The Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education offers a Doctor of Philosophy degree with a major in Instructional Technology. The purpose of the Ph.D. in Instructional Technology (ITD) is to provide those individuals who are interested in pursuing careers and/or professional development in the field with a strong theoretical and research base in the design, development, implementation, evaluation, and administration of instructional technology systems.
The doctoral program in Instructional Technology has a concentration upon using actual software applications and hardware to improve the teaching and learning of subject area content. Instructional technologists primarily help others learn how to use, develop, design, and implement technology-related projects.
Mississippi teachers holding the appropriate Class AA teaching license may qualify for a Class AAAA license upon successful completion of the Ph.D. in ITD and approval of the Office of Educator Licensure, Mississippi Department of Education.
The doctoral program consists of a minimum of sixty (60) graduate semester hours beyond the Master’s degree. More than seventy-five (75) hours may be required in order to satisfy deficiencies which may exist in the student’s background and preparation (e.g., Master's degree is not in a related field).
A doctoral comprehensive exam is required for the program and must be passed before the student can proceed to the dissertation.
Students should consult the departmental guidelines, Admission Requirements, Procedures Section , and the General Degree Requirements section of the Graduate Bulletin.
Admission to The University's of Southern Mississippi's Ph.D. program in ITD is selective. Admission decisions are based on several criteria including GPA (graduate and undergraduate), a writing sample, GRE scores (analytical writing, verbal, and quantitative), letters of recommendation, and an individual interview with program faculty. To be considered for regular admission to a doctoral degree program, an applicant must have
- an academic record reflecting an undergraduate and graduate grade point average demonstrating the ability to do doctoral level graduate work;
- official scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) predictive of the ability to successfully complete the doctoral program;
- all international applicants must provide official scores Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam score. Two copies of transcripts of all collegiate study must also be submitted;
- a statement of purpose from the applicant sent directly to the Department Chair indicating career goals and expectations, previous academic and work experiences, publications (if any), and other accomplishments
- all applicants must submit 3 letters of recommendation directly to the Department Chair from academic professionals and/or supervisors who can clearly articulate and address the applicant’s ability to perform doctoral level studies;
- Vita or resumé sent directly to the Department Chair;
- Writing sample-
- Preferred format: A scholarly paper, minimum of ten pages in length (double-spaced), that demonstrates the candidate's ability to present cognitive content, to communicate ideas/arguments related to the field, and/or to demonstrate an understanding of research.
- Other acceptable formats: electronic portfolios, newsletters, two short papers, training or curriclum manuals/materials, online Blogs, etc. Basically, any form to demonstrate one's writing and synthesizing/critical thinking abilities.
The department reviews qualified applicants for graduate work throughout the academic year. Applications adhering to these dates will receive notification on the specified date as mentioned.
||First Monday in April
||First Monday in May
||First Monday in September
||First Monday in October
||First Monday in March
||First Monday in April
*Students seeking Graduate Assistantships need to apply by this date to be considered.
Individuals who have submitted applications which qualified for admission, but who were not selected for enrollment in a given semester, are encouraged to request that their application remain active for future consideration.
Members of underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.
Research tool(s) are required. Consult with department chair and/or ITD lead professor for specific requirements.
For the doctoral program, all candidates are required to enroll in a minimum of twelve (12) hours of core graduate coursework during the first two years of graduate coursework. These courses are identified as follows: IT 720 , IT 725 , IT 752, and IT 780 .
Plan of Study. Students must submit their signed, official Plan of Study form to the Graduate School by the end of the second semester they are enrolled. The Plan of Study forms are available at www.usm.edu/graduateschool/planofstudy.php - click on the "Plans of Study" link.
Responsible Conduct of Research Training
All faculty holding regular or associate graduate faculty status, must complete RCR training modules required by the Graduate School and their departments. All graduate students must complete the RCR training modules required by the Graduate School and their departments the first semester they are enrolled in graduate school. The RCR policy and training information are found on the Graduate School web page – www.usm.edu/graduateschool. Contact the Dean of the Graduate School if you have any questions regarding the policy or training information.
The purpose of residency is to provide doctoral students with significant time for extensive involvement with faculty, professional colleagues, and peers and to provide a period of time for concentrated study and coursework. Students enrolled in online courses will meet residency requirements. Students must meet the residency requirements through one of the following as prescribed by the University (see Graduate Bulletin):
- Two consecutive semesters of 12 hours each (12-12).
- Two consecutive summer terms of 12 hours each (12-12) along with continuous enrollment during intervening terms.
- Three consecutive semesters of 9 hours each (9-9-9).
- Four consecutive semesters of a minimum of 6 hours each, none arranged (6-6-6-6).
Students must consult with the department regarding which of these options is approved. Students must also maintain continuous enrollment throughout their academic careers by enrolling in at least one semester hour per fall and spring semesters.
Admission to Candidacy
Admission to candidacy should be submitted the semester prior to graduation and must be approved by the student's graduate committee upon:
- completion of an approved program of studies;
- satisfaction of the research tools/statistics requirement;
- completion of an approved dissertation prospectus and proposal; and
- completion of the comprehensive examination.
Application for Graduation
To complete the Ph.D. degree in Instructional Technology, students must achieve a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average, complete all designated coursework, pass the comprehensive examination, and successfully complete and defend a dissertation. All requirements for the degree, except the dissertation and oral defense, must be completed within a period of six years. This time requirement dates from the first semester of registration for ITD graduate course work. Doctoral candidates have eight years in which to complete their program degree requirements including the completion and defense of the dissertation.
During the dissertation process, all students must complete twelve (12) hours of IT 898 - Dissertation . A minimum of three (3) credit hours of IT 898 must be completed during the semester in which the dissertation is defended. The student must submit three documents to a doctoral committee: a pre-proposal, a proposal, and a completed dissertation. The last two are defended orally. A student applies for candidacy only after all degree requirements except the oral defense of the dissertation are completed. Students should consult the Human Subjects Review (IRB) Committee.
During the first term, the student will schedule a program planning meeting with the Instructional Technology faculty advisor. Comprehensive written examinations are prepared by doctoral committee members and are taken at or near the conclusion of course work. The committee may require an additional oral examination at its discretion.