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Program Overview

The Research and Evaluation in Education Ph.D. option seeks to prepare individuals with expertise in research methods and program evaluation skills. The degree is designed to not only provide core knowledge, but to heighten the research skills of students by requiring them to work closely with faculty in research experiences prior to commencing their own dissertation. 
Because experience with authentic research projects is essential to the education of students in this option, students engage in two research experiences. Students undertake their research experiences after the core course requirements have been met. They may do it in one of two ways:
  • Serving as a UMass Lowell Research Assistant for a faculty project for a minimum of two semesters, or 
  • Through two semesters of a 3-credit course (Research Experience I and II) overseen by the doctoral advisor.
Students in the Research and Evaluation in Education Ph.D. option will develop expertise in research methods and program evaluation skills, including:  
  • Deep knowledge of historical, philosophical, and theoretical concerns related to the field of research methodology and evaluation 
  • Broad knowledge of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods approaches—similarities, differences, and concerns--and deep knowledge within a selected area of expertise. 
  • Expertise in all phases of research design, conduct and analysis 
  • Capacity to take critical perspectives on theoretical and practical issues of research and evaluation methodology 
  • Flexibility and capacity with a range of software tools for data collection and analysis 
  • Capacity to design and conduct research or program evaluation for diverse problems in diverse settings 
  • Capacity to work with research teams and related collaborators in a thoroughly professional and collaborative manner.
  • Capacity to communicate research findings in diverse forms (written, oral, digital, etc.), to diverse audiences. 
Questions regarding the Research and Evaluation in Education Ph.D. should be sent to the Ph.D. Coordinator via email:
  • The Research and Evaluation in Education Ph.D. prepares graduates of the program to assume research faculty positions in higher education, to work in policy and research institutions or to lend their skills to analysis and evaluation in industry.

    For degree pathways and course listings, visit the academic catalog.

  • To qualify for admission to the Ph.D. all applicants must meet the following requirements:

    • Candidates should submit a statement of no more than 1,500 words, that responds to two questions:

      1. What are you interested in researching during your doctoral studies, and why?
      2. How would doctoral studies at UMass Lowell advance your career goals?
    • Earned master’s degree from an accredited institution. The most appropriate master’s degree is the M.Ed.; however, other related master’s degrees will be considered if the candidate can demonstrate work experience or knowledge of education policy and/or research. The master’s degree must have been earned with a 3.000 GPA or better.
    • Resume, which highlights the applicant’s education and experience relevant to the degree after completion of the bachelor’s degree.
    • Satisfactory TOEFL scores taken within the last year for international applicants as appropriate.
    • Three letters of recommendation that speak to the suitability of the applicant for advanced graduate work, work ethic and knowledge of the field of education and/or education research.
    • Please submit a writing sample that demonstrates the applicant's ability to present a cohesive, focused and persuasive response to an education issues of his or her choice. The writing sample should be accompanied by a brief note explaining the context in which it was written and identifying the kinds of support received by the applicant producing it. 
    • Interview on-campus or via a video-conferencing tool for those applicants seeking Teaching or Research Assistantships, or for those whose application materials raise unanswered questions.
    • International Students: please see

    Application for admission to the Ph.D. program is available online through the Office of Graduate Admissions.