How to Choose the Right Instructional Design PhD Program

Questions You Need to Think About Prior Selecting Your Instructional Design PhD Program

Here are some key factors that you have to consider in order to find the instructional Design PhD Program that is an ideal fit for you and your educational and professional needs:

  1. Faculty
    Is the staff experienced and knowledgeable about the principles and theories of Instructional Design, particularly as they apply in higher educational or research settings? Do the faculty members have favorable reviews online, or have these been published by reputable sites or papers? Will you be able to communicate directly with the staff?
  2. University Ranking
    Is the University accredited? What are the reviews for the University and its ID program? Do they offer the specialty that you are looking for?
  3. Cost
    What is the cost of the PhD program? Is it worth the investment? Will you have to pay out of pocket for learning materials? What are the financing options offered (i.e scholarships)?
  4. Curriculum
    • What is required in order to gain admittance into the program? How many credit hours must be completed before receiving your doctorate degree? Do they include a dissertation as part of the curriculum? Does the University offer you the chance to transfer your credits to another program?
    • Are there real-life experiences offered, such as internships or group collaboration scenarios? Will the course be offered online, or will there be classes that you will need to attend in person?
    • What are the primary objectives of the program, and what subjects will the courses explore? Which delivery methods are utilized? What ID theories or models are used throughout the course?

12 Instructional Design Doctorate Programs to Consider

There are a variety of Universities that offer Ph.D. programs in the field of Instructional Design. Here are just a few Universities that you may want to take into consideration during your search (listed in alphabetical order):

  1. Capella University – Ph.D. in Instructional Design for Online Learning
    It equips students with the knowledge and experience to become leaders in the Instructional Design field. Studies involve the creation and implementation of ID models and theories, developing ID initiatives, and conducting ID research and analysis.
  2. Curry School of Education (University of Virginia) – Ph.D. in Education-Instructional Technology
    Program focuses on technology leadership in educational settings, ID game development and applications, web convergence, and interactive development. The course requires 76 credit hours, which is spread out over four years of instruction.
  3. Idaho State University – Ph.D. in Instructional Design
    This ID Ph.D. Program focuses on instructional design, research, analysis, or ID evaluation. Students are required to complete 12 credits of Core Professional Studies, 30 credits of ID Specialty Studies, 15 credits of research and statistics, and the remaining 10 credits involve the dissertation. The course generally takes 3 years to complete for part-time students and roughly 2 years for full-time students. Note: the start of the next cohort is postponed until summer 2015.
  4. Indiana University Bloomington - Ph.D. in Instructional Systems Technology
    This Ph.D. program consists of 90 credit hours and includes the following required courses: doctoral core (early research experience, doctoral readings, and doctoral seminar), inquiry, educational foundations, electives, and dissertation, just to name a few.
  5. Keiser University - Doctor of Philosophy degree in Instructional Design and Technology
    Focuses on the evaluation and application of ID practices and training development, integration of current technologies in educational settings, and exploration of how emerging technologies will benefit the educational sector. Courses include: ID theory, leading technology innovation, curriculum design, current issues in ID technology, and analysis and design of technology.
  6. Old Dominion University - Instructional Design and Technology Ph.D.
    It offers students an in depth understanding of cognitive theory, ID principles, and ID research. The program consists of core courses, research-based courses, ID concentration courses, and a dissertation. This program offers a number of specialties, including: Instructional Design, Instructional Message Design, Distance Education, and Human Performance Technology.
  7. Penn State University - Ph.D. in Learning, Design, and Technology
    This Instructional Design doctorate prepares students for careers as professors or research specialists. Students learn how to utilize learning processes to develop an effective learning strategy, evaluate learning materials, apply ID skills in a variety of educational settings, and demonstrate leadership and communication skills.
  8. Purdue University - Ph.D. in Learning Design and Technology
    This program requires 60 credit hours once the master's degree has been completed. Courses include: ID technology and learning design, learning systems design, educational research, and learning theories and Instructional Design.
  9. Syracuse University - Doctorate in Instructional Design, Development and Evaluation
    This program offers two areas of emphasis- Academic Research or Professional Studies. Academic Research prepares students for a career in research universities, while the Professional Studies emphasis focuses on leadership skills, applied projects, and methodological ID training.
  10. The University of Southern Mississippi – Ph.D. with a major in Instructional Technology and Design
    It focuses on instructional design systems and their applications in theoretical and/or research-based settings. Students will be taught how to evaluate technologies and core content, to ensure that the needs of the learner have been met and that the instructional program is in-line with current objectives. The program entails 60 graduate semester hours and the completion of a doctorate exam.
  11. University of Wyoming – Ph.D in Education (Instructional Technology)
    This Ph.D. prepares students for academic research and teaching positions in higher education. Courses include among others: design/development of instructional systems, interactive learning systems, and instructional telecommunications. The courses are offered in a combination of face-to-face and online formats.
  12. Virginia Tech – Ph.D. in Instructional Design and Technology
    This Ph.D. program prepares students for careers in the field of higher education and educational research. Courses include: Instructional Technology, Educational applications of microcomputers, ID principles, Instructional technology policy issues, and Instructional technology tools and methods.

Instructional Design Career Resources

  • How to Choose the Right Online Instructional Design Certificate Program
    If you have been considering an online instructional design certificate program, then you've come to the right place. In this post, I will go over the basics of Instructional Design certificate programs; share 7 tips for choosing the right Instructional Design program, and even highlight 18 Online Instructional Design Certificate Programs that you may want to consider.
  • How to Choose the Right Instructional Design Bachelor Program
    In this article, I'll delve into the significant factors you need to consider prior selecting the right Instructional Design bachelor degree program. At the same time, I will highlight some of the Top Instructional Design Bachelor degree schools that you may want to think carefully about during your search.
  • How to Choose the Right Instructional Design Master’s Program
    In this article I'll share some top tips that can help you to select the ideal instructional design masters program. Additionally, I will highlight a number of universities that offer Instructional Design master's degrees.
  • How to Choose the Right Instructional Design PhD Program
    If you're interested in Instructional Design at the University level, or if you want to expand your instructional design knowledge base even further, then you may want to consider an instructional design PhD program. These programs are ideally suited for those who have prior experience in the educational sector and want to gain a more comprehensive understanding of Instructional Design technologies, theories, and models. In this guide I'll highlight some Universities that you may want to consider, but first I'll share some tips that will help you choose the right instructional design PhD program for you.
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