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Doctor of Philosophy

Programs » Doctor of Philosophy

Doctor of Philosophy

Our PhD students pursue a research based experience with career options that range from academic research to corporate business, non-profit pursuits and more. After completing a research core, students are free to select courses that will best meet their program requirements and long term professional goals. The ITLS PhD program is nationally and internationally recognized for its research related to design and learning. Please see individual faculty bios to get a sense for active research going on in the department.

Doctoral graduates are well positioned for tenure track positions at research or teaching institutions, for work in student services or higher education administration, engaging in faculty development or as directors of instructional design. Some PhDs go on to leadership positions in corporate settings or use their doctoral degrees in K-12 as teachers or district specialists. All PhD student complete original research in the form of a dissertation.

The PhD is available at the Logan, Utah State University campus.

Degree Requirements

  • Completed within eight years of matriculation.
  • Complete 3-day required in-person orientation course in August on the Logan campus.
  • 43 or more semester credits beyond an ITLS master's degree.
  • 52 credits for students with a master’s degree in another field, which includes 9 credits of ITLS master’s core courses.
  • 70 credits for PhD students who have a completed Bachelor’s degree.
  • All PhD students complete a dissertation.
  • Fulfill Doctoral Residency Requirements. Graduate Degree Requirements.
  • For Utah Residency, please see: USU Residency Information.
  • Maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0.

Program Pathway

  1. Acceptance to the ITLS program and receive a temporary advisor.
  2. Attend the face to face orientation in Logan, UT.
  3. Register online for courses each semester through
  4. Choose your committee chair (advising professor) and your dissertation focus.
  5. Form your three-member supervisory committee for your comprehensive exam.
  6. Write and defend your comprehensive exam papers.
  7. Form your full five-member committee.
  8. Complete the program when you complete the coursework and your dissertation. Your dissertation is completed in three parts when you write and defend a proposal, conduct the research then write and defend your dissertation.