Doctor of Philosophy in Evaluation, Measurement and Research

Doctor of philosophy

Two students looking at bar graph charts

Admissions requirements

  • Spring semester start deadline is October 15
  • Fall semester start deadline is January 15
  • A professional resume or CV.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • A written personal narrative describing your familiarity with EMR and how this has led you to apply.
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework.
  • English language proficiency scores (for international applicants only). 

Student TEstimonial

  • Headshot of alumni Alycia Sterenberg
    "The EMR program has been central to many of the opportunities I have had and the opportunities I am continually asked to be a part of...The EMR faculty are devoted to the success of each of their students and strive to assist each student in their own career goals."Alycia Sterenberg, 2022
    Read more from Alycia and other students

Program overview

This program is offered in-person, online, and hybrid.

The 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 and seeks 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. This program is 93 credits.

Why evaluation, measurement and research at Western Michigan University?

  • You will work with national and internationally recognized faculty.
  • You can take advantage of opportunities to engage in grant-funded research.
  • You will engage in cutting-edge coursework and be exposed to the latest advances in evaluation, measurement, and research.
  • You will feel supported in a small program with faculty interested in individualizing and maximizing your experiences.
  • You will have opportunities to present research and evaluation studies at the peer reviewed professional conferences.
  • You will be encouraged and supported to prepare publications with faculty or on your own.
  • We are the only institution in the U.S. that includes an optional co-curricular designation known as the WMU Signature. Pathways include: Teaching & Student Success, Leadership, Diversity, Inclusion, Equity & Justice, and more! 

Application information

The admissions deadline for students hoping to start the program in the Spring semester is October 15 and for the Fall semester start is January 15. The admissions application process is completely online. If you wish to be considered for department funding as a graduate assistant (GA or DGA), please complete that application by February 15 deadline. Please note there are two different admission deadline dates for starting classes, but just one deadline for consideration of departmental funding, which is awarded will begin in the Fall semester. Please review the following web pages for information about graduate and doctoral assistantships: Fellowships and Grants and Scholarships

Application deadlines (applications MUST be COMPLETE by the due date listed below in order to be considered for that semester)

  • October 15 for Spring semester classes
  • January 15 for Fall semester classes

Note: There are no "conditional admissions" for any EMR degree or certificate program.

EMR has permanently suspended the GRE requirement as an admission requirement.

Application requirements

  • A professional resume or curriculum vita.
  • Three letters of recommendation
    • These must be obtained from three different individuals in a position to address the applicant’s ability to successfully complete doctoral level work.
    • Applicants must request such recommendations from within the online system. The recommenders will respond via the online system as well.
    • Please be aware that references will only be sent an electronic request with an online link for the reference AFTER a student has submitted their application.  Therefore, do not wait until the last day to submit your application.  It is a good idea to forewarn your references that a request for an electronic reference is forthcoming and needs to be submitted by the admissions deadline.
  • A written personal narrative describing your familiarity with EMR and how this has led you to apply.
    • Applicants must clearly describe their professional goals and how this doctoral program fits with those goals.
    • This narrative should be no more than four double-spaced pages and will be considered as a writing sample.
  • Applicants must submit an official transcript from the institution from which you received your Bachelor’s degree, as well as a transcript from institution(s) where any graduate level courses or degrees have been taken/completed.  Applicants are not required to submit an official transcript of courses taken/completed at Western Michigan University.
  • English language proficiency scores (for international applicants only).
    • As required by WMU, international applicants must provide proof of English competency, unless they have successfully completed either four years of upper secondary school or one year of full-time tertiary (university-level) education within specific countries (view the list of such countries).
    • English proficiency scores may be reported within the online application system and official scores must be uploaded within the online by the application deadline to which you are applying.
    • Desired minimum English language proficiency scores for this Ph.D. include: 7.0 on IELTS; 233 on TOEFL (CBT), 577 on TOEFL (PBT), or a 90 on TOEFL (iBt), with the following minimum sub-scores on the TOEFL (iBT): 22 in reading, 20 in listening, 24 in speaking, and 24 in writing. Students not meeting these desired minimums may still apply for the program; however, lower scores will be a factor in the admissions decision and discussed within your Personal Narrative.
    • Students not meeting these minimum desired scores may apply after having met the requirements for advanced-level students within WMU’s Center for English Language and Culture for International Students program (to be considered, students must pass all advanced-level classes with a final grade of “B” or better in each class). No conditional admissions are granted for potential applicants who are enrolled in but have not yet successfully completed the CELCIS program.
  • Copies of article reprints, white papers, evaluation reports, etc., or other artifacts that represent your scholarship if available.

Cost & Funding

Helpful links


Headshot of professor Brooks Applegate

Dr. Brooks Applegate, Program Coordinator