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Description of Ph.D. Program

Special Features

Special features of the doctoral program in assessment and measurement include:

  • Strong commitment to student development through small classes with individual mentoring and advising by faculty.
  • Development of professional skills through applied projects and experiences, including working with faculty committees on assessment-related issues.
  • Involvement in applied assessment projects in academic majors, general education, and student affairs, through the Center for Assessment and Research Studies.
  • Opportunities to learn software for statistical analyses, item response theory, computer-based testing, and a variety of specialized measurement applications.
  • Development of interpersonal, consulting, and professional communication skills.
  • Opportunity to participate in all phases of the assessment process working in an internationally recognized assessment program with leading professionals in the field.


A number of graduate assistantships are offered to students through JMU's Center for Assessment and Research Studies. Various graduate assistantships are also available through other departments across campus. Assistantships offer additional opportunities for practical experience with assessment efforts underway at James Madison University. In addition, assistantships provide students with both tuition aid and a stipend.

Sample Program of Study

1st year

Fall Spring Summer

604- Data Management
605- Inferential Statistics
770- Public Policy
825- Doctoral Seminar


606- Measurement Theory
608- Multivariate Statistics
825- Doctoral Seminar
- Assessment Consultation

825- Doctoral Seminar
879- Assessment Practicum

2nd year
Fall Spring Summer
812- Instrument Design
830- SEM
832- IRT
616- Social Psyc
Performance Assessment
- Classical Test Theory & GeneralizabilityTheory

Elective or Practicum

3rd Year
Fall Spring  

613- Cognitive Psyc
834- CBT or 840-Mixed Methods

836- HLM
Adv. IRT or Adv. SEM


See Course Descriptions for details on the classes offered.

Admissions Requirements

Admission to the Ph.D. program requires that applicants have completed an advanced degree (M.A./M.S.) in psychology, statistics, or a related field.

Undergraduate students who are interested in assessment should consider applying to the JMU's M.A. Program in Psychological Sciences, which offers a concentration in quantitative methods (assessment, measurement, and statistics). Students who are accepted into the Ph.D. Program in Assessment and Measurement after completing the M.A. Program in Psychological Sciences will have already taken a number of courses required in the doctoral program. As a result, their doctoral program of study will be considerably shortened. However, completion of the M.A. in Psychological Sciences does not guarantee admission into the Ph.D. program in Assessment and Measurement.

Click here for application information.

Students on location for a conference in Puerto Rico
Presentations by students in the Ph.D. program are accepted at numerous cutting-edge conferences, such as this 2005 educational measurement conference in Puerto Rico.



PUBLISHER: Center for Assessment and Research Studies | CARS is part of JMU's University Studies
298 Port Republic Rd., MSC 6806 | Harrisonburg, VA | 22807 | PHONE: (540) 568-6706