PhD Degree Requirements

The Coordinator of the ECT doctoral program is Professor Jan L. Plass (212-998-5658,

The ECT doctoral program is interested in the design of rich, technology-based multimedia learning environments and in conducting research on factors that influence learning, as individuals engage with these environments, and as groups interact with them and each other. ECT doctoral courses and research focus on those representational features and structural characteristics of technology-based learning environments and media that may, in a particular set of circumstances, have cognitive, affective, motivational and socio-cultural significance for learners who interact with them. 

ECT faculty and doctoral students represent widely differing areas of inquiry in the field of educational technology, from the design of features in games that support problem solving to the effects of narrative structure in linear video dramas on the exercise of critical thinking; from the role of prior knowledge on learning from different forms of representation in simulations of science principles to the design of technology-based environments that support the social construction of knowledge to strengthen collaborative and negotiation skills; from the design of electronic portfolio environments that scaffolds metacognition to the comparative effects of fictional reality and testimonial reality on attitude change.

ECT students and faculty draw implications for design and develop frameworks for research from a robust interdisciplinary understanding of human learning, comprised of perspectives from the cognitive sciences, the learning sciences, developmental models of learning, constructivist and constructionist philosophies of learning, humanistic and literary studies, and social learning theory. Other fields that inform ECT doctoral study include communication design, information design, multimedia learning theory, human-computer interaction, human symbolization and aesthetics.

Students should select their classes in conjunction with their academic advisor. Please use the Course registration worksheet (advising form), and once your advisor has approved it, turn it in to the department staff in 600 Pless Hall. After the department enters your advisor clearance (typically within 1-2 business days), you can sign up for courses online in Albert. All PhD students should register for the doctoral colloquium course each semester.

  • Doctoral Requirements
  • Course Requirements
  • Research Requirements and Benchmarks
  • Residency
  • Advanced Standing Credit
  • Scholastic Average
  • Tenure of Matriculation
  • Maintaining Active Status

See additional information on doctoral requirements and academic policies:
Steinhardt Graduate Bulletin
Current Students Quick Links
Academic Policies and Procedures
Doctoral Policies