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Research for Educational Improvement

Overview & Requirements
Careers & Internships

The Research for Educational Improvement (REI) concentration in the Master of Arts in Educational Studies program is designed to prepare students for entry-level positions in research organizations, centers, or projects engaged in evaluation research, or as research support staff in formal and informal educational settings where education professionals are engaged in improving practice and policy. 

Students will have opportunities to learn the practices of research design, data collection, and data analysis that span quantitative and qualitative methodologies; how to conduct literature reviews; how to conduct consultation with education professionals; and how to write reports to meet the information needs of various audiences. They will also be introduced to the practice and leadership of collaborative, continuous improvement in education.

Through course projects, electives, and an internship, students will also have opportunities to develop knowledge in a substantive area of interest and to apply the methods they are learning under the supervision of faculty. Students pursuing the REI concentration may also find it to be valuable as preparation for future doctoral study (though we advise students that this program is not designed to lead directly into doctoral study at the University of Michigan.)

Program Timeline

Many students participate full-time and complete the Master of Arts in Educational Studies in 3 terms, over 1.5 years. To do so, students complete required coursework and an internship during their first academic year (fall and winter terms). Students typically further develop their professional skill set through a summer internship and employment opportunities (either at the University of Michigan or elsewhere), before completing a final term of courses and graduating in December.

Some full-time students may choose to complete the program at an accelerated pace of 12 months. This often involves completing more credits in the fall and winter terms, and shifting the final term of coursework to the spring term.

We also greatly value the contributions of part-time students who pursue the Master of Arts in Educational Studies while working full-time, often as K-12 educators.

Educational Studies courses take place in person, during the business day (9 am - 4 pm) and  and evening (5 - 8 pm). If you are considering applying as a part-time student, it will be important to know that you have flexibility with your work schedule to take courses during these times. Part-time students complete the program at their own pace.

Want to learn more about the program?
See our upcoming information sessions

Additional certificate and endorsement opportunities
Learning Experience Design Certificate


The curriculum below pertains to students entering the master’s program in Fall 2023. Please refer to the Intranet to review your degree requirements if you began prior to Fall 2023.

Minimum credits required

Elective credits


Students complete a minimum of 3-5 credits of graduate coursework from available U-M offerings. All electives must be approved by a faculty advisor. Students are encouraged to take at least one course outside of the Marsal School.



The internship offers students work, learning, and mentoring experiences related to a specific area of their professional/research interest. The internship is completed during the fall and winter terms and must be approved by a faculty advisor.



Frequently Asked Questions

Prospective students

Prospective Students

2018 Ed Studies masters cohort poses in front of School of Education building

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Upcoming Information Sessions

There are no information sessions currently scheduled; please contact us at [email protected] to speak with a recruiter.

Associated Faculty

John Dewey Collegiate Professor of Education, Marsal Family School of Education
(734) 647-2461
Professor, Marsal Family School of Education
(734) 615-4733

Connect with ES


Phone: (734) 763-9497
Master's: [email protected]
Doctoral: [email protected]


Interested in ES? Schedule an appointment with our recruitment team:


Location and Office Hours

610 E. University Avenue
Room 4218 - Educational Studies
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1259

8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Application Deadlines

Fall (Aug)
January 4

Application Process

Step 1: Prepare your application materials

To submit a successful application for admission, you need to provide the following:

  • Academic Statement of Purpose
    • Part-Time Admission: Applicants seeking admission to a master’s program may attend on a part-time basis. Please indicate this by answering the “part-time” question on page 9 of the application. 
    • The Academic Statement of Purpose serves to demonstrate a fit between your background/interests and the Educational Studies master’s program’s philosophy, structure, and offerings. The statement should take the form of a concise and coherent essay, approximately 2-3 pages in length, double-spaced. 
    • Please be sure to address the following elements in your statement with regard to the specific thread of the Master’s in Educational Studies degree to which you are applying: 
      • A clear statement about the opportunities, issues, and/or problems of education that motivate you to pursue your chosen thread of the Master’s in Educational Studies. 
      • A concise summary of relevant academic or professional experience. Please explain the connection between your academic or professional experience and the opportunities, issues and/or problems of education introduced in #1. 
      • An overview of your short-term and long-term career goals. Please introduce how you will go about addressing the opportunities, issues, and problems of education introduced in #1. 
      • A clear statement explaining how you expect that program thread will allow you to better understand the opportunities, issues, and problems of education that motivate your graduate studies and on which you will focus your career. Please make specific reference to details such as course offerings, experiential learning opportunities, campus resources, and the expertise of specific faculty members.
  • Personal Statement 
    • 500 word limit
    • How have your background and life experiences, including cultural, geographical, financial, educational or other opportunities or challenges, motivated your decision to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Michigan? For example, if you grew up in a community where educational, cultural, or other opportunities were either especially plentiful or especially lacking, you might discuss the impact this had on your development and interests. This should be a discussion of the journey that has led to your decision to seek a graduate degree. Please do not repeat your Academic Statement of Purpose. 
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation
    • We strongly encourage two of your letters come from individuals who are familiar with your academic performance. The third may be from a professional reference.
    • Register your recommenders' names and contact information on the online application so that they will be sent instructions for submitting their letters via the application system. Let your recommenders know that they need to upload a letter and that it is required by the program. 
    • As soon as you click "save" on the page of the application where your recommenders' contact information is entered, they will receive an email with instructions for completing the process. Proceed to this point in the application process as soon as possible to trigger that email.
  • Resume or CV
  • Test Scores (See test details in Step 5 below) 
    • English proficiency scores (for non-native speakers of English only)
    • GRE Test Scores are not required for admission
Step 2: Create an ApplyWeb account, managed by Rackham Graduate School

Create an account with Rackham Graduate School.

This program, like all of the Marsal Family School of Education's graduate programs, is administered through the University of Michigan's Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies. Rackham offers a host of resources and administrative support to help see you through from submitting your application to completion of your degree.

Step 3: Complete pages 1-5 of application using ApplyWeb
  • After completing page 5 of the application, you will receive an e-mail with your U-M ID. A U-M ID number will be issued to you via email within 5 business days of completing pages 1-5 and advancing to page 6 of the ApplyWeb application. Having your U-M ID number to include on all your application materials ensures accurate and timely processing, so we encourage you to complete pages 1-5 early in the process.
  • If you need to submit your application before you receive your U-M ID number, you may still complete the application. Include your date of birth and the program’s name on your application materials.
  • Current and former U-M Ann Arbor students, alumni and employees: You do not need to obtain a new U-M ID number. Use your previously obtained U-M ID number.
  • If your personal information has changed (for example, legal name, gender), make sure the personal information you submit with your application matches your previous Ann Arbor campus record. If your previous Ann Arbor campus record does not display your current personal information, contact the Registrar’s Office or the Shared Services Center to change your personal information before you apply.
Step 4: Upload academic statement of purpose, the personal statement, and a curriculum vitae (CV) or resume to the ApplyWeb application

Include at the top of each document:

  • The type of document (Academic Statement of Purpose, Personal Statement, or Curriculum Vitae or Resume)
  • Your name
  • The name of the graduate program
  • Your 8 digit U-M ID (if known)

Make sure margins are at least one-inch so nothing is cropped when you upload the documents to the application.

Step 5: Submit test scores
  • TOEFL, MELAB, ECPE, or IELTS scores (for non-native speakers of English only; valid 2 years from test date)
  • GRE Test Scores
    • GRE test scores are not required for admission, but scores (valid 5 years from test date) can be included with your application.
    • Provide ETS with the U-M Institutional Code of 1839 and your scores will be sent directly to the university.
  • Test scores must be sent directly from the testing center to the Rackham Graduate School. We recommend starting this process early as it can take up to two weeks for the scores to be received. 
Step 6: Submit transcripts
  • Upload an electronic version of your official transcript(s) for each Bachelor’s, Master’s, Professional, or Doctoral degree earned or in progress through your ApplyWeb application account (part of the Rackham application system).
  • Do not upload academic records printed from your school’s website or student portal.
  • You are not required to send official transcripts at the time of application. If you are recommended for admission, the Rackham Graduate School will require official transcripts. Admitted applicants will receive an email notification when the official transcripts are required.
  • Students who have studied in a country outside of the U.S. should review the required credentials from non-U.S. institutions. For all degrees obtained at non-U.S. institutions—Request that degree-granting institutions submit official transcripts/records to the Rackham Graduate School at the time of application.
  • Information for submitting official transcripts can be found on the Rackham Graduate School website.
Step 7: Check that letters of recommendation have been submitted
  • Check the status of your letters of recommendation, change a recommender, or resend the notification email to your recommender using the ApplyWeb Activity Page
  • Please reach out to [email protected] if there are any questions regarding the submission of the letters of recommendation.
Step 8: Create a U-M Friend Account

Check on your application status. If you’ve been accepted, you will receive an email with information on how to send your official transcripts.

Step 9: Respond to admission offer

Quick Facts

Application fee waiver


The $75 application fee is waived for all U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents

GRE general exam scores

Not required

Undergraduate GPA guideline


Applications are evaluated using a holistic process, which means that reviewers carefully consider all materials provided and no single factor is used in either accepting or denying an applicant for admission.

Financial aid


Part-time status

Applications accepted

Online, evening, or weekend courses

Evening Courses

Entry term

Fall (August) only

Connect with ES


Phone: (734) 763-9497
Master's: [email protected]
Doctoral: [email protected]


Interested in ES? Schedule an appointment with our recruitment team:


Location and Office Hours

610 E. University Avenue
Room 4218 - Educational Studies
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1259

8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.



of known graduates found full time employment in education


of known graduates found employment within 6 months


average first year salary


of known graduates are highly satisfied or satisfied with their current position
Professional trajectories of graduates include:
  • Entry-level positions in research organizations, centers, or projects engaged in evaluation research
  • Research support staff in formal and informal educational settings where education professionals are engaged in improving practice and policy
  • Future doctoral study 


The Research for Educational Improvement (REI) concentration requires an internship to be completed during the fall term accompanied by a 1-credit seminar and during the winter term accompanied by a two-credit seminar. The internship offers students work, learning, and mentoring experiences related to a specific area of their professional/research interest.

Please see Internship Resources for ES Master's Students for more information.

Featured Internship Partner: CEDER

The University of Michigan Marsal Family School of Education’s Center for Education Design, Evaluation, and Research (CEDER) partners with the REI concentration to offer paid internships to enrolled students who are interested in pursuing careers and further studies in program evaluation.

CEDER advances equity and excellence in education by providing access to high-quality design, evaluation, and research services through collaborations with university, school, and community partners.

CEDER’s program evaluation internship is designed to provide a supportive, practice-based environment for students to focus on professional growth and skill building. Student interns are matched with one or two evaluation projects from CEDER’s portfolio and gain experience across different stages of the evaluation lifecycle: from setting up a new partnership to reporting findings to stakeholders. CEDER works with a wide range of education clients across K-12 and higher education settings.These include college access programs, community-based programming, undergraduate research experiences, and STEM and sustainability initiatives.

The CEDER program evaluation internship aims to create a supportive, collegial environment to promote student growth. Each student joins as a member of an internship cohort and is invited to participate in social events to build community with other interns and the wider CEDER team. All interns are matched with a supervisor from the evaluation team who will provide support in identifying, setting, and achieving professional goals. Concurrent with the internship experience, students participate in a credit-bearing seminar (EDUC 638) with CEDER’s evaluation coordinator. This class brings in guest speakers to help students build a foundational understanding of evaluation practice, and provides students with an opportunity to share what they have learned with one-another.

The professional network of REI graduates who completed CEDER internships continues to grow with each cohort. Past internship participants have continued into professional positions that include network director, data and policy analyst, and data strategy & business program manager at organizations including Center for Leadership and Educational Equity, The Education Trust, Abt Associates, and the University of Michigan Center for Educational Outreach. Internship participants have also progressed into PhD programs, including Measurement and Evaluation at Teachers College, Columbia University, and Educational Psychology at the University of Georgia.