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Education – Ed.D.

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College of Education

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Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Instructional Systems and Learning Sciences


As the education of students from increasingly diverse backgrounds expands within the United States, it is critical that we have leaders who are trained to work within these dynamic environments. Future leaders need to be equipped to work in unique and ever-changing instructional systems while working with students with unique learning needs. It is for this reason that the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Instructional Systems and Learning Sciences at AUM was established.

The Ed.D. program offers concentrations in Early Childhood or Instructional Technology and has a framework grounded in the learning sciences focused on the multiple aspects of learning in different environments including instructional design and technology; statistical design in educational research; cognitive aspects of the student; aspects of the content to be mastered; instructional environment and materials; instruction in social, organizational, and cultural dynamics of learning and cognition; the preparation and activities of the instructor, learning strategies, and educational psychology.

AUM’s Ed.D. program builds upon our current Master of Education (M.Ed.) and Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) programs. Graduates will possess the skills needed to transform early learning and digital learning environments through their understanding of the systems of learning, action research, and social and cultural dynamics in the learning environment.

The Ed.D. fully online program is composed of 61-hours. All students will complete 34 hours in a core of courses designed to ensure that all graduates meet established outcomes associated with the learning sciences components. The remaining 27 hours are completed within either the Early Childhood or Instructional Technology concentrations. The program should take 6-9 semesters depending on prior graduate coursework and/or degrees completed.

  • What kind of academic background do I need? You need to have an earned master’s degree from an accredited program. See “Learn More” below.
  • Can I afford this program? Tuition at AUM is lower than many other major universities, and scholarships and graduate assistantship opportunities are available.
  • How will this program impact my career? With an Ed.D., you will be prepared to work in higher education or be a leader within your school, local school district, or government or professional organizations.
  • What is the difference between a Ph.D. and an Ed.D.? In the most general terms, a doctorate of education (Ed.D.) and a doctorate of philosophy (Ph.D.) are similar within education. Historically, the Ed.D. had more of a practitioner focus while the Ph.D. focused more on research. However, the two now have fewer differences, and most Ed.D. programs have a research focus as well.

Why AUM?

Our differences are our strengths!


AUM is honored to have received many national and regional awards over the years. U.S. News & World Report named AUM one of its Top Public Schools for 2021, and Yahoo! Finance honored us as one of the Most Affordable Universities for 2021.


We think a high-quality, graduate education should be affordable. Tuition rates for many of our programs are lower than at comparable universities. In addition, scholarship or other kinds of tuition assistance may be available.


AUM offers a close-knit community where students and faculty get to know each other by name and develop valuable professional networks. We are able to keep class sizes small to facilitate group projects and personalized learning.


We understand that one of the main reasons you are here is to expand your career options. That’s why our programs are practical and often apply to your current work situation. You’ll also have the opportunity to get valuable career assistance.

Doctor of Education in Instructional Systems and Learning Sciences

Admissions Requirements

Hold a Master’s Degree

  • Minimum of a master’s degree from an accredited institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Official Transcripts

  • From all colleges or universities attended, including community colleges, even if a degree was not awarded.
  • Minimum overall GPA of a 3.25 on a 4.0 scale.
  • International students must have their transcripts evaluated by a credible credential evaluation service.

Professional Resume or Curriculum Vitae

Include the following:

  • Educational background including institutions, degree(s) awarded, degree(s) in progress, dates of degree(s) awarded, and/or anticipated date of receiving degree(s), if applicable.
  • Relevant employment history, including:
    • Job title (including unit), job description, and relevant duties performed for each position
    • Employment dates of each position
    • Location of employer for each position
  • Community service or volunteer experience
  • Any awards, publications, presentations, certifications, and/or professional organization memberships

Writing Sample

Submit one of the following as evidence of your writing abilities:

  • Published article;
  • Assignment paper from previous graduate work within the last 5 years that includes citations and references; or
  • Original paper.
    • Answer the prompt: “Explain your rationale for pursuing the Ed.D. at AUM. In particular, elaborate on your research interests and how you plan to use this degree to not only further your career but better support those you serve.”
      • 4-5 pages, double-spaced, 1-inch margins, 12-point font
      • Use a minimum of 8 citations and references in APA Styling

Three Professional References

  • Letters should be provided by individuals who can discuss your potential to succeed in a doctoral program. The letters should not be “character” recommendations. References may include former professors, current or prior supervisors, community/government leaders, mentors, or experts in the field of interest. Letters from family are to be excluded.


  • As part of the application process, the faculty of the College of Education will contact you to conduct an interview. Interviews may be conducted in-person or online via Zoom. Applicants should be prepared to discuss their academic and professional background and their rationale for pursuing this degree.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score is required if English is not the first language

  • Auburn University Montgomery TOEFL code is 1036. Please see admission requirements for AUM Graduate Studies for International students under Admission Graduate Studies International Students for further information.
We Have the Answers

Ask Us Anything

The program should take 6-9 semesters depending on prior graduate coursework and/or degrees completed. During the application process, the advisors and faculty will develop a plan of study based upon your educational background. Note: A earned Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) degree in the concentration may reduce the hourly requirements of the Ed.D. by half! 

Currently, the Ed.D. at AUM has two concentrations: Instructional Technology and Early Childhood Education. All students will be required to choose a concentration from the beginning based upon their personal and professional goals as well as their educational and professional background.

Alabama does not currently have a certification connected to a doctoral degree. However, if a student completes an Ed.S. degree while completing the Ed.D. program, he/she may be eligible for a Class AA teaching certificate. This is only applicable to students in the early childhood concentration.

Only coursework taken beyond the master’s degree may be considered for transfer. Policies dictate that only 12 hours may be transferred from another institution. Students who completed their Ed.S. at AUM may be able to use up to 30 hours from the Ed.S. in the Ed.D. program. .

Learn More

Quick Facts

College of Education

The AUM College of Education is the place to build or expand your teaching expertise and develop into an educational professional who makes a lasting impact on young lives. Our reputation as one of the best teacher prep programs in Alabama means that our graduates are in demand for the training we provide. Whether attending straight from high school or already have a degree and returning to earn a degree in education, AUM has a degree to fit your interest.

Official Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Instructional Systems and Learning


The Ed.D. program is 100% online.

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