The Research Methodology Program prepares professional practitioners in psychometrics and test development, and prepares scholars who make contributions to the study of the methods researchers use when they conduct empirical studies of educational phenomena. The degree programs train students in measurement, research design, and statistical methods. Graduates are prepared for positions in colleges, universities, research centers, testing agencies, school systems, ministries of education and other government agencies, and industry.
Students completing the master's degree are capable of participating in applied research projects, translating research findings for application to educational settings, designing and building assessment instruments, and assisting professional educators with analyses and interpretations of data. The master's curriculum emphasizes competencies in measurement, research design, and statistical methods. Because of this, the master's degree is also a program for students who wish to explore the field of research methodology or who wish to acquire research competence as a prerequisite to more advanced study in another field.
Students completing the doctoral degree are capable of independently conducting research, constructing measurement instruments, translating sophisticated research findings, replicating research studies, contributing to the theory of research methodology, and teaching basic courses in measurements, statistics, and research design.
Both master's and doctoral programs place a premium on involving students in research activities, ranging, for example, from collaborating with one another on course-related research to engaging in supervised research under the direction of faculty researchers. Doctoral students are encouraged to collaborate with faculty on research projects of mutual interest. Involvement in actual research not only complements a student's course work but also provides an opportunity to contribute to the profession by allowing students to present research papers at colloquia and conferences and to publish them in professional journals.
The RM Program places a premium on ensuring that students receive high quality advising. Each student is assigned a temporary academic adviser at the time of admission to the Program. During the first year of study, students are strongly encouraged to become familiar with the various program faculty members and to select a permanent advisor. Students should consult closely with their advisor throughout their studies to: register each term, prepare a plan of studies, prepare for comprehensive examinations, identify appropriate supervised research experiences, and plan their thesis or dissertation. Advisors should be consulted promptly if students encounter difficulties with any aspect of their studies.