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Instructional Systems Technology Ed.D. Degree
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About the program

Practicing professionals who wish to bridge the gap between research and practice in the field of instructional design or human performance improvement may achieve their goals through this dynamic program.


One must have completed a master’s degree program from an accredited institution to be considered as a candidate for the Ed.D. program. If a student’s master’s degree course work did not provide core skills and knowledge in instructional design and human performance technology, then the student will be required to take up to six additional credits of course work to complete the Ed.D. program. Each student’s transcript and work experience will be evaluated during the admission process. Should additional course work be deemed necessary, the prospective student will be notified. The additional course work requirement will be listed as a condition of admission to the Ed.D. program and will not be counted toward the 30 credit hours in the IST major.

Program Overview

Summary of Coursework

IST Major (30 hours taken from IU)

  • IST Inquiry Linkage (6 hours)
  • IST Electives (24 new hours)

Non-IST (21 hours)

  • Inquiry (9 hours)
  • Learning Theories (3 hours)
  • Minor (9-16* hours)

IST (9 hours taken from IU)

  • Dissertation Proposal Preparation (3 hours)
  • Dissertation (6 hours)

Total: 51 hrs. courses + 9 hrs. dissertation = 60 hrs.

*Required credit hours vary by minor

Additional requirements

  • Student must attend in person at least one IST Conference. The conference is held annually in the spring and hosted on the Bloomington campus.
  • Student must pass a proctored, written qualifying examination. The written exam is typically taken after coursework is completed or near completion. It must be taken on the Bloomington campus over a three-day period, which will be scheduled in advance. The examination will be conducted for 4 hours each day for the IST major, and 4 hours on a third day if a minor exam is required.
  • Student must pass an oral qualifying examination. This will be conducted by the student’s Program Advisory Committee after successful completion of the written exam and can be taken via video conference. The oral exam facilitates discussion of the student’s responses on the written exam and plans for his or her subsequent dissertation research.
  • Student must request a minimum of four faculty members whose areas of expertise are compatible with the student’s interests to serve on the Dissertation Research Committee. S/he will present her/his Dissertation Prospectus to the committee for review and approval.
  • Student must attend the Dissertation Final Defense in person. The defense meeting will be conducted on the Bloomington campus and scheduled in advance.

A 90-credit hour post-bachelor’s degree is also possible where the first 36 credits are taken in IST to achieve a master’s degree. The remaining 54 credit hours would comprise course work and dissertation requirements necessary to complete the Ed.D.