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  • New Cohorts start each summer, applications are due no later than the first of April each year.

    The PhD in Learning Technologies focuses on understanding and expanding the synergy of technology and learning/instructional systems theory. Graduates of the program are prepared to accept appointments at universities and organizations whose mission is the creation, instruction, or testing of innovative applications of instructional and educational technology in academic and corporate settings. Graduates work as faculty, teachers, instructional designers, directors of distance education, technology coordinators, trainers, and other positions in the instructional, educational, and learning technology fields.

    Toward this end, a successful doctoral candidate will demonstrate proficiency in both process and content areas. Process proficiency refers to the skills and knowledge that graduates use in the course of being contributing scholars/practitioners; whereas, content areas proficiency is the deep domain specific knowledge and skills which form the foundation of our discipline. These activities are supported through mentoring and student-centered study and research.

    The distance delivered PhD in Learning Technologies is a blended offering with students taking online courses throughout the year and attending a yearly face-to-face meeting during the summer. This program is available to students living outside the North Texas area or those students unable to attend the residency offering. Students within driving distance of UNT, should investigate the residency program.

    Admissions consists of an a.) visit, b.) application to the University of North Texas Graduate School and c.) application to the Learning Technologies program. Full details can be found on the Department web page at It is suggested that students apply as soon as possible to ensure adequate time to process and review their application. Those wanting to complete both the Masters in Learning Technologies and the PhD in Learning Technologies can apply for the extended MS and PhD program in which an additional 27 hours are taken at the Masters level to receive both the MS and PhD degrees.

    Coursework and Degree Plan

    The degree is 69 hours. The expected time to graduation for students in the distance program is five years or less. Course work consists of 57 hours of core, tools, research, and topic courses, followed by 12 hours of dissertation research hours.

    Coursework is broken into the following areas:

    • Core 15 hours (5 courses)
    • Research 12 hours (4 courses)
    • Topic 21 hours (7 courses)
    • Tools 9 hours (3 courses)
    • Dissertation 12 hours (4 courses)

    Degree plans are aligned with all other students in their cohort. Table 1 shows the proposed degree plan for distance cohorts one. Coursework begins during the summer semester.

    Visit for more details.

    TABLE 1: Degree Plan — Example
    1. Course descriptions can be found at Courses will be delivered using both synchronous and asynchronous methods.
    2. Students can choose to take LTEC 6800 instead of LTEC 6950 for additional development of their dissertation proposal.
    3. A student must have successfully defended their portfolio before starting dissertation hours (LTEC 6950). Additional LTEC 6950 courses might be required if a student is unable to complete the dissertation process in the outlined time frame. It is expected that students will defend their dissertation proposal during year 3 summer, complete their research in the following three semesters, and defend their dissertation in the final semester.
    4. Optional courses will be available during the last four semesters of the program. Courses focused on certificates and advanced studies like instructional systems design, virtual school instruction and certification, distributed learning, advanced research methods, and other topics will be available to take.
    Year 1 Summer 6 hours[1] LTEC 6000 LTEC 5210
    Fall 6 hours LTEC 6010 LTEC 6510
    Spring 6 hours LTEC 6020 LTEC 6512
    Year 2 Summer 6 hours LTEC 6511 LTEC 5220 or 5450 or 6514 (as tool)
    Fall 6 hours LTEC 6031 LTEC 6250 or 6200
    Spring 6 hours LTEC 6011 LTEC 6260
    Year 3 Summer 6 hours LTEC 6514 LTEC 5420 or 5400 or 6021
    Fall 6 hours LTEC 6030 LTEC 6230
    Spring 6 hours LTEC 6220 LTEC 6800 (Dissertation Prep)
    Year 4 Summer 3 hours LTEC 6240 or 6270 or 6800[2]
    Fall 3 hours LTEC 6950[3]
    Spring 3 hours LTEC 6950[4]
    Year 5 Summer 3 hours LTEC 6850
    Fall 3 hours LTEC 6850

    Mentoring and Advisory Committee

    Mentoring is an important aspect of the program. Students entering the program will be assigned both a faculty member in the Department of Learning Technologies and a doctoral mentor. The faculty member, doctoral mentor, and student will work together during coursework and into dissertation with a focus on student-center research and writing for the purpose of guiding the student to successful completion of the program. Mentors are professionals in the field who will oversee the student’s work toward his or her dissertation. This combination of academic and mentoring interaction will help keep students focused on the end-task of finishing their coursework and dissertation research. These faculty members form the student’s advisory committee. The advisory committee reviews the student’s progress each summer and oversees the student’s portfolio and dissertation stages.

    Doctoral Portfolio and Dissertation

    During coursework, students develop a portfolio of academic writing, creative work, and service that is used to access the student’s capability to move to the dissertation stage. The portfolio also serves as a way to demonstrate skills to future employers after graduation.

    Summer Cohort Meetings

    A cohort orientation meeting will be held online before the start of the cohort. An annual cohort meeting will be held each summer in conjunction with the ISTE conference the end of June. Attendance at these meetings is mandatory.

    Cost of the Program

    The estimated cost of the program for 69 hours of study over 14 semesters of enrollment is approximately $12,000 a year. Textbooks and software for the entire program should be approximately $3,000 depending on selected textbooks and software used in courses. The main software used in courses is Microsoft Office Suite and Adobe Creative Suite Design Premium. Both are available at student discounts. There is required travel to each summer cohort meeting. Travel cost will vary depending on the distance to the ISTE conference location to the student.