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Information on Graduate Degree Programs in Education Assessment

Majors Overview July 19, 2015

This article talks about different graduate degree programs in education assessment and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and certification and continuing education choices.

Information on Education Assessment programs

Students enrolled in an educational assessment graduate certificate program are taught how to design and evaluate standardized tests for kindergarten through high school. Those who have experience in teaching can pursue a master’s degree program in educational assessment. The research skills needed to design a test form the focus of program coursework. The program includes courses on topics such as assessment of learning disabilities, educational software, research, and statistics. Those seeking research-based careers in the field can enroll in an educational psychology doctorate program.

Coursework focuses on teaching students about evaluating student’s learning styles, measuring educational programs and performing research aimed at creating better learning environments with an overall focus on research and evaluation.

Graduate Certificate Programs in Educational Assessment

Educators enrolled in post-baccalaureate certificate programs in educational assessment are taught about designing and evaluating standardized tests to administer to students. Assessment for students in kindergarten through high school is in most programs. Participants learn about creating assessments that measure motivation, learning, and information retention. Practical classroom experience is in some programs.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree. In some programs, students who haven’t completed prior courses in statistics or education may also be admitted, but knowledge of these subjects can prove beneficial.


Program coursework may cover topics in teaching theory, statistics, and school administration. Students enrolled in most programs have to complete about 18 credit hours of instruction. Core coursework may cover:

•School program assessment
•Balanced assessment
•Student learning analysis
•Educational assessment design theory
•Student testing programs

Master’s Programs in Educational Assessment

Few schools offer Master of Science (M.S.) or Master of Arts (M.A.) programs in fields related to educational assessment (such as educational evaluation) with an emphasis on the research and analytical skills necessary for designing, administering and scoring educational tests.

Students learn about assessing career aptitude, intelligence, achievement, and motivation. The quantitative and qualitative methods employed in analyzing assessment data and advising educators and students of the results are also in the program.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to have at least two years of experience working as certified teachers. Applicants are also expected to have strong analytical and mathematical skills.


Program coursework includes the theoretical ideas used in creating, administering and analyzing essay topics and written exams. Core coursework may cover research and statistical skills and other topic areas such as:

•Educational software
•Gifted and talented assessment
•Quantitative educational research
•Qualitative educational research
•Learning disability assessment

Career Choices

Students of both programs can seek work in secondary or primary schools; however, graduates can work in school districts, or independently. They can choose from career options such as:

•Assessment Consultant
•High school principal
•Special education teacher

Certification and Continuing Education Choices

There are state certification requirements for individuals working as teachers or public school administrators. Possession of a bachelor’s degree, completion of a supervised internship and passage of a written competency exam is a requirement for teaching jobs. Passage of an exam and completion of an internship is a requirement for prospective administrators who are typically expected to possess a master’s degree. Doctoral degree programs in educational leadership are available at some schools that offer courses on educational assessment.

Students are not usually given the choice of specialization in the field, but they are taught the basic theories behind measuring students’ aptitude, intelligence, and motivation. Individuals can also opt for a Ph.D. program in Educational Psychology, which might offer a specialized track pertaining to educational assessment.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Programs in Educational Psychology

Specializations in areas related to statistics, educational measurement, and research are in Ph.D. programs in Educational Psychology. Enrollees in these programs learn about evaluating students’ learning abilities and behavior. They also look into the idea of educational accountability, a concept that involves an in-depth assessment of the efficacy of instruction, in addition to that of the academic programs themselves.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to earn an MA or MS while studying to attain their Ph.D. They are typically required to hold a bachelor’s degree in psychology or education topics.


Program coursework may include conducting original research, participation in school internships, sitting for comprehensive exams and writing a dissertation on individual areas of interest within educational assessment. For instance, the best evaluation practices for gifted students in math may be the subject of a dissertation. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Item response theory
•Differentiated instruction
•Summative educational evaluation
•Nonparametric statistics

Career Choices

Program graduates can seek research-focused jobs, with potential job titles including standardized test developer and educational research director. They may also seek careers in academia, including jobs as college or university professors in a school’s psychology or education departments.

Job and Wage Outlook

In 2014, postsecondary education teachers brought in an average annual wage of $65,180 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). During that same year, psychology teachers at the postsecondary level earned $76,390 on average (BLS).

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