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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Psychology Master's in Program Evaluation

This information was contributed by Dr. Adrienne Adams and Ms. Liz Tillander.

Master’s in Program Evaluation Puts Graduate Students on Career Track
The Department of Psychology’s new Master of Arts in Program Evaluation offers students an accelerated path to a fulfilling career. But what is Program Evaluation? And why should you consider this program now?

What is Program Evaluation?
The American Evaluation Association, the international professional association for evaluators, describes evaluation as “assessing the strengths and weaknesses of programs, policies, personnel, products, and organizations to improve their effectiveness” (American Evaluation Association, 2013). Though unfamiliar to most PSY majors, program evaluation is actually very well-suited to those drawn to “helping” professions – like psychology, social work, and education. Evaluators are critical to the development and improvement of programs used to address societal and individual problems that those seeking human service careers are most passionate about: teen pregnancy, unemployment, trauma, illiteracy, and much more. Evaluators work collaboratively with program staff in non-profit organizations, schools, health care organizations, government agencies, or corporations (Donaldson & Christie, 2006) critically assessing and implementing evaluation designs to improve outcomes for these important programs.

Why Should You Consider It Now?
If you have a bachelor’s degree and wish to expand your career options by obtaining a master’s degree, there are many reasons to consider the Department of Psychology’s Master of Arts in Program Evaluation now.

Quick Admission Process
Applications for admission will be accepted beginning April 2014 for Fall 2014*. In most cases, applications are reviewed in just two weeks.

Accelerated Program
The full-time program is designed to be completed over four consecutive semesters in 16 months. A part-time program is anticipated to begin Fall 2015.

Flexibility and Convenience of Online Education
Courses are delivered online. Consult with faculty, exchange ideas with classmates, and complete knowledge- and skill-building activities at locations and hours that are most convenient for YOU.

Develop Skills with Real World Experience
The two-semester supervised practical application course will allow you to build skills alongside evaluation practitioners in a professional evaluation setting where you can gain first-hand experience.

Competitive Salaries
Evaluators are employed in a variety of settings and command competitive salaries. Master’s level evaluators earn an average of $59,279 annually (Greenlaw, Brown-Welty & Fetterman, 2006).

How Can You Learn More?

Plan to join faculty and alumni for the Master’s Degree Forum: Learn about Graduate Programs in Social Work, Human Development, and the new Psychology Master of Arts in Program Evaluation on Wednesday, March 26, 4:30 – 5:45 p.m., Psychology Auditorium (Rm 118).

*Pending Michigan State University Governance approval and Statewide Academic Program approval, MSU Department of Psychology will be offering the Master of Arts degree in Program Evaluation beginning Fall 2014.

American Evaluation Association (AEA). About Us. Retrieved from

Donaldson, S.I., & Christie, C.A. (2006). Emerging career opportunities in the transdiscipline of evaluation science. In S.I. Donaldson, D.E. Berger, & K. Pezdek (Eds.), Applied Psychology: New Frontiers and Rewarding Careers (pp.243-259). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Greenlaw, C., Brown-Welty, S., & Fetterman, D. AEA Employment Survey [PDF document]. Retrieved from American Evaluation Association Website:

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