PhD in Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology with Emphasis in Educational Research Methods and Analysis

The Educational Research Methods and Analysis program provides rigorous training in statistical methods, educational measurement, and research methodologies. We offer several courses in applied statistics, from the quantitative foundations of educational research to advanced methods such as multivariate statistics, multilevel modeling, and latent variable modeling. We also offer a number of courses in educational measurement, covering topics such as in classical test theory, item response theory, and generalizability theory. In addition, our students have the opportunity to take a wide range of advanced statistics and quantitative methods courses, from probability, sampling methodology, and categorical data analysis to stochastic theory, time series analysis, Bayesian statistics, and other cutting-edge quantitative techniques. We train our students in various statistical software programs including SPSS, SAS, R, Mplus, Amos, HLM, and BILOG-MG. Our students also take courses in learning theories, aspects of human development, and program evaluation. Graduates from our program are prepared to make scientific and systematic inquiries and to make data-driven decisions, typically attaining employment positions at universities, research centers, and testing organizations.  

Degree Requirements

I. General Core Courses33
Statistics and Research21
Overview of Research Methods
Seminar in Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology
Foundations of Educational and Psychological Measurement
Item Response Theory
Quantitative Foundations in Educational Research
Application of Multivariate Analysis in Educational Research
Structural Equation Modeling
Hierarchical Linear Modeling
Qualitative Methods in Educational Research I
Human Learning6
Advanced Human Learning
Cognition and Emotion
Other courses if approved by committee
Human Diversity (relevant course)3
II. Advanced Courses21
Selected graduate level courses with advisor approval. They may be in the Statistics department or the Department of Psychological Sciences (e.g. latent variable models in statistical analyses, categorical data analysis, Bayesian statistics, nonparametric statistics).
Advanced Measurement
Advanced Statistics
Program Evaluation
Statistical Programming
Research in statistics and/or measurement
III. General Electives6
Elective courses can be taken from Educational, School, & Counseling Psychology or from other departments such as Psychological Sciences, Statistics, or Information Science and Learning Technology.6
IV. Dissertation6-18

Sample Plan of Study

The plan of study will depend on the student’s career goals and research interests, and should be completed in consultation with the Doctoral Committee.

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Qualifying Process

The Graduate School requires that students pass a qualifying examination as a condition of official admittance to the PhD  program. Acceptable performance on the Departmental Qualifying Examination is defined as achieving a grade of “B” or better in each of the courses comprising the “core” courses. If a student recieves lower than a "B" on a course, the student must retake the course. Failure to receive the appropriate grade a second time could result in dismissal from teh program. For educational research methods and analysis, these courses are the following:

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Comprehensive Examination Process

To complete the comprehensive exam, students must complete evidence of professional activity (e.g. publication in a refereed journal, paper presentation at a national conference, development of a professionally published test or measure that is used nationally), evidence of teaching, and successful completion of a written comprehensive exam.

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Dissertation Requirements

After working with the academic advisor on developing a dissertation proposal, the student meets with the doctoral program committee to obtain approval of the written dissertation proposal. This happens before data collection begins. After the project is completed, the student submits a written dissertation and defends the dissertation to the doctoral program committee. The defense can occur only when MU is officially in session.

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Admissions

Applicants are required to meet two sets of minimum qualifications for admission: the requirements of the PhD in Educational, School & Counseling Psychology program and the minimum requirements of the Office of Graduate Studies.  

  1. Apply online by submitting the following documents using the MU Office of Graduate Studies application form by January 15th for the next Fall cohort.
  2. The three letters of recommendation
  3. Curriculum Vita
  4. Official academic transcripts of all previous undergraduate and graduate work
    1. Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 from an accredited institution in psychology, education, or a related major.
  5. Statement of purpose addressing the following:
    1. Describe (1) your research interests that you hope to pursue in graduate school, (2) your career objectives, and (3) how being accepted into MU’s program will benefit your career aspirations.
    2. Describe interests and or experience in designing empirical studies and/or analyzing empirical data. Briefly describe why you have chosen particular research designs to answer the research questions. (2500 words max.).
    3. Describe interests and experience in analyzing empirical data. Briefly describe why you have chosen particular statistical models to answer the research questions. (250 words max.).
    4. Describe interest or experiences that demonstrate your potential in applied, theoretical, and/or computational statistics, that you believe distinguishyou as a candidate for graduate study (250 words max.).
  6. Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores for tests taken on or after August 1, 2012 should have a combined Verbal and Quantitative score of 305.
  7. TOEFL for international students (preferred score of 580 for paper test, 92 iBT, IELTS 6.5 or higher).

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