The Research and Educational Foundations (REF) program provides graduate coursework in research methods, statistics, and educational foundations for students in the department and numerous other departments across the univeristy. REF emphasizes inquiry – quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods. Students may earn the Ph.D. in Education with an emphasis in Research, Evaluation, Statistics, and Assessment (RESA); a doctoral minor in Educational Research, and a certificate in Institutional Research. RESA is designed to prepare individuals for academic and non-academic positions such as tenure-track faculty, researchers and statisticians, grant evaluators, policy analysts, and assessment specialists.
||GRE official scores
||GPA on previous graduate work
||other official standardized test scores
||three letters of recommendation**
||letter of interest and professional goals
||GPA for last two years of undergraduate work
||TOEFL scores, if International
*Supplemental materials may be submitted at the student’s discretion or may be requested by the admissions committee.
**Letters should be from persons qualified to assess the applicant's readiness for graduate study.
Members of underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.
Plan of Study. During the first semester, students will schedule a program planning meeting with their assigned advisor. Students must submit their signed, official Plan of Study form to the Graduate School by the end of the first semester they are enrolled. The Plan of Study forms are available at www.usm.edu/graduateschool/planofstudy.php.
Continuous Enrollment Requirement: Students must meet the continuous enrollment and time limitation requirements specified in this Bulletin.
Residency may be met through one of the following:
- Two consecutive* semesters of 12 hours each (12-12);
- Three consecutive* semesters of 9 hours each (9-9-9);
- Four consecutive* semesters of a minimum of 6 hours each, none arranged (6-6-6-6);
- Two semesters within a three-year period in which a minimum of 12 hours is taken in each of the two semesters and a minimum of 3 hours in each of the intervening semesters.
* Consecutive does not have to include summer term but may, at the student's discretion.
Responsible Conduct of Research Training
All faculty holding regular or associate graduate faculty status, must complete RCR training modules required by the Graduate School and their departments. All graduate students must complete the RCR training modules required by the Graduate School and their departments the first semester they are enrolled in graduate school. The RCR policy and training information are found on the Graduate School web page – www.usm.edu/graduateschool. Contact the Dean of the Graduate School if you have any questions regarding the policy or training information.
A comprehensive exam will be given at or near the conclusion of coursework.
All students must complete twelve (12) hours of REF 898 - Dissertation . A minimum of three (3) credit hours of REF 898 must be completed during each of the semesters in which the dissertation is proposed and defended. The student's doctoral committee will be comprised of at least four faculty members. The student submits three documents to this committee as described in the department dissertation guidelines: pre-proposal, proposal, and completed dissertation. The latter two are also presented orally.
To complete the doctoral degree, students must
- maintain a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average,
- complete all coursework,
- pass the comprehensive exam, and
- successfully complete and defend a dissertation.