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

Program At a Glance

32 units

1–1.5 years

*Actual completion times will vary and may be higher, depending on full- or part-time course registration, units transferred, and time to complete other degree requirements.

Fall | Spring | Summer

MS in Evaluation & Applied Research

Featured Courses

EVAL 310
Theory-Driven Evaluation Science

Provides you with an in-depth understanding of theory-driven evaluation science, with special emphasis on the foundations of evaluation theory and practice. Learn how to apply theory to improve evaluation practice; to engage diverse stakeholders in the process of developing logic models and theories of change; and to design comprehensive, tailored, ethically defensible, and culturally responsive theory-driven evaluations.

EVAL 315
Evaluation & Applied Research Methods: A Survey of Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches

An overview of evaluation and applied research methods and related ethical issues, including quantitative and qualitative evaluation methods, research and evaluation design, applied social science research topics, specific data collection strategies, meta-evaluation, and reporting methods.

EVAL 320
Quantitative Analysis & Statistics for Evaluation & Applied Research

Introduction to multiple regression in which you’ll explore the general linear model (GLM), null hypothesis significance testing, model comparison, and alternative approaches. All course examples are presented using R software.

EVAL 325
Qualitative Research Methods for Evaluation & Applied Research

Introduces different types of qualitative research methods, their use and efficacy as evaluative tools, and the theoretical paradigms underlying them. Topics include field observation, interviewing, document analysis, content analysis, and case studies.

EVAL 330
Mixed Methods in Evaluation & Applied Research

Provides an overview of mixed methods research, including the history and foundations of the mixed methods research methodology, the types of mixed methods designs available, and the process of research as it relates to each of these designs.

EVAL 385
Evaluation & Applied Research Procedures

Translates what you have learned in previous courses into real-world contexts. You will engage with a series of simulations, group activities, and interactive discussions, and determine how best to respond to commonly occurring evaluation situations ranging from the technical, to the methodological, to the logistical, to the political.

View All Online Evaluation Courses

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

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

Faculty & Research

  • Wanda Casillas profile image

    Wanda Casillas

    Director of MS: Evaluation and Applied Research (Online)
    Associate Research Professor

    Research Interests

    Culturally Responsive Evaluation, Evaluation in Service of Equity and Social Justice, Using Systems Thinking in Evaluation and Applied Research, Using Values-based Research and Evaluation to Solve Social Problems

  • Stewart I. Donaldson profile image

    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

    Affiliated with

    Claremont Evaluation Center

    The Evaluators’ Institute

  • Tiffany Berry profile image

    Tiffany Berry

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

    Research Interests

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

    Affiliated with

    Claremont Evaluation Center

  • Kendall Cotton Bronk profile image

    Kendall Cotton Bronk

    Professor of Psychology

    Research Interests

    Purpose in Life, Adolescent Moral Development, Positive Youth Development

  • Tarek Azzam profile image

    Tarek Azzam

    Senior Visiting Fellow

    Research Interests

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

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Regina Burch

Assistant Director of Admissions
T: 909-607-9421