Program Overview

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Degrees Offered
  • Combined Master of Arts (M.A.) Psychological Sciences with a quantitative concentration and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Assessment and Measurement
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Assessment and Measurement (Ph.D.)

JMU is a national leader in educational outcomes assessment and in applied and theoretical measurement. Students are prepared to be leaders in assessment and psychometric methods in a wide range of settings.

100 percent job placement rate for graduates


The vision of the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program in assessment and measurement at JMU is to establish and maintain a national reputation as a valuable resource in educational outcomes assessment and in 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, measurement, and quantitative methods 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, measurement, and quantitative methods.

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, quantitative analysis of aggregate data, appropriate use of assessment results, and effective communication of results to a variety of audiences. Moreover, with the extensive background in measurement theory and quantitative methods provided, the graduates of this Ph.D. program are trained as experts in these areas, 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, measurement, and quantitative methodology in higher education, students can apply the skills and knowledge gained in the program to areas such as K-12 education, industry and government. Students are not trained to perform psychological assessment of individuals for clinical diagnostic or therapeutic purposes. Instead, training revolves around the design and improvement of methods to measure program effectiveness, the development and psychometric evaluation of measurement instruments, and effective applications of quantitative methods.

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 pedagogical foundations of psychology, measurement, assessment, quantitative methods 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.

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