Ph.D. Program

The Educational Technology program at Kent State offers a Doctor of Philosophy Degree (Ph.D.) in Curriculum and Instruction with a Concentration in Educational Technology. This program combines rigorous training in quantitative and qualitative research methods, a strong background in learning and curriculum theories, and the instructional application of the latest forms of information and communication technologies.

It encourages its students to research the wide variety of ways in which technology can facilitate learning and to articulate their findings so that practitioners can apply the latest developments in the field. If you are interested in reading about the entire process associated with obtaining a doctoral degree, you can download the college's Graduate Student Handbook.


Criteria for admissions can be found on the ETEC Admissions Process page. Note that it is important to indicate that you want the Concentration for Educational Technology when you apply for the Curriculum and Instruction degree program, so it is clear that you intend to focus on this.


A minimum of 45 credit hours of coursework beyond the master’s is required for the doctoral degree in Educational Technology. This does not include the dissertation (an additional 30 or more hours). Note that some students' committees may require more course credit hours than 45 for the degree, especially if the student entered the program without a strong background in the field of Educational Technology. The specific coursework to be taken is established by completion of the student's official program of study. It will include curriculum and instruction courses, research and statistics courses, and educational technology courses. In consultation with your committee, it may also include coursework in other areas. 

Program of Study

After a semester or two in the program, students need to form a committee and complete a Program of Study (prospectus), which will indicate which courses the student intends to take. Accompanying the Program of Study should be a Doctoral Advisory Phase form (available as a Dynamic form on the EHHS Graduate Student Services Forms page), signed by all members of the committee. The advisory phase committee is comprised of two faculty from within the ETEC program area and possibly others. You should work closely with your committee to develop and follow your plan of study.

Download C&I Ph.D. - Educational Technology prospectus

Comprehensive Examination

At the completion of the student's coursework, they write a comprehensive examination covering topics that the student has specialized in within educational technology. The topics and format of the examination are worked out in consultation with the student's advisor and committee.

Work with your committee to determine the best format for your comprehensive examination. The options include:

  • A two-day, four-hour-per-day exam in which you respond to four questions.
  • An eight-week exam in which you have two weeks each for four questions. Please note that the criteria for passing are significantly higher than for the more traditional test.
  • A portfolio, along with two take-home exam questions. The portfolio must be extensive and include deep reflections about the work that you include in it. Note: This option must be declared during the first semester of coursework.


After students pass the comprehensive examination, they must complete a research dissertation. Students select three faculty members for a dissertation committee, which may or may not include members of the previous advisory committee. In addition to having two faculty from the ETEC program, this committee must include a faculty member from outside the program area. The Dissertation Committee form, available on the Graduate Student Services forms page, must be signed by its members and submitted to the graduate school. This committee will guide the student through the dissertation process and ultimately decide when the study is an acceptable piece of completed research. The student must successfully defend the dissertation at an official defense meeting. Kent State dissertations (and proposals) must follow the American Psychological Association (APA) style of formatting. For assistance in formatting the dissertation, see the EHHS Guidelines for Preparation of Theses and Dissertations. To see dissertations completed by others, visit OhioLINK's Electronic Theses and Dissertations Center.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate students receiving appointments work closely with program area faculty in the design and delivery of instruction, the planning and implementation of research, and the preparation of reports and technical assistance to cooperating educational institutions and human services agencies. Contact the program coordinator for more information. There is a very limited number of assistantships available.