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Students typically complete the 8-CU minimum requirement for the M.S. degree in SMART in one academic year of full-time study. Studies leading to this M.S. degree include coursework, a research apprenticeship, and a written general examination in the content of SMART.
The core content of master’s level coursework includes statistical methods, measure¬ment, evalua¬tion, research technology, and policy research. A minimum of 8 courses is required for the M.S. degree, 7 of which constitute the SMART core. One elective course is selected in accordance with the student's career goals. The elective course is taken within the Graduate School of Education, but outside the Policy, Management, and Evaluation Division, to satisfy the School’s distribution requirement. In addition, Ed. 667 (Introduction to Statistics), or its equivalent, is required prior to degree matriculation, or must be taken during the first term of study as a 9th CU for the M.S. degree. The M.S. degree then will require more than two full terms of course registration since a maximum of 4 CUs per term is permitted.
Inasmuch as master’s degree students are preparing for careers in empirical research, primarily using quantitative methods, an integral part of the learning experience is completion of an individually tailored research apprenticeship arranged in consultation with the student’s advisor. This arrangement will be by mutual agreement of the student, the student’s advisor, and perhaps an alternate faculty sponsor. Typically, the student will participate in significant aspects of faculty research in progress. The nature of the research apprenticeship will vary with the student’s preparation, the characteristics of the research, and the stage of the research. This experience involves a commitment of 6 hours per week for an academic year. The purpose is to provide the student with practi¬cal research experience on an ongoing basis during the course of master’s studies. The student may or may not be compensated for services rendered under the research apprenticeship, or might be compensated for part of the time. Performance in the research apprenticeship must be satisfactory, as certified by a student’s academic advisor, as a condition for admission to General Examination for the M.S. degree.
Research experience is required of at least one term in duration that includes the preparation of at least one comprehensive scholarly or scientific paper. The research requirement is satisfied in multiple ways by the SMART program. First, the core content of the SMART curriculum is composed of courses of research character, each of which is one term in duration. Second, the apprenticeship experience represents supervised research and is of two terms duration. Third, the policy research review paper required by Education 829 (Policy Research Seminar) represents a comprehensive scholarly paper.
Toward the end of completion of course requirements, masters students are required to pass a general examination in the core content of SMART. Contact the Division Coordinator for examination requirement and procedures.