Graduate Catalog 2023-2024

Educational Technology Ph.D.


Program Overview

College of Education and Behavioral Sciences

Site: Greeley
Mode: In-person
Start terms: Summer, Fall, Spring

Director: Jingzi (Ginny) Huang, Ph.D.

Location: McKee 216

Telephone: 970.351.2908

Website: www.unco.edu/cebs/teacher-education/

The Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Technology provides a terminal degree in educational technology that culminates in a dissertation of original research in the field. Graduates work in a variety of learning contexts (PK-12, higher education, online environments, military training, business/organizational, and international settings) as professors, researchers, consultants, innovation officers, and scholars. Collaborative research, design, teaching, and other scholarly projects are encouraged among students and faculty. The program is research-focused and designed to be rigorous but practical. Students are expected to engage in theoretical and practical experiences throughout the program documented in the comprehensive exam process.

Once admitted, the student will work closely with their academic advisor to develop a plan of study that meets the individual professional needs. While all students are expected to complete the core content and research courses, electives are selected to tailor the program to meet various professional foci within the field of educational technology. Once admitted to a program, students must maintain a satisfactory grade point average of 3.2. 

MA en route to Ph.D.

Site: Greeley
Mode: In-person and online (for Master-level courses)
Start terms: Summer, Fall, Spring

A student who has been admitted into the Educational Technology Ph.D. program may complete the ET Master’s degree en route to completion of the doctoral degree. Students are required to submit a plan of study for both the master's and doctoral degrees. Once admitted to the Ph.D., students seeking the MA en route to the Ph.D. will complete the 30 credit MA program but may participate in doctoral classes concurrently. Students must complete all program requirements (including the comprehensive examination) for the MA degree in addition to the minimum requirements for the Ph.D. No courses applied to the Educational Technology MA degree may be used in the Educational Technology Ph.D. plan of study. Students must be conferred with the MA degree prior to admission to doctoral candidacy.

Comprehensive Exam Expectations

Students must complete both Phase I and Phase II of the Comprehensive Exam Expectations in order to schedule a Comprehensive Oral Exam with the Graduate School. It is encouraged to complete Phase I prior to beginning Phase II, but it is acceptable to complete both Phases in the same semester. Phase II cannot be completed in a semester prior to the completion of Phase I.

Phase I - Electronic Showcase Portfolio

Students will work on constructing an electronic portfolio over the duration of their coursework. The expectation is that coursework may contribute to the items showcased in the portfolio, however, work beyond the course assignments is expected. Work conducted outside of a course is also acceptable. The portfolio is divided into 5 areas and may be completed in any order.

5 areas of portfolio:

  1. Applications of Educational Technology
  2. Engagement in Research Practices
  3. Demonstration of Innovative Pedagogy
  4. Participation in Professional Collaboration
  5. Awareness of Critical, Social, and Global Perspectives

Phase II - Written Exam

Students will complete a take-home written exam consisting of two questions. The exam will be conducted over a set two-week period each semester.

Dissertation Format Options

  • Traditional 5-chapter format consists of Introduction, Literature Review, Method, Findings, and Discussion.
  • Articles format consisting of Introduction, Literature Review, Method, at least three chapters containing one Publishable Article each, and Conclusion.


General Doctoral Degree Admission Requirements

Program Requirements:

The doctoral faculty in the educational technology review applications in both fall and spring semesters. Admission criteria follow the UNC Graduate School expectations and include the expectations of minimum GPA. Applications require a two-page statement of career goals, three letters of reference, and transcripts from previous undergraduate and graduate work. The statement of career goals should specifically address how this degree program will assist the applicant in furthering their skills and knowledge and applying them in the future.

The applicant must also complete a short interview scheduled with the doctoral faculty. The interview may be conducted in person or through digital technologies. International students are encouraged to apply early in order to be able to handle passports, visas, and other issues in a timely manner. Potential students with limited English abilities are encouraged to examine the application options available through the University’s Center for International Education. In many cases, students may be admitted to an academic program, but begin their studies in the Intensive English Program.

Degree Requirements — 67 Credits

Content Core — 15 Credits

ET 720Doctoral Seminar


ET 721Learning Theories and Technology Integration


ET 723Global & Cultural Perspectives in Educational Technology


ET 725Critical Theory and Research in Educational Technology


Select one of the following:

PSY 644Motivation in Education


PSY 674Measurement I: Classical Test Theory


PSY 681Learning and Instruction


Research Core — 21 credits

ET 700Methods of Research in Instructional Design and Educational Technology I


ET 701Methods of Research in Instructional Design and Educational Technology II


SRM 602Statistical Methods I


SRM 680Introduction to Qualitative Research


SRM 700Advanced Research Methods


Select 6 credits from the following:

SRM 603Statistical Methods II


SRM 627Survey Research Methods


SRM 685Educational Ethnography


SRM 686Qualitative Case Study Research


SRM 687Narrative Inquiry


Or, other advanced statistical or research methods courses with advisor.

Electives — 15 credits

Select 15 credits of graduate ET courses in consultation with an advisor. The below courses are recommended.

ET 740Innovations in Technology and Education


ET 749Gaming and Application Design


ET 731Advanced Instructional Design Theory, Research and Practice


ET 733Case Studies in Instructional Design and Performance Technology


Comprehensive Exam (no credit)

Students demonstrate a menu of competencies in an electronic portfolio and respond to two exam questions. Students showcase competencies during the oral defense.

Dissertation — 16 credits

ET 797Doctoral Proposal Seminar

1- 4

ET 799Doctoral Dissertation


ET 797: Take 4 credits.

ET 799: Take 12 credits.

Program Notes

Students are required to complete a minimum of one academic year of field-based engagement related to future professional aspirations. Students are encouraged to work with faculty on research, attend and present at conferences, and publish papers in scholarly journals.

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