Ph.D. Degree


The Ph.D. in Learning, Design, and Technology (LDT) is a significant and serious undertaking. It is essential for doctoral students to be committed to the development and pursuit of higher knowledge in the field. The Ph.D. degree typically prepares students for the professorate or research posts within universities, labs, schools, corporations, the military, health professions and related educational and training environments. The Ph.D. focuses on research and develops students to become capable of adding new knowledge to the field.


Objectives for Doctor of Philosophy Graduates


Upon completion of the Doctor of Philosophy program, LDT Ph.D. graduates will be able to:

  • Design, develop, and evaluate technology-based learning environments for diverse learning tasks and students
  • Discuss learning practices and processes as well as their implications for design
  • Design and conduct research with statistical and qualitative interpretations
  • Demonstrate strong written and oral communication skills
  • Provide leadership that extends the professional and theoretical knowledge base of the field


The Ph.D. in LDT is intended for advanced professionals who have a master's degree and wish to strengthen their abilities to conduct scholarly work and research in the field. They study an area to advance core knowledge of the field—not necessarily with an eye toward the practical applications of their discoveries. [Note: A Master's degree is not required for admission into doctoral programs. However, students should estimate that the doctoral program is approximately 90 credits beyond the undergraduate degree including master-level courses, doctoral course work, and dissertation credits.]

Because the Ph.D. prepares graduates to contribute to and extend their field and because contribution to the field involves engagement in formal research, requirements for the Ph.D. include significant preparation in the areas of communications, statistics, and research methodology. The Ph.D. degree is competency-based and has no minimum credit requirement by the Graduate School. That is, your program requirements will be designed to fulfill a set of competencies, rather than a set number of credits. Normally, an LDT doctoral degree typically includes approximately 60 credits of doctoral-level coursework beyond 30 credits of master’s coursework.

The doctoral committee is charged with translating general guidelines into a specific program for each doctoral student. Committee members must mesh the diverse backgrounds and career goals of doctoral degree candidates with program requirements established by the Graduate School and the Learning, Design, and Technology program area.

The LDT doctoral program includes two sets of exams:

  • A qualifying exam (typically taken after approximately 18 credits of doctoral coursework have been completed) and
  • A comprehensive exam (taken when coursework has been completed, or is near completion, but before the candidate prepares a final dissertation study).

The doctoral candidacy committee consists of two LDT faculty members. Both comprehensive-exam and dissertation committees typically include four members of the Graduate Faculty. The committee must comprise at least two LDT faculty members (including the thesis adviser), one outside field member, and one outside unit member. In cases where the outside field member and outside unit member are the same person, the fourth member may be either a minor adviser or a third LDT faculty member. Additional information about doctoral committees is available in the Graduate Bulletin (


For additional information click HERE for the LDT Handbook