The ERMPS Masters degree (M.S.) provides students with a specialization in the application of educational research methods and policy studies. These methods can be applied to a host of disciplines, including the social sciences, physical sciences, K-12 instruction/administration, and business. The masters degree combines 21 hours of core courses (12 of which come from the Graduate Certificate in RMinE and are applicable towards the masters degree) and 15 hours in one area of concentration (quantitative methods, evaluation, or research design) for a total of 37 hours.

Students will receive a foundation in key, introductory elements of research and policy studies through the Core Courses along with additional specialization into various areas of concentration, including quantitative methods, evaluation, or research design, policy studies. The added concentration area of specialization within the masters degree program provides, in addition to the introduction to educational research methods through the Core Courses, advanced professional preparation for a new career or career advancement as a researcher, evaluator, K-12 instructor/administrator, or policymaker. The masters degree program also provides an excellent gateway to further doctoral study.

Course of Study

Core Courses (19 Credits)

Below are the required core courses for the ERMPS masters degree. Unless marked otherwise, each course will count for 3 credit hours. Please refer to the MS in Research Methods program planning sheet for more information.

  • EPE/EDP 557: Gathering, Using, and Analyzing Educational Data I OR
  • EPE/EDP 558: Gathering, Using, and Analyzing Educational Data II
  • EPE 571: Writing Seminar in Ed Research
  • EPE 601: Proseminar (1 credit)
  • EPE 602: Social Policy Issues in Education
  • EPE 619: Survey Research
  • EPE/EDP 620: Introduction to Evaluation
  • EPE 663: Field Studies in Educational Settings
  • One contextual studies (i.e. non-research methods) course

Note: Bold courses are core courses from the Graduate Certificate in Research Methods in Education (RMinE)

See also course descriptions and syllabi.

Concentration Areas (18 Credits)

Each ERMPS student will choose one concentration on which to focus. All suggested electives below are available in an online format. Students are not limited to the following electives; students choose elective courses in conjunction with their advisor/committee. Moreover, students can take up to 3 hours of independent study (EPE 785) and up to 12 hours of internship credit (EPE 790).

Quantitative Methods

Required Courses (6 hours)

  • EPE/EDP 558: Gathering, Analyzing and Using Educational Data II
  • EPE/EDP 660: Research Design

Suggested Electives (at least 9 hours)

  • EPE/EDP/EDC 522: Measurement/Assessment
  • EPE/EDP/ANT 621: Advanced Methods of Evaluation
  • EDC 726: Mixed Methods


Required Courses (6 hours)

  • EPE/EDP/EDC 522: Measurement/Assessment
  • EPE/EDP/ANT 621: Advanced Methods of Evaluation

Suggested Electives (at least 9 hours)

  • ELS 620: Leading Action Research & Inquiry I
  • EDC 726: Mixed Methods
  • EPE 797: Historical Methods

Research Design

Required Courses (6 hours)

  • EDP 656: Methodology of Educational Research
  • EPE 797: Historical Methods

Suggested Electives (at least 9 hours)

  • EPE/EDP 558: Gathering, Analyzing and Using Educational Data II
  • ELS 620: Leading Action Research & Inquiry I
  • EDC 726: Mixed Methods

Policy Studies

Required Courses (6 hours)

  • EPE 628: Ethics & Educational Decision Making
  • EPE 661: Sociology of Education

Suggested Electives (at least 9 hours)

  • EPE 603: Politics of Educational Leadership
  • EPE 670: Policy Studies in Higher Education
  • EPE 773: Seminar in Educational Policy Studies & Evaluation

Masters Degree Admission Process

Applications for the ERMPS masters degree will fall under the criteria and admissions committee decisions from the faculty with the Department of Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation. Please see the required application materials and application deadlines at the EPE Application Information page.

Please note two important differences about the ERMPS application process:

  1. GRE scores are not required for admission
  2. The ERMPS masters degree admissions operate on a rolling basis. However, if you are interested in being considered for assistantships and other funding opportunities as a new student, you will need to submit your application for admission in accordance with departmental deadlines.

Masters Degree Administration

The masters degree program director is Dr. Joe Waddington, Department of Educational Policy Studies & Evaluation. He can be contacted at and by phone at (859) 257-8666.