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Michael took his bachelor's and master's degrees from the honors school of mathematics at Melbourne University, Australia, and his first two jobs (actually internships) were in mathematical physics. He went on to a doctorate in philosophy at Oxford, for a thesis on the logic of explanations in science and history. In 2013, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Education from Melbourne University.


Scriven's seventy years of teaching have been in departments of mathematics, philosophy, psychology, the history and philosophy of science, law, evaluation, and education. Primarily, Michael taught as university professor at the Universities of Minnesota, Indiana, California (Berkeley), Western Australia, and Auckland, as well as Swarthmore, Harvard, San Francisco, and most recently at Claremont Graduate University where he was also co-director of the Claremont Evaluation Center.


His 450+ publications have been mainly in the fields of his appointments and also in computer science, informal logic, cosmology, international philanthropy, and technology studies. He has served on the editorial or advisory boards of more than 40 scholarly journals and was elected president of the American Educational Research Association, president of the American Evaluation Association, and a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, a Whitehead Fellow at Harvard, and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Social Sciences. 


Recreational efforts include rowing for Melbourne University and the Oxford University Trial Eights, membership in the Frisbee Hall of Fame, and sports car racing, although recently the emphasis has been more on bird-watching, technology studies, and knife-collecting.



University of Melbourne

BSc Mathematics

Indiana University

Professor of Philosophy (1960-1966)

University of California, Berkeley

Professor of Philosophy and later of Education (1966–78)


University of Melbourne

MS Mathematics


University of Oxford

PhD Philosophy


University of Melbourne

D.Ed (Honoris causa)

University of Western Australia

Professor of Education (1982–89)

University of Auckland

Professor of Evaluation (2003-4)

Western Michigan University

(1994-5, 2004–07)

Claremont Graduate University

(1997–2002 and 2007-2019)

Pacific Graduate School of Psychology



Swarthmore College

Assistant Professor (1956–60)

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