Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Measurement, Evaluation, Statistics, and Assessment

MESA has been training students to examine educational programs, design quantitative research studies, develop assessment instruments, and analyze educational data to help inform policy-making for over 50 years. Our geographic proximity to the concentration of academic and nonprofit institutions in the Greater Boston and Northeast region—and our extraordinary alumni network—provide significant opportunities to enhance your professional career. 

The doctoral curriculum emphasizes research methodology and data analysis and includes advanced coursework in research design, statistical methods, and testing and assessment as well as seminars in statistical and measurement topics. MESA students have the opportunity to tailor coursework to their particular interests and background. The doctoral degree requires a minimum of 54 credits beyond a master's and satisfactory completion of comprehensive exams and a dissertation.

Financial Assistance

Education should level the playing field – we feel the same way about financial aid.

The Lynch School of Education and Human Development provides more than $7.5 million in financial aid to students each year. As a result, the quality of BC’s instruction, the benefit of our alumni network, and the impact a BC degree will have on your employment options is both affordable and invaluable. Here’s why:

At a Glance

How many courses?

For students accepted with a master's, the program consists of 18 courses for a total of 54 credits.
For students without a master's, the program consists of 24 courses for a total of 72 credits. 

How long will it take?

Students accepted with a master's typically complete the program in 4-6 years.
Students without a master's typically take 5-7 years to complete the program.

When can I start?

Students begin the program in the fall semester. 

  What are my options?

Only full-time students are accepted into the Ph.D. programs.


Program Faculty & Expertise

What will I study?


  • Courses: 24
  • Credits: 72
  • Comprehensve Exam
Course Course Title Credit
ERME7462 Assessment and Test Construction

This course addresses the major issues in educational assessment, with emphasis on the characteristics, administration, scoring, and interpretation of both formal and informal assessments, including but not limited to tests of achievement.

ERME7466 Program Evaluation I

This course addresses the theoretical and philosophical foundations of program evaluation, with emphasis on the roles of social and political theory, methodology, epistemology, and philosophy of science in various models of evaluation in education. 

ERME7565 Large Scale Assessment: Methods and Practice

Examines large scale assessment procedures internationally (TIMSS and PIRLS) and nationally (NAEP and NCLB). Considers technical, operational, and reporting procedures in view of requirements for reliability and validity as well as resource constraints and political issues.

ERME7469 Intermediate Statistics

Topics and computer exercises address tests of means and proportions, partial and part correlations, chi-square goodness-of-fit and contingency table analysis, multiple regression, analysis of variance with planned and post hoc comparisons, elements of experimental design, and power analysis.

ERME7561 Multivariate Statistical Analysis

Provides lectures, examples, and student analyses that address multiple group discriminant analysis, classification procedures, principal components and common factor analysis, and multivariate analysis of variance.


Where do our graduates work?

American Institutes for Research


Northern Illinois University

Assistant Professor

Bank of America Operations

Project Analyst

Hanover Research

Research Associate


Director of Efficacy Analytics and Studies

Cumberland County College


ACT Inc.

Principal Psychometrician

Measured Progress

Director, Innovation Lab

Maguire Associates

Senior Vice President of Research

Sheffield Research and Evaluation

Senior Consultant

Career paths chosen by previous graduates of the MESA Department.

Application Information


Click the boxes below for additional details on each item


All applicants
December 1

Application Form

Apply Now

A non-refundable application fee of $75 is required, however, this fee is waived for select applicants. 


To be uploaded to your online Application Form

In addition to your academic history and relevant work experience, please include any licenses currently held, any social justice-related experience, any language skills other than English, and any research experience or publications.

Personal Statement

To be uploaded to your online Application Form. 

In 1,000-1,500 words, describe your academic and professional goals, any experience relevant to this program, and your future plans, expectations, and aspirations. 

Letters of Recommendation

Identification of recommenders/instructions to recommenders are outlined in the online Application Form

Three letters of recommendation are required with at least one required from an academic source. Applicants with significant relevant professional experience may submit additional recommendations from supervisors.


Undergraduate transcripts are required as part of the application process and graduate transcripts are accepted, but not required. Please note the following:

  • Only official transcripts, bearing the official seal of the institution and the signature of the relevant administrator, are acceptable.
  • Copies and unofficial transcripts are not acceptable.
  • If you are a current student and have not completed your undergraduate degree at the time your transcript is sent, the most updated version of your transcript is acceptable.


Transcripts must be mailed to the following address:

Boston College, Lynch School of Education
Office of Graduate Admission, Financial Aid, and Student Services
Campion Hall 135
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

Standardized Tests

An unofficial score report may be uploaded to your online Application Form; however, an official score report – sent directly from ETS –must also be submitted by the application deadline.

This program requires all applicants to have taken the GRE in a maximum of 5 years prior to application being submitted, regardless of previous academic coursework, previous degrees/credentials earned, and/or professional experience. No exceptions will be made.

The GRE is the only exam that is acceptable for this program; the MAT, LSAT, MTEL, GMAT, and other exams may not be substituted for the GRE.

For more information about the GRE exam, including test dates and testing sites, visit

Lynch School of Education GRE Code: 3218

Writing Sample

To be uploaded to your online Application Form

All applicants to this program are required to submit one piece of work that demonstrates graduate-level writing ability. This document may be an academic term paper, a published work in which you are the primary author, a training manual or curriculum that you have created, a clinical case formulation, or another representative sample of your writing. The document should be approximately 20 pages.

International Students

International applicants are encouraged to apply to the Lynch School of Education. Learn about requirements for international students.