Communication and Education EdD

Doctor of Education in Communication in Education


This program uses methods of the social sciences, encompassing both qualitative and quantitative approaches to the study of communication and education. It asks in particular how education and other social systems change under the impact of new media. Faculty members and students pursue three broad areas of inquiry, enabling them to:

  • Reflect on the historical effects of media and on the cultural uses of developments such as face-to-face speech, writing, printing, photography, film, radio, television, computers, and networked multimedia;
  • Use anthropological and linguistic methods to study how the diverse forms of communication, literacy, information processing, and cognition condition educational practice; and
  • Explore positive and negative effects of media on social relations and develop strategies for using information and communication technologies to improve conditions of education and life.

In the course of completing a degree, the student should expect to attend closely to both technical artifacts and human activity; that is, both to material systems of communication in which technologies are the primary interest and to interpersonal, direct communication dynamics in which unmediated exchanges, face-to-face, are the subject of inquiry. A major theme for continuous reflection should be the diverse ways in which the modes of communication condition the meanings actually, and potentially, communicated—particularly through the wide variety of digital means available to us.

Two students in conversation outside of Teachers College

Admissions Information

Doctor of Education

  • Points/Credits: 90
  • Entry Terms: Summer/Fall

Application Deadlines

  • Spring: N/A
  • Summer/Fall (Priority): January 5
  • Summer/Fall (Final): January 5

Supplemental Application Requirements/Comments

  • GRE General Test
  • Academic Writing Sample

Course Requirements

Doctor of Education in Communication and Education

Communication and Education (TECM)

Communication, as a field, has changed dramatically over the past few decades. These shifts have been brought on by evolution in communication technologies, increased portability of digital devices, and new modes of communication and representation that include rapidly changing interactive platforms and increased capacity for the consumption, production, and circulation of media.

The Communication and Education degree programs provide students with a strong foundation in the interdisciplinary theories and pedagogical approaches that reflect these unfolding changes in the field, particularly as they impact education in all forms. Our program relies primarily on social science inquiry to understand, interpret, and shape how information, communication technologies and new media influence culture and education, including areas such as literacy, social justice, youth development, and teacher education.

This program encourages the use of a broad range of methods -- including both qualitative and quantitative approaches -- to study the intersections of communication and education across a variety of contexts. It asks, in particular, how education -- including schooling and other social systems -- change under the impact of emerging media. The program encourages students to: 

  • Reflect on the historical, cultural and social impact of a wide range of media
  • Leverage relevant research methods and modes of inquiry to better understand how communication and media use shape learning practices
  • Attend closely to both technological artifacts and human activity, reflecting on the diverse ways in which modes of communication condition the meanings actually, and potentially, communicated—particularly through the wide variety of digital means available to us.

Students graduating from the program in Communication and Education have pursued a wide variety of career paths, in accordance with their goals and interests. Some of these include: 

  • Teaching and research positions in higher education;
  • Working in schools, museums or other educational institutions to leverage new media technologies in effective and empowering ways;
  • Conducting formative and evaluative research on the use of media in/for learning, both within classrooms and beyond;
  • Designing and implementing innovations in the use of new media for educational, social or civic purposes; or
  • Working in government or nonprofit settings to shape the conversation around new media, communication, and learning through research and policy work.


Doctor of Education

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree candidates should read Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education, which can be obtained from the Teachers College Office of Doctoral Studies. It states the formal requirements for the degree and lays out the steps leading to it.

The Communication, Media, and Learning Technologies Design (CMLTD) program follows these requirements, while providing doctoral students with a customizable experience based on core and specialized courses, skill concentrations, and independent research. These experiences have been designed to ensure that students master different modes of inquiry; contribute professionally to the field through conference presentations and publications; and participate actively in CMLTD research centers, events and initiatives.

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) programs are offered in both Communication and in Instructional Technology and Media. In each of these Ed.D. programs, students must take coursework totaling at least 90 points. Programs are planned individually in consultation with the student’s faculty advisor. Doctoral candidates should develop a systematic plan for study early in their program, encouraging sustained consideration of a dissertation topic and tailoring course selection to support dissertation work.  

The following are required of all Ed.D. students:

Core Seminar: MSTU 4000 and Doctoral Colloquium: MSTU 6600 (3 points total)

  • One-point registration for MSTU 4000. After MSTU 4000, Ed.D. students must take MSTU 6600 for a total of two points, and then continue to register for MSTU 6600 for zero points each semester until graduation.

Foundational Knowledge: All four areas must be represented. (12 points, minimum)

  • 1. Cognitive Issues and Technology
    • MSTU 4133 Cognition and Computers
    • MSTU 4088 Introduction to Learning Sciences and Educational Technology

  • 2. Social Issues and Technology
    • MSTU 4005 Equity, Ethical, and Social Issues in Educational Technology
    • MSTU 4020 Social and Communicative Aspects of the Internet

  • 3. Cultural Issues and Technology
    • MSTU 4028 Technology and Culture
    • MSTU 5002 Culture, Media, and Education

  • 4. Educational Practice and Design
    • MSTU 4001 Technology and School Change
    • MSTU 4050 Online Schools and Online Schooling K-12
    • MSTU 4083 Instructional Design of Educational Technology

Research Methods and Design: (12 points, minimum)

The following are examples of available courses. Students should familiarize themselves with the full range of courses that are offered and choose a class that is relevant to their dissertation work, in consultation with their faculty advisor.

  • Introductory Quantitative Methods Course (3 points)
    • HUDM 4122 Probability and Statistical Inference
    • Note: HUDM 4120 Basic Concepts in Statistics, does not meet this requirement.

  • Introductory Qualitative Methods Course: taken from the following or similar (3 points)
    • C&T 5502 Introduction to Qualitative Research in Curriculum and Teaching  
    • ITSF 5000 Methods of Inquiry: Ethnography and Participant Observation
    • ITSF 5001 Ethnography and Participant Observation: Fieldwork, Analysis, Reporting

  • Specialized Research Design (3 points)
    • MSTU 5001 Assessing the Impact of Technology in Schools
    • MSTU 5025 Research Technology in Educational Environment

  • Additional non-introductory research methodology class (3 points)
    The following are examples of available courses. Students should familiarize themselves with the full range of courses that are offered and choose a class that is relevant to their dissertation work, in consultation with their faculty advisor.
    • A&HE 6151 Narrative Research in English Education
    • A&HL 4104 Discourse Analysis
    • HUDM 5122 Applied Regression Analysis
    • HUDM 5123 Linear Models and Experimental Design
    • ORL 6500 Qualitative Research Methods in Organizations: Design and data collection
    • ORL 6501 Qualitative Research Methods in Organizations: Data analysis and reporting


Breadth Requirement: (6 points, minimum)

Students must complete a minimum of three Teachers College courses, each for at least 2 credits, outside of the Communication, Media and Learning Technologies Design Program (i.e., courses with a prefix other than MSTU).

Complete the doctoral certification process (see explanation later in this section).

Successfully propose, complete, and defend the doctoral dissertation.

  • Register for the Dissertation Seminar (MSTU 7501 or 7503, 1 point) when presenting the Dissertation Proposal. See also the regulations for MSTU 8900 and the section in the Academic Catalog on continuous registration.


Additional Requirements for
Ed.D. students in Communication and Education (TECM)

  • MSTU 4016 The History of Communication
  • MSTU 5606 Readings in Communication Theory and Social Thought
  • One programming course
    • MSTU 4031 Object-Oriented Theory and Programming I
    • MSTU 5003 Theory and Programming of Interactive Media I
  • At least 15 points of MSTU courses
  • Other courses chosen in consultation with an advisor

Doctoral Certification Process

The CMLTD program has designed its certification requirements to help prepare students for dissertation work and document that preparedness. The Doctoral Certification Process for CMLTD students has three steps. (Students’ names are not sent forward to the Office of Doctoral Studies to be certified until all three of the following requirements have been successfully completed.)

  1. An Integrative Question that the student answers in writing during the regular certification examination session that the Office of Doctoral Studies schedules each semester.

    This question is about some currently prominent educational technology topic that students answer by pulling material from CMLTD courses and course-related as well as independent readings. The best way to prepare for this question is to think of currently important educational technology topics related to your area of interest and try to think of how you would integrate content covered in different courses to address these topics. Please note: The CMLTD certification written examination will be a take-home exam (exam question will be distributed on Friday, written exam collected the following Monday). The written integrative question part of the certification process is not available during the summer.

  2. A Literature Review or critical assessment of scholarship (a paper of around 30 pages, double-spaced) related to the student’s dissertation plans. This represents a head start on the literature review chapter of the dissertation. This paper is approved by the faculty advisor. Approved papers may be posted and generally available to others for future reference.

  3. A Certification Pilot Project  that would be a smaller scale version of what might be done in the dissertation or a project or pilot study that leads to the dissertation project. Generally, this certification project has three steps, but students should consult with their advisor for specific instructions:
    1. Write a short project proposal, which the faculty advisor must approve.  
    2. Complete the project;
    3. Write a project report (around 30 pages), which is approved by the advisor.

When the faculty advisor verifies that the student has completed the Integrative Question portion, the Literature Review paper, and the Certification Pilot Project, the student is recommended for certification. To receive full certification for doctoral work, students must also meet certain college-wide requirements, as explained in the Degree Requirements section of this bulletin.


Policies on the Written Examination Portion of the CMLTD Certification Process
The exam question is constructed broadly so that it can be addressed by people from different perspectives and program strands within CMLTD. CMLTD students may refer to resources (books, journal articles, notes, etc.) while responding to the take-home exam question. References to people and articles are expected in the body of the response and work must not be mischaracterized. Please include a formal reference list at the end of the response. Past questions are available for students upon request. Please contact the program secretary to see the past exams on file.

Students can attempt to successfully complete the written response portion of the certification process no more than two times.


Evaluation Procedures

Each response is evaluated by the CMLTD faculty, who meet as a group to read students’ examinations. Students’ names are removed from their examinations and the examinations are then circulated during the meeting of the faculty. The examination is read and discussed and a decision is made about its grade.


Basic Evaluation Criteria

All responses are evaluated with regard to the following four questions:

  1. Does the response address the question asked?
  2. Does the response integrate material (using several references and sources) from each of three different core courses or from various perspectives or theories?
  3. Does the response present a coherent and meaningful discussion?
  4. Is the response substantive enough to convince the reader that the student has an advanced, graduate-level grasp of the field?

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