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Programs / Doctoral

Instructional Technology awards two different doctoral degrees: the Ed.D and Ph. D. They differ in the number of credit hours required and the residency requirements.

Admissions to advanced graduate study requires acceptance by both the Instructional Design and Technology Program area, the School of Education and the University's Graduate School.

Applications for the Instructional Design and Technology doctoral program will be reviewed once a year, during the month of March, for admission the following Fall. Applications received after March 1st will not be reviewed until the following year. Applications that are incomplete will not be reviewed.

Students who have not been admitted to a degree program may complete up to 12 hours of coursework as a non-degree student under Commonwealth Status. Admission to Virginia Tech under Commonwealth Status does not guarantee admission to the doctoral degree program. If students who take classes under Commonwealth Status are admitted to a degree program in the future, they can apply those courses to their degree if the courses meet the approval of their advisors.

Admission Requirements

  • Master's degree
  • A Quality Credit Average (QCA) of at least 3.3 (on a 4.0 = A scale) on all previous graduate work
  • Evidence of strong academic potential and professional experience
  • Acceptable GRE (Graduate Record Exam) scores
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores must meet Graduate School requirements for international students who did not receive a previous degree from an American, Canadian or British university.

Evidence that the applicant meets these requirements will be obtained from the following documents required for admission.

  • Application for Admission (form provided by Graduate School). Select major in Curriculum & Instruction.
  • Three letters of recommendation (form provided by Graduate School)
  • GRE scores
  • TOEFL scores
  • Transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended
    Current vita or resume
  • Writing sample. Interested applicants should submit a written response of not more than 5 pages to the following question: "What problem or challenge do you see in your life currently that you also recognize going to graduate school as a solution to?" or a writing sample from your academic or professional work.

Send the following materials to the Graduate School:

  • Application for Admission (form provided by the Graduate School),
  • Three letters of recommendation (form provided by the Graduate School),
  • GRE scores,
  • Transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended, and
    TOEFL scores, if applicable

Address materials needed by the Graduate School to:

Graduate Admissions (0325)
Graduate Life Center at Donaldson Brown
Graduate School, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Send the following materials to the department:

  • A current vita or resume
  • The sample of your own writing

Address materials needed by the department to:

School of Education Office of Academic Programs
105 War Memorial Hall (MC 0313)
Virginia Tech
370 Drillfield Dr.
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Attn: Nancy Nolen
For additional information concerning admission to Instructional Design and Technology, please contact:

 

Lisa Sheppard, Administrative Assistant
 ldouthat@vt.edu 
540-231-5587

Program Requirements 

Instructional Design and Technology awards two different doctoral degrees: the Ed.D and Ph. D. They differ in the number of credit hours required and the residency requirements.

  Credit Hours Residency Requirements
Ed.D. The Ed.D degree requires a minimum of 90 credit hours including 12 credit hours of research coursework and 24 credit hours of dissertation. One year of residency is required for the Ed.D. degree. Resident full-time study for Ed.D. may be satisfied in two consecutive semesters or one semester and summer session or with two consecutively attended summer sessions.
Ph.D. The Ph.D degree requires a minimum of 90 credit hours including 15 hours of research coursework and 30 credit hours of dissertation. No more than 6 hours of Post Masters courses may be taken online. The Ph.D requires two years of residency. Resident full-time study for Ph.D. students must be satisfied in two consecutive academic years (excluding summers).

Residency Requirements

A plan of residence should be approved for each student. Students must include on the Plan of Study a statement of the manner in which the residence will be completed. The following requirements must be met during each semester of residency:

  • Students must be enrolled full-time (9 credit hours per semester of residency).
  • Students are expected to be present on campus at least three days per week.
  • Students may not be employed more than 1/2 time during their residency.

Use of Masters Courses on Plan of Study

Students with a masters degree in IT or other appropriate field may be allowed to apply up to 30 hours of masters credit toward the doctoral degree, however, all students are required to earn a minimum of 24 hours of credit by taking courses offered through Instructional Technology at Virginia Tech. Typically, students without a masters degree in IT need to take additional hours in Instructional Technology. Check with your advisor to determine which courses taken during the masters degree can be applied to your doctoral degree.

Time Limit and Revalidation

  • Coursework more than 5 years old at the time of approval of Program of Study (POS) must be revalidated.
  • Coursework must be completed within 7 years after approval of POS or revalidated if preliminary examination has not yet been completed.

Additional restrictions on coursework earned at another university may apply. See the Graduate catalog, and check with your advisor.

Minimum Coursework Requirements

All Instructional Design and Technology students are required to earn 24 hours of credit by taking courses offered through Instructional Design and Technology at Virginia Tech.

All IDT doctoral students must take the following courses or equivalent courses at another university.

  • EDIT 5164 Principles of ID or Designs for Learning
  • EDIT 5564 Foundations of Technology Tools
  • EDIT 5774: Learning Theories for ID or EDIT 5154 : Theoretical Foundations
  • EDIT 6664 Trends in IT
  • EDIT 6334 Applied Theories of Learning
  • EDIT 6654 Research in IT

All full time Ph.D. students are required to enroll in EDIT 6694 Professional Seminar during their 1st semester of full time study.

School and University Requirements

It is the student’s responsibility to make sure his or her program of study complies with School and University requirements. Currently, coursework is required in the following areas:

Foundations

Doctoral students are required to complete 6 hours of Foundations coursework for the Ed. D. and 3 hours for the Ph. D. Students are encouraged to enroll in courses that address the history, sociology and philosophy of educational institutions or enterprises with which the student's career goals indicate she/he will be associated. This area of the program is intended to insure that each student has studied the general context of education into which the specialized area fits.

Research

The minimum requirement for the Ed.D is 12 graduate semester hours and Ph. D. is 15 graduate semester hours in advanced research-related courses. Typically, Instructional Technology doctoral students satisfy the Research requirement by enrolling in one of the following sequences:

Quantitative Sequence Qualitative Sequence
  • 6 hours of quantitative research courses
  • 3 hours of a qualitative research course
  • EDIT 6654 Research in IT
  • EDIT 6664 Trends in IT
  • 6 hours of qualitative research courses
  • 3 hours of a quantitative research course
  • EDIT 6654 Research in IT
  • EDIT 6664 Trends in IT

Concentration

In this area of the program, students enroll in courses designed to give them mastery of instructional technology skills. Advanced graduate work in the Concentration Area may include the following EDIT courses:

  • Formal coursework
  • Seminars [no more than 12 credit hours of 5784 can be applied to the degree]
  • Independent studies [to a maximum of 12 credit hours of 5974]
  • Clinical studies (5754), Internship (7754), Externship (5764), and/or Field studies (5964 and 7964)

Cognate

Each Ph.D. student is expected to complete a minimum of 3 credit hours of coursework in a cognate outside of the Instructional Design and Technology program area. Ed. D. students are expected to complete 9 hours of a cognate. Cognate courses should be related to and supportive of the student's area of studies.

Students with masters degrees in other areas (for example, music, English, nursing, etc.) may choose to satisfy the cognate requirement with coursework taken as a masters student; generally, up to 12 hours of unrelated coursework can be applied to the doctoral plan of study as a cognate.

Dissertation hours

  • Ph.D students enroll in 30 credit hours of EDIT 7994 Research and Dissertation
  • Ed. D. students enroll in 24 credit hours of EDIT 7994 Research and Dissertation

Suggested activities for dissertation hours are as follows

  1. 1st semester, 2 credit hours, directed readings (see reading list)
  2. 2nd semester, 3 credit hours, prepare for pre-prelim planning meeting
  3. 3rd semester, 3 credit hours, prepare for pre-prospectus planning meeting
  4. 4th semester, 3 credit hours, prospectus
  5. 5th semester, 9 credit hours, conduct research
  6. 6th semester and beyond, dissertation research and writing

Sample Course Sequence

This sample course sequence assumes that the student is enrolled full time and does not have a masters degree in Instructional Technology. This course sequence is only a sample. Check with your advisor to determine the best course sequence for you.

Year Fall Spring Summer
1
  • EDIT 5164 Designs for Learning or Principles of ID
  • EDIT 5154 Theoretical Foundations
  • EDIT 5774: Learning Theories for ID
  • EDIT 6694 ProSem (1 hr)
  • 2 hours of EDIT 7994 Research and Dissertation
  • EDIT 6664 Trends in IT
  • Qualitative or quantitative research course
  • 3 hours of EDIT 7994 Research and Dissertation

EXAMS: Pre-prelim

Write prelim
2
  • Qualitative or quantitative research course
  • EDIT 6334 Applied Theories of Learning
  • IT Elective
  • 3 hours of EDIT 7994 Research and Dissertation

EXAMS: Pre-prospectus

  • EDIT 6654 Research in IT
  • Qualitative or quantitative research course
  • IT Elective
  • 3 hours EDIT 7994 Research and Dissertation

EXAMS: Prospectus exam

Begin dissertation
3
  • IT Elective
  • 9 hours of EDIT 7994 Research and Dissertation

EXAMS: Conduct research

  • 12 hours of EDIT 7994 Research and Dissertation

EXAMS: Dissertation Defense

 

Checklist of steps to complete degree

The doctoral program in IDT at Virginia Tech has four major milestones:

Qualifying Exam

Plan Program of Study

1. Confer with the temporary advisor assigned to you in your admission letter. An early conference will be of help to you in planning your tentative program of study.

2. At registration time, consult with your advisor and secure approval of your proposed schedule of courses for that particular semester. It is advantageous for you to participate in advanced registration.

Obtain the Qualifying Exam Reading List

3. Students are required to take a Qualifying Exam after completing between 9 and 12 hours of graduate coursework at Virginia Tech. The qualifying exam will consist of questions derived from the Qualifying Exam Reading List.

Take Qualifying Exam

4. After completing between 9 and 12 hours of graduate coursework, sign up to take the written qualifying exam. The written qualifying exam is given once a year at the beginning of the Spring Semester. The purpose of the written exam is to provide exposure to seminal work in the field resulting in a common knowledge base among students. Most importantly, the exam assesses writing ability and knowledge of the field.

5. Select an advisory committee for your qualifying exam. Your temporary advisor will serve as your major professor unless you request a change of advisor by submitting the appropriate form. (See http://www.oap.soe.vt.edu/SOEGraduateForms/graduateforms.html for form.) As your advisory committee must include four members, select three additional members for your advisory committee after consulting with your advisor. Meet with potential committee members to determine if they are willing to serve on your committee.

6. Take the written qualifying exam and schedule an oral qualifying exam. Oral exams can be scheduled during one of three "exam weeks" scheduled during the semester. Typically, there is one exam week scheduled near the beginning, middle, and end of the semester. See the IDT home page for the dates available for oral exams for the current semester.

The qualifying exam is an exam consisting of two parts: the written exam and the oral exam. You have not completed the exam until you have participated in the oral exam. Therefore, you are not permitted to discuss or receive feedback on the written part of your exam until after you have completed the oral part of your exam.

7. Finalize proposed Plan of Study with your major professor. (See http://www.oap.soe.vt.edu/SOEGraduateForms/graduateforms.html for form.)

8. Complete the Ethics and Integrity Tutorial and Quiz. Print a copy of the tutorial completion validation to be submitted along with your Plan of Study. See Ethics and Integrity section at http://www.oap.soe.vt.edu/SOEGraduateForms/graduateforms.html for instructions on how to complete this requirement.

9. Download a copy of the Results of Qualifying Exam form and bring to your Oral Qualifying Exam. (See http://www.oap.soe.vt.edu/SOEGraduateForms/graduateforms.html for form.) You will not be admitted to the exam without this form. Also bring your completed Plan of Study and your Ethics Tutorial Validation for your committee to review.

10. Attend the Oral Qualifying Exam. During the oral exam, you will be questioned on your responses to the written exam and review your proposed plan of study with your committee.

Although students may fail the qualifying exam and may not be allowed to continue in the program, more frequently, the qualifying exam results in additional coursework requirements.

Students who perform unsatisfactorily on the Qualifying Exam will have one additional opportunity to successfully pass the exam. Students must wait at least one semester before retaking the Qualifying Exam.

11. Turn in completed Results of Qualifying Exam form, approved Plan of Study form, and Ethics Validation form to the School of Education Office of Academic Programs, WMH 107.

Prelim Exam

The preliminary exam process may begin once a student has successfully defended the qualifying exam. A currently enrolled doctoral student works directly with his/her advisor to begin the preliminary examination process and obtain the exam question(s).

To ensure that students make steady, productive progress in their programs, the oral defense of the preliminary exam must occur by the last exam period of the student's second year in the program. The steps in the process are as follows:

1. Schedule a meeting with your chair to discuss your idea(s) for the content of the Preliminary Exam. (You may also need to discuss and confirm the composition of your committee.)

2. After adequate discussion with you, your chair will prepare, in consultation with your committee, the question(s) for your Preliminary Exam.

3. Once approved by all committee members, your chair will provide you with your exam question(s) and a copy of the exam instructions by email. You should confirm receipt of the email by replying back to your chair. This action marks the beginning of your written exam period.

4. The oral defense of the preliminary exam must occur by the last oral exam period of your second year in the program. So, determine when you plan to schedule your oral exam in consultation with your chair, and then, schedule the oral exam date with IDT’s administrative support staff. (A reminder that oral exams can be held during one of three "IDT exam weeks" scheduled during the semester. Typically, there is one exam week scheduled near the beginning, middle, and end of the semester. See the IDT home page for this semester’s oral exam weeks.)

 

5. Complete the Graduate School’s online Request to Admit to Preliminary Exam at least two weeks before your scheduled oral exam. (See http://graduateschool.vt.edu/forms/index.html for link.) You will not be admitted to the oral exam without the Graduate School’s approval of this request.

6. Prepare an oral presentation of your Prelim exam (15 to 20 minutes) to be presented during your oral exam. Your chair may review your supporting media to your presentation (e.g. PowerPoint slides, handouts) for length and visual design but not content. As in any formal presentation, you should practice the timing and delivery of your presentation prior to your oral exam.

7. Attend the Preliminary Exam. Be prepared to defend your written document. If the exam results in a "conditional acceptance", you have a maximum of two weeks to correct the document to the standards acceptable to your committee. Failure to produce an acceptable document will be considered a failure on this exam. All conditional acceptances are at the discretion of the committee.

Prospectus Exam

The purpose of the Prospectus Exam is to finalize the details of your dissertation research study and gain approval of your proposed dissertation research.

1. Schedule a "Pre-Prospectus" meeting. Oral exam / meetings can be scheduled during one of three "exam weeks" scheduled during the semester. Typically, there is one exam week scheduled near the beginning, middle, and end of the semester. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss and outline details of the proposed dissertation research. See the Announcements section of this Web site for the dates available for oral exams.

2. Discuss your ideas for dissertation research with your major professor.

3. Prepare a document (5-6 pages maximum) of your proposed research, including need for the study, research questions, proposed methodology, and timeline for completion of major milestones up to graduation. Include relevant references and APA formatting.

4. Prepare a brief summary of your ideas (15 to 20 minutes) to be presented during your meeting.

5. Attend the scheduled Pre-Prospectus Meeting. During this meeting, you will present your ideas and negotiate a research study format with your advisor and other members of the committee.

6. Create a Prospectus of your dissertation research in cooperation with your major professor. The Prospectus typically includes completed chapters that discuss the following: introduction, review of literature, research questions and/or hypotheses, methodology, and procedures.

7. Schedule a Prospectus Exam. Oral exams can be scheduled during one of three "exam weeks" scheduled during the semester. Typically, there is one exam week scheduled near the beginning, middle, and end of the semester.

8. Fill out Request to Schedule Dissertation Prospectus Exam form. Submit to the School of Education Office of Academics Programs at least two weeks before your scheduled exam time. (See http://www.oap.soe.vt.edu/SOEGraduateForms/graduateforms.html for form.)

9. Distribute a copy of your written Prospectus to each of your committee members at least two weeks before your scheduled exam time.

10. Prepare a brief summary of your proposed study (15 to 20 minutes) to be presented during your Oral Exam.

11. Download Results of Prospectus Exam form and bring to your Oral Prospectus Exam. (See http://www.oap.soe.vt.edu/SOEGraduateForms/graduateforms.html for form.) You will not be admitted to the exam without this form.

12. Attend the Prospectus Exam. Be prepared to discuss your written document. If the exam results in a "conditional acceptance", you have a maximum of two weeks to correct the document to the standards expressed by your committee. Failure to produce an acceptable document will be considered a failure on this exam. All conditional acceptances are at the discretion of the committee.

13. Turn in completed Results of Prospectus Exam form to the School of Education Office of Academic Programs.

Dissertation Defense

Application for Degree

1. Once you and your advisor have determined that all the degree requirements for the doctorate will be completed during a specific semester, complete an "Application for Degree" card from the Graduate School. The specific deadline for submitting the card is established each year by the Graduate School but is usually no later than the beginning of the semester in which the degree requirements will be completed.

Final Defense

2. Complete your dissertation research as agreed upon in your Prospectus Exam.

3. Based on discussion with your major professor, schedule a Final Defense. Oral exams can be scheduled during one of three "exam weeks" scheduled during the semester. Typically, there is one exam week scheduled near the beginning, middle, and end of the semester. See the Announcements section of this Web site for the dates available for oral exams.

4. Submit a Request to Admit Candidate to Final Doctoral Exam at least three weeks before your scheduled exam time (See http://www.oap.soe.vt.edu/SOEGraduateForms/graduateforms.html for link.)

5. After your dissertation meets the approval of your major professor, distribute copies to your committee members (at least two weeks before your final defense).

6. Prepare a brief summary of your dissertation (15 to 20 minutes) to be presented during your Oral Exam.

7. If the exam results in a "conditional acceptance", you have a maximum of two weeks to correct the document to the standards acceptable to your committee. Failure to produce an acceptable document will be considered a failure on this exam. All conditional acceptances are at the discretion of the committee.

8. After your advisor and committee have approved your revisions, submit your dissertation electronically. You will find complete instructions on filing your dissertation electronically through http://etd.vt.edu/.

 

These checklists are intended to serve as a guide during the period of study for the Ph.D. or Ed.D. degree in Instructional Technology. It is the responsibility of the student to see that each of these steps is completed as scheduled. For further details, consult the Post Masters Manual. See http://www.oap.soe.vt.edu/SOEGraduateForms/graduateforms.html for handbook and forms. If you have questions, please contact your faculty advisor.

Annual Review of Doctoral Students

In addition, the IDT program area faculty will meet as a graduate advisory committee once each spring semester to conduct an annual review of each doctoral student who entered the program in the Fall of 2004 or later. Other doctoral students have the option to be reviewed upon request. Students who will be reviewed should prepare an annual self-evaluation report by April 15th. Students will receive a copy of the faculty evaluation report and noted areas in need of improvement. Students who fail to make improvements as noted will be subject to further action. This review complies with the Graduate School Resolution 2003-04A and Policy Memorandum No. 229.