College of Education and Human Development

Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development

Evaluation studies PhD

in Organizational Leadership, Policy and Development

Become an expert in program evaluation. This Evaluation Studies (ES) 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.

In this program, you will hone an interdisciplinary set of skills for designing and implementing effective evaluation strategies. Through advanced research techniques, you will be able to quickly and astutely discern issues in processes and systems, develop incisive solutions to bottlenecks and roadblocks, and manage organizational paradoxes with confidence.

You will gain experience in a full array of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods, and you will sharpen your skills in designing evaluation studies, data collection, data analysis, and how to effectively communicate results to improve policies and programs.. Through new and ongoing organizational partnerships, you will work in real-life evaluation cases and get hands-on experience.

We're sorry -- this program is not accepting applications at the current time.


Doctoral students in Evaluation Studies gain the capacity to:

  • Teach evaluation and research methods courses.
  • Serve as lead evaluators and consultants on evaluation and research methodology and program design.
  • Measure both the economic and social impact of public policies and programs.
  • Communicate the value, vision, possible strengths and potential flaws of a project with clarity and precision.
  • Conduct original research on evaluation theory and practice in a range of contexts.


72 credits (48 credits of coursework + 24 thesis credits) completed in 3-5 years for full time students.

OLPD departmental core

  • OLPD 8011—Doctoral Research Seminar I (1 cr) [Fall term of first year]
  • OLPD 8015—Inquiry Strategies in Educational and Organizational Research (3 cr) [Take Spring term of first year]
  • Quantitative research course (3 cr) selected with approval of advisor
  • Qualitative research course (3 cr) selected with approval of advisor
  • Additional methods courses (6 cr) selected with approval of advisor

Evaluation studies program core

Students must take OLPD 8596 twice in two different semesters for 3 credits each time.

  • OLPD 5501—Principles and Methods of Evaluation (3 cr)
  • OLPD 8502—Program Evaluation Theory and Models: Qualitative and Quantitative Alternatives (3 cr)
  • OLPD 8595—Evaluation Problems (3 cr)
  • OLPD 8596—Evaluation Internship I (3 cr)
  • OLPD 8596—Evaluation Internship II (3 cr)

Additional coursework

Minimum of 17 credits required. These credits can be used to meet the requirement that a minimum of 12 credits be taken outside the ES track or for a minor. Courses not specifically listed should have advisor approval.

Thesis credits (24 credits)

All Ph.D. students are required to register for 24 semester thesis credits (OLPD 8888) after completing the preliminary oral exam. These must be taken over two or more terms.


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