LT Candidate

Doctor of Philosophy in Learning Technologies

The Doctoral Candidate

The Doctoral Dissertation Committee is comprised of:

  1. A Major Professor, or co-Major Professors
  2. A Minor/Cognate Professor. (Where the 12-hour minor option is selected, the Graduate School requires that the Minor Professor come from the academic unit of the minor. For example, a student selecting a 12-hour minor in Computer Science would be required to have a Minor Professor from the Computer Science faculty)
  3. Other committee members to bring the total number to a minimum of three: At least two (2) members of the committee must be LT Program faculty members.

The Doctoral Dissertation Committee assumes leadership of reviewing all records of coursework and examinations and guiding the student through proposal and final dissertation defenses. The committee may be comprised of original advisory committee.

The Doctoral Dissertation

The dissertation is the documentation of the creation of significant new knowledge in Learning Technologies based on a theoretical foundation. There is no specific restriction on the research methodology to be used; the dissertation may be quantitative, qualitative or historical methodology. It may involve pure experimental, quasi-experimental, or descriptive designs. However, it must meet each of the following criteria:

  1. it must involve the creation of new knowledge
  2. the knowledge created must be a significant contribution to the field
  3. the research must proceed from a theoretical foundation.

The dissertation should be a natural extension from and conclusion to the coursework and other academic preparatory activities that come before it. The Dissertation should be part of the planning process for the degree from the very beginning. All decisions made in terms of selection of a minor, elective courses and options should be done in the context of the dissertation. In general, students will select minor/cognate courses, elective courses and options that prepare them to complete a dissertation in a specific area of research.

Dissertation Proposal

After completion of the Portfolio and Oral Examination and formal assignment of Doctoral Committee, the next step is the preparation of a Dissertation Proposal. This document is prepared according to the style conventions of the Toulouse Graduate School. Additionally, a timeline for the completion of the dissertation must be prepared which includes quantifiable milestones (i.e. development of instrumentation, completion of experimental materials, identification of sample, data collection, data analysis, and completion of specific chapters of the finished manuscript).

The basic steps are (be sure to consult your dissertation chair for additional input or changes):

  1. Work with your chair and prepare your proposal.
  2. When your chair finds your proposal acceptable, share your proposal with your committee for feedback.
  3. Set a date for a proposal defense.
  4. File the signed paperwork for the dissertation proposal. This paperwork has to be filed before your proposal defense.

After a successful dissertation proposal defense, the candidate can begin work on the dissertation. From this point on, the candidate must be continuously enrolled in dissertation credit (LTEC 6950) for a minimum of 3 semester hours during each fall and spring term/semester until the dissertation has been accepted by the graduate dean. Only 12 semester hours of dissertation credit are applied to the degree program, even though more dissertation hours may be accumulated. See Graduate Catalogue for further details.


After a successful dissertation proposal defense, the student can begin to work on the dissertation. Working closely with the Dissertation Committee Major Professor, the candidate will set a schedule plan for completing the dissertation, including literature review, methodology and instrument development, data collection and analysis, and finally dissertation drafting.

Dissertation Defense

When the Dissertation Committee Major Professor(s) believes that the student is ready to defend his/her dissertation then additional paperwork is begun and the defense can be scheduled. Check with your major professor as to details and deadlines.

Dissertations of past graduates are located under Research.

Maintaining Progress

As an inherent feature, the Ph.D. in Learning Technologies has a reliance on computing technology, an area that experiences rapid and continuous change. It is therefore important that students make continuous progress toward the completion of the degree.

Students who fail to make satisfactory progress for two consecutive semesters will be dropped from the program. During the coursework phase of the student's program, there will be an annual progress review. Students are expected to accumulate credit toward the degree each year after admission to the program.

  1. Upon receipt of a grade of C or below or two W grades, the student is placed on probation for the remainder of the course work phase of his/her program. The Program Coordinator will notify the student in writing of his/her probationary status and will retain a copy for the student's file located in the departmental main office. After receipt of notice of probationary status, the student is required to seek formal counseling with his/her major professor to discuss his/her doctoral program. Probationary students may not withdraw from any future courses without the consent of his/her major professor and the Program Coordinator.
  2. Upon receipt of an additional grade of C or below, or an additional W grade without program approval, the student will be suspended from the doctoral program for one long semester. The Program Coordinator will notify the student of his/her suspension in writing and will retain a copy in the student's file.
  3. Receipt of a third grade of C or below, or more than three W grades without program approval, will result in the student's removal from the doctoral program. The Program Coordinator and Graduate Dean will notify the student of his/her removal from the program in writing and will retain a copy in the student's file as well as send a duplicate copy of the notice to the COE Graduate Facilitator in the Student Advising Office and to the Graduate School.

After the completion of the exams, (i.e. admission to Candidacy), students will be evaluated for progress at the end of each fall and spring semester by their major professor.

At the completion of the Oral Exam, the Doctoral Committee will approve a plan for the completion of the Dissertation Proposal, which will contain specific, quantifiable milestones for determining progress toward the preparation of a Dissertation Proposal. At the end of each fall and spring semester, each student will report their progress to the Committee in terms of the previously determined milestones. Students who fail to make satisfactory progress will be notified in writing that their progress is unsatisfactory. Students who fail to make satisfactory progress for two semesters will notified in writing that they have been dropped from the program. (Students may petition their committee for a revision of the proposal preparation timeline based on circumstances beyond the control of the student.)

After the approval of the Dissertation Proposal, the milestones specified in conjunction with the Dissertation Proposal will serve to document satisfactory progress toward the completion of the degree (students may petition their committee for a revision of the proposal preparation timeline based on unusual or unforeseen circumstances).

A student wishing to appeal his/her removal from the doctoral program may petition the LT Doctoral Student Coordinator. This written appeal must be received within 30 days of the notification or attempted notification of the student's removal.

The graduate faculty may concur that removing the student is in the best interest of the student and the LTEC doctoral program. Or they may recommend that the decision to remove the student from the doctoral program be reconsidered. The graduate faculty will reevaluate a student recommended for reconsideration.

Inactive Status

Students who find that their personal or professional life situation demands a suspension in active participation in the pursuit of the Ph.D. may petition to be placed on Inactive Status. While inactive, the program requirements for maintaining progress toward the degree are suspended. The Doctoral Committee will be suspended during this time.

Students who wish to return to "Active Status" after a period of inactivity may petition the program for such a change. The Doctoral Committee will be reactivated to consider any condition s that must be met to return to active status. The primary concern of the Committee in a return to active status will be verification of the currency of the student's knowledge in the field. Information concerning employment activities, other academic activities, participation in professional, industry, and technical conferences, and publication in the field will be considered in this process.

The granting of Inactive Status within the Ph.D. program does not stop the clock on the Toulouse Graduate School 10-year time limit for the completion of all work associated with the Ph.D., starting with the date that credit is earned on the first Doctoral course.

The University of North Texas Graduate Catalog

The Graduate Catalog is the final work on the requirements for the Doctoral Degree. All students are required to obtain and read the Graduate Catalog. It is important to understand that there are three levels of regulations governing the Ph.D. in Learning Technologies. The Toulouse Graduate School specifies requirements that apply to all Ph.D. degrees at the University of North Texas. The College of Information specifies additional, or more rigorous, requirements that must be met by all Ph.D. degree candidates within the College. The LT Ph.D. program specifies additional, or more rigorous, requirements that apply only to this particular degree. Each set of requirements builds upon the minimums set at the previous level. Students are required to meet all three sets of requirements. While this document reiterates many of the requirements of the University and the College, the official description of the University and College requirements are found in the Graduate Catalog.


Upon successful completion of all requirements of the LT Ph.D. Program, the College of Information, and the Toulouse Graduate School, candidates celebrate their achievements at graduation. Graduation ceremonies are held at the end of each semester, and candidates must complete a graduation packet (obtained from Toulouse Graduate School) early in the semester that they intend to graduate. See TGS for deadlines, instructions, and other information on the graduation process.