Doctor of Philosophy in Evaluation, Measurement and Research

Doctor of philosophy

Program overview

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. 

Why the Doctor of Philosophy in 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.


Pre-doctoral core:
  • EMR 5400 Fundamentals of Evaluation, Measurement and Research
  • EMR 6410 Introduction to Educational Measurement and Assessment
  • EMR 6420 Evaluation I: Theory, Methods and Program Evaluation
  • EMR 6430 Evaluation II: Evaluating Products, Personnel, and Policy
  • EMR 6450 Data Analytics I: Designed Studies
  • EMR 6480 Qualitative Research Methods
  • EMR 6490 The Nature of Science and Scientific Inquiry
  • EMR 6500 Survey Research

Total: 24 credits

Doctoral core courses:
  • EMR 6410 Fundamentals of Measurement in the Behavioral Sciences
  • 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 Data Analytics II: Correlational Studies
  • *EMR 6600 Advanced Seminar in Research
  • *EMR 6610 Advanced Seminar in Measurement
  • *EMR 6620 Advanced Seminar in Evaluation

*Seminar Requirement: One 3-credit hour seminar (EMR 6600, 6610, 6620) is required for all Ph.D. students.

Total: 21 credits


Students are required to take 9 credit hours advisor approved electives and can be selected from EMR doctoral-level electives courses or from the university graduate curriculum.

EMR offers the following electives:

  • EMR 6560 Mixed Methods Research
  • EMR 6680 Qualitative Research: Computer Assisted Data Analysis
  • EMR 6710 Structural Equation Modeling
  • EMR 6750 Applied Multivariate Statistics
  • EMR 6770 Ethnographic Research Methods
  • EMR 6850 Hierarchical Linear Modeling
  • EMR 6970 Special Topics in EMR

Total: minimum of 9 credits

Professional field experience

Nine credit hours of professional field experience are required. The 9 hours are divided into a 3-credit and 6-credit blocks respectively.  

  • EMR 7120 Professional Field Experience, 3 credits
  • EMR 7120 Professional Field Experience, 6 credits

Total: 9 credits


An 18-credit hour program in a Cognate area is required of all doctoral program participants. Cognate studies may be taken from any content area approved by the student’s academic advisor.

Dissertation research

  • EMR 7300 Doctoral Dissertation

Total: 15 credits

Program total: 93 credits (post-bachelors)

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/doctoral assistantships: and

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.