Doctor of Philosophy in Education
  • Overview
  • Course Information
  • Tuition
  • Benefits

E-learning is growing and continues to evolve, with everything from completely online class offerings, including massive open online courses (MOOCs) and hybrid classes, to web-enhanced on-campus classroom environments. The E-Learning specialization will develop your knowledge-base in curriculum development, design and course delivery using technology and online learning management systems. You will research and practice hands-on application in visioning, planning and designing an e-learning environment. You will also examine the legal aspects of e-learning; technology resources; teaching and learning in synchronous and asynchronous environments; and instructional design for e-learning.

General Degree Requirements

The PhD Program may be completed in 60 semester credit hours. However, up to an additional 15 credit hours will be allowed as needed to complete the dissertation research. If the program is not completed in 75 credit hours, the student will be dismissed from the program.

Completion Period for Doctoral Degrees

Northcentral University allows 7 years to complete all doctoral programs of 60 credits or less. Normal time to complete varies depending upon course take rate and credits transferred.

Certification and Licensing

The School of Education serves educational leaders by providing online graduate studies in education to reach worldwide populations. The PhD program is designed to reach national and international markets and does not purport to provide licensure or certification in any particular state or country.

PhD Degree Requirements

Admission to the doctorate programs at NCU requires a master's degree from an accredited institution. PhD students are also required to demonstrate competency in specific subject areas prior to enrolling in any of the specialization or elective courses.

Foundational Competencies for PhD Program

  • Graduate Level Statistics Competency - PhD students are required to complete a Statistics in Education Research Course, EDU8003, and also EDU8006, Advanced Educational Statistics.
  • Competency in Research Writing Skills - PhD students are required to show competency in writing skills for research purposes through their Northcentral University graduate coursework before being assigned to any dissertation courses. Students will be required to take EDU8001, Advanced Scholarly Writing, to improve APA formatting skills and to address advanced writing and research skills as necessary.
  • Computer Competency - PhD students are required to use appropriate computer skills that are necessary in writing a dissertation. Students must be able to prepare documents using advanced word processing skills (e.g., creation of tables and figures, headers and footers, page breaks, tables of contents, hanging indents, etc.). In addition, students need to use computer programs for the statistical analysis and presentation of data (e.g., Excel, SPSS). The oral defense normally requires a computer-based presentation by the candidate (e.g., a PowerPoint presentation).

Course Length

All new students enrolling in the PhD in Education program are automatically enrolled in courses that are eight weeks in length. All eight-week courses are indicated by a "-8" (dash eight) at the end of the course code.

See below for specialization courses specific to this program. To learn more, fill out the request information form below or view the course catalog.

Course Code


Course Description


Principles and Practices in E-Learning

In this course, students are introduced to the essential elements in the field of e-learning. Students will develop an understanding of the principles, philosophies, best practices, approaches, technologies, and delivery models used by practitioners in the field of e-learning. The various needs e-learning practices can meet and the best ways to effectively implement e-learning into academic environments will also be explored.


E-Learning Instructional Strategies

This course serves as an introduction to instructional learning strategies using information and communication technologies. Students will develop effective online learning facilitation skills such as establishing a safe learning environment for learners, accommodating various learning styles, conducting effective online class discussions, monitoring the progress of learners, guiding collaborating online learning activities, and administering online assessment and evaluations.


Instructional Design and Engaging E-Learning Activities

In this course, students will examine instructional design in an online education and training environment. Students will evaluate the relationship between instructional design and the use of various technologies. Applications of practical skills are introduced for the design and development of best experiences. Students will design activities and learning experiences for e-learning classes.


The Online Student

In this course, student are introduced to key issues and practical guidance for working with students in an e-learning environment. Examination of the basic characteristics of students and the factors that are critical to the success of the online student including the student-centered, co-facilitator environment; the instructor’s role in the e-learning environment, student evaluation; and student and course assessment.


Facilitating Adult Learning Online

In this course, students will assess pedagogical learning theories and paradigms in teaching and learning and the impact on adult learning. Integration of effective adult learning principles in an online learning environment. Emphasis will be placed on theory into practice. Students will acquire skills necessary to create online communities of adult learners.


Ethical and Legal Issues in an Online Course

The purpose of this doctoral level course is to provide students with a solid foundation in cyber law and the varied legal and ethical issues that pertain to the use of technology in organizations. Students will examine and evaluate issues involving plagiarism, public domain, copyright protection, infringement, and protection. Emphasis will be placed on gaining a clear understanding of the law in order to make polices for organizations.


Online Learning Communities in an Online Course

Online discussions and interactions in online learning environments are a key component of any course delivered via distance learning. This course will help students develop skills and techniques to design and facilitate effective online discussions. Students will focus on the use of asynchronous discussion tools as well as synchronous tools that are found in most e-learning platforms. Assessment and evaluation strategies of synchronous and asynchronous activities will also be examined.


Online Learning for K12 Students

In this course, students will examine the potential that the Internet offers to students in Grades K-12. Students will explore the challenges and the opportunities of Web-based learning in the K-12 environment as well as the questions that surround the key issues involved in successfully incorporating the wide-range of Web-based learning opportunities for the K-12 classroom, including technology, content, and implementation.


Educating a Diversity of Students

As the United States continues to experience increasing cultural diversity, today's educators must appraise, assess, and argue the best means to reach diverse and exceptional students. Additionally, individuals differ in gender, sexual orientation, age, physical, and mental abilities. Students will choose and compare different means to address the nature of cultural diversity, its sources and importance to educators. Finally, students will organize, plan, prepare and write instructions that a district might use to meet the needs of diverse students, taking into consideration epistemological and axiological perspectives unique to each culture.


Developing Curriculum Strategies and Curriculum

In this course, students will contrast and analyze instructional strategies based on a framework of architectural principles. Students will integrate and implement curriculum theories and models that include differentiated instruction and the infusion of technology. Curriculum standards, requirements, issues, and trends will be evaluated for the production and promotion of recommendations for effective change.

At Northcentral University, we pride ourselves in being completely transparent when it comes to tuition and fees. If a cost is not included in our Cost Per Course Tuition Rate, we let you know up front. Currently, the only additional cost above your program rate* is books. Learn more about the NCU’s PhD in Education costs below:

  • Per credit cost: $1,129
  • Per 3 credit course cost: $3,387
  • Program cost: $68,090
  • Average book cost per course: $110
  • Application Fee: $0
  • Learning Management Fee (one-time per program): $350
  • Registration Fee: $0

Click here to learn more about payment and financing options.

*Program rates are subject to change and generally increase at the start of each calendar year.

Total program costs reflected are calculated based on standard degree program credits exclusive of the program’s potential evaluation track. The actual cost of a program is determined based upon the program and track the student enters, transfer credits if any, and other unique student factors.For more information: please contact Admissions or refer to the catalog.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned about our students, it’s that they are motivated and ambitious—but they are also busy! At Northcentral University, we’ve designed our education experience to work with you, not against you, so you can achieve your academic goals without sacrificing the quality, flexibility and support you need to be successful.

To learn more, request information or call 1-866-776-0331 to speak with an enrollment advisor today. We offer new courses every Monday of the year so you can get started when it’s best for you.