveniences, cultural events, and living accommodations suitable to most any lifestyle. More information about Greensboro can be found on the visitor information site.

Funding Opportunities

ERM strives to provide financial funding opportunities for as many of our students as possible, and most students seeking funding are provided with funding opportunities. However, funding opportunities are restricted to full-time students. Part-time students and students employed full-time in other professional positions are not eligible for funding through ERM. In addition to financial funding, many students receive a tuition waiver that covers the cost of tuition.

UNCG-based funding opportunities for ERM students generally come from four different sources: (a) scholarships and fellowships, (b) departmental assistantships, (c) contracts and grants, and (d) other UNCG units.

Scholarships and Fellowships: The UNCG Graduate School, the School of Education, and ERM all have scholarship and/or fellowship opportunities that benefit ERM students. The largest of these funding opportunities are Graduate School Fellowships that were valued at $22,000 for the 2012-2013 academic year. Other scholarships offer more modest amounts of support to help offset the cost of living expenses. Many ERM students are able to benefit from these scholarships and fellowships.

Departmental Assistantships: ERM has a pre-specified number of departmental assistantships that are funded through the School of Education. These assistantships come in the form of a research assistantship (RA), a teaching assistantship (TA), a senior teaching assistantship (STA), or a graduate assistantship (GA). The responsibilities of a RA involve assisting one or more ERM faculty with research-related activities, the responsibilities of a TA involve serving as a teaching assistant for an ERM course, the responsibilities of a STA involve being the primary instructor on an ERM course with limited oversight from ERM faculty, and the responsibilities of a GA involve assisting ERM faculty and staff with a range of activities related to research, teaching, and general ERM administrative activities.

Contracts and Grants: ERM’s Office of Assessment, Evaluation, and Research Services (OAERS) supports grants and contracts related to data analysis and program evaluation. ERM students are provided the opportunity to gain applied, hands-on experiences by working on these projects, and this work is often accompanied by financial funding. In addition, faculty members in ERM frequently have funding opportunities for ERM students through contracts (e.g., contracted evaluation and analysis projects) and research grants. These funding opportunities typically require specific skill sets, and thus ERM students are selected for these opportunities based on a fit between the student’s skills and the needs of the project.

Other Units and Organizations: Some ERM students receive funding through UNCG departments and offices outside of ERM, either in GA or RA roles. Other students receive funding through internships and professional positions coordinated by the Internship Matching Program of ERM’s Office of Assessment, Evaluation, and Research Services (OAERS).

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are frequently asked questions about the ERM admissions process.

1. Can I enroll part-time in ERM?
While most of our students are enrolled full-time, we do have a small number of students who are enrolled on a part-time basis. Part-time students are not eligible for departmental financial funding opportunities. In addition, because some courses are offered during the day, part-time students who are employed during regular business hours must ensure that they have adequate flexibility in their schedule to allow them to meet all of the degree requirements.

2. Can I begin an ERM degree program in the spring semester?
Course sequences of ERM degree programs begin with courses offered in the fall semester, and thus beginning in the spring semester is typically not an option.

3. What is the ideal academic preparation for an ERM degree?
There is no single academic background that is ideal for students entering into ERM. Students entering the M.S. program come from a wide range of academic and professional backgrounds, often times being in applied fields such as education and psychology. Our M.S. degree assumes only an introductory background in statistics, and thus is well suited to individuals coming from applied fields of study. Naturally, students with previous training in mathematics and statistics will be more familiar with some of the content covered in the M.S. curriculum. However, in depth training in math or statistics is not necessary for students entering the M.S. program. Students entering the Ph.D. program also come from a wide range of academic and professional backgrounds, but they are expected to have previous training in statistics that is similar to that offered by ERM’s M.S. program.

4. What level of GRE® scores is required for admission to ERM?
The admissions process for ERM is highly competitive, and we consider all academic and professional accomplishments when reviewing applications. The GRE® is just one of many sources of information we consider when evaluating applications. While we do not have particular criteria for the GRE® scores, successful applicants to the Ph.D. and M.S./Ph.D. programs typically have combined Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning GRE® scores that exceed 1200 (Old Scale) and 310 (New Scale). Successful applicants to the M.S. program typically have combined Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning GRE® scores that exceed 1000 (Old Scale) and 300 (New Scale).

5. Do graduate programs in ERM offer hands-on learning experiences?
ERM offers all of its students opportunities for hands-on, applied learning experiences through internships, practicums, and field experiences focusing on research methodology. Offering applied learning experiences for our students is a central component of training in ERM, and for this reason ERM has established an entire division of the Department that focuses on providing hands-on, applied learning experiences for our students. This division of ERM is the Office of Assessment, Evaluation, and Research Services (OAERS), which serves to support and facilitate out-of-classroom learning experiences for our students. OAERS coordinates funded research projects, internship opportunities, and contracted consulting projects for which ERM students serve as methodologists under the mentorship of ERM faculty. These projects span the areas of program evaluation, research methodology, education measurement, and psychometrics. In addition to OAERS, many ERM students gain practical experience through competitive internships with research organizations and educational testing companies. In the past few years, ERM students have secured summer internships with companies and organizations such as ETS, The College Board, The Program Evaluation Division of the North Carolina General Assembly, CTB/McGraw-Hill, Pearson, Measured Progress, and The Government Accountability Office in Washington DC.

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