New Master’s Degree Aims to Meet Increasing Demand for Quantitative Analysts in Education

UVA will be the first institution in Virginia to offer a M.Ed. in Quantitative Analytics in Education and the Social Sciences.

The University of Virginia School of Education and Human Development is launching a new Master of Education program in Quantitative Analytics in Education (QAE) and the Social Sciences, preparing students for research roles as applied data scientists working with large data sets.

“Both K-12 and higher education systems are continually generating large data sets that contain valuable information useful for informing policy at local, state, and national levels,” said Tim Konold, professor and director of the new program. Data, however, do not speak for themselves. “We need trained professionals with sophisticated methodological skills to disentangle complex data structures, to provide interpretation and context, to understand the potential for making informed decisions, and to also understand the limitations.” Konold said.

A recent report from the Learning Analytics Workgroup at Stanford University noted that the education sector is behind the curve in taking advantage of recent advances in data science. According to Konold, this new master’s degree is a step toward closing that gap and will prepare students to fill this growing need in education as well as other social science fields. UVA will be the first institution in Virginia to offer a M.Ed. in Quantitative Analytics in Education and the Social Sciences.

Program faculty have been actively engaged in the development and application of these methodologies to address a variety of issues in education and the social sciences through analysis of large data. Recent examples include work that focuses on understanding the socio-ecological contexts of adolescent development; demonstrating the important role of a positive school climate in students’ social and academic development; understanding the impacts of high-stakes testing on classrooms, teachers, and students; evaluating interventions in early childhood and K-12 systems; documenting chronic absenteeism in Virginia schools; understanding socioeconomic gaps in early childhood experiences; and COVD-19 impacts on student learning.

Program faculty welcome applications from students from diverse academic backgrounds, including economics, education, engineering, psychology, sociology, and more – and with a range of incoming professional experiences, from early career to advanced. The master’s program will require a minimum of 30 credit hours of graduate coursework that can be completed in one calendar year. More information about the program can be found here.