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Earn your instructional technology PhD from USM!

Instructional Technology and Design PhD
Program Overview

The Instructional Technology PhD Program is designed for individuals who are interested in pursuing careers in instructional design, development, and technology integration. Our courses in IT design and development are built to help students become professionals in high-demand fields in the military, government, education, and business.

The Instructional Technology PhD program at Southern Miss provides students with the flexibility of pursuing their own individual interests. This convenient and affordable online degree is great for busy professionals, because more than half of the courses are offered online in hybrid format.

Need your master’s degree first?  Check out our hybrid format Instructional Technology online degree – MS.  We also offer a fully online master’s in Instructional Technology.

 

Interested?

Qualifications

The Application for Admission to the program is completed online. Students need to go to the Graduate School’s web site and apply via “Admissions Pro” system (https://www.usm.edu/graduate-school/apply-graduate-school).

Admission decisions are based on several criteria including GPA (graduate and undergraduate), a writing sample, GRE scores (analytical writing, verbal, and quantitative), letters of recommendation, and possibly an individual interview with program faculty.

  • An academic record reflecting a superior undergraduate and graduate grade point average.
  • Scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) predictive of the ability to successfully complete the doctoral program.
  • All international applicants must provide a recent Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam score. Two copies of transcripts of all collegiate study must also be submitted.
  • A statement of purpose submitted online from the applicant indicating career goals and expectations, previous academic work experience, publications (if any), and other accomplishments.
  • Have 3 letters of recommendation submitted online from academic professionals and/or supervisors who can clearly articulate and address the applicant’s ability to perform doctoral level studies.
  • Vita or resume submitted online.
    • Preferred format:  A scholarly paper of ten to fifteen pages in length (double-spaced) that demonstrates the candidate’s ability to perform research and communicate ideas/arguments related to the field.
    • Other acceptable formats:  electronic portfolios, newsletters, two short papers, training or curriculum manuals/materials, online Blogs, etc.  Basically, any form to demonstrate one’s writing and synthesizing/critical thinking abilities.

The initial admissions committee will assess all of these requirements to determine whether students are admitted as either regular, conditional, or not at all.  If students have deficits before coming into the program (e.g., Master’s is not in a related field), then students will be admitted as Conditional.  Once the student meets and satisfies the Conditional requirements, then he/she must meet with the advisor to discuss the removal of the Conditional Status to Regular Admit.

Degree Requirements



  • IT 709 – Leadership in Instructional Technology 3 hrs.
  • IT 720 – Instructional Design Principles and Theories 3 hrs.
  • IT 740 – Interactive Instructional Media 3 hrs.
  • IT 753 – Instructional Applications of Interactive Video 3 hrs.
  • IT 780 – Seminar in Instructional Technology 3 hrs.
  • IT 832 – Evaluation and Assessment of Instructional Design 3 hrs.
  • IT 852 – Diffusion and Adoption of Technology Innovations 3 hrs.
  • IT 858 – Web Accessibility Design and Development 3 hrs.
  • IT 860 – Emerging Technology in Instructional Technology 3 hrs.

ITD electives (6 hours):


  • ITD prefix courses 6 hrs.

Research Tools (15 hours):


  • REF 601 – Educational Research: Interpretation and Applications 3 hrs.
  • REF 761 – Quantitative Analysis I 3 hrs.
  • REF 762 – Quantitative Analysis II 3 hrs.
  • CIS 790 – Qualitative Research in Curriculum and Instruction 3-6 hrs.
  • Select one 3 hrs. course: REF 602, CISE 806 or REF 889

Dissertation (9 hours):


  • IT 898 – Dissertation 1-9 hrs. (for a total of 9 hrs)


Three of the following IT core courses (9 hours):


  • IT 601 – Foundations of Instructional Technology 3 hrs.
  • IT 636 – Instructional Design and Development 3 hrs.
  • IT 644 – Instructional Multimedia Design 3 hrs.
  • IT 645 – Technology in Education 3 hrs.
  • IT 648 – Digital Communications in Education 3 hrs.
  • IT 709 – Leadership in Instructional Technology 3 hrs.
  • IT 755 – Web Development and Assessment 3 hrs.

Two of the following IT elective courses (6 hours):


  • IT 610 – Ethics and Issues in Instructional Technology 3 hrs.
  • IT 650 – Instructional Strategies of Online Teaching 3 hrs.
  • IT 662 – Networks in Education 3 hrs.
  • IT 740 – Interactive Instructional Media 3 hrs.
  • IT 742 – Research in Instructional Systems Technology 3 hrs.
  • IT 780 – Seminar in Instructional Technology 3 hrs.
  • IT 852 – Diffusion and Adoption of Technology Innovations 3 hrs.
  • IT 858 – Web Accessibility Design and Development 3 hrs.
  • IT 860 – Emerging Technology in Instructional Technology 3 hrs.

Option (3 hrs):


  • REF 602 – Introduction to Educational Statistics 3 hrs.
  • CISE 806 – Problems in Educational Research: Design I 3 hrs.
  • REF 889 – The Dissertation Process 3 hrs.

Frequently Asked Questions


Admission to the graduate degree programs in the Department will be conducted in accordance with college and university policies. Please refer to the “Admission Requirements and Procedures” section of the current Graduate Bulletin. In general, these procedures include the submission of an application form and credentials to Graduate School. An application fee is required, whether in-state or out-of-state or in-resident for each application you submit. If this fee is not paid, your application file will be withheld until proper payment is made.

Additionally, all degree applicants should submit the following documents online at https://usmgrad.admissionpros.com/default.asp

  1. A statement of purpose from the applicant indicating career goals and expectations, previous academic work experience, any publications, and other relative accomplishments.
  2. Three letters of recommendation from instructors or supervisors who can discuss the applicant’s qualifications for graduate work, each with a Waiver Form attached.
  3. A resume of academic and job-related experiences.
  4. A copy of current teaching licenses/certificates [if applicable]
  5. Writing sample (sent to taralynn.hartsell@usm.edu) –
    1. Preferred format:  A scholarly paper of ten to fifteen pages in length (double-spaced) that demonstrates the candidate’s ability to perform research and communicate ideas/arguments related to the field.
    2. Other acceptable formats:  electronic portfolios, newsletters, two short papers, training or curriculum manuals/materials, online Blogs, etc.  Basically, any form to demonstrate one’s writing and synthesizing/critical thinking abilities.


The answer is “yes.”  The GRE is the only exam accepted (e.g., MAT, LSAT).



Applications are accepted throughout a semester, and generally up to a month before the end of the semester. For instance, if you are planning to be accepted beginning a fall term, then your application should be in the department early July to be considered for admission.  



If you are seeking a graduate assistantship, then your application needs to be submitted to the department during March to be considered for an assistantship in the following academic year. The March deadline is for “early consideration.” Even though you miss this deadline, you may still be awarded an assistantship depending upon availability.



Students who wish to apply for a graduate assistantship must send a separate letter and email requesting consideration directly to the Department Chair, Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education; 118 College Drive #5037; Hattiesburg, MS  39406.  Also, please email Dr. Taralynn Hartsell [Taralynn.Hartsell@usm.edu] of your interest in a graduate assistantship so that she can keep track of those needing assistance.



What is conditional admission and how do I become a regular admission student?

Conditional admission is given to the students who do not satisfy the admission requirements. If you were admitted conditionally, please review your conditions of admittance with the advisor during the program planning meeting. You are also responsible for informing your advisor when all conditions are met. A change of status form will be sent to the Department Chair and Graduate Dean. This change can be done provided that you have obtained a “B” or higher grade in the first 9 semester hours of program coursework and/or completed any additional prerequisite requirements.

 


What is the costs for the Instructional Technology PhD?

For pricing information, click here.  For financial aid information, click here.  For detailed tuition information, click here.


Does the standard tuition apply for part-time students?

Follow this link and choose the term that applies to view the costs associated with part-time enrollment.


Will I have to pay a non-resident tuition fee for online classes?

You should NOT be charged out-of-state fees because at this time online classes are considered in-residence.


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What is the deadline for paying tuition and fees?

Click here for deadlines.


Are all courses available online?

The majority of ITD courses are online. Some of the courses offered are hybrid or traditional classes (especially the research courses).


Will I have to wait a semester for a core course to be offered?

Yes, based on current enrollment, most IT core courses are offered once a year or every other year.  So, when required courses are being offered, students should take these or otherwise they may have to wait a few years for the next rotation.


What is the deadline for registering for classes?

Follow this link and choose the term that applies.


Does enrollment in the online program follow the standard academic calendar?

Yes, you will start and end classes on the same date as the traditional students.


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What is the time limit to finish the program?

All students must complete their doctoral degrees within 8 years from the date of admission. Students must complete all coursework and pass the comprehensive examination by their 6th year.


May I take courses before admitted to the program?

No, you cannot take courses as a non-degree student. The graduate school does not accept non-degree USM student hours toward the program. If students do take non-degree hours, they must be admitted into the Ph.D. program that semesterotherwise their non-degree hours will not count toward the degree program. A student may utilize courses taken in another graduate program at USM as electives in the Instructional Technology & Design program with an advisor’s approval. A single course may only be applied for one degree.


May I transfer credit from other universities?

Yes, a student may transfer up to 6 hours from another university. These courses must be approved by the advisor and the Department Chair.


What other online degrees are offered by Online at Southern Miss?

Please visit our programs page here: https://online.usm.edu/programs/


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