PhD Learning Design & Technology

Printer-friendly version

The LTEC  PhD program is designed to meet the needs of working professionals not able to attend weekly classes on campus. Classes are offered through a mix of online and weekend on-campus schedules (see Delivery Options below for more details). The program is open to full- and part-time students.

The LTEC PhD is designed to prepare influential scholars and leaders in the field of Learning Design and Technology (LTEC) and the learning sciences. The LTEC program requires a minimum of 40 credit hours of coursework and completion of a scholarly research project written as a dissertation. From the beginning, students are expected to actively engage and contribute to the field through scholarly work, including research and evaluation, publication, conference presentations, and applied instructional projects.

Delivery Options

With the alternative schedule for doctoral courses, the LTEC PhD can be completed through fall-spring weekends and summer days on campus along with weekly evening online sessions. This schedule is subject to change.

Required core courses completed in the first two years have:
• two mandatory Saturday-Sunday weekend sessions each fall and spring semester (a total of eight weekends)
• three-day mandatory on-campus sessions combined with online sessions over two summers (total 6 days on campus)
• one mandatory weekend orientation on campus to begin the program in August when classes start in the first semester (one initial weekend).
• online live sessions from 6-8 pm HST on Monday or Wednesday evenings (fall and spring semesters).

All electives are offered online.

UHM requires students to be enrolled every fall and spring semester once they begin a PhD program. Enrollment and residency requirements are met through the mix of campus and online sessions in the first two years. Once students complete coursework and begin work on the dissertation, campus sessions are no longer required. However, the final dissertation defense public lecture typically requires student presence on campus for this special event.


The Learning Design and Technology PhD requires a minimum 40 credit hours. Each course is 3 credits.

• Research core (4 courses)
• Learning Design and Technology seminars (3 seminar courses)
• Advanced instructional design studio (1 course)
• Specialization interest area (5 electives, usually in LTEC)
• Minimum of one course of dissertation credit (1 credit minimum)

Course Schedules

LTEC doctoral students are part of a cohort experience with a minimum of two courses each semester during the first two years plus summer courses. Required core courses are completed in two years. The typical schedule is:

Fall Semester (two weekends on campus and Monday/Wednesday evening online sessions)
• Mandatory weekend orientation in late August (first fall semester only)
• Seminar or ID studio (3 credits)
• Research course (3)
• Optional online elective (3)

Spring semester (two weekends on campus and Monday/Wednesday evening online sessions)
• Seminar or ID studio  (3)
• Research course (3)
• Optional online elective (3)

Summer semester (one week on campus plus several with live online sessions)
• ID studio or advanced research (3)
• Optional online elective (3)

Full-time students may add an elective any semester; those with full-time jobs should not take more than the two core courses in fall and spring. International students on a student visa are required to enroll full-time and must take one elective each term on campus.

Campus sessions are mandatory; students not able to commit to campus and evenings sessions will not be accepted into the program.

Additional Degree Requirements

Once required coursework is completed, students enroll in a 3-credit advanced seminar each fall and spring until achieving candidacy (see PhD Handbook for details). With candidacy, the one-credit dissertation course, LTEC 800, meets requirements for full-time enrollment in each fall and spring semester until completion.

The culminating experience is a dissertation written in formal academic style. Typically LTEC dissertations examine an educational problem through basic research or report on a design-based project applying theory and formal research methods for evaluation. See the LTEC PhD Handbook and Graduate Education web site for more on dissertation design.

PhD Handbook

For details on requirements, steps to the dissertation, and program design, download the "LTEC PhD Handbook" (PDF)


The College of Education provides a number of scholarship for students. Please see the Graduate Tuition and Scholarship section of the COE website for more infromation 

Learn More - Virtual Tours - Learning Design & Technology (LTEC) Programs

We offer virtual tours each fall and early spring to answer your questions about the program. You even get to “meet” some of the faculty online. Typically you need to attend one of these sessions before meeting individually with an advisor. If you'd like to attend the next tour(s), see below for more details.


Thursday, Sep 20th at 5:30pm 
Monday, October 15th at 5:30pm
For these two sessions join Dr. Peter's vRoom

Tuesday, Nov 13 at 5:30pm
Wed, Dec 12  at 5:30pm
For these two sessions join Dr. Fulford's vRoom

Attend any upcoming virtual tour for the department of Learning Design and Technology. See and talk with faculty advisors from all LTEC degree and certificate programs:
·       Graduate Certificates in Online Learning & Teaching as well as K-12 Instruction
·       Dual Masters Learning Design & Technology and Library Information Sciences
·       MEd Learning Design & Technology (Online and Campus Based)
·       PhD Learning Design & Technology
Take this chance to get answers to your questions from the comfort of your own home. You can access the tour with any computer or mobile device equipped with a speaker. A microphone is recommended but not essential. No registration or RSVP is required. 

Advise Me!

students huddling around a computer

Quick Facts

HTSB Add A Field:
Teacher Licensure:
Online Classes:
Evening Classes:
Typical Length (Months):