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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Distance Education

Degree Overview

Dr. Roxie Godfrey, Regent Graduate, 2005
Roxie Godfrey, Ed.D.
2009 Virginia FCS
Teacher of the Year
Regent Graduate, 2005


"A Regent education will
open doors for you.
It certainly has for me."

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Coursework for the Ph.D. is delivered primarily online and is designed to facilitate the learning styles of adults and provide a collaborative community for higher-level thinking and problem solving. The program places much emphasis on (a) acquiring rigorous analytical research skills and tools (quantitative and qualitative) for vocations in higher education; (b) supporting research that will result in publication in refereed conference, journals and books; (c) significant interaction and mentorship by doctoral faculty; (d) vocations in higher education; and (e) developing a mature understanding of an integrative personal and professional life centered on the historic Christian faith.

Undergirding the entire program is critical thinking, scholarly research, writing, and learning from a Christian worldview. The capstone project, as with any doctoral program, is the submission and defense of a doctoral dissertation.


Spring & Summer 2015 Cohorts:
Ph.D. cohorts will begin in January and mid-June and a four-day residency will be held July 13-16, 2015 at our Virginia Beach Campus.

Ph.D. in Distance Education Highlights

Courses: View Course Sequence and Descriptions
Length: 72 credit hours. May be completed in as little as 4 years.
Format: Offered in a cohort model. Students may begin the program in the spring or summer semesters. Courses are offered online with a one-week residency each summer of the program. School division cohorts are also offered in varying formats.
Results: Doctor of Philosophy degree. The Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) is awarded after completion of 30 credit hours. The Doctor of Philosophy degree is awarded after completion of 72 credit hours.
Important Links: Apply Now | Tuition & Financial Aid | Faculty |Course Schedule
Features: Online coursework, cognate and dissertation advisor, on-campus residencies.

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Cognate Description

The Distance Education cognate is designed for K-12, higher education and corporate educators involved in distance and online education.  It builds upon the principles of curriculum, instruction, assessment and evaluation provided in the core courses by applying these principles to a distance education setting with emphasis on program development and management of online learning.  This cognate considers research and effective practices along a continuum of distance education delivery models and learning technologies to prepare a student for leadership in the field.  The research done by students is usually applied research, that is, searching for solutions to distance education problems or seeking ways to deliver new research-based educational concepts or services to individuals, organizations, families or groups at a distance. Read dissertation abstracts of students in the Distance Education cognate.

Career Opportunities

The Doctor of Philosophy in Distance Education will prepare you for educational technology leadership positions in K-12, higher education, or corporate learning settings. Graduates are equipped to become university faculty, program directors, or technology administrators within educational organizations.


Hot Academic Jobs of the Future
Ph.D.'s and Ed.D.'s are in high demand, and will be for some time." - Mark David Milliron

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Ph.D. in Distance Education graduates will be able to:

  • Identify, respond to, and lead in important local, national, and global educational issues in a Christ-like manner from informed biblical perspectives.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how key theories inform planning, administration, policy, and professional practice.
  • Evaluate educational research from theoretical and methodological perspectives in order to determine its contribution to policy and professional practice.
  • Solve problems associated with planning, administration, policy, and professional practice by
    •  analyzing data;
    • synthesizing information; and
    • applying critical thinking
  • Provide intellectual leadership in producing and communicating action research to significantly impact respective professional spheres of education
  • Demonstrate integrity, fairness, and ethical behavior in a Christ-like manner in planning, administration, policy development, problem solving, and professional practice.