Program Overview

Program Delivery

To meet the needs of working professionals, the program follows a schedule of alternate weekend classes that convene nine times a semester (Friday evenings and all day Saturdays). See our Teaching Weekend schedule.

There is also an option to obtain a Loading... (9 credits).

Program Layout

The emphasis of the Learning and Instruction doctoral program is on understanding the practical application of the research on theories of instruction, teaching, and learning, and preparing doctoral candidates to contribute to future research in these areas.

Students can complete the doctoral program in five years or less, depending upon how many courses are taken a semester. A typical program of study over five years is described below.

The 60 credit hours are IN following four categories:

  • 12 credits in foundation core courses
  • 12 credits in advanced research core courses
  • 18 credits specializing in Learning & Instruction
  • 9 credits in electives
  • 9 credits devoted to dissertation proposal development, research, and writing


Foundation Core Courses | 12 credits
  • GEDU 706 Applied Educational Statistics
  • GEDU 708 Research Methods in Education
  • GEDU 704 Psychological Foundations of Education
  • L&I 700 Cognitive Psychology
Advanced Research Core Courses | 12 credits
  • GEDU 707 Advanced Statistics
  • GEDU 714 Educational and Psychological Measurement
  • L&I 707 Literature Reviews
  • One advanced methodology course selected in consultation with advisor
Learning & Instruction Courses | 18 credits
  • L&I 701 Multimedia Learning
  • L&I 702 Human Abilities
  • L&I 712 Performance-Based Assessment
  • L&I 713 Essentials for Teaching in Higher Education
  • L&I 714 Problem-, Project-, & Inquiry-Based Learning
  • L&I 724 Grant Writing
  • L&I 732 Motivation
  • L&I 735 Creativity
  • L&I 743 Constructivism and Technology
  • L&I 752 Data-based Decision Making for School Leaders
  • GEDU 722 Meta-analysis
  • L&I 798 Special Topics
  • GEDU 722 Meta-analysis
  • GEDU 723 Correlational Designs
  • GEDU 724 Intro to SPSS
Elective Courses | 9 credits

Courses may be taken from any department in the School of Education (including L&I)

Three Dissertation Courses | 9 credits
  • L&I 709 Proposal Seminar
  • L&I 790 Proposal Development
  • L&I 791 Research and Writing

Course descriptions are available in the Loading....

Program Progression

First Year | Portfolio

The cohort of first year students takes the four required foundation core courses (Applied Educational Statistics, Research Methods in Education, Cognitive Psychology and Psychological Foundations of Education).There are specified requirements for each course which are included in the students' qualifying portfolio. All students are conditionally admitted until they pass the portfolio review process. Once they pass the portfolio review, students are fully admitted into the Learning & Instruction doctoral program.

Year Two

We require students to take Advanced Statistics in the fall of their second year and Educational and Psychological Measurement in the spring of their second year. Additional courses taken in the second year are arranged in consultation with the students' advisor.

Year Three

Students continue to take additional coursework which fulfills their individual needs and interests. Most students are ready to take the Dissertation Proposal Seminar in the spring of their third year.

Year Four

Students may complete their coursework in year four and enroll in Dissertation Proposal Development.

Year Five

Students complete the program by successfully defending their dissertation research in Dissertation Research and Writing. Many students are able to devote year five to working solely on their dissertation, but some students may still have one or two regular courses to complete.