Doctor of Philosophy in Instructional Design

(Note: The PhD in Instructional Design is on hiatus through Academic Year 2022-2023. For a doctoral program in Instructional Design and Technology, see the EdD in Educational Leadership, Instructional Design and Technology Emphasis.) 

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Instructional Design Ph.D. program is based on a cohort model. Cohort cycles depend on the start date of the particular cohort (contact department chair for specific details). However, there is a specific sequencing of curriculum, and this may strongly influence an individual’s start date. Applications for cohort admission are accepted at any time, in accordance with the deadlines set by the Graduate School. Every effort is made to accommodate the doctoral program of study for non-cohort students who enroll in full-time doctoral studies. In addition to the Graduate School general requirements, individuals applying for admission to the Instructional Design Ph.D. program will be reviewed using the following criteria for admission. Preference will be given to applicants who have: 

  1. A master's degree in instructional technology, instructional design, or a related field.
  2. An academic record of at least 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA) in the last two years of undergraduate course work and 3.5 GPA at the graduate level.
  3. Submitted a current curriculum vitae.
  4. Submitted a letter of application that makes clear the candidate's interest in, and suitability for, this program.
  5. Successfully interviewed with faculty from the Graduate Department of Educational Leadership and Instructional Design.
  6. Successfully completed a proctored writing sample.
  7. In addition to the above, international students must meet Graduate School requirements for admission, including evidence of English language capabilities at the graduate studies level.

General Requirements

The Doctor of Philosophy in Instructional Design requires a minimum of 67 semester credits:

Of the 67 semester credits required for the Ph.D. in Instructional Design, at least 30 semester credits of course work must be taken at Idaho State University. Dissertation credits may not be transferred from another institution.

Upon initial enrollment, all Instructional Design Ph.D. students will be required to maintain continuous enrollment, with at least one semester credit of work each semester (including summers) from matriculation to completion of the program, including completion of the dissertation and oral defense. Failure to maintain continuous enrollment can result in dismissal from the program.

A GPA less than 3.5 in the program or two grades of C+ or below will result in the Department reviewing the student's performance within the program. The result of this review may lead to dismissal. Any additional grading policies are set by the Graduate School.

Program of Study

A Program of Study will be drafted during the first semester of course work. This plan of study will be filed with the Graduate School. Programs of Study will be updated each semester. A current Program of Study must be submitted with the Comprehensive Examination Notice of Intent and routed through the student's advisor, the Department, and the Dean of the College of Education. Upon successful completion of the comprehensive examination, the Dissertation Committee, including the Graduate Faculty Representative (GFR), is established and the student is advanced to candidacy. 

All doctoral requirements must be completed within five years of passing the Comprehensive Examination. Doctoral students must also meet appropriate residency requirements.

Doctor of Philosophy, Instructional Design Program Course Work

All course work is subject to the approval of the student's academic advisor, Instructional Design Ph.D. program leader, and program faculty.

Courses that meet the program requirements are listed on the Instructional Design Ph.D. web site and in the program handbook.

Instructional Design Core Studies (12 credits)

The intent of the core area is to promote essential competencies of Instructional Design, including communication, learning theory, implementation, assessment, and management. A prerequisite for the core curriculum includes coursework or demonstration of equivalent knowledge.

Advanced Research and Statistics for Instructional Design (15 credits)

The intent of this area is to provide depth of knowledge of quantitative and qualitative research designs and the statistical procedures that support them. Candidates will complete courses in advanced quantitative research design, qualitative research design, intermediate statistics, and advanced statistics, as well as one additional course that provides depth of knowledge in a particular area of research design or statistics. Prerequisites for the research curriculum include statistics or demonstration of equivalent knowledge.

Instructional Design Specialty Area (30 credits)

The intent of the Instructional Design Specialty Area is to provide depth of knowledge and skills applicable to a wide array of professional contexts. Practical application and research in current and emerging learning technologies are emphasized. Instructional Design Specialty Area courses meet advanced standards in planning and analysis; design and development; and implementation, assessment, and management.

Dissertation (10 credits}

A minimum of 10 semester credits for dissertation work is required. Please note that some students may require more than 10 semester credits in order to complete the dissertation investigation.

Points of Assessment

Candidates in the Ph.D. in Instructional Design complete two examinations during the program of study, the Qualifying Examination, and the Comprehensive Examination. The Qualifying Examination assesses the candidate's capability to analyze and synthesize Instructional Design Specialty, Core, and Research content. A passing score on the Qualifying Examination is required in order to continue in the program. The Comprehensive Examination is taken after the completion of all coursework and the Instructional Design practicum. It is a significant aspect of the student's total doctoral program and provides evidence that the candidate meets advanced Instructional Design standards. A passing score on the Comprehensive Examination is required in order to continue in the program.

Dissertation and Oral Defense

Upon successful completion of the Comprehensive Examination and approval of the dissertation proposal by his or her Dissertation Committee, the student is authorized to complete the dissertation in preparation for the final oral defense.