FAQ

The Graduate Certificate in Program Evaluation is pending approval.

On this page, you can find information about the following Frequently Asked Questions:

About Course Registration
Q. How do I register for the upcoming EDUC 690P: Foundations of Program Evaluation course?
Q. What is the course fee?
Q. How do I make course payments?
Q. What is the refund policy if I need to drop the course?
Q. Is there a scholarship or financial aid available for the course?

Who can take the course?
Q. What are the admission requirements?
Q. Do I have to take the TOEFL test for admission?
Q. Can non-US residents apply?
Q. Do I need to be a UMass student to take the course?
Q. Can UMass students take the course?

What is the course like?
Q. How is the course structured?
Q. How intensive is the course? How many hours per week do I need to work on it?
Q. If I am not interested in the graduate certificate, do I still need to submit assignments?
Q. Is the course graded or can I take it on a “pass/fail” basis?

About the Graduate Certificate program
Q. What are the five courses of the Program Evaluation Graduate Certificate?
Q. Must I take all five courses?
Q. I am interested in completing the Graduate Certificate. What do I need to do?

More on course costs
Q. Is there a reduced fee to take the course without credit (i.e., to audit the course)?
Q. Are scholarships or financial aid available?
Q. How do I get more information?


Q. How do I register for the upcoming Foundations of Program Evaluation course?

A. You can enroll yourself in our courses through SPIRE, the student information system for the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

  1. Create a student account. Go to spire.umass.edu. On the right hand menu, under “Apply/References” click on “Non-Degree Enrollment Application” and fill out the form there. Please note that although there is a field for Social Security Number, you do NOT need a Social Security Number to apply – just leave that field blank.You will receive an email with your NetID and password (this may take up to 3 days.)
  2. Get an enrollment appointment. Once you have received your NetID and password, activate your account and log in to SPIRE (spire.umass.edu) with your new NetID and password.
    • Go to Main Menu > Enrollment > Summer/Wntr/Non-degr Enroll Appt and follow the instructions.
    • (NOTE: It can take 1-2 days for SPIRE to recognize your NetID, so if you do not see these screens, try again the next day.)
  3. Register for the class. The enrollment appointment should be available immediately.
    • Go to Main Menu > Enrollment > Add Classes.
    • Search for the class (EDUC 690P). If you are a current student enrolled in a UMass Amherst degree program, select the University section. If you are a non-degree Continuing and Professional Education (CPE) student, select the CPE section.
    • Add the class to your Shopping Cart, then select the class from the Cart to enroll.

View example step-by-step screenshots for Step 2: Get an enrollment appointment.

View example step-by-step screenshots for Step 3: Register for class.

If you are having trouble with registration, please contact the Continuing and Professional Education (CPE) Registrar’s Office at regoff@oe.umass.edu or (413) 545-3653.

Top

Q. What is the course fee?

A. Tuition for each 3-credit CPE course is $1,422. There is also a $47 non-refundable registration fee.

Top

Q. How do I make course payments?

A. Bills are usually generated by the Bursar’s Office around the 15th of the month after you have registered for a class, and are due by the 10th of the following month. You will receive an email to your UMail account when your invoice becomes available. You may view and pay your bill in QuikPAY.

To access QuikPAY, log in to SPIRE. Go to Main Menu > Finances > View/Pay Bill.

QuikPAY allows you to pay your bill by e-check, credit card, or international bank transfer (via Flywire).

You can also authorize someone else to pay your bill in QuikPay. Learn more in the Authorized Payer Guide.

Top

Q. What is the refund policy if I need to drop the course?

To find out refund limits and dates for each semester, see https://www.umass.edu/bursar/prorated-tuition-and-mandatory-fee-schedule

To get general information about University refund policies see https://www.umass.edu/cpe/tuition/refund-policy

Top

Q. What are the admission requirements?

A. In order to take a course, you should:

  • Hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree;
  • Work or intend to work in the field of program evaluation;
  • Have English reading and writing skills equivalent to an 80 on the TOEFL Internet-based course (Note: you do NOT have to take the TOEFL).

Top

Q. Do I have to take a TOEFL test for admission?

A. No, participants do not need to take the TOEFL test or submit their scores. We recommend that your English reading and writing skill level be equivalent to a score of 80 on the TOEFL IBT as a guideline for the level of English you need to do well in the course. You should assess your own English skills and decide whether they are sufficient to be successful in the course. We will not be verifying people’s English skills directly before or after registration.

Top

Q. Can non-US residents apply?

A. Yes, anyone in the world can apply. We have designed this course specifically for participants living outside of the U.S.. International participants do NOT need a Social Security number. You can just leave that space in the form blank.

Top

Q. Do I need to be a UMass student to register for the course?

A. No, you do NOT need to be a registered student at UMass to take this course.

Top

Q. Can UMass students take the course?

A. If you are a UMass Amherst graduate student, you can register for the course through SPIRE, as you do with your other courses. If you choose to register through the Continuing and Professional Education (CPE) unit, the fee structure is separate from your graduate program, and you will need to pay the course fees and non-refundable registration fee that CPE charges. (Tuition waivers offered by your graduate program do NOT apply to these courses).

Top

Q. How is the class structured?

A. The online course is 12 weeks long and includes readings, online discussions and both practical and written assignments tailored to your own program evaluation context. It may also include multimedia presentations, virtual small group work, and online presentations of students’ products.

Top

Q. How intensive is the course? How many hours per week do I need to work on it?

A. Participants should spend approximately 10 hours each week during the 12-week course.

Top

Q. If I am not interested in the graduate certificate, do I still need to submit assignments during the course(s)?

A. The certificate is for those who complete all 5 courses. However, if you sign up for any of the courses, you are required to do the assignments. Even if you don’t want the university credits for completing the course, doing the assignments is important to help you process what you are learning. Also, sometimes other students will share their assignments with you and you will share yours with them, or you may work on a group assignment together; thus everyone learns more. If people take the course without doing the assignments, it makes the course less valuable to all.

Top

Q. Is the course graded or can I take it on a “Pass/Fail” basis?

A. You can receive either a grade or a “Satisfactory” if you pass the course. You can let the instructor know whether you want to take the course on a “Pass/Fail” or a graded basis after you start the course.

Top

Q. What are the five courses of the Graduate Certificate in Program Evaluation?

A. The courses in the Graduate Certificate in Program Evaluation are:

  • Foundations of Program Evaluation (required first course)
  • Data Collection and Analysis for Program Evaluation
  • Data Visualization for Program Evaluation
  • Evaluating Organizational Collaboration
  • Capstone in Program Evaluation

Top

Q. Must I take all five courses?

A. You can take just 1 or 2 courses, if you wish, for your own professional development, and you will receive 3 graduate credits for each course. You are not required to take all 5 courses. Do note, however, that you are only eligible for the Graduate Certificate if you complete all 5 courses.

Top

Q. I am interested in completing the graduate certificate. What do I need to do? 

A. If you are intending to earn the Graduate Certificate in Program Evaluation, we encourage you to apply to the Certificate program by the end of your 2nd course. To apply:

  1. Fill out the online application form
  2. Send the following materials to evaluation@umass.edu:
    1. Resume/CV
    2. Short personal statement (maximum 1 page single-spaced), explaining your interest in the Certificate, how your professional and educational background makes this program a good fit for you, as well as your professional development goals.

Once accepted to the Certificate program, you will be assigned an academic advisor who will be available to discuss your professional goals and academic work, and help you to get the most out of each course.

You will register for and complete each individual course as usual. (Note that while your application is being processed, you can already enroll yourself in the individual courses by following the registration instructions in the course flyer or at the top of this page.)

After you have successfully completed all 5 courses, you will need to submit a completion form and a short (1 page) reflection paper to receive the Certificate.

Top

Q. Is there a reduced fee to take the course without credit (i.e., to audit the course)?

A. The Continuing and Professional Education unit at UMass Amherst, through which the online courses are offered, does not allow anyone to audit the online courses. This is a unit that is set up specifically to offer credit to students at a distance/online, and so it is specifically for participants who want credit. All universities charge for credit, even in face-to-face courses.

Top

Q. Is there a scholarship or financial aid available for this course? 

A. Unfortunately, the university does not offer scholarships for these courses and there is no financial aid available. However, previous course participants have been able to obtain some financial support from their employer for these courses. International NGOs and development agencies often have professional development support schemes for their staff. As these are university-accredited courses, they are usually eligible for such schemes. Do check with your employer if they provide such support.

If you are a Massachusetts state employee, you may be eligible for a tuition waiver which provides a 50% discount on course tuition. For more information, see http://www.umassulearn.net/financial-info/financial-aid. (Note that most financial aid through CPE is for U.S. citizens pursuing degree programs. Certificate courses such as these do not fall into this category).

Top

Q. How do I get more information about the course and/or Graduate Certificate?

A. Please contact:

evaluation@educ.umass.edu

Graduate Certificate in Program Evaluation
College of Education, University of Massachusetts Amherst
813 North Pleasant St
Amherst, MA 01003


For more information, please email evaluation@umass.edu

Graduate Certificate in Program Evaluation
College of Education, University of Massachusetts Amherst
813 North Pleasant St
Amherst, MA 01003