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Doctoral Program Structure

General Program Considerations

Upon formal admission to the Ph.D. or M.A. program, each student is assigned an initial major advisor who will guide the student in developing the plan of study. For M.A. students, during the second semester of the program, the student selects an advisory committee chairperson and at least two committee members to advise and direct the student’s course of study. For Ph.D. students, during the second year of the program, the student selects an advisory committee chairperson and at least two committee members to advise and direct the student’s course of study. We encourage students to re-evaluate their selection of their major advisor and advisory committee after completion of the comprehensive exams to ensure alignment of student and faculty research interests.

A Ph.D. degree is a research degree. Therefore, in addition to developing knowledge and skills through coursework, students should develop and apply their methodological skills through the conduct of authentic research. During the early years of the program, PhD students generally serve under the tutelage of the faculty mentors to develop research skills. However, as the student progresses toward the dissertation, it is expected that he/she will develop more independence in his/her research skills and endeavors.

Students are evaluated with a variety of methods throughout the program. In addition to formal evaluations, such as course grades, the faculty will evaluate the student’s progress on research projects. In addition to semi-annual planning and evaluation meetings with the major advisor, all MEA faculty members review each M.A. and Ph.D. student’s progress annually to evaluate the student’s continued progress toward the degree. More information on this process is included in the Professionalism and Annual Review of Students section of the handbook.

Although the Measurement, Evaluation and Assessment M.A. and Ph.D. programs are designed so that students are involved full-time in their graduate studies, some students do work part-time research or teaching. In most cases, these part-time positions are related to the student’s graduate program and consequently enhance the student’s skills, professional maturity, and overall educational goals. In addition to support from faculty research projects, the Department of Educational Psychology may have a limited number of graduate assistantships and fellowships for Measurement, Evaluation and Assessment students. However, such financial aid is competitive and is typically offered only to Ph.D. students.

For more information about our program structure, please consult our MEA program handbook, available here: MEA Program Materials_2015 December 17