MASTER'S

Program Evaluation and Improvement Research

Overview & Requirements
Applying
Careers & Internships

The contemporary policy context requires educational practitioners and reformers to use research to evaluate and improve the quality of education. Research supports the design and continuous improvement of educational programs and policies, and provides convincing evidence of positive impacts on students’ educational opportunities and outcomes.

To meet the growing demand for education professionals with research expertise, the Program Evaluation and Improvement Research thread was created to give students the tools to answer determinative policy and program questions. To partner with education systems on meaningful change, our graduates are equipped to ascertain not just “what works,” but what works when, for whom, and under what conditions. These research tools and processes illuminate and address inequities in students’ opportunities to learn and draw on resources of diverse communities of stakeholders to address these inequities.

Additional Certificate and Endorsement Opportunities
Learning Experience Design Certificate

Requirements

Total Credit Hours Required
30

Core credits

12

Students complete the following courses:

  • EDUC 570 – Professional Development Seminar
  • EDUC 792 – Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods
  • EDUC 793 – Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods

Students also choose one of the following courses:

  • EDUC 649 – Foundational Perspectives on Education Reform
  • EDUC 790 – Foundations of Schooling

Thread-specific courses

9

Students choose from the following courses:

  • EDUC 551 – Analyzing School Organizations and the Policy Environment
  • SURVMETH 600 – Introduction to Survey Methods
  • EDUC 603 – Design-Based Research for Assessing Learning Environments
  • EDUC 607 – Contemporary Approaches to Educational Assessment
  • PUBPOL 639 – Quantitative Program Evaluation
  • EDUC 639 – Improvement Research
  • EDUC 737 – Comparative Case Study Research
  • EDUC 795 – Quantitative Methods for Non-Experimental Research

Elective credits

6

Students elect a minimum of six credits of coursework from available U-M offerings.

Internship

3

Students elect a minimum of three credits.

Questions?

Questions?

Frequently Asked Questions

Prospective students

Prospective Students

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Educational Studies

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Contact

Phone: (734) 763-9497
Master's: edstudiesma.info@umich.edu 
Doctoral: edstudiesphd.info@umich.edu  

Location

610 E. University Avenue
Room 4218
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1259

Office Hours

Monday–Friday
8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Application Deadlines

Priority
December 1
International and domestic students
Final
April 1
International students
July 1
Domestic students

Application Process

Step 1: Prepare your application materials

To submit a successful application for admission, you need to provide the following:

  • Academic Statement of Purpose
    • Part-Time Admission: Applicants seeking admission to a master’s program may attend on a part-time basis. Please indicate this by answering the “part-time” question on page 9 of the application. 
    • The Academic Statement of Purpose serves to demonstrate a fit between your background/interests and the Educational Studies master’s program’s philosophy, structure, and offerings. The statement should take the form of a concise and coherent essay, approximately 2-3 pages in length, double-spaced. 
    • Please be sure to address the following elements in your statement with regard to the specific thread of the Master’s in Educational Studies degree to which you are applying: 
      • A clear statement about the opportunities, issues, and/or problems of education that motivate you to pursue your chosen thread of the Master’s in Educational Studies. 
      • A concise summary of relevant academic or professional experience. Please explain the connection between your academic or professional experience and the opportunities, issues and/or problems of education introduced in #1. 
      • An overview of your short-term and long-term career goals. Please introduce how you will go about addressing the opportunities, issues, and problems of education introduced in #1. 
      • A clear statement explaining how you expect that program thread will allow you to better understand the opportunities, issues, and problems of education that motivate your graduate studies and on which you will focus your career. Please make specific reference to details such as course offerings, experiential learning opportunities, campus resources, and the expertise of specific faculty members.
  • Personal Statement 
    • 500 word limit
    • How have your background and life experiences, including cultural, geographical, financial, educational or other opportunities or challenges, motivated your decision to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Michigan? For example, if you grew up in a community where educational, cultural, or other opportunities were either especially plentiful or especially lacking, you might discuss the impact this had on your development and interests. This should be a discussion of the journey that has led to your decision to seek a graduate degree. Please do not repeat your Academic Statement of Purpose. 
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation
    • We strongly encourage two of your letters come from individuals who are familiar with your academic performance. The third may be from a professional reference.
    • Register your recommenders' names and contact information on the online application so that they will be sent instructions for submitting their letters via the application system. Let your recommenders know that they need to upload a letter and that it is required by the program. 
    • As soon as you click "save" on the page of the application where your recommenders' contact information is entered, they will receive an email with instructions for completing the process. Proceed to this point in the application process as soon as possible to trigger that email.
  • Resume or CV
  • GRE Test Scores (valid 5 years from test date)
    • Provide ETS with the U-M Institutional Code of 1839 and your scores will be sent directly to the university.
    • If you are applying as a dual degree candidate to our MA/MBA program we will accept GMAT scores in place of GRE scores.
  • TOEFL, MELAB, ECPE, or IELTS scores (for non-native speakers of English only; valid 2 years from test date)
Step 2: Create an ApplyWeb account, managed by Rackham Graduate School

Create an account with Rackham Graduate School.

This program, like all of the School of Education's graduate programs, is administered through the University of Michigan's Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies. Rackham offers a host of resources and administrative support to help see you through from submitting your application to completion of your degree.

Step 3: Complete pages 1-5 of application using ApplyWeb
  • After completing page 5 of the application, you will receive an e-mail with your U-M ID. A U-M ID number will be issued to you via email within 5 business days of completing pages 1-5 and advancing to page 6 of the ApplyWeb application. Having your U-M ID number to include on all your application materials ensures accurate and timely processing, so we encourage you to complete pages 1-5 early in the process.
  • If you need to submit your application before you receive your U-M ID number, you may still complete the application. Include your date of birth and the program’s name on your application materials.
  • Current and former U-M Ann Arbor students, alumni and employees: You do not need to obtain a new U-M ID number. Use your previously obtained U-M ID number.
  • If your personal information has changed (for example, legal name, gender), make sure the personal information you submit with your application matches your previous Ann Arbor campus record. If your previous Ann Arbor campus record does not display your current personal information, contact the Registrar’s Office or the Shared Services Center to change your personal information before you apply.
Step 4: Upload academic statement of purpose, the personal statement, and a curriculum vitae (CV) or resume to the ApplyWeb application

Include at the top of each document:

  • The type of document (Academic Statement of Purpose, Personal Statement, or Curriculum Vitae or Resume)
  • Your name
  • The name of the graduate program
  • Your 8 digit U-M ID (if known)

Make sure margins are at least one-inch so nothing is cropped when you upload the documents to the application.

Step 5: Submit test scores
GRE Test Scores (valid 5 years from test date)

  • Provide ETS with the U-M Institutional Code of 1839 and your scores will be sent directly to the university.
  • If you are applying as a dual-degree candidate to our MA/MBA program, we will accept GMAT scores in place of GRE scores.
  • If you have participated in the M-ARC program and are applying to an Educational Studies Master of Arts, please email soegradcoordinators@umich.edu for a GRE waiver.
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TOEFL, MELAB, ECPE, or IELTS scores (for non-native speakers of English only; valid 2 years from test date)

Step 6: Submit transcripts
  • Upload an electronic version of your official transcript(s) for each Bachelor’s, Master’s, Professional, or Doctoral degree earned or in progress through your ApplyWeb application account (part of the Rackham application system). Do not upload academic records printed from your school’s website or student portal.
  • You are not required to send official transcripts at the time of application. If you are recommended for admission, the Rackham Graduate School will require official transcripts. Admitted applicants will receive an email notification when the official transcripts are required.
  • Students who have studied in a country outside of the U.S. should review the required credentials from non-U.S. institutions. For all degrees obtained at non-U.S. institutions—Request that degree-granting institutions submit official transcripts/records to the Rackham Graduate School at the time of application.
  • Information for submitting official transcripts can be found on the Rackham Graduate School website.
Step 7: Check that letters of recommendation have been submitted
  • We strongly encourage two of your letters come from individuals who are familiar with your academic performance. The third may be from a professional reference.
  • Register your recommenders' names and contact information on the online application so that they will be sent instructions for submitting their letters via the application system. Let your recommenders know that they need to upload a letter and that it is required by the program.
  • As soon as you click "save" on the page of the application where your recommenders' contact information is entered, they will receive an email with instructions for completing the process. Proceed to this point in the application process as soon as possible to trigger that email.
Step 8: Create a U-M Friend Account

Check on your application status. If you’ve been accepted, you will receive an email with information on how to send your official transcripts.

Step 9: Respond to admission offer

Quick Facts

GRE general exam required

Waivers available for applicants who have already completed a graduate degree.

Yes

Average GRE scores of applicants

There is no minimum GRE score; see below for additional information on holistic review.

Undergraduate GPA guideline

Applications are evaluated using a holistic process, which means that reviewers carefully consider all materials provided and no single factor is used in either accepting or denying an applicant for admission.

Financial aid available

Yes

Applications for part-time students

Yes

Online, evening, or weekend courses

No

Starting term

Fall term only

Connect with ES

Contact

Phone: (734) 763-9497
Master's: edstudiesma.info@umich.edu 
Doctoral: edstudiesphd.info@umich.edu  

Location

610 E. University Avenue
Room 4218
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1259

Office Hours

Monday–Friday
8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Careers

The PEIR thread is designed to prepare students for two settings:

  • Entry-level positions in research organizations, centers, or projects engaged in evaluation research;
  • Research support staff in formal and informal educational settings where education professionals are engaged in improving policy and practice, including district, county, and state education agencies.

Students pursuing PEIR may also find it valuable as preparation for future doctoral study, although this program is not designed to lead directly into doctoral study at Michigan.

90%

of known graduates found full time employment in education

100%

of known graduates found employment within 6 months

$50–55K

average first year salary
Graduates typically go into these industries:
  • Education Research
  • Policy Research
  • Doctoral Studies
Graduates often work as:
  • Survey Developer
  • Analyst
  • Education Improvement Coach
  • Doctoral Student

Internships

The Program Evaluation and Improvement Research program requires an internship of at least 100 hours be completed during the winter semester accompanied by a two-credit seminar. There are vast opportunities available to students that connect them to organizations on campus as well as local non-profits, and both formal and informal educational settings.Most students in the PEIR program pursue internships related to research and the work of evaluation.

Examples of recent placements:

  • Researcher, The Community College Interdisciplinary Research Forum
  • Research Assistant, Education Policy Initiative 
  • Research Assistant, Center for Education Design, Evaluation, and Research, University of Michigan