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.