Doctor of Philosophy in Measurement, Evaluation and Research Methodology (PhD)
The MERM Program is dedicated to advancing the science and practice of measurement, program evaluation, and research methodology in the social and behavioral sciences (e.g., Psychology, Education, Quality of Life Studies, Health Studies). For more than 25 years, the faculty and students of the MERM program have been contributing to its international reputation as a leader in the field. Our students and faculty have done research in human and health services, psychological, educational, community and health settings.
What makes the program unique?
The MERM Program is the only Program in Canada, and among a short list in North American, in which the students are awarded a degree in "Measurement, Evaluation, and Research Methodology"; that is, a degree in the discipline of MERM rather than a degree in some other social or health science discipline with a focus or specialization in MERM. Being awarded a MERM degree, with interdisciplinary foci, makes our students unique in an international setting.
TOEFL (ibT) Overall Score Requirement
IELTS Overall Score Requirement
All full-time students who begin a UBC-Vancouver PhD program in September 2018 or later will be provided with a funding package of at least $18,000 for each of the first four years of their PhD. The funding package may consist of any combination of internal or external awards, teaching-related work, research assistantships, and graduate academic assistantships. Please note that many graduate programs provide funding packages that are substantially greater than $18,000 per year. Please check with your prospective graduate program for specific details of the funding provided to its PhD students.
Applicants to UBC have access to a variety of funding options, including merit-based (i.e. based on your academic performance) and need-based (i.e. based on your financial situation) opportunities.
We encourage all applicants to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund your graduate education. The database lists merit-based scholarships and awards and allows for filtering by various criteria, such as domestic vs. international or degree level.
In addition to scholarships and awards, applicants may be eligible to apply for financial aid or other benefits in the form of loans, bursaries, tax credits, or similar.
15 students graduated between 2005 and 2013. Of these, career information was obtained for 13 alumni (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016):
RI (Research-Intensive) Faculty: typically tenure-track faculty positions (equivalent of the North American Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor positions) in PhD-granting institutions
TI (Teaching-Intensive) Faculty: typically full-time faculty positions in colleges or in institutions not granting PhDs, and teaching faculty at PhD-granting institutions
Term Faculty: faculty in term appointments (e.g. sessional lecturers, visiting assistant professors, etc.)
Sample Employers in Higher EducationUniversity of British Columbia (5)
University of Victoria
University of New Brunswick
University of Calgary
Sample Employers Outside Higher EducationEducational Testing Service
Department of Education & Early Childhood Development
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher EducationResearch Scientist
Senior Business Intelligence Analyst
Program Development Specialist/Psychometrician
PhD Career Outcome SurveyYou may view the full report on career outcomes of UBC PhD graduates on outcomes.grad.ubc.ca.
DisclaimerThese data represent historical employment information and do not guarantee future employment prospects for graduates of this program. They are for informational purposes only. Data were collected through either alumni surveys or internet research.
Tuition / Program Costs
|Fees||Canadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / Diplomat||International|
|Installments per year||3||3|
|Tuition per installment||$1,698.56||$2,984.09|
|Tuition per year|
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
|Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible)||$3,200.00 (-)|
|Other Fees and Costs|
|Student Fees (yearly)||$944.51 (approx.)|
|Costs of living (yearly)||starting at $16,954.00 (check cost calculator)|
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students. New students may see higher increases in tuition. Admitted students who defer their admission are subject to the potentially higher tuition fees for incoming students effective at the later program start date. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.
Completion Rates & Times
This list shows faculty members with full supervisory privileges who are affiliated with this program. It is not a comprehensive list of all potential supervisors as faculty from other programs or faculty members without full supervisory privileges can request approvals to supervise graduate students in this program.
Hubley, Anita (Psychological and health measurement, Test development and validation, Adult neuropsychological, personality, and mental health topics and assessment, Research with general community and vulnerable populations (e.g. elderly, homeless, drug addicted))
Liu, Yan (Fundamental measurement issues (e.g. measurement invariance and outliers); development and application of new statistical methods in education, psychology, health, and social/behavioral sciences; assessing learning outcomes; developing new assessment methods)
Mathison, Sandra (Evaluation theory and practice; student assessment; standardized testing; school and program evaluation; critical theory; interpretive and critical research methodologies, qualitative research methods; sociology of assessment)
Wu, Amery (Development of new psychometric methods (e.g. reliability of complex assessment designs, validation methods using structural equation modeling or item response theory); methodology for group comparison in item responses (e.g. detection of differential option functioning in multiple choice tests); understanding response processes; large-scale educational assessment and English Language assessment)
Zumbo, Bruno (Psychometrics, Multivariate Analysis, Latent Variable Models, Test Theory, Item Response Theory, Validity Theory and Validation, Statistical Methods for Program Evaluation)
Recent Doctoral Citations
- Dr. Sneha Shankar
"Dr. Shankar applied an innovative method to study how a measure is used between two individuals. Her research extracts data that goes beyond traditional investigations of cognitive processes to include actions, emotions and motivation. Dr. Shankar's work provides a new way forward to help advance the future of validity and measurement research." (November 2019)
- Dr. Shawna Goodrich
"Dr. Goodrich studied measurement, evaluation and research methodology. She examined the application of a general diagnostic model to large-scale assessments across Canada and the U.S. Her findings reveal that such application provides a way to gain detailed evidence about mastery, reading literacy, and pathways to proficiency." (November 2018)
- Dr. Arwa Abdulrahman Alkhalaf
"Dr. Alkhalaf examined the impact of including research variables that are naturally skewed (such as level of education) in logistic regression, a modeling technique used for making predictions. She found that addition of these variables might negatively impact statistical conclusions and interpretations. Her work concludes with guidelines for researchers." (May 2017)
- Dr. Oscar Lorenzo Olvera Astivia
"Increasingly, computer simulations are being used in the field of education. Dr. Olvera Astivia studied computer algorithms used in simulations in the field of psychometrics, the study of mental capacity. His findings revealed that these algorithms rely on unacknowledged assumptions that, if altered, can change the design and conclusions obtained from these simulations." (May 2017)
- Dr. Mihaela Launeanu
"Dr. Launeanu's research examined how people make decisions when they respond to survey questions. The results suggest that respondents' answers are shaped by cognitive as well as personal and sociocultural factors. These findings will inform the development of better survey questions, and will contribute to an accurate understanding of what the survey responses mean." (May 2016)