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Total program credits needed for graduation: 92

One academic quarter is three months. You will have a three-week break between each quarter.

To learn more, call 877.225.2707, or email us. When you connect with Capella, we will immediately put you in touch with an enrollment counselor trained to assist you with specific questions and needs for your area of interest.

Core Courses:

Twenty-Two Required Courses, 80 quarter credits

Advanced Studies in Education: Theory, Practice, and Purpose (4 quarter credits)
Educational Research Methods (4 quarter credits)
Introduction to Qualitative Research (4 quarter credits)
Educational Quantitative Research 1 (4 quarter credits)
Theoretical Basis of Instructional Design (4 quarter credits)
Research in Instructional Design and Development (4 quarter credits)

Specialization Courses:

32 quarter credits.

Principles of Instructional Design (4 quarter credits)
Processes of Instructional Design (4 quarter credits)
Theories of Learning and Instruction (4 quarter credits)
Ethics and Social Responsibility in Distance Education (4 quarter credits)
Advanced Instructional Design (4 quarter credits)
Leadership for Instructional Design (4 quarter credits)
Theoretical Constructs for Evaluation and Assessment of Instructional Design (4 quarter credits)
Leading Instructional Design Initiatives (4 quarter credits)


Elective Courses

12 quarter credits

Choose 3 elective courses.

Recommended elective courses:

Applying Research in an Academic Writing Process (4 quarter credits)
Administration and Leadership of Distance Education Programs (4 quarter credits)
The Future of Corporate and Technical Training: Issues and Trends (4 quarter credits)


Choose any graduate course(s).

Dissertation Research Seminars

9 quarter credits

PhD Dissertation Research Seminar Track 1 (3 quarter credits)
PhD Dissertation Research Seminar Track 2 (3 quarter credits)
PhD Dissertation Research Seminar Track 3 (3 quarter credits)

Comprehensive Exam

3 quarter credits

Upon completion of all coursework

Doctoral Comprehensive Examination(3 quarter credits)


12 quarter credits

Learners must register for EDCN9960 a minimum of four times to fulfill their Specialization requirements.

Dissertation Courseroom (3 quarter credits each)

*This course has a prerequisite. Contact an enrollment counselor or refer to the course descriptions for more information.

This specialization does not lead to license, endorsement, or other professional credential. For more information, see the Licensure section for this program on Capella’s website ( Teachers are advised to contact their school district to determine whether a program may qualify for salary advancement.

This Specialization has not been reviewed or approved by the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB); KY residents are not eligible for certification, endorsement, rank change, licensure, renewal, etc. by the EPSB.

Residency Requirement

To support your academic and professional success, residencies provide learning and community-building experiences in a stimulating scholarly environment. For this specialization, you must complete three four-day residencies (ED-R8925, ED-R8926, ED-R8927).

What Can I Expect?

Courses are divided into weekly units. Each unit consists of readings, discussions, and other activities you will be expected to complete throughout the week. Assignments are due on Sundays, though not every course requires an assignment each week.

In each course, you will receive a detailed scoring guide that describes expectations for every graded assignment.

Grades are based on your participation in weekly reading discussions and completion of assignments. You will also be assessed on your ability to demonstrate an understanding of expected outcomes for your program or specialization. These outcomes are based on the needs and performance standards of your field or discipline.

Learn more about online learning at Capella.

Transfer Credits

There are many ways to reduce tuition costs, including transferring credits which can help save time and money. You can transfer up to 16 credits into this specialization.

Sign Up for a Free Trial Course

Learn more about our online learning experience with a free trial course.

Take an Individual Course

Whether you're completing additional credits for your own education, want to see if online learning is right for you, or are simply interested in a specific topic, you can enroll in many of Capella's online courses without committing to a degree program. We recommend speaking with an enrollment counselor to discuss your goals and ensure that the credits you earn now may be applicable to a Capella degree program.

Learn more about individual courses

To learn more, call 877.225.2707, or email us. When you connect with Capella, we will immediately put you in touch with an enrollment counselor trained to assist you with specific questions and needs for your area of interest.