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Frequently Asked Questions

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: Who is typically enrolled in the MESA MEd program?

A: Our students came from diverse backgrounds with diverse career goals. Here are some examples:

  • Students who finished their bachelor degrees and want to strengthen their quantitative and qualitative skills for better employment opportunities;
  • Students who have jobs and want to strengthen their quantitative and qualitative skills for their current jobs;
  • Students who have jobs, but want to change their career to a field that expects strong quantitative and qualitative skills related to MESA;
  • Students who are pursuing a doctoral degree in other fields and want to pursue a second degree concurrently with their primary degree to strengthen their research skills and improve their competitiveness on the job market.

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
  • Measurement:
    • EPSY 546: Educational Measurement
    • EPSY 550: Rating Scale and Questionnaire Design and Analysis
    • EPSY 551: Item Response Theory
    • EPSY 562: Large-Scale Testing
    • EPSY 594: Computer Adaptive Testing*
  • Evaluation:
    • EPSY 560: Educational Program Evaluation
    • EPSY 594: Special Topics in EPSY--Evaluation Theory
  • Statistics:
    • EPSY 503/ED 503: Essentials of Quantitative Inquiry in Education
    • EPSY 543: Advanced Analysis of Variance in Educational Research
    • EPSY 547: Multiple Regression in Educational Research
    • EPSY 583: Multivariate Analysis of Educational Data
    • EPSY 584: Hierarchical Linear Models
    • EPSY 585: Non-Parametric Modeling*
    • EPSY 586: Theory of Statistics*
  • Assessment:
    • EPSY 561: Assessment for Measurement Professionals
    • EPSY 562: Large-Scale Testing
  • Qualitative Methods:
    • ED 502: Essentials of Qualitative Inquiry in Education
    • EPSY 594: Special Topics in EPSY-- Applied Qualitative Research Methods
    • EPSY 594: Special Topics in EPSY-- Case Study and Phenomenology

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

More information about these courses can be found in the UIC Graduate Catalog for Educational Psychology (EPSY).

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 PhD program?

A: Yes. Please see the PhD Educational Psychology program, which has a MESA concentration.

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