Master's Degree Programs

MEd in Measurement, Evaluation, Statistics, and Assessment (MESA)

The MESA MEd program provides rigorous training in quantitative and qualitative methodologies and addresses the current industry-wide shortage of highly trained individuals in educational research and other social science research settings. The program offers nationally recognized faculty committed to the mentoring process, projects and coursework tailored to students’ career goals and interests. It offers an effective balance between theoretical and applied courses, and training in fields with excellent career potential. 

For more MESA options, check out our Online MESA MEd program and Educational Research Methodology online certificate.

For more information, sign up for our email list below, review degree requirements, submit a question to program advisor Ana Valenta at or contact the Office of Student Services at 312-996-4532.  Ready to apply?  Start the application process now.

Degree Requirements

Students must complete a minimum of 32 semester hours, at least 9 of which must be at the 500 level. Independent Study Courses and any 597 or 598 courses do not count toward the required 9 hours of 500 level coursework for the MEd program.

Research Methods Core (8 hours):

  • Research Design in Education (EPSY 509 - 4 hours)
  • Essentials of Quantitative Inquiry in Education (ED/EPSY 503 - 4 hours)

Measurement, Evaluation, Statistics, and Evaluation (MESA) Elective Domain (8 hours)

  • MESA courses must be selected from Educational Psychology 500-level MESA courses in consultation with program advisor.

Elective Courses (16 hours):

  • Elective courses should be approved by program advisor.

Required Course for Students taking the Thesis Option (5 hours minimum):

  • Thesis Research (EPSY 598 - 5 to 16 hours).  Students electing to complete an optional thesis or research project should earn a minimum of 5 hours in thesis research (EPSY 598). For a thesis involving 5 hours, two types of research are appropriate. The first would emphasize the ability to conduct and write up a secondary data analysis. The second would require the student to write a literature review of publishable quality on a chosen topic. This would include a thesis rationale and review of predominant methods used to investigate the phenomena of interest. For those students wanting to conduct original research, 8 hours will be required.

Advising Guide

Limits on Transfer of Credits

The specific number of credit hours accepted for transfer is determined on an individual basis. No transfer is automatic.

Maximum Allowed Transfer Credit—No more than 25 percent of the hours required for a master's degree requiring 32-47 hours of credit, or more than 50 percent of the hours required for a master's degree requiring 48 or more hours of credit, can be transferred from another institution or another college at UIC.  Transfer credit is considered only for courses in which the student received a grade of A or B.  Credit earned more than six calendar years before admission to the Graduate College is not usually accepted for transfer. Nondegree Credit  Nondegree students who are admitted as degree candidates may, by petition, transfer up to 12 semester hours of graduate-level courses in which grades of A or B were earned.  This does not count towards the limits of transfer credit listed above.

Transfer Credit

Consideration is given to the transfer of credit in three categories.

Previous graduate work for which a degree was not awarded. Graduate work completed elsewhere after admission to UIC and for which a degree was not awarded. Students considering taking graduate work elsewhere during a leave of absence should consult their advisor and director of graduate studies about such plans and the courses that may be considered for transfer. Graduate work completed in the senior year at UIC that was not applied to the baccalaureate.

To be considered for transfer, graduate work must have been completed in an accredited institution approved by one of the regional accreditation associations or by the agencies recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, and must meet quality and content of courses offered at UIC.

Advising Materials

Advising guides offer a checklist for class completion requirements. If you have any questions, please contact Program Coordinator Dr. Yue Yin at


Options and Outcomes

Our MESA program offers an impressive depth of course offerings, especially in psychometrics, and is one of the only institutions in the country that offers coursework in all four major paradigms in psychometrics (IRT, Rasch measurement, generalizability theory and classical test theory). The program will:

  • Enhance students’ career opportunities by increasing their quantitative and qualitative research skills
  • Create opportunities for students in settings such as academic institutions, state and federal agencies, school districts, and the testing industry, that require technical skills
  • Provide a stepping stone for those students who wish to pursue doctoral studies in a MESA area

For some additional information on jobs in MESA and a listing of various resources for available jobs in MESA related areas, please review the job resources guide (pdf) prepared by the MESA program.

Application Process

Application Deadlines

Fall Deadline: March 15
Spring Deadline: October 1

  1. Applicants who are not currently registered graduate students at UIC must complete the UIC Graduate School application. Submit your application fee when completing the application.
  2. Complete the online College of Education application.
  3. The following documents should be uploaded online upon receiving email instructions after completing the UIC Graduate School application. View the Document Upload Guide for more information.
    • Upload undergraduate transcripts for your last 60 hours of the undergraduate degree and all graduate transcripts.
    • TOEFL or IELTS test scores for international applicants only
    • Three letters of recommendation. These letters should address the applicant's academic qualifications, research ability/experience and ability to carry on advanced degree studies. Letters may be from current or former professors or supervisors. At least one letter should be from someone who can address your experience working with children.
    • Personal statement. This statement should discuss your professional goals and overall goals for the program.
  4. Submit your GRE test score.  Please send a copy of your scores directly to the College of Education.
  5. Faculty interview. You will be contacted by the program for an interview with a faculty member.

Program FAQs

If you do not find your question or answer in the following list of common questions, see the detailed FAQ document (pdf) prepared by the MESA program.

Q: What are the areas of MESA?

A: MESA stands for measurement, evaluation, statistics, and assessment.

  • Measurement involves the assignment of numbers to objects such that the numbers represent degrees or quantities of unobservable constructs such as attitudes, achievement, self-efficacy, self-esteem, etc. 
  • Evaluation involves the systematic collection of information about the activities, characteristics, and outcomes of programs to make judgments about program quality, improve program effectiveness, and/or inform decisions about future program development. 
  • Statistics aims at learning the process that generated the data, including learning how a given variable is affected by other variables, and learning about the true (population) distribution of the data.
  • Assessment involves the processes of collecting, synthesizing, analyzing, and interpreting quantitative and qualitative information to aid in decision-making.

Q: What are the job prospects?
A: Surveys of degree programs and employment agencies conclude that there is high demand for quantitative and qualitative methodologists who can function effectively in research and applied settings. The MEd program is designed to prepare individuals for careers working in a variety of research and applied settings, such as academic institutions, state and federal agencies, school districts, research consulting firms, the testing industry, and evaluation organizations (e.g., licensure and certification boards, private and not-for-profit testing organizations).

Q: I noticed that there are two MESA MEd programs at UIC: on-campus MESA MEd and online MESA MEd. What are their differences and similarities?

A: The two programs are similar in the following major dimensions: (a) Admission criteria: They require the same application materials and admit students by using the same criterion; (b) Degree requirements: They both require 32 credit hours (typically students take eight 4-credit courses or courses with other credit hours to reach 32); (c) Diplomas: The MEd diplomas for the two programs are the same.

The two programs differ in the following major dimensions: (a) Delivery of the courses: All the courses for the online MESA MEd program are delivered online. Courses for the on-campus MESA MEd programs are mixed--some of them are online and some of them are on campus. (b) Tuition: The campus and online tuition rates are different. View tuition information for a specific term/year.


Q: What are the courses offered in your program?

A: We typically offer the following MESA related courses. Besides those courses, MESA MEd students can also take other MESA related courses inside and outside the College of Education to meet their MESA MEd degree requirement with the program coordinator's approval.

  • General research method and foundation:
    • EPSY 509/ED506: Introduction to Educational Research: Designs and Analyses
    • ED 502: Essentials of Qualitative Inquiry in Education
    • EPSY 503/ED 503: Essentials of Quantitative Inquiry in Education
  • Measurement:
    • EPSY 546: Educational Measurement
    • EPSY 504: Rating Scale and Questionnaire Design and Analysis
    • EPSY 506: Item Response Theory
    • EPSY 507: Approaches to Analyzing Rating Data*
    • EPSY 562: Large-Scale Testing
    • EPSY 594: Computer Adaptive Testing*
  • Evaluation:
    • EPSY 560: Educational Program Evaluation
  • Statistics:
    • EPSY 563: Advanced Analysis of Variance in Educational Research
    • EPSY 547: Multiple Regression in Educational Research
    • EPSY 583: Multivariate Analysis of Educational Data
    • EPSY 512: Hierarchical Linear Models
    • EPSY 510: Theory of Statistics*
    • EPSY 514: Non-Parametric Modeling*
  • Assessment:
    • EPSY 561: Assessment for Measurement Professionals

Note: The courses with an asterisk (*) is only offered on-campus currently.


Q: How long is the program?

A: Most students complete this degree program attending part-time over a 2-year period (2 courses per semester). However, the program is flexible, allowing students to progress at their own rate. If you choose to go full time, you could finish in just two semesters.


Q: Do I have to be available during the day?

A: No, almost all the campus College of Education courses in MESA meet 5:00 p.m.– 8:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday, allowing students to work part-time or even full- time. Online courses typically have weekly deadlines, but students can complete the work on their own timelines during the week.


Q: What are the degree requirements for the MEd in MESA?

A: Students must complete a minimum of 32 credit hours (equivalent to eight 4-credit-hour courses). For details, contact the program coordinator. 


Q: Do I need a degree in education to be admitted into this program?

A: No, this program does not require students to have a previous degree in education. Career changers and those with a bachelor’s degree in other fields are welcome to apply for this program.


Q: Can I still work and complete this program?

A: Yes, most students maintain part-time or even full-time employment while pursuing the program.


Q: Can I transfer other coursework  I’ve completed elsewhere into this program?

A: With your program coordinator's approval, you can transfer up to 12 hours of graduate  UIC credit  and up to 8 hours of non-UIC graduate level credit.


Q: Can applicants apply to any term?

A: The on-campus MEd in MESA accepts applications twice a year: in fall and spring semesters. The online MEd in MESA accepts applications three times a year: in fall, spring, and summer semesters.


Q: Are there scholarships available?

A: Yes, please visit our Financial Aid page for more information.


Q: Where can I get additional information?

A: Check out the Graduate Catalog.


Q: Does MESA have a Ph.D. program?

A: Yes. Please see PhD in EPSY with a MESA focus.


Q: If I have additional questions about MESA MEd program, who should I contact?

A: If you require any additional information about on-campus MESA MEd program, you can check a more thorough FAQ list and/or contact Dr. Yue Yin at

If you require any additional information about online MESA MEd or certificate programs, please check the online MESA MEd website or contact Dr. Ev Smith at