Skip to main content

Secondary navigation:

Lynch School of Education

FAQs

educational research, measurement, and evaluation

Prospective Students:
Thank you for your interest in our program. The following frequently asked questions and responses from Dr. Larry Ludlow, ERME Department Chair, may be useful to you. If you have any other questions, please email Dr. Larry Ludlow or Jillian Gomolka.

Admissions Requirements

What are the requirements for applying to the ERME program?
An application to the Lynch School consists of: 1) Application Form, 2) Application Fee, 3) Personal Statement, 4) Recommendations, 5) Resume, 6) Transcripts, 7) Admissions Tests, and 8) Writing Samples.  For more information please visit Graduate Admissions.

Are there any specific requirements for applying to the ERME program?
All Lynch School of Education requirements are necessary to apply to the ERME program.  There are no specific ERME requirements for applying to the program; however there are many things we are interested in seeing, including coursework in assessment and measurement, excellent grades, a strong reason for this particular degree and program, and research experience.

Is GRE score a very important factor for admission?
Yes, GRE scores are important.  Although we look at multiple pieces of evidence, we are a testing department and high GRE quantitative scores are often related to success in our statistics courses.  In addition to GRE scores, your personal statement is also very important.

What are average GRE scores for successful applicants?
Our GRE-Verbal and GRE-Quantitative scores average around 620-680.

What do you look for in personal statements?
The personal statement is very important, particularly with respect to why you are interested in this degree, what you would like to study and research while here, what you would hope to do when you graduate, and how this program will enable you to make a contribution to your field.

What do you look for in reference letters?
Good reference letters will address your research, decision-making and responsibility experience, as well as the potential contribution you might make in your area of interest.

Is there any restriction on the subject or page length of the writing sample?
There is no restriction on either subject or pages but less than 20 pages would be preferred.

Program Length

How many credits is the M.Ed. program?
The M.Ed. degree requires a minimum of 30 credits.

How many credits is the Ph.D. program?
The Ph.D. degree requires a minimum of 54 credits beyond the master’s degree.  The Direct Admit Ph.D. degree requires a minimum of 72 credits beyond the baccalaureate degree.

What is the average length of the M.Ed. program?
The MEd can be done in a fall/spring/summer sequence, but it is usually done over two years.

What is the average length of the Ph.D. program?
Coursework typically takes 3 years; the dissertation typically takes 1-2 years.  Students often complete the Ph.D. degree between 4 and 6 years.

Can I attend the M.Ed. program part-time?
Yes, many students attend the M.Ed. program part-time.  Often students, who are working full-time, elect to enroll in the M.Ed. program on a part-time basis.  Most of the ERME courses are offered in the early evening which accommodates students attending class after work.

Can I attend the Ph.D. program part-time?
One year of residency is required for the doctoral program. Part-time students are rare in our program because we only admit six per year and engage doctoral students as our primary researchers on our projects. In general, part-time enrollment is discouraged at the doctoral level.  However, in the past we have made accommodations on a case-by-case basis.

Educational Background

Do I need a math background for the ERME program?
A degree or other background in math is not required for admission to the ERME program.  Some ERME students have a moderate math or statistics background, and a few students have a deep math or statistics background.  Your bachelor’s or master's degree may be in any field.  We have had students with backgrounds in music, business, sociology, psychology, etc. The critical issue is your interest and intentions with attaining this form of specialized training.

Do I need an education background for the ERME program?
Nearly all ERME students have some education background.  For admission to ERME, teaching experience and/or an education degree is not required, but some exposure to important issues in education is a benefit.  Of more interest to us is what you want to study and research while in the program and what you want to do when you graduate.   

Do I need a master’s degree to apply for the ERME Ph.D. program?
No, you can apply to the Ph.D. program with a bachelor’s degree only.  This is considered applying for the Direct Admit Ph.D. degree.  This route is available for the occasional BA/BS student who has a strong undergraduate quantitative research background.  It is 72 credits, which is 12 credits less than the normal 30 credit M.Ed. degree and 54 credit Ph.D. programs combined.

If I am accepted into the ERME Ph.D. program, and already hold a master’s degree, do I need to complete the ERME M.Ed. and the Ph.D.?
No, if you hold a master’s degree, even if it is in a program somewhat different than educational research, you would qualify for the regular 54 credit Ph.D. program.

Program Differences

What is the biggest difference between the ERME M.Ed. and Ph.D. degrees?
One way to think of the M.Ed. degree versus the Ph.D. degree is what you plan to do with what you learn. If you want to become a more informed and critical reader of research and to develop more sensitive assessment and evaluation skills as a teacher or other education professional, then the M.Ed. is a good choice.   If you are thinking of a significant career change in the sense of becoming a full-time graduate student with goals of becoming an independent consultant, director of institutional research, or college professor of measurement, etc. then the doctoral degree is the way to go.  If you are unsure, it is best to request a meeting with the department chair, Dr. Larry Ludlow, to discuss your interests.

Career Opportunities

How is the reputation after finishing Ph D program?
It is excellent!  You will be well-prepared for many different types of careers (you can see examples on our webpage). We are one of the largest educational research specialty programs in the U.S. (there is an article on our webpage that compares us to other programs) and we have been doing this for more than 40 years.

ERME Tour

Can I visit the ERME program and meet with faculty and students?
Yes, we welcome prospective students and will be glad to help you schedule appointments with other faculty or students if you would like to meet and talk with them.

Coursework

How should I select classes for my Program of Study?
Incoming students are assigned an ERME faculty academic advisor to help with course selection.  Students often take between 1 and 4 courses a semester, depending on their part-time or full-time status.  Students determine their sequence of courses with their academic advisor.  Most students begin with the 7460, 7462, 7466, and 7468 courses.  ERME 7460 is the only course offered over the summer, so many students save this one for that time.

How do I register for courses?
New students must receive a PIN Code from the Office of Graduate Student Services before registering for classes, as they will give you a PIN Code that you need to register online. After students receive their PIN, they register online via Agora Portal.

How many credits are ERME courses?
All ERME courses are currently 3 credits.  Please note that some courses are 4 credits instead of 3 (most often an elective course in other departments or schools).  If you choose to take a 4 credit course, know that those credits count towards your program of study and your graduate assistantship award.  However, you can choose to reduce the number of credits from 4 to 3 credits.  To do this, you need to fill out the “Variable Credit” section on a Graduate Course Exception Form available from the Graduate Office in Campion 135. 

Are there any restrictions on the electives I choose for my Program of Study?
Yes, electives must be at the graduate level, bear some relationship to education or your research interests, and be approved by your ERME faculty academic advisor.

Can I transfer course credits from another university to my ERME program?
Yes, you can transfer up to six course credits if the course credits meet all the requirements.  Courses must be at the graduate level, not applied to any other degree, carry a grade of “B” or better, and not be more than ten years old.  You should discuss any course transfer questions with your ERME faculty academic advisor.

Can I be waived out of ERME courses if I have taken similar courses elsewhere?
Yes, this is possible and is determined on a case-by-case basis.  You should discuss any course waiver questions with your ERME faculty academic advisor.

How can I override into a closed or restricted course?
ERME maintains a course override policy document for faculty and students that explains course restrictions, overrides, and waiting list policies in detail.  If you need this information, please contact Dr. Ludlow or Jillian Gomolka for a copy of the document.

What is an independent study?
Independent studies are intended as electives that count towards the degree.  They are usually taken as opportunities to do literature searches for one's upcoming dissertation work, or they are often done to pursue in detail some kind of statistical procedure not covered in a course. If you are a full-time supported doctoral student, it is usually presumed that the independent study that the department is paying for would go towards studies advancing you on your dissertation.

Can I take ERME courses before applying to the program?
Yes, it is possible to take up to 4 courses as a non-degree student.  This is an excellent way to get to know if this is the area you want devote your graduate work in.  Courses taken as a non-degree student may count towards a future ERME degree if you are accepted into the program and the courses are approved by your ERME faculty academic advisor.

Does ERME have a focus on educational policy?
It may be somewhat inaccurate to say we focus on educational policy although we do emphasize research training for policymakers. We offer some policy courses, and if desired, students may take extra courses on any education-relevant topic.  In our program, we help people become excellent methodologists, statisticians, testing specialists, and evaluators but we also help people develop their skills to become excellent researchers in their own specific area of interests.  We particularly want to help train those who will become the current and next generation of policymakers. 

Comprehensive Exams

Are students required to take comprehensive exams?
Yes, and ERME maintains a comprehensive exam policy document for faculty and both masters and doctoral students that explains the exam process in detail.  If you need this information, please contact Dr. Ludlow or Jillian Gomolka for a copy of the document: Comprehensive Exam Policies and Procedures.

Student Support

What support do you provide accepted doctoral students?
All accepted doctoral students are fully funded by the Lynch School of Education for three years (via tuition remission and stipend).  During these three years, doctoral students are required to work as full-time graduate assistants to the ERME faculty, which consists of 20 hour per week commitments.  After three years, most ERME doctoral students are hired to work on funded projects.

What support do you provide accepted masters students?
It is a standard practice for us to admit many masters students in the hope that some of them will find part-time jobs and be able to secure student loans. Once the faculty have determined whom they can support at the doctoral level, they then look at the masters students if they have additional resources on funded projects to support masters students.

Do you offer Research Assistantships or Teaching Assistantships for doctoral students?
Yes, we offer both.

Do you provide financial support for international students?
All accepted doctoral students are fully supported with tuition coverage and a monthly stipend for three years.

For more information regarding Graduate student funding, visit http://www.bc.edu/content/bc/schools/lsoe/admission/gradadmission/funding.html