The PhD program in Evaluation, Statistics, and Measurement (ESM) has been carefully designed to provide students with an integrated, sequenced, and experientially-based doctoral program leading to a meaningful professional career. The overall focus of the program is to provide students with the requisite skills and experiences essential for three types of professional careers: 1) as an evaluation, applied statistics, and assessment or measurement faculty member in higher education settings, 2) as an external evaluator employed by an evaluation group or organization providing external evaluation services, or 3) as an internal evaluator or in-house ESM consultant serving the needs of the organization in which they are employed. Located within the Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling, the ESM program integrates evaluation, statistics, and measurement theory, content knowledge, technical skills, and highly relevant and meaningful field experiences to enable graduates to function as esteemed professionals, productive scholars, and leaders in their sub-fields of interest.
About the PhD Program
The ESM program is intended for students with education, social science, applied statistics, and/or related academic backgrounds seeking employment within the growing fields of applied evaluation, assessment and statistics. These fields have grown substantially in response to the needs of the federal and state governments, non-profit organizations and foundations, private sector entities to demonstrate and continually improve the effectiveness of their programs and services. The ESM doctoral program is based squarely upon the needs of students seeking to enter ESM fields, expand opportunities within their current professional situation, or prepare for an academic career and engage in research.
There are several unique features of the ESM program:
- Focused Competency Development: All students are exposed to a solid academic core of specific knowledge, skills and professional dispositions in the form of foundational ESM theory, concepts, and applied competencies.
- Theory to Practice Course-Based Field Experiences: Each student is required to engage in multiple hands-on fields experiences linked to specific ESM courses content, enabling the students to personally experience the application of theory to real-world practical problems.
- Theory to Practice Internships Targeted to Student Interests: Students are required to fulfill two evaluation internships in organizations settings (university, community-based, or other settings) in an area of professional or career interests.
- Evaluation Institute Experience: The Institute for Assessment and Evaluation, associated with the doctoral program, offers ESM doctoral students opportunities for exposure to, and participation in, ongoing local, state, and national evaluations and research projects. The Institute also provides a limited number of graduate assistantship support for ESM students in accordance with the needs of ongoing projects.
- Highly Experienced and Engaged Faculty: The ESM faculty are highly experienced and productive scholars with a mix of expertise and experience in research, evaluation, assessment, and applied statistics. The current three faculty members have many decades of combined experience directly relevant to the ESM program. All ESM faculty are also actively engaged in major professional associations (e.g., American Evaluation Association, Educational Research Association, American Psychological Association).
- Regular Access to One-on-one Faculty support and Guidance: Advanced ESM courses, focusing on the application of knowledge and skills, have small class sizes in number providing small students with ideal learning opportunities for targeted group and one-on-one instruction.
Program Goals for Students
Upon completion of the ESM doctoral program, students will have gained: a) knowledge of foundational evaluation, statistics, and measurement concepts, theories, and models; b) competency with research designs that include and integrate experimental, quasi-experimental, and mixed method approaches; c) hands-on experience in the application of evaluation, research, and methodologies to contemporary educational and social problems; and d) experiences in applying evaluation, statistical and measurement skills and competencies in diverse social and organizational settings.
Recent program graduates have encountered multiple professional opportunities upon graduation, and they are currently employed as higher education faculty members, senior administrators in a variety of organizational settings, program evaluators, as well as postdoctoral program evaluator opportunities.
Students must have earned a bachelor’s degree in a related field.
Application deadlines are January 15th (first deadline) and April 15th (second deadline, if spaces remain) for the fall semester.
*Beginning in 2018, first and second deadlines will occur on the 1st of January and April, respectively.
EPC Financial Aid Information
Includes EPC GA Application form, departmental fellowships/scholarships, and links to other funding sources around UT Knoxville.