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Personalized Competency-Based Instruction Specialization Doctor of Education

School of Education

Design Curricula Using Research & Data

Help students learn at their level by delivering personalized learning experiences that effectively integrate today's latest technologies. Capella’s online Doctor of Education, Personalized and Competency-Based Instruction degree focuses on learning and understanding current trends and theories in the field of education, including instructional strategies backed by data and research. You’ll develop the research-based knowledge, skills, and attitudes you need for classroom, building, and district-level leadership in learning.

At a Glance

  • Online 
  • 9 Core Courses
  • Capstone

Classes Start January 7th

Ready to get started? We’re ready for you. Chat with an enrollment counselor or apply now to take the first step on the journey toward your future.

$50 Application Fee (waived w/promo WINTER)

What You’ll Learn

Design Instructional Plans

Use technology to design instructional plans using standards, outcomes, and competencies. 

Draw on Research & Theory

Build instructional design that incorporates research and theory to engage all learners in real-world concepts.

Collect & Analyze Data

Use technology to gather and analyze data to increase student engagement within instructional design.

Lead in Curriculum Design

Apply theoretical and research-based leadership principles when designing and evaluating results-based curriculum.

Design Personalized Curriculum

Use research-based assessment strategies to create personalized learning curriculum design for all students.

Grow Professionally

Engage in the critical reflection, analysis, and problem-solving that lead to your professional growth and development.

25 Years of Online Doctoral Experience

With over 25 years of experience in online doctoral education, we understand the unique needs of doctoral students, and have designed our programs to meet those needs. We've structured our programs to help you reach your goals and obtain critical skills—with our expert faculty, support teams, and online resources to help guide you every step of the way.

Program Features

Our program offers additional benefits you might be interested in.

Professionally Aligned

We incorporate leading standards, including the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Standards for Teachers.

Personalized Faculty Support

Our faculty guides you as you build applied research and writing skills and gain expertise and leadership in your profession.

Apply Research to Make an Impact

In lieu of a dissertation, Capella’s doctoral capstone allows you to use action research to solve a problem in your field.

Cost & Learning Format

Online education isn’t one-size-fits-all. We know you’re busy—you need a learning experience tailored to your life, not the other way around. Capella has learning and tuition formats to suit you, however you learn. 

Our original learning format offers extra structure for those who want it. We'll set the schedule, you meet the deadlines. 

  • Based on the quarter system; 1-3 courses per 10-week quarter
  • 1 semester credit = 1.5 quarter credits
  • Weekly assignments and courseroom discussions
  • Pay for what you take, price varies by courseload or term
$730 per credit, 64 total quarter credits, 0 max transfer credits

Get the Details

Speak with an enrollment counselor to get a personalized cost estimate for what you can expect to pay.

Ways to Save

At Capella, we believe your education is an investment in your future. It’s also an investment within your grasp. Your goals are achievable—there are more ways to save than you might think. 


Grants are federal education funds that never need to be paid back. 

Scholarships for New Students

Capella scholarships, available for qualifying students, aren't need-based and never have to be repaid.

Federal Work Study

This program provides part-time jobs to reduce your loan debt amounts. Talk to an enrollment counselor to learn more.

This program is designed with a strong focus on technology and its application in a K-12 setting. You’ll learn to enhance curriculum and instruction decisions with tools, platforms, and software relevant to you and your students.

Accredited & Respected

Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Accreditation and recognitions provide the assurance we meet standards for quality of faculty, curriculum, learner services, and fiscal stability. See all of our accreditations and recognitions

Sample Courses

The online EdD, Personalized and Competency-Based Instruction curriculum focuses on current theory and research in curriculum design, competency-based learning, and personalized instructional models designed to increase student success.

Support to Reach the Finish Line

Our doctoral curriculum is designed to give you dedicated support early in your program—so you can be confident in the steps to completing your degree.

Capstone Mentors

For the culminating project of your doctoral degree, you’ll be paired with a knowledgeable mentor to help you along the way.

Doctoral Capstone

Develop your project, write your findings, and demonstrate your use of evidence to improve outcomes or resolve a gap in the field.

Some of the courses you will take:

Course Number Course Title
EDD8430 Advanced Theories and Concepts in Competency-Based Learning
EDD8408 Using Technology for Instructional Improvement: Research, Data, and Best Practices
EDD8402 Leadership Principles in Technology Integration, Innovation, and School Improvement
EDD8434 Implementing a Competency-Based and Personalized Learning Curriculum

Faculty & Support

You’re never going it alone at Capella. Our dedicated faculty and support teams are waiting to guide, help, and advise you through every step of your educational journey.

Enrollment Counselors

These folks are superstars. We hear it from our students (and grads). They’re here to help find a program fit and set you up for success.  


Our distinguished faculty members hold top credentials in their fields. They’re here to teach the knowledge and skills you’ll need, now.

Writing Support

These skilled communicators offer free tutoring services and multiple resources to sharpen your writing skills.

Doctoral Advising

A doctoral degree takes special effort. It's why we offer expert support at every step to keep you moving forward toward your goal.

Move Forward in Your Career

Here are just some of the career options you could explore with our online EdD in Personalized and Competency-Based Instruction degree.

Related Job Titles to Explore*

  • Academic affairs vice president
  • Community college president
  • Dean
  • Director of training and development
  • Full-time, adjunct, or part-time faculty
  • Provost
  • Adult basic education director
  • Charter school director
  • District teacher development coordinator
  • Program director
  • K-12 Leadership

Related Employment Settings to Explore

  • Adult education program
  • Alternative school
  • Charter school
  • Community college
  • Continuing education program
  • For-profit institution
  • Governmental education agency
  • Land-based or online college or university
  • Military education
  • Nonprofit organization
  • K-12 private or public school
  • State education department

*These are examples intended to serve as a general guide. Some positions may prefer or even require previous experience, licensure, certifications, and/or other designations along with a degree. Because many factors determine what position an individual may attain, Capella cannot guarantee that a graduate will secure any specific job title, a promotion, salary increase, or other career outcome. We encourage you to research requirements for your job target and career goals.

Other Programs to Explore

Is this program close to what you need, but maybe not a perfect fit? The programs below might be interesting. Check them out to find one that suits your academic and professional goals.

Ready for the Next Step?

Learning online doesn't mean going it alone. Help is here. From faculty, coaches, advisors, and more. Plus a supportive community of students who are as passionate about their careers as you are about yours.