MASTER'S

Program Evaluation and Improvement Research

Overview & Requirements
Applying
Careers & Internships

The Program Evaluation and Improvement Research (PEIR) concentration in the Master of Arts in Educational Studies program is designed to prepare students for entry-level positions in research organizations, centers, or projects engaged in evaluation research, or as research support staff in formal and informal educational settings where education professionals are engaged in improving practice and policy. 

Students will have opportunities to learn the practices of research design, data collection, and data analysis that span quantitative and qualitative methodologies; how to conduct literature reviews; how to conduct consultation with education professionals; and how to write reports to meet the information needs of various audiences. They will also be introduced to the practice and leadership of collaborative, continuous improvement in education. 

Through course projects, electives, and an internship, students will also have opportunities to develop knowledge in a substantive area of interest and to apply the methods they are learning under the supervision of faculty. Students pursuing the PEIR MA thread may also find it to be valuable as preparation for future doctoral study (though we advise students that this program is not designed to lead directly into doctoral study at Michigan.)

Want to learn more about the program?
See our upcoming information sessions

Additional certificate and endorsement opportunities
Learning Experience Design Certificate

Questions?

Questions?

Frequently Asked Questions

Prospective students

Prospective Students

2018 Ed Studies masters cohort poses in front of School of Education building
EDUCATIONAL STUDIES

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Upcoming Information Sessions

Connect with ES

Contact

Phone: (734) 763-9497
Master's: soeadmissions@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

Fall (Aug)
January 5

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
  • TOEFL, MELAB, ECPE, or IELTS scores (for non-native speakers of English only; valid 2 years from test date)
    • GRE Test Scores
      • GRE test scores are not required for admission, but scores (valid 5 years from test date) can be included with your application.
      • Provide ETS with the U-M Institutional Code of 1839 and your scores will be sent directly to the university.
    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
    • TOEFL, MELAB, ECPE, or IELTS scores (for non-native speakers of English only; valid 2 years from test date)
    • GRE Test Scores
      • GRE test scores are not required for admission, but scores (valid 5 years from test date) can be included with your application.
      • Provide ETS with the U-M Institutional Code of 1839 and your scores will be sent directly to the university.
    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

    Application fee waiver

    Available

    The $75 application fee is waived for all U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents

    GRE general exam scores

    Not required

    Undergraduate GPA guideline

    None

    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

    Part-time status

    Applications accepted

    Online, evening, or weekend courses

    Not available

    Entry term

    Fall (August)

    Connect with ES

    Contact

    Phone: (734) 763-9497
    Master's: soeadmissions@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.

    89%

    of known graduates found full time employment in education

    100%

    of known graduates found employment within 6 months

    $72K

    average first year salary

    100%

    of known graduates are highly satisfied or satisfied with their current position
    Graduates typically go into these industries
    • Education Research
    • Policy Research
    • Doctoral Studies
    Graduates often work as
    • Survey developers
    • Analysts
    • Education improvement coaches
    • Doctoral students

    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 
    • Program Evaluation Intern, Center for Education Design, Evaluation, and Research, University of Michigan

    Featured Internship Partner: CEDER

    The University of Michigan School of Education’s Center for Education Design, Evaluation, and Research (CEDER) partners with the PEIR program to offer paid internships to enrolled students who are interested in pursuing careers and further studies in program evaluation.

    CEDER advances equity and excellence in education by providing access to high-quality design, evaluation, and research services through collaborations with university, school, and community partners.

    CEDER’s program evaluation internship is designed to provide a supportive, practice-based environment for students to focus on professional growth and skill building. Student interns are matched with one or two evaluation projects from CEDER’s portfolio and gain experience across different stages of the evaluation lifecycle: from setting up a new partnership to reporting findings to stakeholders. CEDER works with a wide range of education clients across K-12 and higher education settings.These include college access programs, community-based programming, undergraduate research experiences, and STEM and sustainability initiatives.

    The CEDER program evaluation internship aims to create a supportive, collegial environment to promote student growth. Each student joins as a member of an internship cohort and is invited to participate in social events to build community with other interns and the wider CEDER team. All interns are matched with a supervisor from the evaluation team who will provide support in identifying, setting, and achieving professional goals. Concurrent with the internship experience, students participate in a credit-bearing seminar with CEDER’s evaluation coordinator. This class brings in guest speakers to help students build a foundational understanding of evaluation practice, and provides students with an opportunity to share what they have learned with one-another.

    The professional network of PEIR program graduates who completed CEDER internships continues to grow with each cohort. Past internship participants have continued into professional positions that include network director, data and policy analyst, and data strategy & business program manager at organizations including Center for Leadership and Educational Equity, The Education Trust, Abt Associates, and the University of Michigan Center for Educational Outreach. Internship participants have also progressed into PhD programs, including Measurement and Evaluation at Teachers College, Columbia University, and Educational Psychology at the University of Georgia.