The UW COE Measurement & Statistics (M&S) graduate program, which began in the late 1960s, prepares students to become leaders in the research and practice of cutting-edge psychometrics and applied statistical modeling. Our collective expertise focuses on latent variable models and related quantitative methods, with a common mission to improve educational equity and quality. Below is general information about the Master’s and Doctoral programs; at the bottom of this page we also provide information for current COE graduate students as well as current UW graduate students from other disciplines.
M&S Master's Program
Students in our master's program come from diverse academic backgrounds, including economics, education, engineering, mathematics, psychology, sociology, statistics, and more – and with a range of incoming professional experiences, from early career to advanced. Importantly, the master's program is designed with flexibility for working professionals in mind; both part- and full-time options are available, and full-time students graduate in two years or less. After graduation, our master's students work in an array of settings, including school districts, state governments, universities, nonprofit community-based organizations, as well as in the private sector, typically as analysts, test/instrument developers, and project administrators.
Core master's degree coursework focuses on the following interrelated areas:
- Developing, adapting, and refining high-quality assessments, surveys, and observational tools
- Planning and implementing creative experimental and correlational research design solutions
- Analyzing complex, real-world data with sophisticated statistical models using state-of-the-art software
Before applying, we encourage you to carefully review the Program Requirements for details about all components of the M.Ed. course of study and reach out to the Office of Student Services with questions. Students in our program must also follow the Degree Requirements of the Graduate School; among these are that a course of study should include at least 18 credits at the 500 level or above, as well as 18 graded credits. Applications are typically due in early January and decisions are made by March. Please check the college webpage on application instructions for specific deadlines.
M&S Doctoral Program
In addition to the areas described above, doctoral students delve more deeply into theoretical and scholarly work that is tailored to their methodological interests, typically in one or more of the following interrelated areas:
- Techniques for investigating novel and existing quantitative methods, including Monte Carlo simulation
- Validity theory and application, such as design and comparison of novel assessment tasks, and linking item features to cognitive processes
- Formative assessment practices and their impacts on student learning, such as teacher pedagogical assessment reasoning
- Item response theory, such as multidimensional IRT, cognitive diagnostic models, and computerized adaptive testing
- Structural equation models, such as mediation, longitudinal, mixture, and multilevel models
- Network measurement and analysis, including exponential random graph models
- Experimental design and analysis, including cluster randomized, multi-cohort, sequential, and adaptive designs
Ph.D. students have specific requirements and milestones that can be viewed here. We require doctoral students to already have a master's degree in statistics or another psychometrics-related program prior to enrolling in the M&S doctoral program, and rarely accept students who did not receive their master's degree from our program (exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis for those who received a master's in statistics or another psychometrics-related program). Students usually complete their degree in 3-5 years, with a tailored course of study focusing on a particular branch of quantitative methodology as well as a sub-area of study (cognate) within education. Before applying, we encourage prospective doctoral students to email the M&S faculty member they are most closely interested in working with to set up a brief online appointment for Q&A. When ready, students should apply here to the College of Education’s Ph.D. program. Applications and petitions are typically due in early January and decisions are made by March. Please check the college webpage on application instructions for specific deadlines.
M&S Course Offerings
While our M&S students often take advanced quantitative methods coursework from across campus, within the program we regularly offer courses in psychometrics and applied analytics. These course offerings and sequencing can be downloaded here. Importantly, for non-M&S UW graduate students, we are now offering a Graduate Certificate in Psychometrics and Applied Statistics (PAA) to recognize students who successfully complete a series of intermediate and advanced M&S courses. Please see our PAA webpage for details!
UW College of Education Graduate Students interested in M&S
For current master’s level M&S students who are interested in applying to the M&S doctoral program: please speak with your advisor by the beginning of autumn quarter of your second year to discuss mutual expectations, content fit, and available funding. Upon approval of your advisor, you can then apply to the doctoral program during the regular annual application cycle (January) using a modified “Petition Application.”
For current graduate students from other programs within the COE who are interested in the M&S program: first, know that while we welcome your interest, you must still apply to the program during the regular annual cycle like other potential students (and we cannot guarantee acceptance). We strongly encourage you to review the information above about the program, review the M&S faculty webpages, and then email the M&S faculty member who you are most interested in working with. We also note that most students will need to apply to the M&S master’s program (even if they are currently in a doctoral program), unless they already have a master’s degree in statistics or another psychometrics-related program. Additionally, please be aware that we cannot guarantee that completion of the M&S master’s program will lead to acceptance into the M&S doctoral program; this is a conversation for current second-year M&S master’s students and their advisors.
An alternative to applying to the M&S program (and potentially having to to take longer to graduate) would be to complete your cognate in M&S (sub-area of study involving three or more 500-level M&S courses). Additionally, we are now offering a Graduate Certificate in Psychometrics and Applied Statistics (PAA) for students who complete a specific series of M&S coursework. Please see our PAA webpage for details!
UW Graduate Students from other Disciplines interested in M&S
We welcome numerous UW graduate students and faculty from other disciplines in our courses to learn about psychometrics and applied data analysis methods focused on dealing with measurement error and dependencies that often arise in the nature of our work. Specifically, our courses are for those who investigate phenomena using constructs that are not easily defined or measured, such as learning, belongingness, or well-being, to name a few; further, we are often interested in modeling contextual relationships from multileveled data. To recognize the body of coursework that students complete, we are now offering a Graduate Certificate in Psychometrics and Applied Statistics (PAA) for current UW graduate students who complete a specific series of M&S coursework. Please see our PAA webpage for details!
This program does not lead to state teaching certification.