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Quantitative methods in education

Michael Rodriguez
Last fall, professor Michael Rodriguez gave one-day professional development sessions tailored for school district assessment coordinators throughout the state of Minnesota. Photo courtesy: CEHD Connect Magazine. 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

#10 in U.S. among educational psychology graduate programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2019

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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.

Educational measurement and evaluation involve the development, selection, administration, analysis, reporting, and use of many forms of assessments in educational settings. You’ll investigate a variety of topics, including: assessment design, item writing and task development, scoring, scaling, equating, standard setting, item-response modeling, design and execution of validity and reliability studies, and the influence of measurement error and bias. This area of emphasis focuses specifically on maximizing fairness to promote educational equity as well as the evaluation of programs, organizations, policies, and individuals from early childhood through careers.

Statistics and statistics education involve a wide range of statistical methods, their underlying theories, principles of statistical reasoning, and research design in educational settings. You’ll investigate the impact of realistic educational data on statistical methods, such as multilevel modeling, longitudinal data modeling, structural equation modeling, and a range of multivariate methods. Students in this area investigate the modification of methods and the development of new methods; test the properties of statistical models; develop and explore methods to improve the teaching, learning, and assessment of statistics; and gain practical and research experience in statistics instruction.

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

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.

How to apply

Alumni profile

"I enjoyed the program due to the approachable, challenging faculty and close-knit group of graduate students. I was fortunate to be part of a cohort that enjoyed working together in classes and projects, but also got along well outside the classroom."

Sarah Carlson headshot.

Brandon LeBeau, PhD '13 Assistant professor, University of Iowa

Read more about Brandon's experience.

Faculty and staff

Seungwon Chung headshot

Seungwon Chungswchung@umn.edu

  • Psychometrics
  • Item response theory
  • Cross-classified random effects models
  • Estimation
  • Model fit evaluation
Ernest Davenport headshot

Ernest Davenportlqr6576@umn.edu

  • Correlates of academic achievement (especially related to mathematics)
  • Mathematical artifacts of statistical procedures
Mark Davison headshot

Mark DavisonAmerican Guidance Service, Inc./John P. Yackel Professorship in Educational Assessment and Measurement
mld@umn.edu

  • Educational measurement
  • Scaling (particularly multidimensional scaling)
  • Assessment of growth in educational settings
Robert delMas headshot

Robert delMasProgram coordinator, CEHD Distinguished Teaching Award
delma001@umn.edu

  • Statistics education research
  • Activity-based instruction
  • Curriculum development
  • Assessment development
  • Mixed-methods research methods
Michael Harwell headshot

Michael HarwellCEHD Distinguished Teaching Award
harwe001@umn.edu

  • Meta-analytic effect sizes and tests that extract information from a pool of studies beyond traditional measures
  • The role and impact of conceptual and empirical models for socioeconomic status (SES)
  • Nonparametric estimators and tests for complex statistical models particularly linear (mixed) models that serve as competitors to normal-theory-based methods
Nidhi Kohli headshot

Nidhi Kohli kohli@umn.edu | Lab

  • Structural equation models
  • Finite mixture model
  • Longitudinal models, including latent growth curve models, mixed-effects models, and growth mixture models
  • Development and validation of new scales/instruments
Frances Lawrenz headshot

Frances LawrenzAssociate department chair
lawrenz@umn.edu

  • Science and mathematics program evaluation
  • Assessment instrument development
  • Quantitative and qualitative research methodologies
  • Mixed methods
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 Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs, Diversity, and Equity; Campbell Leadership Chair in Education and Human Development; co-founding director of Educational Equity Resource Center
mcrdz9@umn.edu

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

Joseph Rios 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 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

Ben Babcock, supervising senior psychometrician, American Registry of Radiologic Technologists
| babco062@umn.edu

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

Adam Wyse, senior psychometrician, American Registry of Radiologic Technologists | adam.wyse@arrt.org