Assessment and Measurement Doctoral Program


Application Date
Application review opens October 15 and the target date is January 15. All application materials must be received by January 15 to ensure review by program.


Admission Requirements


  • Completion of an advanced degree (M.A./M.S. or Ed.S.) in psychology, education, statistics or a related field.
  • General GRE scores (verbal, quantitative and analytic writing).
  • Statement of interest in the program and professional goals.
  • Three letters of recommendation from professionals familiar with the applicant's academic work and relevant professional experiences.
  • Transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate programs attended.
  • A current professional vita or resume.
  • Representative samples of professional writing.
  • Personal interview.


The vision of the Doctor of Philosophy program in assessment and measurement at JMU is to establish and maintain a national reputation as a valuable resource in educational outcomes assessment and both applied and theoretical measurement. As such, the program will help meet the growing demand for assessment and measurement professionals in a wide variety of applied settings.


To attain this vision, the mission of the doctoral program is to:


  • Provide training for its graduate students that combines rigorous, theory-based course work in assessment and measurement with extensive real-world assessment experiences. This training will prepare students to address the increasing external pressures for accurate data in a wide variety of settings including higher education, K-12 education, non-profit and governmental organizations.
  • Conduct high-quality scholarship that will significantly advance knowledge in the fields of assessment and measurement and promote more effective practice in these areas.
  • Provide, both for JMU and outside constituencies, valuable service activities that promote effective assessment practice and contribute to the professional well-being of the fields of assessment and measurement.


The focus of the assessment training in the Ph.D. program is on the design of program assessment strategies, empirical investigation of new measurement and assessment methods, identification of appropriate existing and/or construction of new assessment measures/methods, empirical analysis of aggregate data, appropriate use of assessment results, and effective communication of assessment to a variety of audiences. Moreover, with the extensive background in measurement theory provided, the graduates of this Ph.D. program are trained as experts in assessment, enabling them to enter the field equipped with a knowledge base that extends far beyond the pragmatic aspects of implementing assessment strategies. Although the program focuses on applications of assessment and measurement in higher education, students can apply many of the skills and knowledge gained in the program to assessment and measurement in K-12 education as well as to the health care and business sectors. Students are not trained to perform psychological assessment of individuals for clinical diagnostic or therapeutic purposes, as training in this concentration revolves around the design and improvement of methods to measure program effectiveness.


The Ph.D. program in assessment and measurement adheres to a practitioner-scientist, applied model of graduate training, built on a solid theoretical base in scientific psychology. The program integrates selected, major pedagogical foundations of psychology, assessment and applied experience. The training model is further designed to capitalize on the previous educational and professional experiences and training of incoming students to expand, strengthen and supplement these skills.


The program for a given student will consist of the 57 required hours plus any additional course work that the program faculty deems is needed to fulfill the foundational course work expectations.


Assessment and Measurement Doctoral Program Degree Requirements
Students complete course work in the following areas:


  • Foundational graduate course work in psychology
  • Research and inferential statistics
  • Measurement theory
  • Course work in at least two of the following areas: social psychology, cognitive psychology or student development


Required Courses Credit Hours
PSYC 604. Computer-Assisted Data Management 3
PSYC 608. Multivariate Statistics 3
PSYC 770. Assessment and Public Policy 3
PSYC 812. Assessment Methods and Instrument Design 3
PSYC 814. Performance Assessment 3
PSYC 816. Classical Test Theory and Generalizability Theory 3
PSYC 825. Doctoral Seminar (3 occasions; 1 credit hour per offering) 6
PSYC 855. Assessment and Consultation Practice 3
Two of the following three courses: 6
PSYC 830. Structural Equation Modeling  
PSYC 832. Item Response Theory  
PSYC 836. Hierarchical Linear Modeling  
Approved Electives 12
Required Research Experiences:  
PSYC 879. Doctoral Assessment Practicum 3
PSYC 900. Doctoral Dissertation 9



Higher Education Assessment Specialist Graduate Certificate Program
This online certificate program provides the most up-to-date information about assessment practice in higher education, and assists students in developing skills to apply that knowledge at their own institutions. The program offers professional development and certification for assessment practitioners at institutions of higher education. All course work is delivered online. Students must complete four courses (12 credit hours).


Required Courses Credit Hours
PSYC 501. Public Policy Related to Assessment in Higher Education 3
PSYC 501. Foundations of Measurement and Assessment Design 3
PSYC 601. Instrument Design for Higher Education Assessment 3
PSYC 601. Assessment Consultation in Higher Education 3