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Quantitative methods in education

Former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and Patrice Relerford from the Minneapolis Foundation talk virtually with Professor and Interim CEHD Dean Michael Rodriguez.
Former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak interviews Michael Rodriguez on educational equity in the age of COVID-19. Read more.

Solve problems in education through research

Discover solutions to issues in educational research, assessment, and program evaluation through measurement, evaluation, and statistics. Upon graduation, you'll be equipped to help inform educational policy, practice, and curriculum and—most importantly—help schools and students succeed.

Careers

  • Test publishing firms
  • Teaching and research at colleges and universities (PhD only)
  • Research and evaluation centers
  • Public school systems
  • State departments of instruction
  • Private industry

See where recent QME students have found jobs.

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Dates and deadlines

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Degrees and coursework

Quantitative methods in education engages in the science and practice of educational measurement and evaluation, primarily through the development and application of statistical methods, informed by the study of teaching and learning statistics. In this program, you’ll study quantitative and qualitative research on the methods and uses of educational measurement, evaluation, and statistics to address practical problems. Our students and faculty explore new ways to improve teaching and learning and to meet the demands of practice, policy, and accountability.

Areas of emphasis

Your curriculum requirements will depend on the degree (MA or PhD) and area of emphasis you choose.

The statistics concentration includes a wide range of statistical methods and their underlying theories and applications; principles of statistical reasoning; and research design in educational settings. Students focusing in statistics will learn and examine the usefulness of methods, such as: multivariate regression, hierarchical linear modeling, longitudinal data modeling, and structural equation modeling. They’ll also explore a range of multivariate methods for analyzing realistic educational, psychological, and more generally, social and behavioral sciences data. In addition, students will research the development of new methods, modification of existing methods, and test the properties of statistical models.

The educational measurement concentration involves the development, selection, administration, analysis, reporting, and use of many forms of assessments in educational settings. Through coursework and research, students will explore topics, including: assessment design, item and test development, scoring, scaling, equating, standard setting, validity and reliability, item-response modeling, cognitive diagnosis modeling, computerized adaptive testing, and the influence of measurement error and bias. This area of emphasis focuses specifically on the development of next-generation psychometric methods and maximizing fairness in assessment to promote educational equity.

Curriculum

MA curriculum (33 credits)

PhD curriculum (72 credits)

Educational psychology minor: emphasis in quantitative methods in education

The Department of Educational Psychology offers a minor in educational psychology with an emphasis in quantitative methods in education.

Tuition and funding

The QME program strives to provide at least partial funding opportunities to all incoming and current PhD students.

Tuition

Visit the College of Education and Human Development's Finance and Funding page for information on tuition.

Fellowships and awards

Submit your application materials by the December 1 deadline, and you’ll automatically be considered for Graduate School fellowships and departmental awards based on scholastic achievement. Notification of awards will be sent in March.

Note: Spring, summer, and fall (March deadline) applicants will not qualify for fellowships.

Graduate assistantships

Get paid to work as a teaching assistant, graduate instructor or research assistant. Graduate assistantships are available through the department, College of Education and Human Development, and the University.

Note: Applicants who complete their applications by the March 1 deadline will be less likely to receive graduate assistantships than students who meet the December 1 deadline.

Diversity

The Department of Educational Psychology is deeply committed to increasing the diversity of our undergraduate and graduate programs, of our teaching and learning, of our research and clinical practice, and of our outreach and service across fields of educational psychology. Visit our diversity page to learn more about our commitment to diversity and resources for supporting diversity and inclusion.

Jose Palma headshot
It is the combination of psychometric research and applied focus, in addition to knowledge gained from my academic journey, that makes me a competitive and atypical educational measurement researcher today.

José Palma, PhD '21
Postdoctoral researcher, University of Texas - Austin
Read more about José's experience.

Faculty and staff

Chia-Yi Chiu headshot

Chia-Yi Chiu Yackel Professor in Educational Assessment and Measurement
cchiu@umn.edu

  • Nonparametric cognitive diagnosis methods
  • Cognitive diagnostic models
  • Q-matrix theory
  • Assessment development for cognitive diagnosis
  • Latent class analysis
  • Item response theory
Nana Kim headshot

Nana Kim Assistant professor
nkim530@umn.edu

  • Educational and psychological measurement
  • Item response theory
  • Response process
  • Process data
Nidhi Kohli headshot

Nidhi Kohli Program coordinator; Yackel Professor in Educational Assessment and Measurement
nkohli@umn.edu | Lab

  • Statistical models for longitudinal data (random effects models, latent growth curve models, and growth mixture models)
  • Monte Carlo simulation studies
  • Model fit evaluation
  • Development and validation of new scales/instruments
Frances Lawrenz headshot

Frances LawrenzUMN Associate vice president for research; associate department chair; professor
lawrenz@umn.edu

  • Science and mathematics program evaluation
  • Assessment instrument development
  • Quantitative and qualitative research methodologies
  • Mixed methods
Chelsey Legacy headshot

Chelsey Legacy Teaching assistant professor
legac006@umn.edu

  • Statistics education
  • Data science education
  • Multivariate thinking
  • Computational thinking in statistics and data science education
Suzanne Loch headshot

Suzanne LochSenior teaching specialist
chova001@umn.edu

  • Helping students think critically about the statistics they consume every day
Michael Rodriguez headshot

Michael RodriguezCEHD Dean; Campbell Leadership Chair in Education and Human Development; co-founding director of Educational Equity Resource Center
mcrdz@umn.edu

  • Psychometric properties of tests
  • Effects of item formats
  • Use of constructed-response versus multiple choice
  • Sociocultural psychometrics
  • Improving accessibility of assessment of students with disabilities and English language learners
Joseph Rios headshot

Joseph Rios Assistant professor
jrios@umn.edu

  • Noneffortful responding in low-stakes testing
  • Assessment of English Language Learners
  • International comparative assessment
  • Improving evidence-based practices in educational measurement
Andy Zieffler headshot

Andy Zieffler Teaching associate professor
zief0002@umn.edu

  • Teaching and learning of statistics
  • Measurement and assessment of statistics education research
  • Statistical computing and integration of computing into statistics curriculum

Adjunct faculty

Claudio Violato, assistant dean, Medical School | cviolato@umn.edu

Program affiliates

Danielle Dupuis, assistant director for research and assessment services, Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI)

Adam Rothman, associate professor, School of Statistics | arothman@umn.edu