Data Analysis, Assessment, and Research in Education M.Ed.

The master’s degree in Data Analysis, Assessment, and Research in Education (DAARE) is ideal for students seeking to understand the fundamental underpinnings of educational assessment and research and to apply this knowledge in the use of assessments and to inform policy in education. Many students pursue this advanced training to complement work they currently do in schools, departments of education, or testing agencies. The program consists of five required/core courses in statistics, research methods, test theory, and social justice education. Students then customize their program of study by selecting (7) elective courses from the research methods, measurement theory, statistics, and/or policy domains.


Core Competencies

The core competencies for the M.Ed. in Data Analysis, Assessment, and Research in Education include the ability to:

  1. Use and apply basic statistics
  2. Understand research methods used in quantitative research in education
  3. Understand the fundamentals of educational assessment development, both in large-scale contexts as well as at the classroom level
  4. Apply basic concepts of reliability and validity to educational assessments
  5. Understand how to choose appropriate assessment methods
  6. Understand how to administer, score, and interpret assessments
  7. Understand how to use assessment results to make decisions about students, curricula, or instruction
  8. Communicate assessment results and interpretation to a broad audience
  9. Recognize unethical, illegal, and inappropriate assessment methods and use of assessment information
  10. Understand how knowledge of assessment can be used to inform policy
poster paper with graph drawn on it in marker

Course of Study


Core Required - 15 Credits

  Course Description Credits
Statistics EDUC 555 Introduction to Statistics and Computer Analysis I 3

 Either EDUC 656 or EDUC 650

EDUC 656 

Introduction to Statistics and Computer Analysis II 


  EDUC 650 Regression Analysis 3


Either EDUC 735 or EDUC 736

EDUC 735 Classical Test Theory I 3
  EDUC 736 Item Response Theory I 3

Research Methods
Either EDUC 661 or 664

EDUC 661 

Educational Research Methods I



  EDUC 664 Group Design 3
Social Justice  Select course from Social Justice Course list below*   3

 Electives - 21 credits/any combinations

 Research Methods EDUC 619 Qualitative Research Methods 3
  EDUC 888 Youth Participatory Action Research Methods 3
  EDUC 652 Mixed Methods Research 3
  EDUC 663 Single Subject Research Design in School Psych 3
  EDUC 671 Survey Design Methods 3
  EDUC 676 Secondary Data Analysis 3
  EDUC 686 Making Sense of School Data 3
  EDUC 797A Qualitative Data Analysis 3
  EDUC 718 Action Research in Schools 3
  EDUC 790E Social Network Analysis 3
  EDUC 794D Discourse Analysis 3
  EDUC 871 Design and Evaluation of Education Programs 3
Measurement EDUC 756 Advance Measurement Seminar 3

EDUC 632a or

EDUC 625

Fundamentals of Test Construction or 

Classroom Assessment

  EDUC 751 Scaling Models for Behavioral Sciences 3
  EDUC 821 Advanced Validity Theory and Test Validation 3
  EDUC 731 Structural Equation Modeling 3
  EDUC 707 Generalizability Theory 3
  EDUC 727 Scale and Instrument Development 3
  EDUC 632 Principles of Educational and Psychological Testing 3
  EDUC 735 Classical Test Theory I 3
  EDUC 736 Item Response Theory I 3
  EDUC 794E Advance in Item Response Theory 3

EDUC 747 or

EDUC 757

Programming for Psychometric & Statistical Modeling or

Advance Statistics Using R

Statistics EDUC 637 Nonparametric Statistical Analysis in Educ. and Psychology 3
  EDUC 771 Multivariate Statistics I 3
  EDUC 772 Applied Multivariate Statistics 3
Policy SPP 650 U.S. Education Policy 3
  SPP 697DE Policy Implementation and Design 3
  SPP 604 Policy and Program Evaluation 3
  SPP 651 Social Inequalities and Public Policy 3
  SPP 603 Policy Analysis 3
  EDUC 633 Education and Public Policy 3
  EDUC 793D Globalization and Education Policy 3
Social Justice Courses*      
  EDUC 691E Social Issues in Education 3
  EDUC 624 Contemporary & Historical Construction of Social Justice Awareness 3
  EDUC 522 Education for Social Justice Education Self Awareness 3
  EDUC 627 Curriculum Design and Instructions for Social Justice Education 3
  EDUC 746 Social Justice Education in Schools 3
  EDUC 622 Theories of Education Policy 3
  EDUC 633 Education and Public Policy 3
  EDUC 614 College Access and Equity 3
  EDUC 648 Oppression and Education 3
  SOC 792B Gender and Society 3

EDUC 555 Introduction to Statistics and Computer Analysis I

The purpose of this course is to give students in the social sciences and, in particular, education, skills in statistical reasoning so that they will be critical readers of research literature in their fields and in a position to design research studies and analyze data on their own.

EDUC 661 Educational Research Methods I

Essential skills for conducting educational research.  Stating purposes and hypotheses, instrument development, research design, sampling, data analysis, interpreting results, and preparing research projects.

EDUC 753 Pro-seminar in Educational Assessment

This course gives students experience in significant practices in educational testing/evaluation. Topics covered include computer-based testing, assessment policy, new directions in evaluation and validation, and how to write research reports.

EDUC 632A Fundamentals of Test Construction

Enables students to construct educational assessments using a variety of item formats such as multiple-choice and performance-based items. The entire development process, including item writing and item review are covered.

EDUC 736 Item Response Theory

Introduction to modern test theory, often called item response theory. Topics include shortcomings of classical models and methods, basic concepts and item response theory models, parameter estimation, goodness of fit  procedures, and specific applications including test development, detection of biased test items, test score equating, large-scale assessment, score reporting, and computer-adaptive testing. Prerequisite: Educ 735.

EDUC 735 Classical Test Theory

Theory of mental tests beginning with the classical test theory model and including such topics as reliability, validity, item analysis and test development.

EDUC 633 Education and Public Policy

Introduction to the roles of federal, state, and local government in US K-12 education policy, the diverse ways of studying education policy, and to specific current policy issues including educational accountability, school finance, the controversy over school-district regionalization in Massachusetts, challenges facing urban schools, and how research affects education policy debates.

EDUC 862 Educational Planning and Evaluation

The purpose of this course is to provide general understanding and practical experience in program evaluation as applied to the area of education.  Various methods of program evaluation will be studied.


Applications to the Assessment and Policy Studies master's program can be submitted through the Graduate School.

Admissions Requirements

Applications for admittance to the Research, Educational Measurement, and Psychometrics master’s and doctoral programs are due by January 2nd. You will need the following in order to apply:

  • Transcripts
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Cover Letter outlining interest in the field and previous experience
  • GRE Scores - *waived for fall 2023 applicants, due to COVID-19*
  • English Proficiency Language Test (if first language is not English) - information about accepted tests and minimum scores required  is available on the Graduate School website

Diversity among student backgrounds and experiences is desired (see Diversity and Inclusion Statement). To this end, REMP faculty consider the totality of the applicants as reflected in their application materials. Your cover letter is an opportunity for you to convey to the faculty a more holistic view of your strengths and potential contributions to the program. Similarly, letters of recommendation are reviewed carefully for each applicant. There are no minimum GRE cut scores for admission to REMP. We encourage all students, particularly those from underrepresented and historically marginalized groups, to apply regardless of test scores. 

Application Process

The application for admission and specific information on graduate application processes is located on the University of Massachusetts Graduate School website

University of Massachusetts Anti-Discrimination Statement

The University prohibits unlawful discrimination, harassment (including sexual harassment), and retaliation against anyone based on religion or religious belief, color, race, marital status, veteran or military status, age, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, ethnicity, disability, genetic information, or any other legally protected class, in education, admission, access to or treatment in, its programs, services, benefits, activities, and terms and conditions of employment at the University.


Please address specific inquiries about admission, financial support, and the program to Jennie Southgate,