Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Pursue your passion as a doctoral student in learning design and technology. You will deepen your understanding of the history and theoretical foundations of instructional design, needs assessment, and evaluation, while exploring quantitative and qualitative research methods. You will use technology to develop solutions to learning and performance challenges and demonstrate your ability to apply your new knowledge in a variety of contexts. Courses will help you strengthen your skills in communication, collaboration, critical thinking, analysis, project supervision, and prepare you to complete your own research project.

Important dates

  • February 1: Application Deadline

Begin establishing connections and exploring career opportunities as you expand your expertise in a specific area. Students are encouraged to participate in professional development activities as well as attend and present their work at conferences. Graduates can expect to make a difference as professors, researchers, practitioners, and consultants in academic, corporate, government or nonprofit settings.

Since the doctoral program is demanding and rigorous, prospective students must complete an informal interview with a potential faculty advisor before initiating an application for the Ph.D. program.

Applicants should:

  • Have a master's degree
  • Be knowledgeable and experienced in the field either through previous academic work or significant related work experience
  • Be able to explain how their research interest(s) align with those of at least one LDT faculty member who can provide support and mentoring
  • Demonstrate scholarly promise

General admission information can be found at the  WSU Graduate School.


An informal interview with a potential faculty advisor is mandatory before completing an application for the Ph.D. program.

  • A completed WSU Graduate Application
  • Grade Point Average: Undergraduate 2.8 and graduate 3.4
  • Valid and official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores within the last five years (Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Analytical Writing)
  • Three academic recommendations
  • Departmental interview with faculty
  • Autobiographical statement, curriculum vita, and a research plan of intent must include research alignment with a potential academic advisor.
  • Research plan of intent must include: 
    • What are your current research interests?
    • Who do you think among our faculty would be your best advisor and why? (You can suggest 1 – 2 people as possible advisors with a rationale for each.)
    • How do the research interests of the selected advisors fit with your own interests?
    • Additional information often included in the statement of intent includes information on the candidate's background and experiences and any anomalies in the candidate's record that need explanation.

Course Requirements

A minimum of 90 credits is required for a Ph.D. in Learning Design and Technology. Students are required to meet with their academic advisor before registering for courses in the first term.

Major Coursework

LDT Core Courses (Required) Cr. Hrs.
LDT 7111 Design Thinking and Knowledge 4
LDT 7112 Advanced Learning Design 4
LDT 7145 (formerly 7850) Needs Assessment and Analysis 4
LDT 7150 Evaluation of Learning and Performance 4
LDT 8100 Critical Issues in LDT Scholarship 4
LDT 8110 Theory and Research in LDT Scholarship 4
Research Courses (15 Credit hour minimum) Cr. Hrs.
EER 7640 Fundamentals of Quantitative Research 3
EER 7870 Qualitative Research I: Introduction 3
One of the following: Cr. Hrs.
EER 7880 Fundamentals of Ethnographic Research 3
EER 8800 Variance and Covariance Analysis 4
EER 8700 Advanced Qualitative Evaluation: Theory and Practice 4
Plus Cr. Hrs.
LDT 9105 Conducting Research in Learning Design and Technology 4
LDT 9110 Advanced Research Seminar and Practicum 4
Electives Cr. Hrs.
LDT 7000 - 8999 21
Dissertation Research Cr. Hrs.
ED 9991 – 9994 30
Total Credits 90

Faculty - Learning Design & Technology

The Administrative & Organizational Studies Division and the Learning Design & Technology faculty profiles.


Ingrid Guerra-Lopez, Ph.D.

Monica Tracey, Ph.D.

Ke Zhang, Ph.D.

Meina Zhu, Ph.D.
Assistant professor

Alisa Hutchinson, Ph.D.
Assistant professor

Administrative & Organizational Studies
Phone: 313-577-1805

Career insights

This tool provides a broad overview of how major selection can lead to careers and is provided without any implied promise of employment. Some careers will require further education, skills, or competencies. Actual salaries may vary significantly between similar employers and could change by graduation, as could employment opportunities and job titles.