Degree Requirements: Master of Philosophy in Education (M.Phil.Ed.): Policy Research, Evaluation, and Measurement

The Master of Philosophy in Education (M. Phil.Ed.), is a 6 CU (minimum) program with a required comprehensive examination and an empirical research project. The M.Phil.Ed. degree is for students who wish to continue their graduate studies after having  finished a relevant Master’s degree at the University of Pennsylvania. The relevant master’s degree for students who wish to pursue the M.Phil.Ed. with a specialization in PREM is the M.S. degree in Statistics, Measurement, Assessment, and Research Technology (SMART) offered by the Graduate Group in Education. Therefore, students admitted for study leading to the M.Phil.Ed. in PREM are expected to complete all course requirements for SMART. Students matriculating for the M.Phil.Ed. degree in PREM from outside the University of Pennsylvania must complete all course requirements for SMART and all program requirements for the M.Phil.Ed.  

The 6-CU minimum requirement for this degree (after completion of a relevant conventional masters degree) can be completed in one academic year of full-time study. Graduate study leading to the M.Phil.Ed. degree studies in PREM includes coursework, a research apprenticeship, independent empirical research, and a written comprehensive examination in the content of the degree. Students who have earned Master’s degrees at other institutions will be allowed to transfer up to four applicable courses toward the minimum of 14 courses required for the M.Phil.Ed. (i.e., a minimum of 8 courses for the M.S., plus a minimum of 6 additional courses for the M.Phil.Ed.).


The core content of coursework includes advanced statistical methods, measurement, research design, and completion of an independent research project. A minimum of 6 courses (after completion of a relevant conventional master’s degree2) is required for the M.Phil.Ed. degree, 5 of which constitute the PREM core and 1 of which is an elective. Research Apprenticeship: Inasmuch as M.Phil.Ed. degree students are preparing for careers in empirical research, primarily using quantitative methods, an integral part of the learning experience is the 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, as reviewed by the PREM faculty. 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 and interests, 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 for full-time students (appropriate arrangements will be made for part-time students). The purpose is to provide the student with practical research experience on an ongoing basis during the course of M.Phil.Ed. 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 Written Comprehensive Examination for the M.Phil.Ed. degree.

Independent Empirical Research Requirement

M.Phil. students satisfy the independent empirical research requirement by enrolling in Ed. 829(b), as described in detail in this PREM Program Description under Ed. 829(b) and the section entitled “Research Paper.”

Written Comprehensive Examination

Toward the end of completion of course requirements, M.Phil.Ed. degree students are required to pass a written 3-hour comprehensive examination in the core content of the M.Phil.Ed. curriculum.