Programs Offered

Doctoral Degree

The Research & Evaluation Methodology (REM) program offers the opportunity to combine substantive interests in education with advanced training in research methods. The program’s central mission is to provide students with the training they need to use sophisticated methods that shed light on policies, programs and practices that have been enacted to facilitate student learning and to mitigate inequality in educational opportunities and outcomes. Students will learn both how to apply a variety of methodological approaches, and, of equal or greater importance, to think deeply about when and why the approach is sensible given the real-world contexts in which these research designs and methods are applied.

A spirit of critical inquiry and intellectual curiosity is a defining feature of the REM community. When claims are made—by students or faculty—it is expected that those claims will be supported by an adequate warrant, drawing on empirical evidence when appropriate.

Within this framing, learning goals for REM students include that they:

  • Develop knowledge and skills for applying appropriate research methods and study designs to answer substantive questions about educational policies, programs, and practices aimed at promoting equitable opportunities and outcomes for historically underserved and marginalized populations. 
  • Learn to communicate relevant findings and insights to a broad audience of stakeholders including the public, policymakers and academic peers.
  • Find fulfilling careers in a context that is the best fit for each individual student’s research (and teaching) interests. These careers may be in university teaching and research, research and evaluation in state departments of education, large school districts, think tanks or research firms, federally funded regional research and development laboratories; assessment and testing organizations; and consultation for government and education agencies.

REM faculty strive to foster an environment for students that is both challenging and supportive. During the weekly “REM seminar,” students have the opportunity to interact with invited speakers, discuss timely research topics and studies, brainstorm ideas for publishable papers, and practice giving oral presentations. Regular interactions among students and faculty is the norm, not the exception. REM faculty teach courses and mentor students with the same commitment and dedication that is evident in our scholarly research. Students will have ongoing support as they embark on a path that begins with coursework, transitions to dissertation prospectus and defense, and culminates in a job that aligns with their particular career aspirations in educational research.

Students participate in graduate research assistantships each semester and most can expect to work with faculty on research projects as part of CADRE at some point during their doctoral studies.

The Center for Assessment, Design, Research and Evaluation (CADRE)

REM students can explore opportunities to be involved in CADRE research. The mission of CADRE is to produce generalizable knowledge that improves the ability to assess student learning and to evaluate programs and methods that may have an effect on this learning. CADRE projects represent a collaboration with the ongoing activities in the School of Education, the university, and the broader national and international community of scholars and stakeholders involved in educational assessment and evaluation. Visit the center's CADRE Projects and Resources website for examples.

Other CU Boulder Center-Based Opportunities

REM faculty are affiliates of various centers at CU Boulder. REM students may have opportunities to gain research experience via faculty collaborations within these centers, which include:

Career Opportunities

Opportunities for students with a PhD with an area of emphasis in REM include:

  • University teaching and research
  • Research, evaluation and testing in state departments of education and large school districts
  • Research and policy analysis for think tanks like the RAND Corporation, SRI International, and federally funded regional research and development laboratories
  • Measurement or statistical analysis for assessment and testing organizations such as the Educational Testing Service
  • Consultation for government and education agencies

Examples of our REM graduates' careers over the past ten years:

  • National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment (Senior Associate)
  • Educational Testing Service (Research Scientist)
  • Center for Assessment, Design, Research and Evaluation (Associate Director)
  • SRI International (Principal Research Scientist)
  • Stanford University (Associate Professor)