The University of Michigan’s Engineering Education Research (EER) Program follows a unique model. The Engineering Education Research (EER) faculty are embedded within the traditional engineering departments, while the graduate students are admitted to a college-wide program and are not affiliated with a specific department. This structure allows the EER faculty and their research to be integrated well with the traditional engineering disciplines, provides students a better opportunity for research, and helps raise the profile of EER by diffusing the fruits of the scholarly work through the College of Engineering.

Vision and Mission

The vision of the UM EER Program is to be internationally known and respected for innovative research and expertise that impacts scholarship, practice, and policy in engineering and engineering education. The EER Program’s mission is to improve engineering education at all levels by conducting rigorous and innovative engineering education research, preparing graduate students for successful, influential careers, and disseminating knowledge and expertise. The core values for the program include:

  • Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
  • Holistic student support
  • Innovation
  • Interdisciplinarity
  • Research to practice

Course Guide

Engineering Education Research Courses


Departmental Website: 

Cindy Finelli
Professor, EECS and Education
Director and Graduate Chair, Engineering Education Research Program
[email protected]
(734) 764-0244
4413 EECS Building

Fatima Khan
Program Coordinator, Engineering Education Research Program
[email protected]
(313) 398-6386
3226 EECS Building


Applicants to the EER program must have already earned a B.S. degree in a traditional engineering discipline, and they are encouraged to also have earned an M.S. degree in engineering.  Admission to the EER graduate program is done annually based on a formal online application submitted to the Rackham Graduate School.

Application Materials (Ph.D. / Master’s):

  • Completed online application at Rackham Graduate School
  • Personal statement
  • Academic statement of purpose
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Transcripts
  • TOEFL – for non-native English speaker
  • GRE scores will not be accepted for any student applying for admissions after Fall 2022

Application Materials (Rackham Certificate)

  • Completed online application form 
  • Within the online application form, students are expected to submit Statement of interest, Plan of study, Advisor’s support and Transcript

Graduate Certificate

The Rackham Certificate in Engineering Education Research provides a way for engineering doctoral students to learn and practice the skills needed to be proficient in the field of EER. It requires 9 credit hours of coursework (with a B average) and a related engineering education research project. Engineering graduate students who have completed at least one term in a Rackham program and are in good academic standing are invited to apply at any time. Students should apply prior to completing the requirements to ensure the plan of study is approved.

The requirements are as listed here:

  • EER 601: Foundations of EER (3 credits)
  • EER 602: Theoretical and Conceptual Frameworks in EER (3 credits)
  • Either a course on quantitative methods for educational research (EDUC 793, EDUC 795, or approved equivalent) or a course on qualitative methods for educational research (EDUC 792 or approved equivalent) (3-5 credits)
  • Completion of an approved engineering education research project (Approx. 3 credits)
    • Students pursuing the certificate are encouraged to consult relevant resources about EER and to meet with EER faculty as they plan and conduct their research.

Applications to the program can be submitted at the Rackham Certificate page.

Application materials and questions about the certificate should be emailed to the EER Graduate Program Coordinator at: [email protected].

Master’s Program

The EER M.S. Program provides foundational knowledge of EER topics, theories, and research methods as well as a specialization appropriate to students’ intended career paths. Students may earn the M.S. degree in the following ways. First, students may apply for and be admitted to the EER Program to earn a stand-alone EER M.S. degree. Second, students admitted to the Ph.D. program will be eligible to add the master’s degree after successful completion of the 30 credit hours of master’s degree coursework (typically within two years). The M.S. degree requires 30 credits of coursework (10 courses), as shown in the table below.

Course and credit requirements for EER M.S.

Category# courses# credits
Engineering Education Core (EER 601 and EER 602)26
Research Method Core39 to 15
Specialization Electives3 or moreUp to 15

May include up to 6 credits of EER 690: Graduate Independent/Directed Studies and up to 3 credits of EER 598: Special Topics in EER.

Ph.D. Program

The EER Ph.D. is a typical research-based doctoral degree. It provides essential coursework and other learning experiences that will prepare students to publish in top tier engineering education and education journals, compete for federal grants and contracts, and enter into multiple career paths. Students who are admitted to the EER Ph.D. program will be assigned an EER faculty advisor, who is a member of the EER core faculty, or two EER faculty co-advisors (one of whom must be a member of the EER core faculty). The EER faculty advisor is intended to serve as the primary academic and research advisor.

Course and Credit Requirements for EER Ph.D.

Category# courses# credits
Engineering Education Core (EER 601 and EER 602)26
Research Methods Core412 to 20
Specialization Electives3 or moreUp to 15
Immersive Learning Experience (EER 610)13

May include up to 6 credits of EER 690: Graduate Independent/Directed Studies and up to 3 credits of EER 598: Special Topics in EER.

A grade of B- or better is required for a course to count for credit towards the degree. The curriculum includes an M.S. degree in EER (30 credits) typically awarded within the first two years.

EER Courses

  • EER 601: Foundations of Engineering Education Research (3 credits, to be offered once each year)
  • EER 602: Introduction to Theoretical Frameworks (3 credits, to be offered once each year)
  • EER 610: Immersive Learning Experience (3 credits)
  • Research methods core: 4 courses
  • Specialization electives: 3 or more courses

For the full list of EER courses, please visit the EER Courses website.