Jun 25, 2024  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Assessment and Measurement, Ph.D.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Degrees Offered

Graduate Program Director: Dr. Deborah Bandalos
Phone: (540) 568-7132                                                                  
Website: http://www.psyc.jmu.edu/assessment/

Application Date

Application review opens October 15 and the target date is January 10. All application materials must be received by January 10 to be guaranteed consideration.

Students applying to the assessment and measurement Ph.D. program should indicate that they will begin the program in summer semester. Applicants who are unable to begin during the summer semester should contact the program director to make alternate arrangements. However, such applicants should still indicate a summer starting date.

Admission Requirements

  • There are two options for direct admission to the Ph.D. program.

    1. Applicants who have completed an advanced degree (M.A., M.S.) in psychology, statistics, or a related field can apply directly to the Assessment and Measurement Ph.D. program

    2. Students with a Bachelor’s degree and a strong record of performance in psychology, research methods, statistics or related coursework can apply to the Combined M.A./Ph.D. program in Assessment and Measurement. Students admitted under this option will first complete the requirements for the Quantitative Concentration  of the Psychological Sciences M.A. degree. Upon satisfactory completion of the M.A. degree requirements, students receive the M.A. degree and progress directly into the Assessment and Measurement Ph.D. program. Under this option, students are automatically enrolled into the Ph.D. program after completing the M.A. degree. The Combined M.A./Ph.D. program is thus a good option for students with a bachelor’s degree whose ultimate goal is to pursue the Ph.D. degree.

    Students applying for the Ph.D. program under options 1 or 2 must submit the materials listed below.

  • General GRE scores (verbal, quantitative and analytic writing).
  • Statement of interest in the program and professional goals. In this statement, applicants should discuss why they are interested in the field of Assessment and Measurement, and in our program in particular, and the type(s) of career(s) they would like to pursue in the future. Applicants may also indicate their research interests and preferences for an advisor.
  • 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.


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, applied and theoretical measurement, and quantitative methods. 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, the testing industry, 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 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. 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.


The program for a given student will consist of a minimum of 57 required hours. Students who enter the program without coursework in the foundational areas below must take additional course work to fulfill the foundational course work expectations.

Assessment and Measurement Doctoral Program Degree Requirements

Foundational coursework includes graduate courses in:

  • Inferential statistics
  • Measurement theory
  • At least two of the following areas: social psychology, cognitive psychology or student development

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Degrees Offered