Research Methods and Statistics

Research Methods and Statistics

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Gifts at any level make a direct impact on hundreds of Morgridge students & faculty every day.

Research Methods and Statistics ProgramAre you interested in a career in research design and data analysis? Our Research Methods and Statistics program is designed to equip you with the cutting‐edge research skills to make a difference in fields related to the social and health sciences.

With an experienced faculty committed to shaping a safe, sustainable, democratic and just world through high-quality research, you will gain the skills necessary to conduct and supervise effective social and health science research.


Why Should You Choose Morgridge?

Our focus on InContext learning gives you the opportunity to apply what you’ve learned in the classroom to real world problems and meaningful projects.

Through our emphasis on putting what you learn into practice, you can tailor your program of study to fit your areas of interest, making you well prepared for a career in one of many growing fields related to research design and data analysis.

Some examples of InContext learning experiences our students have participated in include:

  • Addressed low voter participation at a paid internship with Metro Organizations for People (MOP)
  • Created and launched community health surveys as a Research Associate at the Rocky Mountain Prevention Research Center
  • Evaluated a program designed to provide summer instruction for children in Nepal
  • Evaluated social presence in undergraduate hybrid classes
  • Documented Colorado sites and conducted policy audit for Expanding Learning Opportunities (ELO) Initiative with Colorado Legacy Foundation
  • Conducted need assessment survey about promoting early literacy among low-income families with Colorado State Library (CSL)

Explore our Research Methods and Statistics degree program options below.


Cutforth, Nick, Ph.D.

Cutforth, Nick, Ph.D. : Program Coordinator and Professor

Program Coordinator and Professor

Research Methods & Statistics Program
303-871-12477, KRH 252

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Dr. Cutforth received his PhD from the University of Illinois-Chicago.  He has been conducting research with schools and community-based organizations for over 15 years. His research and teaching interests include school health and physical activity environments, qualitative research, physical activity and youth development, university/community partnerships, and community-based research.  His current research involves school-based intervention studies related to physical activity and healthy eating among K-12 students in the San Luis Valley in rural Colorado. His hobbies are running, biking, and swimming.


Green, Kathy, Ph.D.

Green, Kathy, Ph.D. : Department Chair and Professor

Department Chair and Professor

Research Methods and Statistics & Library and Information Science
303-871-2490, KRH 233

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Dr. Green received her PhD from the University of Washington-Seattle.  She was named University of Denver United Methodist Teacher/Researcher of the Year in 1999 and honored with a Fulbright Scholarship to the Slovak Republic in 2002.  Dr. Green’s research interests are in applied measurement, specifically applications of the Rasch model, survey research, and teaching statistics.  She enjoys hiking and reading mysteries.


Heckart, Nick

Heckart, Nick : Academic Services Associate

Academic Services Associate

Academic Services/ Research Methods and Statistics/ Library and Information Science
303-871-2747, KRH 251

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MA Higher Education, University of Denver; BA, University of Iowa, Art Education.

Primary responsibilities: supporting teaching, learning, and research of the faculty, as well as assistance with student recruitment and retention, maintaining the accuracy of program information in student handbooks and on the website, assisting with course scheduling, processing fiscal transactions and partnering in the effective management of departmental budgets, and assisting with all student services. Nick also assists with alumni services for the College and serves on the MCE Alumni Board.



Olmos-Gallo, Antonio, Ph.D.

Olmos-Gallo, Antonio, Ph.D. : Associate Professor

Associate Professor

Research Methods and Statistics
303-871-6681, KRH 231

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Dr. Olmos received his PhD from the University of Denver.  He was the Director of Evaluation and Research at a Community Mental Health Center (MHCD), and currently he is President-elect of the Colorado Evaluation Network (COEN), and the local arrangements CHAIR for the American Evaluation Association 2014 conference in Denver.  Dr. Olmos’ research interests include using advanced research methods in program evaluation, program evaluation theory, and outcomes systems.

Portfolio Site Coming Soon!

Zhang, Duan, Ph.D.

Zhang, Duan, Ph.D. : Associate Professor

Associate Professor

Fisher Early Learning Center/ Research Methods and Statistics
303-871-13373, KRH 232

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Dr. Zhang received her PhD from Texas A&M.  With her extensive experiences in both applied statistics and child development, Dr. Zhang has been actively involved in research studies funded at different levels in early development and children’s psychological well-beings. Being a big fan of adopting instructional technology in statistics education, Dr. Zhang has been working closely with DU’s Office of Teaching and Learning, and other statistics faculty across the campus.  Her research interests are focused on two areas: first methodological area in multilevel modeling using Structural Equation Modeling and Hierarchical Linear Modeling, and second substantive area in parenting practice and school readiness in early childhood.  Dr. Zhang enjoys cooking for family and friends, Alpine skiing, and hiking in the beautiful outdoors of Colorado.



Within 12 months after graduation, most of our graduates are in professional positions. Graduates with a RMS concentration hold professional positions in testing companies, at universities, in school districts as evaluation specialists, or as evaluators or statisticians for state agencies.

Program FAQ

When are faculty in their offices?
  • Every faculty sets office hours for each term in which they are teaching. However, all of the faculty meet with students outside of their scheduled office hours. Contact the faculty member directly to make an appointment.
How many students do you enroll each year?
  • We typically admit between 6 and 12 Master’s students each year and 6 to 8 doctoral students.
Where do RMSstudents come from?
  • We draw on Colorado students but also from all over the country and from outside the U.S.
Do students need to have work experience to succeed in the program?
  • While preferable, work experience is not essential, particularly at the master’s level. We do encourage students, if they are able, to volunteer or find a part-time job in a research organization in order to acquire experiences that are beneficial when seeking a professional position post-graduation.
Do I need a bachelor’s or master’s degree to apply to the program?
  • If you are applying to the doctoral program, you must have a master’s degree. For the master’s program, a bachelor’s degree is required.
What factors are considered for acceptance into the programs?
  • The admissions committee will consider your transcript(s), letters of recommendation, statement of goals, GRE scores and prior experience in the field. An interview is also required. We strongly recommend that you contact the RMS program coordinator, Nick Cutforth,, before completing an application for either a master’s degree or PhD.
Do I need to take the GRE?
  • Yes. There is no cut-off score, but GRE scores will be considered as part of the application.
Will I be able to waive a course or transfer credit from previous graduate coursework?
  • Some courses can be waived with documentation that you’ve already taken a similar course. In order to transfer credit, you must make a formal request with your advisor during your first quarter of study. Also, make sure that transcripts are on file from the institution from which credit is to be transferred. Course credit that you wish to be transferred for the PhD must be post-MA or graduate-level for the MA, less than five years old, and you must have received a “B” or better. Transfer of credit is limited to 15 quarter hours for the PhD and 10 quarter hours for the MA.
What is the cognate requirement?
  • Doctoral students are required to complete a cognate or minor study in a field outside their major area of study, determined in conjunction with the student’s major coursework advisor.
What distinguishes this program from other programs in research methods?
  • The Research Methods and Statistics program at the University of Denver is distinguished by a small student-to-faculty ratio, small class size and professors who are leaders in their field and show a deep commitment to students’ academic growth.
Can I enroll in this program part time?
  • Yes, nearly half of our students are enrolled on a part-time basis (part-time status is less than 8 credits per quarter; full-time status is 8-18 credits per quarter).
When does this program begin?
  • In certain academic years students may begin at any time; however, financial aid is awarded to students whose applications are completed by mid-March for the following academic year.  Admission outside of the fall quarter must be approved by the Program Coordinator.
What does a typical schedule look like for MA and PhD students?
  • More complete information about typical schedules can be found in the RMS Student Handbook. Your advisor can help you create a comprehensive schedule that fits your schedule.

General FAQ

General Questions
When does the program start? Can I begin anytime?
  • Most programs begin each year in Fall Quarter which is typically the first or second week of September. Some programs, such as the Teacher Preparation Programs and the  Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Programs, begin in the Summer Quarter (early June). On rare occasions, students can begin their studies in a different quarter, however, this is arranged on a case-by-case basis only. Students should contact the Morgridge Office of Admissions at to explore this option.
What does full-time enrollment mean?
  • Full-time enrollment status in a graduate program is achieved by taking a minimum of 8 credit hours per quarter. However, specific funding may require a student to complete 9 credit hours per quarter.
Are classes offered online?
  • The majority of our classes are offered on campus, however, there are a few courses that are offered either in a blended format (online with some on-campus meeting times) or online. Blackboard is an online tool used by most faculty at DU to provide access to selected course materials, no matter the setting of the class meetings.
How many students are in a typical class?
  • Our average class size is generally between 20 and 25 students, but many classes will have 8 to 10 students.

Learning More About Programs and DU

Can I set up an appointment to visit the campus and discuss program options?
  • Yes. Although not mandatory, we encourage prospective students to see the campus, meet current students, and attend classes. This is probably your best means of getting a feel for our program. To set up a campus visit call the Morgridge College of Education Office of Admissions and Enrollment Services at (303) 871-2509 or (800) 835-1607, or email at It is preferable if you would arrange for visits through the Admissions Office and not through individual faculty.
Can I talk to a student from the program?
  • Yes. We encourage prospective students to communicate with current students in order to get the clearest possible picture of graduate life at the University of Denver. We have current Student Ambassadors on hand to meet with prospective students to share their experiences and speak to life in the Morgridge culture.  Contact the Morgridge College of Education Office of Admissions at edinfo@du.eduto be connected to a Student Ambassador or another current student in your program of interest.

Application and Admissions

How important are my GRE scores for admission?
  • Not all programs require a GRE score. In most programs, GRE scores are not the deciding factor for admittance; they are only one of many criteria used for admissions evaluation.
What if I do not have GRE scores? Can I use another test I took?
  • When required for admissions consideration, the GRE is the only test accepted. Regardless of the requirement to submit GRE scores, all international applicants/non-native English speakers are required to submit an official, valid TOEFL score.
From whom should I get letters of recommendation?
  • It is best to obtain letters of recommendation from professors or professionals who know you well. For recent graduates, ask for recommendation letters from former professors that can speak to your academic abilities as well as your character. For individuals entering the program with years of work experience, letters of recommendation from professionals who have seen your ability to work with children, adolescents and/or families are recommended.Most importantly, choose individuals that are knowledgeable about your past experiences as well as your goals for the future, and who know you well enough to adequately discuss your accomplishments and potential.
Is an interview required for admission?
  • Yes, interviews are required as part of the admissions process. If you are selected for an interview, you will be notified of the interview dates and location details. If you are unable to come to your in-person interview, you may complete your interview via Skype or phone.  We strongly encourage you to attend the on-campus interview day as it will provide the best opportunity for you to learn about the program, see the campus, meet current students and experience the Morgridge culture for yourself.
What is required for application to Morgridge College of Education?
  • The application materials may include: a completed online application, a 2 to 3 page statement of goals, resume, official transcripts from every higher education institution attended, letters of recommendation (2 for MA, 2 or 3 for PhD, depending upon the program), a $65 application fee, and GRE scores for specific programs (which should be sent directly to the university).
When will I hear about the status of my application?
  • Applicants will receive an email that their application was received by the DU Graduate Studies Admissions Office and will be notified if there is any missing information. Students are encouraged to check on the status of their application materials by emailing Once an application file is complete, the file is sent to the Morgridge College of Education Office of Admissions to be reviewed by program faculty. Typically, decisions about acceptance into a program are made two to three weeks following the on-campus interview day. To check on admission decisions, you may contact the Morgridge College of Education Admissions office at (303) 871-2509 or (800) 835-1607 or email at
Can I defer my admissions or change my entry term if necessary?
  • Some graduate programs allow deposited students to request a one-time change of admit term to indicate a start term one quarter early or a deferment to the date of his/her intended enrollment for up to one academic year. Contact the Morgridge Office of Admissions at for more information about changing your admissions term.

Waivers and Transfer Credits

Can I transfer credit from an undergraduate class?
  • No, only graduate-level courses can be transferred and the course must have been taken within the last five years and from an accredited program. Transfer credits cannot have been used toward another degree. There is a limit to the number of graduate credits you can transfer into DU based on the degree you are applying to (see below). If it is appropriate to waive a course (e.g. similar course already taken, content knowledge demonstrated, or successful test-out for certain research courses) the course credit hours must still be utilized for another course. A waived course does not mean a reduction in credit hours required. If your undergraduate work is similar in content to a required graduate course, you may be able to waive a required course after a review of the content with your advisor. A waived course allows you to take another graduate course in place of the one we require if you have already taken a course with very similar content. Transfer courses are different than waived courses since they reduce the number of credits you take at DU.
What graduate coursework is accepted as transfer credit?
  • Transferring graduate coursework into DU is discussed on an individual basis with your advisor. If you wish to transfer in comparable graduate-level coursework, you will need to bring in the syllabus, text, other course materials, and you must have an official transcript on file from the institution. The transfer must be initiated through your advisor in the first quarter of your program. The graduate coursework you wish to transfer must be no more than five years old, cannot have been counted toward another degree, and must be transferred in your first quarter of enrollment at the University of Denver. A maximum of 10 quarter hour credits may be transferred into the MA and a maximum of 15 quarter hour credits may be transferred into the EdS, PhD and EdD programs. Graduate coursework that is transferred in will reduce the total number of DU credits you will need to graduate.
Will my graduate coursework for my previous graduate degree count?
  • Credits that have already been applied to a degree cannot be counted again toward another degree. If the credit was not used toward another degree, see above for information on transfer credits. For more information or to discuss your specific situation, contact the Morgridge Office of Admissions at

Internships and Assistantships

Does every student get a paid internship?
  • No, not all internships are paid.  Program faculty will work with you to set up an internship in the community or school of your choice. Some internships are paid and some are not.  All internship sites must meet all program standards and must be approved officially by the Program Chair or designee.
Can I take an internship out of state?
  • Yes. It is possible to complete your internship in another state for most programs; however it does require extra work and planning to ensure that the internship site and supervisor meet our internship requirements. To determine if this is an option for your program, contact the Morgridge Office of Admissions at
Does the program arrange for the internship placements?
  • Program faculty help mentor and facilitate the internship placement process, but students generally must apply and be selectedby the organization as interns. Students are required to actively pursue particular internships they desire and complete the interviewing process. All internships must be approved by the program director or designee prior to the beginning of the internship year.
What funding or assistantships are there for graduate students?
  • A variety of types of aid are available for graduate students. A select number of stipends are available for incoming students who are paired with a faculty mentor to conduct research in their area of interest. Advanced students often have the opportunity to obtain stipends for similar work. There are a limited number of Graduate Teaching Assistantships and Graduate Research Assistantships also available to advanced students in the program that provide some tuition reimbursement as well as monthly stipends.

Tuition and Financial Aid

What is the cost of tuition?
Will I need to pay out-of-state tuition, or how do I get in-state tuition?
  • The University of Denver is a private institution, thus tuition is the same for both in-state and out-of-state students. For an estimate of yearly costs, visit the Office of Financial Aid.
Are scholarships available?
Is financial aid available?
  • In order to apply for financial aid at the University of Denver, and be considered for federal grants and scholarships, you must have a current Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form on file. Federal financial aid is available to qualified students. For information on financial aid, visit the Office of Financial Aid.Student employment may also be available for graduate students. Financial Aid requires students to be enrolled in a minimum of 4 quarter credit hours in a term.

Insurance, Immunizations and Housing

What kinds of insurance coverage do graduate students receive?
  • Graduate students have the option of obtaining their own private health insurance or using the health insurance provided by the University of Denver. For specific information regarding the coverage under the University of Denver’s plan, visit the Health and Counseling Center.
What immunizations are required for students?
  • All students must show proof of MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) immunization. (CO Revised Statuses 25-4-901 to 909) Students will NOT be able to register for classes without providing this information. Exemptions for medical, religious or personal reasons may be submitted. See the Health and Counseling Center website for more information on immunizations and a link to the Certificate of Immunization form.
What is the cost of housing?
  • Graduate students have the choice to live on or off the University of Denver campus. Information regarding on-campus housing can be found at Housing and Residential Educationand includes information about building options, dining plans, parking and other related information. Off-campus housing information includes links to nearby apartment complexes as well as information about how to find roommates, transportation, childcare, banks and other information regarding living in the area.
Masters of Arts in Research Methods and Statistics

Whether you are interested in a career in a school district, non-profit or the corporate arena, a Master of Arts (MA) in Research Methods and Statistics will give you the skills you need to be on the leading edge of research design and data analysis, areas of growing importance in organizational decision-making and leadership.

Admission to the master’s program requires a completed BA or BS degree.

Graduation Requirements: The 45 quarter credit hour program requires successful completion of a comprehensive exam or thesis and an evaluation practicum.

Approximate Completion Time:  1 to 2 years

Tuition Cost:  $1,199 per quarter credit hour for the 2015-2016 academic year (scholarships available)

Apply for RMS MA
Admissions Contact:

Coccia 100x100

Kristina Coccia

PhD in Research Methods and Statistics

If your goal is to pursue a career in academics as a professor and/or researcher or to design and conduct research and analyze data, the PhD program is the right program for you.

You can choose to specialize with our new concentration in Institutional Research. The concentration is targeted towards professionals with career goals in institutional research in applied settings including higher education, K-12 schools, non-profits, government settings, and business.   Foundational coursework will equip institutional students with strong quantitative, qualitative, and mixed research methods skills.  Students will specialize in higher education or library information science and take institutional research content knowledge courses in management, business intelligence, and public policy.

Admission to the doctoral program requires a completed MA degree.

Graduation Requirements: The 90 quarter credit hour program requires successful completion of a research practicum, comprehensive exam and dissertation.

Approximate Completion Time:  3 to 7 years

Tuition Cost:  $1,199 per quarter credit hour for the 2015-2016 academic year (scholarships and graduate assistantships available)

Apply for RMS PhD
Admissions Contact:

Coccia 100x100

Kristina Coccia

Application Deadlines

RMS MA Deadline January 16, 2015 has passed: However, we are continuing to accept applications for the 2015 term.

RMS PhD Deadline December 15, 2014 has passed: However, we are continuing to accept applications for the 2015 term.

General Student Forms

Coursework/Degree Requirements

Current Handbooks

Dissertation/Thesis Forms



Current Student Contact:

nick heckart
Nick Heckart
Academic Services Associate

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