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Instructional Design for Online Learning Specialization Doctor of Philosophy in Education

School of Education

Step Up as a Leader in Instructional Design

Effect change as a leader in instructional design with Capella’s online PhD in Education, Instructional Design for Online Learning degree. Expand your expertise in managing instructional design challenges in both traditional and online settings in educational institutions, corporations, health care, and more.

Curriculum focuses on instructional design theory and leadership, including creating and applying instructional design models, leading the implementation of solutions and strategic instructional design initiatives, and conducting and applying instructional design research. 

What to Expect

  • Online & In Person
  • 6 Core Courses
  • 8 Specialization Courses
  • 3 Elective Courses
  • 3 Residencies
  • Comprehensive Exam
  • Dissertation

Classes Start July 9th

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.

Admission Requirements » | $50 Application Fee

What You’ll Learn

Learn & Apply Best Practices

Contribute to the enrichment of instructional design and development, the broader scholarly community, and society through research.

Implement Theory

Lead instructional design organizations and work groups.

Bridge Theory & Action

Implement learnings to lead development of new strategic instructional design initiatives.

Adhere to Ethics

Cultivate ethical behavior in the organization and broader community.

Program Features

Our program offers additional benefits you might be interested in.

Instructional Design Skills

Curriculum is based on principles set by the International Board of Standards for Training, Performance and Instruction (ibstpi®).

Focus on Your Goals Early

In your first course, you’ll create a professional development plan that can help you stay on track throughout your program.

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, 92 total quarter credits, 16 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. 

Transfer Credits

We can accept many transfer credits from regionally accredited schools. 

Grants

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

Federal Work Study

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

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

Our PhD in Education, Instructional Design for Online Learning balances instructional design with the psychology of learning and technology. Curriculum emphasizes research and leadership in instructional design, and development and implementation of educational interventions. 

Dissertation Research Seminar

Allows you to work extensively on your dissertation topic, methodology, literature review, and research plan from the beginning of your program. 

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.

Dissertation Mentors

During your dissertation, you’ll be matched with an experienced mentor who will help you stay on track to completing your degree.

Some of the courses you will take:

Course Number Course Title
ED7504 Leadership for Instructional Design
ED7496 Advanced Instructional Design
ED8829 Research in Instructional Design and Development
ED5803 Processes of Instructional Design

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.  

Faculty

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 instructional design for online learning doctoral degree.

Related Job Titles to Explore*

  • Assistant dean for distributed learning
  • Assistant or associate professor
  • Director of distance and continuing education
  • Director of e-learning
  • Director of education and development
  • Director of instructional design
  • Director of technology-assisted learning
  • Distance education specialist
  • Faculty development specialist
  • Full-time or adjunct faculty
  • Manager of computer-assisted instruction

Related Employment Settings to Explore

  • Adult education program
  • Community college
  • Continuing education program
  • Corporation
  • Educational consulting firm
  • Government—local, state, federal
  • Health care industry
  • Land-based or online college or university
  • Military education
  • P-12 education
  • Vocational school

*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.

You May Also Be Interested In

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.