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Doctor of Philosophy in Instructional Design, PhD

As an instructional designer you will help individuals learn better and achieve success by creating and supporting accessible, dynamic learning environments that are personalized to how individuals retain information. 

Program Information

*Doctor of Philosophy in Instructional Design will be available Fall 2024, and the application will open soon. Check back for more details or visit with an advisor to learn more. 

Graduate students in the Instructional Design, PhD Program learn how to design, develop, and implement learning solutions for K-12 schools, higher education institutions, and in government or corporate settings with the goal of supporting and increasing individual success. Candidates take courses emphasizing learning theories, design principles, technology integration, multimedia design and development, as well as delivering instruction in online, in-person, and blended environments. 

  • Affordable and Practical - Idaho State University is one of the most affordable accredited universities in the country. All instructional design and technology students are invited to learn more about qualifying for in-state tuition!
  • Anywhere and at Anytime - The 100% online, asynchronous (no set time) program enrolls students nationwide and is tailored to the working professional.
  • Flexible and Accessible - Students can be enrolled part-time or full-time and can start in the fall, spring, or summer semesters.
  • Innovative and Experiential - Students will learn from national leaders in instructional design and technology with the chance to network and be involved with professional organizations in the field such as AECT or ISTE.
  • Presentation and Publication - Students will have the opportunity to publish and present their own research or participate with program faculty research on the regional, national, or international levels.

Meet with our Graduate Studies Director

Application, Funding, and Support

Admission and Program Requirements

Admission to the Instructional Design Ph.D. program is based on a cohort model. Cohort cycles depend on the start date of the particular cohort (contact department chair for specific details). However, there is a specific sequencing of curriculum, and this may strongly influence an individual’s start date. Applications for cohort admission are accepted at any time, in accordance with the deadlines set by the Graduate School. Every effort is made to accommodate the doctoral program of study for non-cohort students who enroll in full-time doctoral studies. In addition to the Graduate School general requirements, individuals applying for admission to the Instructional Design Ph.D. program will be reviewed using the following criteria for admission. Preference will be given to applicants who have: 

  1. Meet the ISU Graduate School admissions requirements 
  2. A master's degree in instructional technology, instructional design, or a related field.
  3. An academic record of at least 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA) in the last two years of undergraduate course work and 3.5 GPA at the graduate level.
  4. Submitted a current curriculum vitae.
  5. Submitted a letter of application that makes clear the candidate's interest in, and suitability for, this program.
  6. Successfully interviewed with faculty from the Instructional Design program.
  7. Successfully completed a proctored writing sample.
  8. In addition to the above, international students must meet Graduate School requirements for admission, including evidence of English language capabilities at the graduate studies level.

ISU Course Catalog 

Instructional Design, PhD

Career Opportunities

Graduates with a degree in instructional design could be qualified for the following types of positions:

  • Instruction Development Specialist/Director   
  • Organizational Development professional    
  • Instruction Coordinator
  • Facility Manager
  • Software Developer    
  • Curriculum Designer
  • Consultant   
  • Instruction Technology Specialist
  • Professor 

Job Placement and Salaries 

As a field of study and career, instructional design and technology has a bright outlook.  The current outlook includes:

  • 28% increase in annual job growth over the next decade
  • 38th best job in America according to CNN Money 
  • One of the best jobs in higher education according to Inside Higher ED
  • Average salaries, according to the government’s Occupational Outlook Handbook, for an Instructional Coordinator is $70,560 and the median income Instructional Designers working in the healthcare field is $93,870.
John Curry headshot

John Curry, PhD

Department Chair / Professor

Office: Garrison 623

(208) 282-2585