Online Certificate Program Focuses on Program Evaluation

UM graduate option to help a variety of professionals enhance evaluation skills

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OXFORD, Miss. – A new online certificate program offered at the University of Mississippi will help working professionals and graduate students from a variety of backgrounds specialize in program evaluation, a highly sought skill in many public and private sector jobs.

Offered through the UM School of Education, the online graduate certificate in program evaluation offers a broad view of evaluation tools and research methods that can be fine-tuned to meet the needs of professionals in education, government agencies, nonprofits and more. Graduates will be trained to use research tools to determine if organizations are on track to meet institutional goals. 

“The purpose of the certificate program is to make applied research accessible to professionals of all kinds,” said Lori Wolff, professor of higher education, director of the Dr. Maxine Harper Center for Educational Research and Evaluation, known as CERE, and coordinator of the program. “More and more organizations today are requiring employees to perform these types of evaluations on the job.”

The UM School of Education was recently ranked among the nation’s top universities for online graduate degrees in education by U.S. News and World Report.

The program may be completed in as little as one year and requires 18 hours of graduate study, including courses in program evaluation, survey research and quantitative and qualitative methods. The program also requires an Internship in Program Evaluation course where students complete a hands-on evaluation project at an organization relevant to their profession.

“There is a huge demand, especially in nonprofits, for evaluation support from consultants,” said Marie Barnard, research assistant professor, associate director of CERE and a member of the program faculty. “This program will prepare professionals who can help agencies design, implement and replicate effective programs.”

The certificate also can be earned as part of an in-progress graduate degree at UM if a graduate student chooses program evaluation as an elective area of study. 

For more information about UM’s online graduate certificate in program evaluation, including information on how to apply whether considering as an add-on or stand-alone certificate, visit or email

About Andrew Mark Abernathy