Research for Educational Improvement
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.
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.)
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.
Students complete the following courses:
- EDUC 570 – Professional Development Seminar
- EDUC 793 – Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods
Students complete one of the following courses:
Students complete one of the following courses:
Program specialization credits
Students complete graduate research methods courses, examples of which appear below:
- EDUC 607 – Contemporary Approaches to Educational Assessment
- EDUC 639 – Engaging Educational Innovation and Improvement
- EDUC 707 – Psychometric Theory: Classical and Latent Trait Models (PSYCH 707)
- EDUC 732 – Critical Race Methodologies for Qualitative Research
- EDUC 737 – Reviewing Research for Professional Learning
- EDUC 750 – Discourse Analysis
- EDUC 794 – Quantitative Methods of Program Evaluation (PUBPOL 639)
- EDUC 795 – Quantitative Methods for Non-Experimental Research
- SURVMETH 600 – Fundamentals of Survey Methodology
- ICPSR Summer Courses
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
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Upcoming Information Sessions
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:
- 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
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.
- 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.
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.
- TOEFL, MELAB, ECPE, or IELTS scores (for non-native speakers of English only; valid 2 years from test date)
- Information regarding English Proficiency tests and exemption guidelines can be found on the Rackham Graduate School website.
- 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.
- 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.
Check on your application status. If you’ve been accepted, you will receive an email with information on how to send your official transcripts.
- If you have been accepted, congratulations! You may accept or decline the offer of admission in your U-M Friend Account.
- For international students that accept offer of admission, Rackham prepares immigration documents for visas.
Application fee waiver
The $75 application fee is waived for all U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents
GRE general exam scores
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.
Online, evening, or weekend courses
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
Career outcomes of recent graduates:
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.