Ed.D. Concentration in Design of Learning Environments

Program Details

Area(s) of Study:
  • Design of Learning Environments
  • On-Campus
Program Level:
  • Doctoral
Program Type:
  • Degree


The concentration:

The Design of Learning Environments (DLE) concentration of the Ed.D. program focuses on the development of scholarly practitioners who utilize the science of instructional design to ensure that intended audiences are benefitting from effective learning environments. The concentration helps students by enhancing their capacity to understand the critical features of their learning environment and to lead improvement efforts utilizing design-based research methods. It enables leaders to design and redesign high quality programs that align with the mission of their school, corporation or organization. The concentration emphasizes the connection between theory, research, and practical application in real-world settings through engagement in design projects, review of theoretical and empirical literature, and cycles of study and intervention in the student’s own professional context.

Who should enroll in this concentration:

The DLE concentration empowers educators in a wide variety of settings who want to be effective leaders and change agents in their professional context. DLE students include classroom teachers, school and district administrators, higher education professionals, educational software developers, human resource professionals engaged in corporate or other training of personnel, and educators in informal and out-of-school learning settings such as museums, libraries, science centers, and zoos.

Hear from DLE alum, Dr. Steve Garwood:

I really loved my time in the Ed.D. program at GSE. The Design of Learning Environments concentration, and the Ed.D. program as a whole, helped me to consider audiences and options that I would not have thought of and prepared me to not only design/develop instructional approaches but also to evaluate the effectiveness of those approaches. My involvement in the Ed.D. program helped me to secure a promotion to the position of Assistant Dean for Instructional Support and Assessment at the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University.
- Steve Garwood, 2016

Concentration Learning Goals:

  1. Understand the process of design and how it applies specifically to the design of learning environments.
  2. Know the theoretical foundation and empirical support for common learning environment approaches or features.
  3. Engage in the process of designing learning environments.
  4. Understand how to conduct design-based research.
  5. Design, evaluate, and revise existing learning environment designs enacted in real settings.



All applications must be completed online through the university’s Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions. Applications are due by January 15 for summer admission.

Program Requirements

The Ed.D. in Education requires 72 credits of coursework, consisting of 24 credits of core study, 24 credits in the concentration, and 24 credits in the dissertation. The Ed.D. in Design of Learning Environments requires students to complete a required 12-credit sequence, a 3-credit design elective, 3 credits of internship, and an additional 6 credits. Most students will participate in a cohort program and complete their work in just over three years.

A complete listing of degree requirements are available for download or at the Office of Student and Academic Services.

The Ed.D. student handbook can be found here.

If you have more specific questions about this concentration, please contact Cheryl A. McLean.