Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology (HDQM)

Quantitative Methodology: Measurement and Statistics (QMMS)

In today’s data-driven world, mastery of the latest quantitative methods is essential for any type of data-based assessment and decision making. The Quantitative Methodology: Measurement and Statistics program addresses four major methodological questions that are of relevance for high-quality research, evaluations and data science:

  • How to design research and evaluation studies to successfully predict outcomes like student progress or to infer cause-effect relationships, that is, whether a new curriculum or program has an impact on student progress? Or, does a novel cognitive behavior therapy effectively treat depression?
  • How to measure constructs or variables of interest like math achievement or depression in a meaningful and reliable way?
  • How to collect data such that study results can be generalized to broader target populations and settings of interest?
  • How to analyze data to support researchers and policy makers in their decision making?

The program—one of the best in the nation—thoroughly trains students and professionals for careers of influence and impact in methodological and applied research areas. The program offers a Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree as well as a graduate certificate program. Program features include:

  • Training in a field with great career potential
  • Mentorship from award-winning faculty
  • Opportunities for field work on campus, in the Washington area, and nationally
  • A capable and active group of graduate students
  • Active immersion in research through research and teaching assistantships
  • Opportunities to work on projects through grants, contracts, and research centers

For more information about faculty, admissions, courses, policies, and research opportunities, please visit the program website.

Most of the quantitative educational and social science research that takes place today relies on the expertise of those who (a) design research and evaluation studies, (b) develop measurement instruments such as assessments, questionnaires, and interview protocols, (c) design sampling frameworks to collect data, and (d) analyze data and develop new statistical models and methods.

To prepare graduates of our program for a changing society in which data-based assessments and decision making gain in importance, we offer training in all four areas via mentoring and courses, for instance on research designs for causal inference and evaluation, computer-adaptive testing and large-scale assessments, survey construction and sampling, as well as a broad range of statistical methods for the analysis of experimental, observational or administrative data, cross-sectional and longitudinal data, but also of social network data. We also provide training and opportunities in statistical computing & simulations (including high-performance computing) or machine learning. Overall, the program focuses on the theory and application of existing quantitative methods but also on the development of new methods to meet future challenges in quantitative research and evidence-based policy making. Given the impact that data and statistical analyses have on society, our program has started to explicitly address questions of discrimination, disparity, fairness and justice.

The Quantitative Methodology: Measurement and Statistics program is widely recognized as being among the best programs in the country with exceptional students trained by faculty who are leaders within their research areas. The M.S. program gives individuals the broad range of skills necessary to serve as research associates in academic, government, education and business settings.

M.S. students generally take introductory coursework in measurement, applied statistics, and research design & evaluation. The Ph.D. program qualifies individuals to provide leadership in the conduct of research studies, to serve as applied statisticians, measurement, or evaluation specialists in school systems, industry, and government, and to teach quantitative courses at the collegiate level. The program also strongly supports students with an interest in an academic career as methodologist, statistician, or psychometrician. Ph.D. students typically complete an analogous program of study as M.S. student, after which they may continue with a multidisciplinary focus or concentrate primarily on a single discipline.

While we do not have an undergraduate program, we do encourage undergraduates to register with the department and, subject to approval, take courses in our graduate program. Those courses will count for credit toward their BA or BS degree and our graduate degree programs, if they enroll. The graduate certificate program is provided for students seeking abbreviated and targeted training in measurement, statistics or evaluation.

For general information about Quantitative Methodology: Measurement and Statistics program, please visit our program webpage or contact Dr. Gregory Hancock, email: