Program type:


On Campus
Est. time to complete:

3-5 years
Credit Hours:

60 (with master's) or 72 (with bachelor's)
Research new learning strategies and create digital learning environments to help learners of all ages succeed.
UNT's Ph.D. in Learning Technologies focuses on understanding and expanding the synergy of technology and learning/instructional systems theory. Graduates of the program are prepared to accept appointments at universities and organizations whose mission is the creation, instruction, or testing of innovative applications of instructional and educational technology in academic and corporate settings.

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Why Earn a Learning Technologies Ph.D.?

For the past 30 years, the University of North Texas has been at the forefront of the fast-growing field of educational, instructional and learning technologies. We are the first university in Texas to offer a distance-delivered doctoral degree in Learning Technologies or a related area. The required coursework focuses on understanding and expanding the synergy of technology and learning/instructional systems theory. The program also provides:

  • A strong foundation in computing and information/cognitive science, learning theory and education.
  • Mentoring from faculty members and professionals in the field.
  • An option to complete work for a master’s degree in Learning Technologies while working toward your doctoral degree.
  • The opportunity to build a portfolio of academic writing, creative work and service demonstrating student skills to future employers after graduation.

A successful doctoral candidate will demonstrate proficiency in both process and content areas. Process proficiency refers to the skills and knowledge that graduates use in the course of being contributing scholars/practitioners; whereas, content areas proficiency is the deep domain-specific knowledge and skills which form the foundation of our discipline. These activities are supported through mentoring and student-centered study and research.

Marketable Skills
  • Evaluation of instructional designs
  • Teamwork
  • Research synthesis, management, and interpretation
  • Dissemination of research project findings
  • Consulting and innovative product design

Learning Technologies Ph.D. Highlights

Residency students meet for courses at the state-of-the-art UNT Discovery Park. Students participating in the distance option take online courses throughout the year and attend a mandatory yearly face-to-face meeting during the fall. The annual meeting is held in conjunction with a major conference when possible.
Students are prepared for positions at universities and organizations that create, evaluate and teach about or test innovative applications of learning technology. Many of our doctoral graduates find employment in education; while others find work in business and industry.
Research is an important aspect of the Learning Technologies Department. Research projects increase the knowledge within our field while allowing graduate students to be actively involved in projects that enhance their educational experience.
Our faculty members are internationally known for advancing knowledge of technology tools and their applications in educational and instructional settings.
Grants from organizations such as the U.S. Department of Education, the Texas Education Agency and the Job Training Partnership Program provide financial support to students.
The Ph.D. is offered as a residency-based program for those in the North Texas region and as a distance-delivered cohort program for those preferring the flexibility of an online program.

What Can You Do With a Learning Technologies Ph.D.?

Graduates work as faculty, teachers, instructional designers, directors of distance education, technology coordinators, trainers, and other positions in the instructional, educational, and learning technology fields.

Learning Technologies Ph.D. Courses You Could Take

Theories of Instructional Technology (3 hrs)
Examination and understanding of the underlying philosophical approaches to learning and the paradigms that guide instructional design. How the use of computing and other technologies are enabled within each paradigm.
Emerging Technologies in Education (3 hrs)
Investigation of the challenges and opportunities emerging technologies in educational environments. Emphasis on understanding their use to meet educational needs and goals.
Artificial Intelligence Applications (3 hrs)
Theoretical and practical educational applications of AI are discussed. Topics studied include neural computing, social issues in AI, natural language processing and robotics.
Creating Technology-Based Learning Environments (3 hrs)
Study of the design and development of technology-infused learning environments. Develops understanding of constructivist philosophy of keeping students active, constructive, collaborative, intentional, complex, contextual, conversational and reflective.
Developing Funding Opportunities in Learning Technologies (3 hrs)
The ideal grant is a match between the needs of an organization and the desires of a funding agency. Students examine grants from both viewpoints and build on that knowledge to write effective grant proposals. In addition to investigating some of the logistics of grant-writing, this course examines the relationship between a granting agency and its recipients.
Philosophy of Computing in Learning Technologies (3 hrs)
Examination of the philosophical underpinnings of use of computers in learning technologies: why we are interested in this technology; what we hope to accomplish; intended and unintended changes that occur by its use.

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