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Program Area of Study: Learning Design and Technology

Program: Teacher Education and Learning Sciences
Delivery Method: On Campus

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Design and study technology-enhanced instruction, learning materials, and educational programs for varied settings (K-12, higher education, business, non-profit, government, military) as informed by the learning sciences.

Through this Ph.D. in Teacher Education and Learning Sciences learning design and technology program area of study, research how learning is mediated by intentional designs in technology-enhanced instructional methods and learning environments (game-based, virtual/augmented, spatial/mobile, social, online/open).

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Why Learning Design and Technology Program Area of Study at NC State:

Collaborate on interdisciplinary research and evaluation projects alongside faculty across various disciplines who are nationally recognized for their research and innovation in Learning Design and Technology

Help solve today’s critical educational problems at a college of education that has research partnerships with over a quarter of school districts in North Carolina

Prepare to join graduates who go on to become faculty members at research universities, curriculum leaders in school districts, policymakers at local, state and national agencies and education-related organizations, among other career avenues

Program Area of Study Details

Our research is guided by cognitive, social and/or cultural theories of learning and by the existing body of research informing how people learn in specific disciplines and professional settings. The field at large along with individual programs of research are influenced by educational technology and psychology, cognitive science, instructional design, communications/message design, graphic design, computer science, adult workforce training, human factors and anthropology. Students will utilize quantitative, qualitative or mixed methods, along with emerging methods applicable to the study of contemporary learning environments (e.g., design-based research, learning analytics).

The goal of your research as a doctoral student is to generate theory and standards of disciplinary or professional practice that help to solve critical educational problems.

Our coursework emphasizes:

  • Learning theories and processes
  • Digital-applied research methods
  • Technology cognate areas selected by the student for emphasis

All doctoral degrees in the College of Education require a minimum of 72 graduate credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree. Most doctoral programs in the College of Education require a minimum of 60 graduate credit hours beyond an approved master’s degree.


Course descriptions can be found in the university course catalog. View the curriculum with credit hour details here.

  • Two official* copies of all undergraduate and graduate transcripts, including any non-degree studies (NDS) at NC State
  • Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and related health, economic, and social challenges, GRE test scores are waived for applicants applying for all graduate programs in the College of Education for the 2021-2022 admissions cycle. Read more about this decision.
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores for international applicants whose first language is not English
  • Academic writing sample
  • Description of research interests
  • Three (3) letters of reference
  • See our Ph.D. in Teacher Education and Learning Sciences Learning Design and Technology Program Area of Study Handbook (below) for detailed information on all needed admission documents.

    * Unofficial transcripts are accepted for application review purposes, but we require official ones before an admitted student can begin graduate studies.

Applications and all supporting documents must be received on or before the Graduate School priority deadlines or the program deadlines. International students should also consider their specific deadlines, whichever is earlier.

The Graduate School
North Carolina State University
Research Building III, Room 240
1005 Capability Drive, Box 7102
Raleigh, NC  27695

Review the Estimated Cost of Attendance associated with this doctoral degree for the upcoming semester tuition and fees. Note that tuition and fees are subject to change.

Primary College Faculty

  • Deniz Eseryel, Associate Professor, Learning Design and Technology, TELS Department
  • Shiyan Jiang, Assistant Professor, Learning Design and Technology, TELS Department
  • Julia McKeown, Teaching Assistant Professor, Learning Design and Technology, TELS Department
  • Kevin Oliver, Professor, Learning Design and Technology, TELS Department

Affiliated College Faculty

Doctoral Handbook for Prospective and New Students
Please view our Ph.D. in Teacher Education and Learning Sciences Learning Design and Technology Program Area of Study Handbook to find answers to your questions about the concentration and its structure, required and transfer credits, curriculum, ideal candidates, what we’re looking for in an application, sources of financial aid including assistantships, and the standard doctoral timeline. If you have other questions, please contact the doctoral program coordinator, Kevin Oliver.

Assistantship Application
Incoming students interested in assistantships should complete and submit this form after they receive a notification of acceptance into the program. Note, assistantships require 20 hours of work per week and students must attend school full-time (9 hours/3 courses per semester). Doctoral students are eligible for stipends, tuition remission, and health benefits, as part of their assistantship.

I really wanted to become a better online instructor, as well as a user and curator of digital learning and teaching tools. After meeting with Dr. Oliver, I felt that the [Learning Design and Technology] program would best allow me to merge my language, teaching and technology interests.

Karen Tharrington ’17 PHD

Prepare to enhance the field of education at one of the world’s best colleges of education.


In Scholarly Activities by Education Faculty in N.C. (Academic Analytics)

Top 12%

Nationally In Active Grants Among All Colleges of Education

Top 12%

Nationally in U.S. News Ranking Among All Colleges of Education

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Kevin Oliver

Kevin Oliver

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Irene Armstrong
Graduate Student Services Specialist