PhD in Learning Design & Technology

Typical Length 5 years

Delivery Hybrid

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 & Format” below for more details). The program is open to both 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.

Mark Hines, of Mid Pacific Institute, shares the value of the LTEC program to his teaching practice today.

Hear from a PhD alum, Luisa Castro, on her journey through the LTEC program.

Common Careers

The primary employers are educational institutions, both public and private, at all levels: K-12, post-secondary (community colleges and universities). Also, government and private agencies like software companies, publishing companies, and companies and agencies with training and design departments, such as health care, manufacturing industries and large retail corporations.

There is no single job title for learning design and educational technologists in organizations, but some examples include: Training Coordinator, Instructional Designer, Technology Support Specialist, Museum Education Specialist, and so on.

For more for information visit: Instructional design.

Admission Requirements

It is strongly recommended that applicants have graduated, or will graduate, from a UHM recognized, accredited, master’s degree program prior to beginning the PhD, Learning Design & Technology program.

The GRE is required for admission to this program.

A transcript from each post-secondary institution attended.

A written statement of objectives as part of your application.

Your resumé or CV.

A sample of scholarly writing as part of your application.

Three (3) letters of recommendation

Applicants who are not native English speakers may need to take the TOEFL or IELTS (Academic) tests. For more information view the Graduate Division website.

International students that have been admitted are required to submit a copy of their Identification documents (i.e. Passport or Identification Card)

International applicants need to show proof of sufficient funding to cover all educational and living expenses

How to Apply
Application Deadlines
Starting Semester General Admission International Students Admission
Fall February 1 January 1
Spring N/A N/A


How to Apply
Delivery & Format

With the alternative schedule for doctoral courses, the LTEC PhD can be completed through fall-spring weekends and summer weeks 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 on-campus sessions each fall and spring semester including the initial orientation in the first Fall semester (a total of eight weekends)
  • A three-day mandatory on-campus session combined with online session over two summers (total 6 days on campus)
  • Online live sessions on Monday and/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.

Dates for required orientations, campus weekends, and summer session meetings are provided by the department. Please contact for current dates.


The Learning Design and Technology PhD requires a minimum of 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)

For a full listing of courses, see UH Manoa Catalog.

Tuition & Funding

The tuition rates are generally around $650 per credit for residents and $1402 per credit for non-residents. In addition, student fees typically total $451. Students enrolled in an online program will only be assessed for resident tuition regardless of their residence in a different state or country. Please see the “General & Post-Baccalaureate” heading on the Graduate Tuition Schedule for more accurate tuition rates.

See the following sites for funding information:

Faculty & Virtual Tours

Our faculty and staff will provide you with guidance and resources to support your success from beginning to end. You will receive a dedicated faculty advisor to partner with you on your journey.

To learn more about the virtual tours that LTEC provides to prospective students, visit our Virtual Tour Information Page.

Program Coordinator