College of Education and Human Development

Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development

Evaluation studies overview

Study and apply evaluation methods, theory, and practice to inform the decision-making process for all kinds of organizations in a variety of fields. We help institutions all over the world achieve their missions by assessing their impact, improving their performance, designing innovative programs, and informing the creation of new policies and procedures. We value inclusive, culturally-responsive, and diverse evaluation perspectives. We share our most advanced practices and theories in order to support more effective and innovative organizations. And, we tell stories, glean data-informed insights, illuminate potential solutions, and creatively overcome roadblocks for the common good.

The field of evaluation is growing steadily in influence and demand. Businesses, government agencies, and public programs looking to be more adaptive, efficient, and effective have turned to trained evaluators to analyze and assess their efforts. For example, the American Evaluation Association more than doubled their membership in the last 15 years, and there is an ever-increasing number of international professional associations devoted to the science of evaluation.


Program evaluation graduate minor

An area of inquiry that uses both quantitative and qualitative methods to address questions of concern to policy makers, administrators, managers, and, in some cases, program participants.

Program evaluation certificate

Our certificate in program evaluation prepares you to lead program evaluation efforts. You will learn applied methods, techniques, and processes, and how evaluation fits into larger economic, social, and political contexts.

Evaluation studies MA

You will be able to provide specialized knowledge and skills to all kinds of professional settings, including education, governance, health care, industry, non-profits, and NGOs.

Evaluation studies PhD

This track program equips you with the knowledge, experience, and resourcefulness needed to be a professional evaluator, evaluation researcher, or educator in a variety of settings.

Program faculty

David Johnson David Johnson

  • Professor; Coordinator of Graduate Programs in Evaluation Studies
  • 612-624-1062

David R. Johnson, Ph.D. is Senior Associate Dean for Research and Policy, an Emma Birkmaier Professor of Educational Leadership, and Director of the Institute on Community Integration (ICI) in the College of Education and Human Development,…

David Johnson
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John LaVelle John LaVelle

My empirical work has focused on the formal development of the evaluation profession, with a specialization on understanding international job markets and university systems that are set up to meet those needs.

John LaVelle
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Karen Storm Karen Storm

Karen Storm, Ph.D., is a Research Associate at the Center for Early Education and Development (CEED) part of the Institute on Community Integration at the University of Minnesota.

Karen Storm
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Heidi Barajas Heidi Barajas

  • Associate Professor; Interim Associate Vice President for Public Engagement
  • 612-625-4823

Heidi Lasley Barajas is currently serving as the interim Associate Vice President for Public Engagement at the University of Minnesota and is an associate professor in the College of Education and Human Development.

Heidi Barajas
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Stuart Yeh Stuart Yeh

I apply evaluation perspectives and frameworks to identify what works in solving pressing social problems.

Stuart Yeh
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Begin your journey