Evaluation & Applied Research (Online)

MS in Evaluation & Applied Research

CGU’s online Master of Science in Evaluation & Applied Research—designed with the acclaimed Claremont Evaluation Center (CEC)—helps you build your evaluation and research expertise, and empowers you to make a meaningful impact.

You’ll work to craft a wide range of education, health, well-being, and positive psychology initiatives. In line with competencies set by the American Evaluation Association (AEA), the largest network of professional evaluators in the country, this degree program will prepare you for a rewarding career in applied research and evaluation with a foundation in state-of-the-art scientific knowledge and mixed-method approaches for creating positive social change. We are proud to offer a program that incorporates culturally responsive, equitable approaches to evaluators as a critical competency for valid, rigorous evaluation practice.

Program Highlights
  • Learn what makes evaluators and applied researchers distinct as practicing professionals
  • Develop an in-depth understanding of evidence-based responsive and equitable systemic inquiry
  • Understand the unique circumstances, multiple perspectives, and changing settings of evaluation and applied research and their users/stakeholders
  • Focus on determining and monitoring work plans, timelines, resources, and other components needed to complete and deliver an evaluation or applied research study
  • Develop an understanding of the human relations and social interactions that ground evaluators’ and applied researchers’ effectiveness for professional practice
  • Understand the role of education in promoting positive social change
Who should apply
  • Working professionals seeking the flexibility of an online master’s degree program
  • Individuals seeking skills to improve decisions, programs, and policies in a wide variety of settings, including education, health and well-being, and positive psychology
  • Professionals seeking a national or international applied research and evaluation career
  • Professionals seeking to further their practice in a changing cultural landscape
Career Outcomes
  • Program evaluation is a leading resource in government and human services sectors, as policymakers rely on data-driven research and evaluation as a decision-making tool for programs and funding sources
  • As organizations grow to meet an inclusive society, evaluators and applied researchers with competencies in equitable approaches become increasingly in demand
  • There are approximately 115,000 program evaluation positions in the U.S. and the field is expected to grow by 27 percent between 2016 and 2026
  • Job titles include: Monitoring and Evaluation Analyst, Research Analyst, Outcomes Specialist, Evaluation Consultant, Research Strategy Analyst, Senior Research Analyst, Evaluation and Research Manager, Inspector General, Chief Evaluation Officer
The CGU Experience, Expanded

A hallmark of a CGU education is the ability to participate in purposefully-small classes that give you the maximum amount of interaction with your peers and your professor. This not only contributes to a powerful learning environment, but also forges strong peer and mentoring relationships that last long after you have completed the class.

The CGU online experience focuses on the same type of intimate, collaborative learning that is found on campus:

  • Synchronous online class sessions that give you valuable face-to-face time with your professor and your peers
  • Interactive, intimate classes taught by the same faculty that teach on campus
  • Collaborative hands-on class projects that foster meaningful interaction with peers around the country and the world

Learn more about the CGU online experience

Program At-a-glance

  • 32 units

    required units

  • MS in Evaluation & Applied Research

    degree awarded

  • Online


  • Spring, Summer, Fall

    program start

  • 1-1.5 years | full time*

    estimated completion time

Request info Apply now

Regina Burch

Assistant Director of Admissions



  • Stewart Donaldson

    Stewart I. Donaldson

    Distinguished University Professor
    Executive Director, Claremont Evaluation Center
    Executive Director, The Evaluators' Institute (TEI)

    Research Interests

    Positive Organizational Psychology, Health/Well-Being & Positive Functioning Across Cultures, Program Design & Re-Design, Culturally Responsive Theory-Driven Measurement & Evaluation

  • Portrait of Tiffany Berry

    Tiffany Berry

    Dean, School of Social Science, Policy & Evaluation
    Full Research Professor

    Research Interests

    Educational Program Evaluation, K–12 Educational Curricula, Comprehensive School Reform

  • Kendall Bronk

    Kendall Cotton Bronk

    Professor of Psychology

    Research Interests

    Purpose in Life, Adolescent Moral Development, Positive Youth Development, Qualitative Methods

  • Portrait of Tarek Azzam

    Tarek Azzam

    Senior Visiting Fellow

    Research Interests

    Social Research and Methodologies, Policy & Program Evaluations, Data Visualization and Evaluation


What You’ll Learn

Systemic inquiry: Learn to carefully select the most appropriate evaluation technique or methodology based on a complex understanding of the various elements of a situation working together in an interrelated system

Evaluation theory and practice: Understand the mechanisms of theory-driven evaluation science, and understand its real-world applications in evaluation practice

Evaluation and applied research methods: Practice quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods approaches to research and develop a technical understanding of various strategies for data collection and evaluation

Ethical implications of evaluation and research: Develop ethical standards for evaluation practices based on a clear understanding of the nature of evaluative inquiry, including an understanding of stakeholders, data privacy, and contextual factors impacting research

Research and analysis tools: Become fluent in the most up-to-date digital tools for the performance of evaluation and data analysis

Rigorous equitable practice: Lead the field in equity-focused, rigorous evaluation design and implementation

Practical specializations: Specialized offerings focused on educational, health, and positive psychology-oriented initiatives specifically tailored to your local and global career trajectory

Application Guidelines

Requirements Summary

Item Description
Application Fee $80
Official Transcripts Yes
Letters of Recommendation 2
Statement of Purpose Yes
Resume Yes

Please see the application checklist for more details.

Spring 2024
Priority Deadline – November 1, 2023
Final Deadline (International) – November 15, 2023
Final Deadline (Domestic) – December 1, 2023
Classes begin – January 16, 2024

Fall 2024
Priority Deadline – February 1, 2024
Final Deadline (International) – July 5, 2024
Final Deadline (Domestic) – August 1, 2024
Classes begin – August 26, 2024

Application Checklist

Cost & Aid

Tuition and Fees

Program 32 units
Tuition per unit* $2,020

*Based on 2023-2024 tuition rates.


$245 Student Fee
$150 Technology Fee
International Student Services Fee*: $661 fall semester, $776 spring semester
**Applies to all international students (F-1 visa only) who are registered in coursework, doctoral study, or continuous registration. The fee is assessed each fall and spring semester for annual ISO accident and sickness plans and administrative fees. Subject to change.

For estimates of room & board, books, etc., please download CGU’s Cost of Attendance 2022-2023 .

Review General Costs

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