Virginia Tech Blacksburg Campus

                  Northern Virginia Campus (Only Introductory Course)


Residential/On Campus

Online (Two 5000 level EDRE Courses)

The Educational Research and Evaluation program is committed to achieving excellence in research and teaching. We specialize in research methodology, as it relates to education, the behavioral sciences, and the social sciences in general, and emphasize the areas of evaluation/assessment, qualitative methods, and quantitative methods.

4 Focus Area Options
150+ Ph.D. Degrees Awarded Since 1971
3 Years of Graduate Assistantship Support
100% of Graduates Employed within 6 months of Graduation
Our Educational Research and Evaluation program

Methodologists specialize in specific research methodologies. Their work normally includes using specific research methodologies to conduct empirical research, advancing existing research methodologies, and developing new, cutting-edge research methodologies. EDRE faculty and students conduct methodological and other research on issues in education, the behavioral sciences, and the social sciences in general. EDRE faculty also provide methodological and other forms of research expertise to other faculty and students in the School of Education, including serving on master's thesis and doctoral dissertation committees and teaching courses in the areas of evaluation/assessment, qualitative methods, and quantitative methods (i.e., applied statistics and measurement).

Why study Educational Research and Evaluation Here?

The Educational Research and Evaluation program is a comprehensive Ph.D. program that prepares students for high-demand careers as research methodologists in a wide range of settings that include academia, higher education, state or federal government agencies, the testing industry and other private sector organizations, and nonprofit organizations. The methodological areas of evaluation/assessment, qualitative methods, and quantitative methods (i.e., applied statistics and measurement) are emphasized, and the program includes faculty who have expertise in each of these areas. One of the priorities of the program is maintaining an optimal balance between theory and practice, so that students develop a strong theoretical foundation and also gain extensive knowledge and experience in using a variety of methodological concepts and techniques to address research issues in education and the social sciences in general. The program is also committed to providing its students with a high level of mentoring, which includes enriching opportunities to be involved in program faculty members’ research and other research in the School of Education or other parts of the university.

“The EDRE program at Virginia Tech provided me with the knowledge and skills to work in a wide variety of capacities. The methodology courses, both qualitative and quantitative, are necessary to excel in the field of program evaluation. My experience in the program allowed me to work for both NASA and the US Army, while still being a consultant on institutional assessment and evaluation with a wide variety of colleges and universities.”

Dr. Thomas Long, Fellow, Oak Ridge Institute of Science and Education; Program Evaluator, US Army Public Health Directorate; Founder, New River Analytics, LLC

“The training we receive and skill sets we develop while in the EDRE program are applicable to a wide variety of fields. I cannot think of many programs where knowledge gained can be directly applied to work such as ours.”

Dr. Chosang Tendhar, Assessment Coordinator, Baylor College of Medicine

“My mentors in the EDRE program helped me expand my capacity to understand and objectively navigate the complexities of many important educational issues. I am very grateful for the investment these individuals made into my professional and academic growth.”

Dr. Brock Mutcheson, Director of Assessment and Evaluation, Virginia Tech Medical School

“Upon entering EDRE my central goal was to expand my skills and knowledge of qualitative methodologies. During my time in the program not only did I achieve my goal, I also became well-versed with mixed methods, assessment, and various quantitative research methods. The practical skills I gained from my time in EDRE have provided me with a unique mix of skills that I use on a daily basis as a postdoctoral associate in engineering education.”

Dr. Cherie Edwards, Postdoctoral Fellow, Virginia Tech

"The EDRE reinforced what I knew in statistics, enhanced my knowledge of modeling and measurement, and advanced my experience working with various statistical software and various models.  After graduating from the doctoral program, I not only have a stronger knowledge of how to improve the quality of local, state, and regional assessment, but it opened amazing opportunities to do so in third-world countries."

Dr. Marlow Lemons, Professor and Chair, Department of Mathematics, Statistics, and Physics, Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology

“The EDRE program at Virginia Tech prepared me for my current career. The faculty took a genuine interest in my growth and progress while in school, and continue to do so as I advance in my career.”

Dr. Chris Gregory, Psychometrician, North Carolina State University/North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
Faculty Research Interests

- Large-scale assessment

- Item response

- Standard setting


- Gender and ethnic stereotyping

- Standard setting for education tests

- Group processes


- Disentangling macro effects and micro effects via Hierarchical linear modeling

- Models of growth and change for longitudinal data

- Latent variable modeling


Dr. Elizabeth Creamer

- Gender



Educational Research and Evaluation Research Highlights

Student Publications in Peer-Reviewed Journals

Galeshi, R., & Skaggs, G. (2015). Traditional fit indices utility in a new psychometric model: Cognitive diagnostic model. International Journal of Quantitative Research in Education, 2(2), 113-132.

Gregory, C., & Miyazaki, Y. (2016). Multilevel analysis of student civics knowledge scores. The Journal of Educational Research, 1-15.

Long, T. C., & Miyazaki, Y. (2016). Longitudinal analysis of the impact of students’ participation in athletics on academic and affective outcomes. Educational Practice & Reform, 2, 44-68.

Miyazaki, Y., & Stack, M. (2015). Examining individual and school characteristics associated with child obesity using a multilevel growth model. Social Science & Medicine, 128, 57-66.


Student Papers Presented at Academic Conferences

Gregory, C., & Miyazaki, Y. (2016, April). A cross-national study of civic knowledge test scores. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Research Association, Washington, D.C.

Mutcheson, B., & Skaggs, G. (2016). Supporting teacher evaluation implementation using cognitive diagnostic modeling. Roundtable presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Educational Research Association, Hilton Head, SC.

Norris, M., & Skaggs, G. (2016). Determining the diagnostic properties of the Force Concept Inventory. Electronic poster presentation at the Annual Meeting of the National Council on Measurement in Education, Washington, DC.

Stack, M., & Miyazaki, Y. (2016, April). Multilevel analysis of BMI growth trajectories of US school children: Features and risk factors. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Washington, D.C.


Related Programs

Students interested in applying to the Educational Research and Evaluation (Ph.D.) Program should contact Dr. Gary Skaggs, by email at

Visit our office at 2104 Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, Blacksburg, VA 24061

Domestic Application

Spring: January 1

Summer: May 1

*Fall: August 1

International Application

Spring: September 1

*Fall: April 1

*Deadline for early decision admission with full funding consideration for Fall: February 1



Dr. Gary Skaggs
Program Leader
2104 VT CRC (0302)
1750 Kraft Dr.
Blacksburg, VA 24060

School of Education

226 War Memorial Hall (0313)

370 Drillfield Drive

Blacksburg, VA 24061