Instructional Leadership – Instructional Technology Concentration (PhD)

The Instructional Leadership Ph.D. with a concentration in Instructional Technology is dedicated to the improvement of professional practice and service to learning communities. The Ph.D. prepares individuals to conduct original research and to use current and emerging technologies and instructional strategies to create effective learning environments. Further, the degree prepares individuals to assume instructional technology roles of preparing future researchers and teachers in schools and colleges, and for positions in educational technology, instructional design, and training in business and industry.

Instructional Leadership – Social and Cultural Studies Concentration (PhD)

The Instructional Leadership Ph.D. with a concentration in Social and Cultural Studies is dedicated to the improvement of professional practice within learning communities. We develop future scholars, researchers, and instructional leaders for schools, colleges, and other learning institutions. Our work is guided by the principles of reflective practice, professional growth, democratic action, and individual responsibility. The overarching goal is the preparation of theoretically-informed leaders with the critical understanding of social and cultural issues necessary to enact organizational, curricular, and pedagogic reforms within their respective institutional settings.

Admission to the Graduate School and the College of Education does not ensure admission to the doctoral programs. Admission forms and requirements, specific program parameters, departmental policies, and contact information for each doctoral degree can be found at the ELPTS website.

Doctoral Degrees

The PhD in instructional leadership prepares educational leaders, scholar practitioners, policy makers, professors, and researchers who can use—and contribute to—knowledge of learning processes, pedagogy, and the social foundations of schooling. Courses focus on curriculum, professional development, supervision, learning, pedagogy, and questions of diversity and social justice. Throughout, the overarching aim is to develop the skills of inquiry and reflective decision making so that graduates are able to construct ethical and politically informed judgments that advance education while respecting diversity, honoring difference, and promoting social justice. The PhD offers optional concentrations in instructional technology (preparing future researchers, teachers, and corporate trainers in the field of instructional design and e-learning) and the social and cultural foundations of education (preparing students for academic positions in higher education).

Instructional Leadership, PhD (Instructional Technology)

Students pursuing a Ph.D. in Instructional Leadership with a concentration in Instructional Technology may follow either the traditional residency or an alternative residency option. The alternative residency requires students to enroll in 18 hours of approved graduate level coursework across three consecutive semesters (6 hours each semester).  The 18 hours of coursework must include at least nine hours of approved coursework at the Tuscaloosa campus, three hours of coursework in AIL 691 Doctoral Seminar: Instructional Technology,  and no more than six hours of advisor approved online, distance education, or Gadsden coursework.

Admission Requirements:

To be considered for regular admission, students must score above the 50th percentile on either the GRE or MAT.  For admission, an applicant must apply online through the Graduate School.  Applicants should select the Instructional Leadership PhD and then the specialty area of Instructional Technology.  Other requirements include a departmental information sheet, a curriculum vita or resume, a statement of purpose, three recommendations, and a writing sample.

Program Requirements:

When admitted to the program, applicants are assigned a temporary advisor–they may continue to work with this person or select another advisor when they get to know the faculty. Advisors work with students to complete a Program of Study.  This is your degree plan; it specifies the courses you must complete in order to graduate.

The Instructional Leadership PhD with an Instructional Technology concentration is an 84-hour degree.  It is comprised of 60 hours of coursework (48 of which must be beyond the Master’s degree) and 24 hours of dissertation credit. 

Graduate School Requirements:

  1. Within the first 30 hours of study, copies of students’ Program of Study Form must be submitted to the department and to the graduate school. Any changes to the program of study must be made by completing a course substitution form.
  2. The Program of Study Form must indicate how the University Residency Requirement will be met – the regular residency or the alternative residency.
  3. All requirements must be completed within seven years. Credit earned in the six years preceding enrollment in the doctoral program may be applied.

Instructional Leadership, PhD (Social and Cultural Studies)

Students pursuing this concentration may follow either the traditional or the alternate doctoral residency. The alternate doctoral residency requires students to enroll in 18 credit hours of approved graduate level coursework across three consecutive semesters. The 18 hours of coursework must include six of twelve of the doctoral core on the Tuscaloosa campus.  Students may include up to six hours of advisor approved online, distance education, hybrid, or Gadsden coursework.  Students may not take more than three hours of online or hybrid instruction in a single semester during the residency period.

Admission Requirements:

To be considered for regular admission, students must have maintained an undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or a 3.0 average for the last 60 semester hours in a degree program. No entrance exam is required for application to the Instructional Leadership PhD with concentration in Social and Cultural Studies. However, students who have already taken the GRE and scored at or above the 50th percentile are encouraged to submit their results to supplement their application. For admission, an applicant must apply through the Graduate School.  You will be asked to submit names for recommendations, a departmental information sheet, your curriculum vita or resume, a statement of purpose, and a writing sample.

Program Requirements:

When admitted to the program you will be assigned a temporary advisor–you may continue to work with this person or select another advisor when you get to know the faculty. One of the first projects, usually completed in the first or second semester, is to form a Program Advisory Committee and complete a Program of Study Form. This is your degree plan; it lays out the courses you must complete in order to graduate.

  1. Within your first 30 hours of study, copies of your Program of Study Form must be submitted to the department and to the graduate school. Any changes to the program of study must be made by completing a course substitution form.
  2. Your Program of Study Form must indicate how you will meet the University Residency Requirement.
  3. Up to 21 hours of required course work may be transferred if credit meets conditions stated in the Doctoral Degrees section of the Graduate Catalog. Use the Transfer Graduate Credit Form.
  4. All requirements must be completed within seven years. Credit earned in the six years preceding enrollment in the doctoral program may be applied. See the checklist pertaining to each degree for any exceptions. (Some programs may be eight years if certain conditions prevail.)

The doctoral program requires a minimum of 72 credit hours beyond the master’s degree or 90 hours beyond the bachelor’s degree. A typical 72-credit hour PhD is comprised of 48 hours of coursework, a comprehensive examination, 24 hours of dissertation credit, and the University residency requirement.

Students must complete 33 hours of coursework relevant to the major, including, at a minimum, 18 hours of BEF coursework. These 18 hours must include the following program core courses: BEF 644, AEL 667/BEF 667, AEL 669, AEL 681/BEF 681, and 3 hours of BEF 698. BEF 698 is a one-hour credit course that can be taken multiple times. Additionally, students are strongly encouraged to complete at least one course in each of the constituent program disciplines: sociology, history, and philosophy. Preapproved courses are as follow:

Remaining hours of coursework may come from the following elective courses: Any disciplinary course not taken from above and BEF 512, BEF 534, BEF 575, BEF 585, BEF 607, BEF 639; AEL 619, AEL 664, AEL 695.

In consultation with their advisors, students are encouraged to seek relevant courses outside the program and College to fulfill both disciplinary and elective needs according to their academic interests and professional goals.

A majority of courses in the program of study must be at the 600 level or higher.

Research. 15 hours of coursework in quantitative and/or qualitative research methods must be included in the program of study.

Proposal. The dissertation proposal normally constitutes the first three chapters of the dissertation study. Typically, this comes after the student has met to discuss their prospectus. At this point, a student should submit the Application for Admission to Candidacy form to the Graduate School—and a photocopy to the department.

Dissertation (AEL 699 Dissertation Research, 24 hours). Continuous enrollment is required until the dissertation is complete. The number of hours will vary depending on workload of the student and professor on the document.

Doctoral Residency. The minimum period in which the doctoral degree can be earned is three full academic years of graduate study. The student must spend an academic year in continuous residence as a full-time student in the Graduate School of The University of Alabama (or, if specifically approved by the faculty concerned, one full summer consisting of two terms, preceded by or followed by one regular semester). Full time enrollment consists of 9 credit hours per semester. This requirement can be satisfied only by enrolling in coursework; dissertation or thesis research cannot be used. Students following the traditional residency requirement are advised that distance education courses may not count toward that requirement.