Use numbers and data to drive systematic change in education

A number is not simply a number in our research methodology program. Here, unlike in math or statistics, numbers are not the final answer. With a PhD in Research Methodology, you can work in educational and institutional research, using numbers to tell the story of the human experience and create meaningful change.

Our commitment to you

Upon graduation with a PhD in research methodology from Loyola, you will possess the following knowledge, skills, and professional values necessary to commence a career as an institutional researcher, evaluator, college professor, or researcher at large professional organizations, testing companies, or consulting agencies that provide educational evaluation services.


You will develop expertise in evaluation, statistics, and measurement, and recognize when research findings are being misrepresented or data misused. Our expert faculty will train you in both qualitative and quantitative methodology, including applied statistics and psychometrics. You'll also learn how numbers relate to action, policy, and advocacy.


You will be able to critically evaluate bodies of knowledge from a variety of methodological traditions, use a variety of software programs to implement analyses, and conduct all stages of a research study in applied settings. Plus, you'll participate in a required consulting experience, where you'll conduct a research study and then provide consulting advice to a researcher or organization.

Professional Values

We strive to ensure that our graduates never lose sight of the humanity that number reflect, and become responsible researchers whose conclusions align with their findings. You will engage in ethical, just, and culturally competent research practices.

Program Faculty

Our dedicated Research Methodology Faculty are experts in their fields who will support students throughout each stage of the program.


Completion of the PhD degree program requires 60 semester hours of graduate credit, the completion of a research portfolio, and a dissertation. Students also participate in a consulting experience, where they conduct a research study and provide consulting assistance to a researcher or organization. Up to 30 semester hours may be accepted for previously completed work.

Program Length

Students typically take up to two or three courses each term and up to two courses during the summer, and completion times for this degree vary with the topic of each student's dissertation. The typical length for this program is five years.

Continuous Enrollment
Doctoral students in research methodology are required to maintain continuous enrollment during their program of studies. This means that during each semester of each academic year (excluding Summer Sessions), each student must enroll in at least one course. A formal leave of absence may be granted upon request and the approval of the School of Education’s Associate Dean of Student Academic Services.

Degree Requirements

Required Courses (18 semester hours)

  • RMTD 420: Educational Research I: Building a Body of Evidence Using Qualitative Methods
  • RMTD 421: Educational Research II: Building a Body of Evidence Using Quantitative Methods
  • RMTD 403: Design of Survey Research
  • RMTD 406: Educational Evaluation
  • One advanced quantitative course
  • One advanced qualitative course

Minor Research Area (9 semester hours)

Courses must be taken in a substantive area of interest, with approval from the student's advisor.

Electives (33 total semester hours - including required disseration credits)

Students can choose from offerings within or outside of the program with the approval of their advisor.

Comprehensive Assessment: A Comprehensive Research Portfolio is required. More information about this requirement can be found here: Comprehensive Assesement - Research Methods PhD

Dissertation: A dissertation, as well as an oral defense of the dissertation, is required.

Certificate Opportunities

In addition to their program curricula, students are encouraged to explore opportunities to gain enhanced credentials through our certificate programs. The following certificates help to complement the PhD in Research Methodology and can help students to get ahead of the curve and meet the constantly evolving field of education.

Admission Requirements

Interested in applying? Check out the PhD Research Methodology application requirements


Tuition, Financial Aid and Scholarships

The School of Education and Loyola's Financial Aid Office are committed to helping students secure the necessary financial resources to make their education at Loyola affordable. You can learn more on the Financial Assistance page.


How long will it take to complete this program?

Five years is about the average length of time, especially if the student is not full-time. However a full-time student who transfers the maximum 30 credit hours from another university could complete the PhD in as few as three years. Please note that a maximum of six years is allowed to complete your coursework and dissertation.

Much will depend upon how many courses a student is able to take during any given term. Since the minimum is 20 courses, one should count on two or three years of coursework, another year for taking and passing comprehensive exams and developing a proposal, and at least one more year for the dissertation research. 

What can I do with a degree in research methodology?

This degree offers many professional opportunities. Recent graduates work at research firms, testing companies, professional associations or accrediting agencies, nonprofits, and in higher education, including institutional research.

How is the consulting experience structured?

The consulting experience is fulfilled by providing research or statistical consulting. Students, in consultation with their advisor, will determine the form of the consulting. For example, some students have provided statistical analysis assistance to faculty members or other doctoral students at the university, working on a research team with a faculty member in the School of Education. Others have completed a project associated with the student's full-time employment.