The M.S. in Educational Research Methods and Policy Studies is designed for students who are interested in jointly developing their training in research methods and educational policy studies. In the program, students will examine current educational policy issues through social, historical, philosophical, cultural, and political lenses. Concurrently, the program is designed to provide students with a core suite of research and policy analysis tools, including courses in quantitative, qualitative, evaluation, and survey research methods. Students completing the degree program will be well prepared for a variety of professional and academic placements, including K-12 or postsecondary institutions, testing organizations, state and federal agencies, or further doctoral study. All students have the option to complete their degree entirely online.

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 masters degree combines 22 hours of core courses (12 of which overlap with the Graduate Certificate in Research Methods in Education and are applicable towards the masters degree) and six hours in one area of concentration (quantitative methods, evaluation/assessment, research design, or policy studies), and nine hours of supporting electives for a total of 37 hours.

Course of Study

Core Courses (22 Credits)

Below are the required core courses for the Educational Research Methods and Policy Studies masters degree. Unless marked otherwise, each course will count for 3 credit hours. Please refer to the M.S. in Educational Research Methods and Policy Studies 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 and Supporting Electives (15 Credits)

Each Educational Research Methods and Policy Studies student will choose one concentration area with six required credits and supporting electives for the concentration area with a minimum of nine required credits. All suggested supporting elective courses listed below are available in an online format. Students are not limited to the listed electives; students choose elective courses in conjunction with their advisor. 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

Evaluation/Assessment

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 Educational Research Methods and Policy Studies 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 Educational Research Methods and Policy Studies application process:

  1. GRE scores are not required for admission
  2. The Educational Research Methods and Policy Studies 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 rjwaddington@nulluky.edu and by phone at (859) 257-8666.