Doctor of Philosophy in Evaluation, Measurement and Research

graphic image for evaluation, measurement, and research doctor of philosophy with a WMU WThe Ph.D. program in evaluation, measurement and research in the Department of Educational Leadership, Research and Technology at Western Michigan University is designed for highly qualified students to prepare them as evaluators, assessment specialists, or researchers for leadership and teaching positions in schools, non-school organizations, institutions of higher education and government.  The doctoral program in evaluation, measurement and research is interdisciplinary in nature and is designed to expose future evaluators to practice linked learning in a world-class center of excellence in evaluation. The faculty advising and teaching in these programs are nationally and internationally recognized in the field of evaluation.

The program requires at least three courses each in evaluation, measurement and research design and statistics. Courses are also required in the areas of qualitative research methods and foundations of inquiry. A 27-credit hour emphasis in some applied area of inquiry is also required. Some examples of a cognate are policy studies, assessment, computer applications or statistics. During their time in the program students will often co-author articles developed with their internship mentor. Students also participate in an internship that provides opportunities to work under the direction of a senior evaluator, measurement specialist or researcher.  Students are also encouraged to submit proposals for presentations at professional state and national conferences, and to attend such conferences. Student may enter the doctoral program after completing a master's degree in a related field such as research methods or directly upon completion of a bachelor's degree.


Core comprehensive exam information

Dates to be announced.

Career opportunities

Evaluation training at Western Michigan University is offered at the following levels:

  • Master's prepares graduates for staff positions in evaluation in diverse settings.
  • Ph.D. prepares graduates for leadership positions in evaluation in many settings.


  • Assessment specialist
  • Data analyst
  • Evaluation coordinator
  • External evaluator
  • Internal evaluator
  • Measurement consultant
  • Monitoring specialist
  • Policy associate
  • Program officer
  • Project manager
  • Quality assurance manager
  • Research analyst
  • Statistical programmer



Graduate college forms (including forms for theses, specialist projects, dissertations and financial assistance).


The following requirements will lead to a doctoral degree in evaluation, measurement and research:

  • Concentration portfolio must be submitted to evaluation, measurement and research program faculty for review prior to enrollment in advanced seminar.
  • Continuous enrollment of at least six hours for all fall and spring semesters.
  • Must pass doctoral exams written by evaluation, measurement and research program faculty covering all of the pre-doctoral core content. Exams are offered twice a year.
  • Must possess an earned baccalaureate degree.
  • Must satisfy all department and graduate college requirements for admission and graduation.


EMR courses are open to any WMU graduate student who has the appropriate prerequisites. However, several EMR courses typically reach capacity very quickly (EMR 6450, 6650, 6480, and 6580). Please note that for all EMR courses, the department will adhere to a priority enrollment process as follows: 1st priority = EMR students; 2nd priority = doctoral students in programs that have required EMR courses approved through the curriculum process; 3rd priority = doctoral students in the College of Education and Human Development; 4th priority = any WMU doctoral students; and, last priority = other WMU graduate students who have the appropriate prerequisites. If you need an EMR course that is already full, please add yourself to the waitlist; the waitlist is the only way we know if we need more sections. More often than not, the Grand Rapids sections of EMR courses usually have more seats available.

Unless otherwise noted all courses are three credit hours.

Pre-doctoral core

Total: 24 credits

Doctoral core

  • EMR 6510: Advanced Application of Measurement Methods
  • EMR 6520: Evaluation Practicum
  • EMR 6550: Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Design for Applied Research and Evaluation
  • EMR 6580: Qualitative Research Practicum
  • EMR 6650: General Linear Models

Total: 15 credits

Advanced seminar in concentration area (select one course)

  • EMR 6600: Advanced Seminar in Research
  • EMR 6610: Advanced Seminar in Measurement
  • EMR 6620: Advanced Seminar in Evaluation

Total: three credits

Professional field experience

(Must register for a three-hour and a six-hour block)

  • EMR 7120: Professional Field Experience
  • EMR 7120: Professional Field Experience, six credits

Total: nine credits

Dissertation research

  • EMR 7300: Doctoral Dissertation, minimum of 15 hours

Total: 15 credits


  • EMR 6750: Applied Multivariate Statistics
  • EMR 6970: Special Topics (Topics change each term)
    (e.g., Hierarchical Linear Modeling, Structural Equation Modeling, Qualitative Tools)

Total: nine credits


  • 18 hours of coursework approved by advisor

Program total: 93 credits