Doctoral Degree: The Psychometric Methods, Educational Statistics and Research Methods Concentration

Testing and assessment are very prominent in today's society. They are used in instruction, diagnosis, placement, promotions, credentialing, and selection decisions, and in educational research and evaluation. Furthermore, the No Child Left Behind legislation has led to a substantial increase in testing in the public school system. Persons trained to develop instruments such as tests, assessments, and questionnaires, to use new models and methods for data collection and analysis (such as item response theory and structural equation models), design sampling frameworks, collect and analyze data, and conduct research and evaluation studies, play vital roles in education.

The Psychometric Methods, Educational Statistics and Research Methods doctoral concentration offers a graduate level program for the training of persons with specialized skills in the areas of psychometric methods (e.g., item response theory, classical test theory, and scaling), statistics, instrument development, and data analysis. Most students admitted into the Program are provided with full research assistantships and tuition waivers. The assistantships provide students with opportunities to develop practical skills, and carry out research studies. Summer internships are also a part of the graduate student training experience, and so the faculty work closely with students to create these important training opportunities. The concentration) has close connections with many testing agencies around the country that provide these summer internship experiences.

Concentration Goals and Emphases

The Psychometric Methods, Educational Statistics and Research Methods concentration emphasizes the training of persons in the areas of (1) educational test development (2) psychometric models, methods, and practices, (3) educational statistics, and (4) research and evaluation methods. Graduates are trained to carry out the design of research and evaluation studies, to apply modern psychometric models and methods (such as those associated with item response theory, structural equation modeling, and performance-based assessment), to develop and validate a wide variety of instruments, and to analyze data in such diverse settings as the public schools, state and federal agencies, industry, the armed services, and medical and allied-health organizations. Our special focus is on the training of program graduates with both theoretical training as well as a wide range of practical experiences. Students with such training have no difficulty finding suitable positions upon graduation. We also work with universities and testing agencies throughout the world.


The Psychometric Methods, Educational Statistics and Research Methods concentration offers the following courses:

EDUC  501 Classroom Assessment
EDUC  553 Construction, Validation, and Uses of Criterion-Referenced Tests
EDUC  555 Introduction to Statistics & Computer Analysis I
EDUC  632 Principles of Educational & Psychological Testing
EDUC  637 Non-Parametric Statistics Analysis
EDUC  656 Introduction to Statistical & Computer Analysis II
EDUC  661 Educational Research Methods I
EDUC  727 Scale and Instrument Development
EDUC  731 Structural Equation Modeling
EDUC  735 Advanced Theory & Practice of Testing I
EDUC  736 Advanced Theory & Practice of Testing II
EDUC  771 Application of Applied Multivariate Statistics I
EDUC  772 Application of Applied Multivariate Statistics II
EDUC  821 Advanced Validity Theory & Test Validation

In addition, students regularly take related graduate-level courses in the Schools of Education and Public Health, and Departments of Psychology and Statistics.

Contact Information

Please visit the Psychometric Methods site for more information.

Concentration Coordinator: Craig Wells (Associate Professor)

Associated Faculty

Lisa A. Keller (Assistant Professor), Jennifer Randall (Associate Professor), Stephen G. Sireci (Professor), Craig Wells (Associate Professor), Ronald K. Hambleton (Distinguished University Professor).