May 23, 2024  
National University Volume 86B-2 Catalog - April 2024 
    
National University Volume 86B-2 Catalog - April 2024

Doctor of Philosophy in Instructional Design, PhD


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Doctor of Philosophy in Instructional Design


Description of Program


Instructional design (ID) is a craft – a blend of science and art. Students who earn the Doctor of Philosophy in Instructional Design (PhD-ID) will make research-based contributions to the learning sciences through the synthesis of research, theory, and practice. Such contributions will relate to the ID competencies established by the International Board of Standards for Training, Performance, and Instruction (IBSTPI), the Association for Talent Development (ATD), and the standards of the Association for Educational Communication and Technology (AECT).

Please be advised that this program is NOT accredited in Kentucky by the Education Professional Standards Board and is NOT recognized for initial, additional, or renewal of certification or salary enhancement (rank change) for P-12 educators in Kentucky. For more information, please visit the Education Professional Standards Board’s website at http://www.epsb.ky.gov/mod/page/view.php?id=12.

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**Note: Program availability may vary by state - please contact the Enrollment Office for more information**

Learning Outcomes


  • Manage complex design processes and products collaboratively with diverse stakeholders.
  • Examine different principles, theories, and models related to instructional design.
  • Develop strategies to address ethical, legal, and political factors influencing design and development solutions.
  • Evaluate technologies used in instructional and training solutions.
  • Contribute to the theoretical body of knowledge in instructional design.

Basis for Admissions


A conferred graduate degree from a regionally accredited academic institution or an international institution determined to be equivalent through an approved evaluation service.

Degree Requirements


The PhD Program may be completed in 60 semester credit hours. Additional credit hours may be allowed as needed to complete dissertation research in alignment with the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) and Academic Maximum Time Frame policies. Students who do not complete their program within these requirements may be dismissed.

The University may accept a maximum of 12 semester credit hours in transfer toward the doctoral degree for graduate coursework completed toward a doctoral degree at an accredited college or university with a grade of “B” or better. Transfer credit is only awarded for course work that is evaluated to be substantially equivalent in content with the required course work for the PhD-ID program. See the Transfer Credit Policy for additional information.

Dissertation Completion Pathway


The University’s mission is dedicated to assisting students in achieving their academic aspirations and helping them become valuable contributors to their community and profession. To support our mission, the University now offers a dissertation completion pathway for students who have successfully completed their doctoral coursework and achieved doctoral candidacy at a previous institution but were unable to complete their dissertation.  The University’s Dissertation Completion Pathway (DCP) offers a unique opportunity for students to complete their doctorate in one of the doctoral programs offered at the University (excluding the PhD in MFT, DMFT, and DNP). Students successfully meeting the entrance and application requirements will complete a minimum of 23 credit hours to earn their doctorate.

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Time to Completion


The University allows 7 years to complete all doctoral programs of 60 credits or less.

The median time to completion for this program is 45 months.

Time to completion varies depending upon the pace in which a student completes courses and the number of transfer credits accepted. As most students are working adults, balancing educational, professional, and personal commitments, our academic and finance advisors will work with you to develop a program schedule that works best for your needs.

Students following the preferred schedule designed by the Dean for this program, and applying no transfer credits, can expect to finish in as little as 37 months.

Certification and Licensing


The Sanford College of Education serves educational leaders by providing online graduate studies in education to reach worldwide populations. The PhD-ID program is designed to reach national and international markets and does not purport to provide licensure or certification in any particular state or country.

Dissertation Process


Faculty assists each Doctoral student to reach this high goal through a systematic process leading to a high-quality completed dissertation. A PhD dissertation is a scholarly documentation of research that makes an original contribution to the field of study. This process requires care in choosing a topic, documenting its importance, planning the methodology, and conducting the research. These activities lead smoothly into the writing and oral presentation of the dissertation.

A doctoral candidate must be continuously enrolled throughout the series of dissertation courses. Dissertation courses are automatically scheduled and accepted without a break in scheduling to ensure that students remain in continuous enrollment throughout the dissertation course sequence. If additional time is required to complete any of the dissertation courses, students must re-enroll and pay the tuition for that course. Continuous enrollment will only be permitted when students demonstrate progress toward completing dissertation requirements. The Dissertation Committee determines progress.

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