Learn to Become a Master Project Evaluator
The online MS in Measurement & Evaluation is experiential, project-oriented, and developed by industry professionals to give you current, relevant skills. The program consists of 10 courses (30 credits), each eight weeks long, concluding with a capstone course that allows you to showcase your measurement and evaluation skills in a final project. Your practical, project-oriented study will provide valuable experience in the careful planning, preparation, research, analysis and writing required for high-level evaluation.
A council of top evaluation professionals from leading organizations including the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and Save the Children advised on the curriculum to ensure that it develops the current, relevant skill set needed today for professional success in measurement and evaluation across fields.
Success in the workplace requires more than possessing relevant knowledge. You must also know how to communicate your ideas, work with teams, make ethical decisions, think critically, and demonstrate cross-cultural competence.
To ensure our graduates learn these skills—and more—our online MS in Measurement & Evaluation program was designed using a unique curriculum structure called the Professional Studies Experience (PSE).
The four-phase curriculum model blends professionally aligned advanced training and workplace skill-building with the standard coursework required for your Measurement & Evaluation degree. When you complete the professional skills courses, you'll be able to:
- Examine and demonstrate the use of analytic tools, both quantitative and qualitative, to provide descriptive, predictive and prescriptive project data
- Assess emerging trends in the global workplace and the impacts of ever-changing technologies
- Value the importance of ethical, intercultural, and agency/client/stakeholder relationships
- Establish professional relationships with all stakeholders by demonstrating leadership skills and using appropriate correspondence channels
With the knowledge and skills you gain in this holistic curriculum, you'll stand out as the professional employers look for.
Since 2018, American University's Office of Graduate & Professional Studies' professionally aligned online master's offered a new tuition rate. This provides more educational value and flexibility as you experience a specialized curriculum preparing you for career success.
Learn more about tuition and fees for this program.
Practicum/Professional Courses (12 credits)
PME 600: Principles and Theories of Evaluation
This course introduces the terminology, critical issues, and current debates in the field of evaluation, independent of specific disciplines. Students begin to gain the skills necessary to design monitoring and evaluation plans that reflect varying circumstances and parameters. Students learn how to develop logical frameworks, or logframes—one of the major documents that donors and implementers use to monitor and evaluate projects.
PME 610: Evaluation Approaches & Designs
This course emphasizes the use of mixed method performance and summative evaluation designs that measure progress, outcomes, and impact. Students learn to differentiate performance and impact evaluations, including the data designs needed to support each. The course introduces different performance evaluation designs, including snapshot, simple, cross-sectional, before and after, time series, and case study design; and then focuses on impact evaluation designs, including experimental and quasi-experimental designs. Students learn about different evaluation approaches, such as culturally responsive equitable evaluation, empowerment evaluation, and participatory evaluation. Students partner with organizations they identify to plan an evaluation (including its design and approach); craft theory of change and evaluation logic models; develop data collection instruments; collect and analyze data; and write an evaluation report.
PME 620: Complexity and Systems in Evaluation
This course introduces students to Complexity and Systems-inclusive evaluation concepts and methods. The course will critique traditional theory-driven logic model designs, offering alternative evaluation approaches. The course covers participatory and collaborative approaches, complexity aware approaches, developmental evaluation, principles-based evaluation, and blue marble evaluation. Students will learn about complexity aware and systems-inclusive evaluation designs and methodologies, including most significant change (MSC), outcome mapping, outcome harvesting, and system mapping. Students will also learn about transformative evaluation, including indigenous evaluation, asset-based, and trauma informed approaches. The use of technology to facilitate more complexity aware approaches to monitoring and evaluation is also introduced.
PME 700: Measurement & Evaluation Capstone
This capstone course showcases students' skills as evaluators with the capacity to construct theory of change and evaluation logic models and evaluation statements of work; develop qualitative and quantitative data collect instruments; carry out qualitative and quantitative evaluation research; analyze and visualize data; and write evaluation reports. Students partner with organizations they identify to design and carry out independent evaluations. Through the capstone process, students reflect on how they can support equity in evaluation planning, research, analysis, and reporting.
Core Courses (6 credits)
PROF 610: Intercultural Communication for Professionals
The main objective of this course is to improve the intercultural competencies and communication skills of students, with a particular focus on aspects of intercultural communication highly relevant for technical experts and managers. Students will increase their understanding of, and ability to work with, the processes involved when cultures come into contact. This course will enhance the student’s ability to think critically and creatively about today’s cultural challenges, to practice intercultural relations, and to provide a perspective on one’s personal and social responsibility as current and future leaders.
PROF 660: Data-Driven Decision Making
The primary goal of this course is to explore quantitative and qualitative tools and methods used to evaluate, present, and communicate data (big and small). Students will also learn how to summarize and communicate findings to stakeholders so that they may make informed decisions that will improve the overall quality and efficiency of an organization. Topics include asking the right questions of data, constructing Statements of Work for performance and impact evaluation, conducting t-tests, ANOVA, ANCOVA, matching, differences in differences, regression discontinuity in program evaluation, and disseminating quantitative findings. No prerequisites.
Required Courses (9 credits)
SPEX 640: Evaluation: Qualitative Methods
This course teaches qualitative research skills for project planning, monitoring, and evaluation activities. Students will analyze the strengths, weaknesses, and uses of qualitative data, investigating the circumstances under which planners and evaluators use qualitative methods. Working with an academic practitioner, students will learn qualitative data collection tools and techniques, including participant observation, interviews, and focus groups. In collaboration with an organization in their local community, students will complete practical assignments that require the application of several data collection techniques.
SPEX 650: Evaluation: Quantitative Methods
This course explores quantitative methods in project planning, monitoring, and evaluation. It provides opportunities for students to design quantitative evaluations and apply statistical measures to test hypotheses. Students will explore the use of statistical software in managing and manipulating data and the production of descriptive and analytical reports that meet the guidelines and expectations of professional practitioners in the field. They will develop an understanding of an often intimidating and difficult subject with an approach that is informative, personable, and clear as they are guided through various statistical procedures, beginning with descriptive statistics, correlation, and graphical representation of data through inferential techniques, variance, and more.
SPEX 670: Project Cost-Benefit Analysis
This course is designed specifically with the non-economist in mind, including adult professionals who may have little or no academic preparation in economics. It includes recent developments in the theoretical and empirical cost-benefit analysis (CBA) literature, beginning with a detailed discussion of welfare economics and the microeconomic foundations of CBA. It gives comprehensive treatment to CBA methodology and concludes with the current state of CBA as it is practiced by a variety of public, private, and international agencies with applications in areas such as healthcare, environmental management, energy, law enforcement, internet strategy, and others. No prerequisites.
Elective Courses (3 credits)
Choose 1 of the following courses:
APM 600: Adaptive Project Management Principles
This course introduces the concepts, principles, and methods of the foundations of all project management and development. Learners will examine traditional, agile, and adaptive styles of management. Explore the advantages and disadvantages of Agile development, including variants such as Scrum, and discuss and demonstrate how to apply best practices from various methodologies to organize and lead an Agile team. A particular emphasis is adaptive project management, which is based on Agile principles but blends traditional methods as needed to adapt to particular environments and management needs.
HCS 600: Standards & Systems in U.S. Healthcare
This course evaluates the healthcare delivery system in the U.S. and the impact initiatives have on healthcare quality, cost and access. Students will become familiar with the costs involved, tiered services, preventative healthcare, trends in healthcare utilization, and the role of major providers and payers.
HRAM 600: Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS)
This course will explore the breadth and depth of the range of systems that cover the workplace and human resource management. The leading performance tools as well as tracking tools will be presented and the importance of new cloud based public and private tools will be examined. Human resource management has become a technology-based profession. In many organizations, employees view the face of HR as a portal rather than as a person. This transformation of HR service delivery is known as "e-HR," which requires a vital change in the way HR professionals perform their roles. Many of what used to be time-consuming manual processes are now performed by computers, freeing HR professionals to work on higher-value strategic activities. As a result, the demand for technological solutions to HR issues are constantly increasing. No prerequisites.
SPEX 600: Innovation Through New Technologies
This course explores the current and potential impacts of new, emerging, and rapidly evolving technologies on organizations and their operations, across a range of industries and sectors. Topics include project design, data collection, and data storage as well as legal and privacy issues. Students will gain hands-on experience with techniques for gathering and analyzing information including audio, video, and text capture; media analytics; mapping and data visualization; mobile data collection systems; and more. In addition to tools and best practices, participants will examine challenges and opportunities for designing projects that implement current and emerging technologies to ensure success.
IDLA 600: Instructional Design Principles and Practices
This rigorous course covers the systems approach for instructional design, including the analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation of instructional materials (ADDIE). It also presents learning domains (including the affective/motivational domain), metacognition (knowing what you know, and how you learn), and evaluation levels. Although this class is strongly rooted in ID theory, it will provide relevant examples of real-world contexts.
SPEX 615: Decision Making and Change Management
When initiating change, organizations need to identify the right change for their organization and decide how to implement the change correctly. In the decision-making process, critical factors need to be taken into consideration in a methodical, deliberate, and measurable way. This course provides the benefits of and insights into pre-implementation decision-making processes for framing and subsequently implementing strategic change. The impact of measurement and metrics on decisions for successful strategic change is discussed. It will conclude with a reflective evaluation of the lessons learned.
SPEX 620: Professional Ethics & Project Leadership
This course explores professional ethics and leadership to maximize organizational and personal success across a wide range of disciplines and fields. Participants will learn about ethical issues involved in working with clients and donors, professional correspondence, and managing monitoring and evaluation functions. These topics will be approached within a framework of organizational leadership theories and current trends. No prerequisites.
SAM 600: Strategic Management of Sports Organizations
Learn the principles of managing a sports organization and gain a broad overview of the sports business marketplace, including the financial and accounting acumen necessary for success. Students will be introduced to various types of sports organizations and to topics such as fiscal and budgetary control, ownership, and day-to-day operations, as well as learning the techniques, tools, theories and attributes required in sports leadership and management.
SPEX 630: Client Communications & Professional Consulting
This course provides students with the skills needed to collaborate with global partners and widespread teams and to effectively communicate with clients, including large and small corporations, internal and external customers, and members of the project team. Drawing on real-world case studies, students will learn how to prepare and document project correspondence, how to master the art of persuasion, and how to satisfy clients despite budgetary and methodological restrictions. No prerequisites.
SPEX 635: Teams and Virtual Teams
This course will cover identifying challenges with virtual teams, increasing awareness of the need for virtual leadership, assessing the strengths and recognizing the unique differences between creating and sustaining trust. Additionally, a major goal is recognizing and influencing levels of engagement and appreciating generational and cultural differences in the way people operate and manage conflict among team members in the absence of normal interactive and visual cues.