Ph.D. in Education: Information Technology in Education

World-Improving Research and Creativity

The Ph.D. in Education with an emphasis in Information Technology in Education provides advanced training for educators or prospective educators a strong theoretical and practical foundation in dynamic instructional design, and concurrent knowledge and skills to integrate contemporary digital technology in a variety of educational and training settings.

Students in the Information Technology in Education doctoral program are well prepared to be an active researcher with solid research skills and an academic publication agenda. Career options for students with this Ph.D. can be (but not limited to):

  • Instructional design assistant professors working in teaching and research institutions
  • Instructional designers or leadership positions in instructional design for:
    • Universities and colleges
    • K-12 schools
    • Educational software/gaming companies, industry, and organizations
  • Leading technology officers for industry companies working in their education and training divisions
  • Senior positions on technology related evaluation and assessment for government, schools, or grant sponsors


For more information, please contact:
Dr. Leping Liu
Professor and Information Technology in Education Doctoral Program Coordinator
liu@unr.edu
775-682-5511

The Information Technology in Education area of emphasis is guided by the general framework found in the Doctoral Program in Education Application Manual. The manual provides general information about doctoral concentrations offered in the College of Education. This page will provide you with specific information that is unique to the Information Technology in Education strand.

Admission Deadlines

The College of Education has application deadlines for Spring (November 15). Students wishing to apply for a graduate assistantship for Fall semester must apply for the Ph.D. program and the college graduate assistantship by February 1. Applications for Fall will continue to be reviewed up to July 15.

Program Information

  • Admissions

    Our program operates on rolling admissions and reviews applications year-round; however, the Graduate School has application deadlines for Spring ( November 15) and Fall ( July 15). If you miss the Graduate School deadline, you may still apply to be a Graduate Special to begin taking coursework for your intended first semester. Materials and criteria for the Information Technology in Education area of emphasis are as follows:

    • Undergraduate and graduate GPA of 3.00 or higher
    • At least two years of relevant experience
    • Graduate Record Exam score (GRE)
    • Resume or curriculum vitae
    • Statement of Intent that includes a philosophy of using technology in education
    • Three letters of recommendation
    • One sample of scholarly writing
    • Program application, checklist, and signed disposition form (last 5 pages in the Application Manual)

    To get started on the application process, please contact Dr. Leping Liu, program coordinator, at liu@unr.edu. Your main program application, checklist, and signed disposition form must be scanned and emailed to coe@unr.edu with the subject line: "Application for Education PhD: Information Technology in Education." You may also print and mail them to:

    College of Education Doctoral Program Coordinator
    Mail Stop 278
    University of Nevada, Reno
    Reno, NV 89557-0278

    All other materials must be sent through the University'sapplication portal. Once you create your account, go back to MyNevada to log in and start your application. You must apply to both the College of Education and to the Graduate School. Please contact Dr. Leping Liu if you have any questions.

  • Program Structure

    The doctoral degree includes a minimum of 96 semester credits beyond the baccalaureate degree. The chair and advisory committee will work with students to formulate the program of study that meets the following requirements:

    Research Core Courses (24 credits)

    As described in the doctoral manual, the core curriculum for research includes courses in quantitative design, advance statistics, qualitative design, and mixed methods.

    Area Courses (24 credits)

    Area core courses consist of instructional design theories and methods, assessment and new technology skills, design courses in online teaching and learning, digital visual app, Web app for instruction, technology integration field work, and special topics such as gamification, robotics, or any new topics needed. Courses from other colleges on campus, approved by the advisory committee, can also be included and counted for the degree.  

    Transfer from Master's Program (24 credits maximum)

    Approved by the chair and advisor committee

    Dissertation: (24 credits)

    The primary focus of the Doctor of Philosophy program is on research skills. The dissertation must represent an original and independent investigation that reflects a contribution to knowledge. The dissertation must also reflect mastery of research skills and an ability to select a significant problem for investigation. To meet the requirements of the degree, students must pass:

    • Proposal defense
    • Dissertation defense  

    Ongoing activities/to-do list:

    • Mid-program review (at the second year of your doc studies)
    • Comprehensive exam (at the completion of course credits)
    • Conference activities (start as early as possible, work with your professor)
    • Research and journal publications (start as early as possible, work with your professor)
    • Instructional design field activities
  • Tuition, Cost, and Graduate Assistantships

    Please see the University tuition and fee rates for information regarding costs and financial aid.

    Graduate assistantships are available through various departments in the College of Education. Prospective students who indicate their interest in a graduate assistantship will be interviewed for one of multiple positions within the department following their application. Several highlights of a graduate assistantship include:

    • 20-hour work week
    • Stipend of approximately $1700/month (before taxes)
    • Tuition fee waiver (does not include fees such as room/board, textbooks, etc.)
    • Health insurance coverage through United Healthcare
    • In-state Nevada resident status
    • Funding to present at conferences through the support of the Graduate Student Association