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Program Evaluation

Master of Arts

Online

Course Delivery

37

Total Credits

$27,750

Tuition

16 months

Minimum Duration


Program Overview

How do we know which programs and policies are successful in improving society and which are not? How can we use assessments to help make programs and policies work better? Program evaluation specialists use applied research methods and other tools to determine how people can improve programs and policies, and which programs and policies are effective in addressing important social problems. Students in this program are preparing for or working in a career requiring program evaluation knowledge and skills.

The Program Evaluation MA courses are taught by seasoned evaluators who work in diverse settings and bring real-world experience to the classroom. They are leaders in the field who serve on evaluation association boards, author books and articles on evaluation theory and practice, and/or facilitate trainings for evaluation audiences.

Program Outcomes

The MA in Program Evaluation will provide you with the practical skills and real-world experience needed for a successful evaluation career. The program emphasizes professional development in the key areas of evaluation practice, including contemporary models and standards of professional evaluation practice; quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-method design and analysis; leading-edge communication and reporting strategies; and evaluation contracting and project management.

As part of the coursework for the Program Evaluation MA, you will complete a practicum sequence that provides the opportunity to further develop your evaluation skills by immersion in a real-world setting in which evaluations are currently being conducted. Settings include government agencies, human service organizations, educational settings, healthcare organizations, and for-profit and non-profit evaluation firms. If you are already working in a setting where evaluations are conducted, you will have the option to complete the practicum along-side a seasoned evaluator in your place of employment.

Career Outlook

Graduates of this program possess the skills to develop evaluation proposals and contracts; design rigorous and culturally competent evaluations; collect and analyze qualitative and quantitative evaluation data; communicate findings to diverse audiences; and work successfully with stakeholders throughout the process of conducting an evaluation. With these skills, our graduates are prepared to work as an evaluation specialist in diverse settings such as foundations, human service agencies, school systems, hospitals, Inspector Generals offices, and independent evaluation firms.

A Top-Ranked Education

A top-ranked education with a global impact. By learning from the best, our students establish themselves as leaders in the ever-changing world. 

  • 32nd among Best Public Universities in America — U.S. News & World Report, 2021

  • A Top 100 Global University — Times Higher Education and U.S. News & World Report, 2021
Adrienne Adams Headshot

Dr. Adrienne Adams

Associate Professor and Program Director

Dr. Adrienne Adams is an Associate Professor of Psychology at MSU. She holds a PhD in community psychology. Over the past 15 years, she has evaluated local, state, and national domestic violence and sexual assault victim service programs. She uses participatory evaluation methods to build evaluation capacity and foster organizational learning.

 

Course Information

 

Core

PSY 880 - Foundations of Evaluation Practice (3 Credits) Introduction to the history, professional roles and contexts in which evaluation occurs, professional standards, and leading theories of program evaluation practice.

PSY 881 - Evaluation Design (3 Credits)
Introduction to designing process and outcome evaluations, including how to engage stakeholders; developing a logic model; developing evaluation questions; using quasi-experimental and experimental designs in evaluation; and sampling and randomization.

PSY 882 - Evaluation Data Collection Methods (3 Credits)
Introduction to data collections methods commonly used in evaluation, including surveys, qualitative interviews, focus groups, structured observation protocols, qualitative observations, agency records, and secondary data.

PSY 883 - Statistics for Evaluators I (3 Credits)
Learn about foundational descriptive statistics and their applications and limitations; the logic of inferential statistics and their application in evaluation; the basics of correlation and regression analysis; how to select, conduct, interpret, and report analyses using SPSS; and data management.

PSY 884 - Qualitative and Mixed Method Evaluation (3 Credits)
Familiarizes students with commonly-used qualitative and mixed method designs and basic approaches to qualitative and mixed method data analysis.

PSY 885 - Communicating and Reporting (3 Credits)
Learn how to develop a dissemination plan, facilitate stakeholder meetings and workshops, generate actionable recommendations, display data, and present findings using multiple modalities.

PSY 886 - Evaluation Practicum Preparation (1 Credit)
Prepare to work alongside evaluation practitioners in a professional evaluation setting.

PSY 887 - Statistics for Evaluators II (3 Credits)
Learn about inferential statistics and quantitative data analysis in the evaluation context, including parametric and non-parametric statistics, handling non-normal and missing data, calculating effect sizes, and determining sample sizes. Build skills in conducting, interpreting, and reporting analyses in SPSS.

PSY 888 - Evaluation Management (3 Credits)
Learn what it takes to lead an evaluation from preparing the evaluation plan and budget to managing the evaluation team and stakeholders, facilitating use along the way, and delivering results and promised products within a budget, timeline, and agreed-upon expectations of quality.

PSY 889 - Evaluation Practicum (12 Credits)
Work alongside evaluation practitioners in a professional evaluation setting to gain first-hand understanding of how to apply the theory, methods, and skills learned in prior classes.

Admissions and Requirements

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
  • Taken the TOEFL. (Only required if English is not your native language)
  • A written personal statement addressing the following: your personal reasons for your interest in program evaluation; related work experience; how an MA or certificate in program evaluation will help you attain your career goals; personal attributes that will be an asset to a career in program evaluation; personal qualities or experiences that will help you succeed in and complete an online program; and why you are seeking a graduate degree/certificate in Program Evaluation.
  • 3 letters of recommendation from academic or professional contacts who can attest to your potential for success in this graduate program and a career in program evaluation. If you exited a graduate program in the past calendar year without completing the degree, one letter of recommendation must come from that program's director/chairperson.
  • Official transcripts from all previous schools

To apply to this program:

  • Complete a university graduate application (program code: 7735)
  • Log in to your account at beaspartan.msu.edu to upload your personal statement and letter writers' contact information. Your letter writers will receive an email with instructions for submitting their letters through our online system.
  • The official transcripts must be sent by the appropriate officials from each institution directly to the Department of Psychology at the following address: Program Evaluation Graduate Program, Department of Psychology, 316 Physics Road Rm 262, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824.
  • For non-US citizens without permanent residency status, have English language proficiency test scores (TOEFL or IELTS) electronically sent to the MSU Office of Admissions directly from the testing agency. MSU's TOEFL code is 1465. Do not have testing reports mailed to the university or Department of Psychology.

Key Dates

Fall

Application and Materials Deadline

June 30th

Spring

Application and Materials Deadline

November 15th

 

Tuition & Fees

  

 In-State Tuition  Out-of-State Tuition  Flat Fees
 $27,750 Total $27,750 Total  $950 Books & Materials (estimated) 

 

 

The university reserves the right to make changes in the types, structures, rates for fees, and tuition. Every effort will be made to give as much advance notice as possible.

Program Overview

How do we know which programs and policies are successful in improving society and which are not? How can we use assessments to help make programs and policies work better? Program evaluation specialists use applied research methods and other tools to determine how people can improve programs and policies, and which programs and policies are effective in addressing important social problems. Students in this program are preparing for or working in a career requiring program evaluation knowledge and skills.

The Program Evaluation MA courses are taught by seasoned evaluators who work in diverse settings and bring real-world experience to the classroom. They are leaders in the field who serve on evaluation association boards, author books and articles on evaluation theory and practice, and/or facilitate trainings for evaluation audiences.

Program Outcomes

The MA in Program Evaluation will provide you with the practical skills and real-world experience needed for a successful evaluation career. The program emphasizes professional development in the key areas of evaluation practice, including contemporary models and standards of professional evaluation practice; quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-method design and analysis; leading-edge communication and reporting strategies; and evaluation contracting and project management.

As part of the coursework for the Program Evaluation MA, you will complete a practicum sequence that provides the opportunity to further develop your evaluation skills by immersion in a real-world setting in which evaluations are currently being conducted. Settings include government agencies, human service organizations, educational settings, healthcare organizations, and for-profit and non-profit evaluation firms. If you are already working in a setting where evaluations are conducted, you will have the option to complete the practicum along-side a seasoned evaluator in your place of employment.

Career Outlook

Graduates of this program possess the skills to develop evaluation proposals and contracts; design rigorous and culturally competent evaluations; collect and analyze qualitative and quantitative evaluation data; communicate findings to diverse audiences; and work successfully with stakeholders throughout the process of conducting an evaluation. With these skills, our graduates are prepared to work as an evaluation specialist in diverse settings such as foundations, human service agencies, school systems, hospitals, Inspector Generals offices, and independent evaluation firms.

A Top-Ranked Education

A top-ranked education with a global impact. By learning from the best, our students establish themselves as leaders in the ever-changing world. 

  • 32nd among Best Public Universities in America — U.S. News & World Report, 2021

  • A Top 100 Global University — Times Higher Education and U.S. News & World Report, 2021
Adrienne Adams Headshot

Dr. Adrienne Adams

Associate Professor and Program Director

Dr. Adrienne Adams is an Associate Professor of Psychology at MSU. She holds a PhD in community psychology. Over the past 15 years, she has evaluated local, state, and national domestic violence and sexual assault victim service programs. She uses participatory evaluation methods to build evaluation capacity and foster organizational learning.

 

Course Information

 

Core

PSY 880 - Foundations of Evaluation Practice (3 Credits) Introduction to the history, professional roles and contexts in which evaluation occurs, professional standards, and leading theories of program evaluation practice.

PSY 881 - Evaluation Design (3 Credits)
Introduction to designing process and outcome evaluations, including how to engage stakeholders; developing a logic model; developing evaluation questions; using quasi-experimental and experimental designs in evaluation; and sampling and randomization.

PSY 882 - Evaluation Data Collection Methods (3 Credits)
Introduction to data collections methods commonly used in evaluation, including surveys, qualitative interviews, focus groups, structured observation protocols, qualitative observations, agency records, and secondary data.

PSY 883 - Statistics for Evaluators I (3 Credits)
Learn about foundational descriptive statistics and their applications and limitations; the logic of inferential statistics and their application in evaluation; the basics of correlation and regression analysis; how to select, conduct, interpret, and report analyses using SPSS; and data management.

PSY 884 - Qualitative and Mixed Method Evaluation (3 Credits)
Familiarizes students with commonly-used qualitative and mixed method designs and basic approaches to qualitative and mixed method data analysis.

PSY 885 - Communicating and Reporting (3 Credits)
Learn how to develop a dissemination plan, facilitate stakeholder meetings and workshops, generate actionable recommendations, display data, and present findings using multiple modalities.

PSY 886 - Evaluation Practicum Preparation (1 Credit)
Prepare to work alongside evaluation practitioners in a professional evaluation setting.

PSY 887 - Statistics for Evaluators II (3 Credits)
Learn about inferential statistics and quantitative data analysis in the evaluation context, including parametric and non-parametric statistics, handling non-normal and missing data, calculating effect sizes, and determining sample sizes. Build skills in conducting, interpreting, and reporting analyses in SPSS.

PSY 888 - Evaluation Management (3 Credits)
Learn what it takes to lead an evaluation from preparing the evaluation plan and budget to managing the evaluation team and stakeholders, facilitating use along the way, and delivering results and promised products within a budget, timeline, and agreed-upon expectations of quality.

PSY 889 - Evaluation Practicum (12 Credits)
Work alongside evaluation practitioners in a professional evaluation setting to gain first-hand understanding of how to apply the theory, methods, and skills learned in prior classes.

Admissions and Requirements

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
  • Taken the TOEFL. (Only required if English is not your native language)
  • A written personal statement addressing the following: your personal reasons for your interest in program evaluation; related work experience; how an MA or certificate in program evaluation will help you attain your career goals; personal attributes that will be an asset to a career in program evaluation; personal qualities or experiences that will help you succeed in and complete an online program; and why you are seeking a graduate degree/certificate in Program Evaluation.
  • 3 letters of recommendation from academic or professional contacts who can attest to your potential for success in this graduate program and a career in program evaluation. If you exited a graduate program in the past calendar year without completing the degree, one letter of recommendation must come from that program's director/chairperson.
  • Official transcripts from all previous schools

To apply to this program:

  • Complete a university graduate application (program code: 7735)
  • Log in to your account at beaspartan.msu.edu to upload your personal statement and letter writers' contact information. Your letter writers will receive an email with instructions for submitting their letters through our online system.
  • The official transcripts must be sent by the appropriate officials from each institution directly to the Department of Psychology at the following address: Program Evaluation Graduate Program, Department of Psychology, 316 Physics Road Rm 262, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824.
  • For non-US citizens without permanent residency status, have English language proficiency test scores (TOEFL or IELTS) electronically sent to the MSU Office of Admissions directly from the testing agency. MSU's TOEFL code is 1465. Do not have testing reports mailed to the university or Department of Psychology.

Key Dates

Fall

Application and Materials Deadline

June 30th

Spring

Application and Materials Deadline

November 15th

 

Tuition & Fees

  

 In-State Tuition  Out-of-State Tuition  Flat Fees
 $27,750 Total $27,750 Total  $950 Books & Materials (estimated) 

 

 

The university reserves the right to make changes in the types, structures, rates for fees, and tuition. Every effort will be made to give as much advance notice as possible.

The MSU Value Promise

You can be ensured a return on your investment at Michigan State University.

As one of the top research universities in the world, Michigan State University has advanced the common good with uncommon will for more than 160 years.

MSU pushes the boundaries of discovery and forges enduring partnerships to solve the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community.

MSU has been offering online degree programs for over 20 years. Our maturity is evident in the high quality of the learning experience enjoyed by our online students.

MSU provides programs and initiatives that support and enhance diversity. We will expand our campus and external partnerships to put in place inclusive recruitment and retention practices. We nurture and promote individuals’ varied experiences and perspectives, ensuring structures and processes make possible full participation by all members of our community.

MSU actively collaborates with campus and external partners to innovate across all dimensions of graduate education. We create and support networks that increase collaboration and improve educational opportunities for our online students.

MSU’s nationally recognized online programs foster student growth and well-being throughout their academic career. We will expand inclusive mentoring practices and accelerate improvement across units to implement evidence-based practices to ensure our students complete successfully.

Continuing education can be one of the most exciting, challenging, and rewarding experiences you undertake in your life. We hope you consider becoming a Spartan, to learn online and reach your career goals. With highly ranked online programs and exceptional professors, we educate students who advance the common good with uncommon will.