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PhD, Educational Communication and Technology

Use cognitive science, game studies, and design-based methodologies to conduct original research on how technology and media can support learning. This rigorous doctoral program gives you the opportunity to combine theoretical research with design and practice, building on your knowledge of the relationships between people, technology, and learning.

Official Degree Title

PhD in Educational Communication and Technology



Application Deadline

Fall Start:
December 1

Plan Code





Full-time or Part-time

Admissions Requirements

Students entering with a relevant master's degree can complete the course requirements with as few as 36 credits. A decision on the number of credits required will be made during the advisement process.

If you have additional questions about application requirements, please email or Xavier Ochoa (, ECT doctoral coordinator.

How to Apply

These instructions and requirements are for all applicants. If you are not a citizen or a permanent resident of the United States, please read the special instructions for international applicants.

Your application will require the following items. The following are acceptable document types for uploads: .pdf, .jpeg, .jpg, .gif, .tiff, .png, .doc, .docx, and bitmap.

1. Prepare Your Application


You are required to upload a copy of your most recent résumé or curriculum vitae as part of your application.

Statement of Purpose

You are required to upload a typed, double-spaced, two- to three-page statement explaining your purpose in undertaking graduate study in this particular program as part of your application. This is your opportunity to introduce yourself and to inform the admissions committee about your goals, interests, and career plans as they relate to your intended academic pursuits.

EDCT Essay

Please submit an essay that answers each of the following questions. Each response should be no more than one page, double-spaced, in length. 

  • What are your professional goals?
  • What areas of knowledge and skills do you expect to develop while in the doctoral program, and how will these be useful to your professional plans and goals?
  • What academic, personal, or professional experiences have led to your interest in pursuing a doctorate in educational communication and technology? What considerations led to your decision?
  • Summarize the area of knowledge, set of issues or problems, and body of literature in the field of educational communication and technology or related fields with which you are most conversant.
  • In what areas do you have an interest in research and theory? In what content areas or for which audiences do you have an interest in designing educational media programs? What experiences led to these interests?
  • Describe your position on what is effective instruction, the relation of media and technology to instruction, and the theoretical or conceptual frameworks you find most powerful and useful to support your position.
  • Describe one or more significant academic or professional situations in which you have encountered the problem of improving learning or instruction. How did you identify and analyze the problem, and how did you or would you have solved it?
  • Describe one or two critical problems that, in your view, impede effective learning or instruction in a particular setting or type of institution. Outline briefly how you would approach research on these problems, including useful theoretical frameworks and methodology.
  • Describe your technology skills, e.g., skills in computer-based multimedia, web, or productivity tools, video, etc.

Letters of Recommendation

Submit three letters of recommendation. Be sure to request them well in advance of the deadline. Read detailed instructions.

Letters should address your interests, skills, abilities, and accomplishments relevant to the design, development and use of educational media and technology-based learning environments, and your ability to pursue and complete graduate studies in this field successfully. Letters may be written by former professors, faculty advisers, academic administrators, or employers knowledgeable of your academic work or professional accomplishments.


Upload one official copy of transcripts from every postsecondary school you have attended or are attending. Make sure to request them in advance of the deadline.

If you completed or are completing a degree at an institution outside of the US or Canada, you are required to provide a WES or ECE evaluation. Please review our requirements for translation and a course-by-course evaluation of your transcripts.

See detailed instructions on submitting transcripts.


Not required.

Although the GRE is typically required for this program, for the 2024 admissions cycle GRE scores will not be required. For more information see testing requirements.

Proficiency in English

Optional Materials

As part of your application, you have the option of submitting published papers, chapters, presentations on relevant topics, research studies and reports, and original educational media projects directly to Professor Jan Plass. This is not a requirement.

2. Apply


Start your application now

After you fill in and upload the required information, you can submit your completed application. Your application must be completed, dated, electronically signed, and submitted by 11:59 p.m. EST of the stated deadline.

Application Fee

You will be prompted to pay a $75 application fee, payable by major credit card only. After submitting your payment, you will see your application status change from “saved” to “submitted.” Please print this screen for your records, as it confirms that your application has been successfully sent to our school. If you have problems submitting your payment, please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions. Learn more about our fee waiver policy.

Mailing Additional Items

If any application materials need to be mailed to our office, mail the materials to NYU Steinhardt, Office of Graduate Admissions, 82 Washington Square East, 3rd Floor New York, NY 10003-6680.  Please do not mail your materials in binders or folders. Any mailed materials must be received by, not postmarked by, the stated deadline. Only completed applications will be considered and reviewed by the Admissions Committee. Due to high volume, we are unable to confirm receipt of mailed materials.

Application Policies


Application deadlines are "in-office" deadlines, not postmark deadlines. It is your responsibility to ensure that all materials are in the Office of Graduate Admissions by the appropriate deadline, and we reserve the right to return any application that arrives after the deadline. Only completed applications will be considered. Should a deadline fall on a weekend, the in-office deadline will be the next business day. We advise you to apply early.

Please check the online system to confirm that you have successfully submitted your application. Due to the volume of applications and related materials received, the Office of Graduate Admissions will only contact you if your application was successfully submitted and is deemed incomplete because of missing required materials. Otherwise, you will hear from us when the admissions committee has made its decision.

Deferral policy: NYU Steinhardt does not allow deferrals. Applicants who wish to be considered for a future semester must reapply by submitting a new application with all supporting materials, including letters of recommendation, by the application deadline.

3. Receive Your Admission Decision


You will be notified about your decision by email. Typically, decisions will start going out in late March or early April for fall enrollment. You may learn of your decision before or after this timeline.