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Undergraduate Studies:

Graduate Studies:


Ph.D. in OLPD: Evaluation Studies (ES) Program


Applications due December 1, 2017 for 2018 Fall semester start.

Fall semester start only.

Only students accepted in December review are considered for assistantships.

Tuition Information

Admission Requirements

Apply Online


The doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degree with a program track in evaluation studies (ES) provides an opportunity for intensive study of the techniques and process of evaluation and policy research and of the social and political context within which program evaluation occurs.

Graduates leave with a portfolio filled with evidence of their expertise with the tools of the evaluation trade—qualitative and quantitative inquiry methods, communication skills, and computer database analysis experience. Evaluation knowledge and skills are gleaned not only from time in the classroom but also from internships and collaboration with evaluation professionals in real-world settings. Evaluation studies students have access to some of the best evaluators in the field. One of the program's faculty members has received the American Evaluation Association's Myrdahl Award for Evaluation Practice. Other faculty members and regular speakers have written books on their areas of expertise. The Minnesota Evaluation Studies Institute (MESI), held each spring the the Twin Cities and sponsored by OLPD, provides students with an opportunity to learn and reflect on relevant issues in evaluation with other national experts and practitioners.

Who enrolls in this program?
Students enrolled in ES are the future leaders, university faculty members, and evaluators in the field of evaluation studies. Students in the program will gain expertise in both quantitative and qualitative methods and practical experience in the conduct of program evaluation and policy studies. All new students begin the program in the fall semester.


Ph.D. Curriculum Details

General Ph.D. Info
Graduate School Catalog

What will my program look like?
The Ph.D. requires that students take at least 48 credits of coursework. With adviser approval, students can transfer 9-18 semester credits from their master's degree toward these 48 Ph.D. credits. In addition, 24 semester thesis credits will be required for the dissertation for a total of 72 credits. Typically, a course that meets once a week throughout the semester is three credits. Students can complete the coursework on either a full-time or part-time basis.

How long will my Ph.D. program take?
Attending full-time, including summers, students often can complete the required coursework in 2 to 2½ years, at which time they complete preliminary written and oral examinations. Many are able to complete their dissertation in another 1 to 2 years. Upon completion of their dissertation, students take a final oral examination. Doctoral students must complete all their requirements and receive their degree within five calendar years after passing their preliminary oral examination.


For questions regarding the admissions process, admissions documents, or general information about the program contact:

Dr. Jeremy Hernandez
Coordinator of Graduate Studies

Specific questions regarding course content should be directed to the program coordinator:

Dr. David R. Johnson
Coordinator, Evaluation Studies Program Track

Revised November 5, 2015