Learning Design & Technology

Doctor of Education in Leadership for Educational Equity, Designing for Professional Learning

School of Education & Human Development


Degree: EdD

Classroom Type: Fully Online

The Designing for Professional Learning (DPL) concentration engages doctoral students in the creation, implementation, and study of learning design, learner-centered design approaches, and design-justice practices across academic, corporate, and community settings. Doctoral coursework is grounded in literature about equity-oriented learning; principles of design justice and learner-centered design; the impact of learning design on individuals and communities; and design-based research methods.

Application​ deadlines

December 16, 2024

Program Details

Interest Categories: Education & Counseling

Campus: CU Denver

Graduates of this program assume leadership roles in institutions of higher education; corporate, government, and community organizations; and P-12 education settings. The learning objectives of the program are:

Embracing Equity-Oriented Learning Design

  • Develop a deep understanding of the literature and theories related to equity-oriented learning design.
  • Analyze and critique various models and approaches to learning design through the lens of equity and inclusivity.

Applying Principles of Design Justice and Learner-Centered Design

  • Apply principles of design justice to create learning opportunities that are just, inclusive, and equitable.
  • Employ learner-centered design methodologies to tailor learning experiences that meet the diverse needs of individuals and communities.

Assessing the Impact of Learning Design

  • Evaluate the effects of different learning designs on individuals, communities, and organizations.
  • Investigate how well-designed learning can address and solve real-world problems within various settings, including academic, corporate, and community contexts.

Conducting Design-Based Research

  • Utilize design-based research methods to study and improve learning practices.
  • Implement research projects that involve designing, evaluating, and refining learning models and approaches in real-world environments.
  • Translate research findings into actionable strategies to enhance learning.

Choose CU Denver's School of Education & Human Development

This program prepares students for excellence in their career as an executive leader of an educational organization. CU Denver's School of Education & Human Development (SEHD) is recognized for preparing leaders of distinction who value educational excellence and social justice. Additionally, SEHD is counted among U.S. News & World Report's “Best Graduate Schools,” making us one of the top education schools in the country.


The 54-credit program begins each summer.

The curriculum is completely online, including a combination of asynchronous and synchronous courses that may be completed from anywhere in the world where there is robust and reliable Internet access.

The curriculum includes the following elements:

  • 12 hours in EdD core courses within equity, leadership, and learning core areas (four 3-credit courses)
  • Nine hours in the research core (three 3-credit courses)
  • 12 hours in the concentration areas (four 3-credit courses)
  • Six hours of elective courses (two 3-credit courses)
  • 15 hours of seminars and the completion of a doctoral research project

The program strives to expose students to context-specific best practices, interdisciplinary connections, and applied research. This is done in an environment that stresses the application of theory to practice. The EdD program has been designed to enable students to complete program requirements in three or five years.

Sample Courses

  • EDFN 7410 - Power and Privilege: The Social Construction of Difference 3 credits
  • EDUC 7100 - Leadership in Education 3 credits
  • EDUC 7230 - Organizational Performance In Educational Contexts 3 credits
  • STME 7020 - The Power of Data 3 credits
Course Catalog

Recommended Completion Time:3 or 5 Years

Required Credits for Completion:54

Admission Requirements

Application Dates

Application Opens: July 1, 2024
Application Deadline: December 16, 2024

The EdD in Leadership for Educational Equity, Designing for Professional Learning concentration, is a three or five-year program, designed for working professionals, with the following application requirements:

  • Master's degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Written Statement of Purpose that includes the following information:
    • A brief summary of your professional experiences specifically related to learning design, including your values related to leadership, equity, and design justice.
    • A brief summary of your current professional role and responsibilities and how you use research and data to inform your work in learning design.
    • Your purpose in pursuing the EdD and specifically the Designing for Professional Learning concentration; intentions for applying the skills and knowledge gained from the EdD degree; and future career goals.
  • Resume/CV
  • Three letters of recommendation from individuals who can best speak to your leadership, professional accomplishments, academic skills, and career goals.
  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended.
  • After the initial review of application materials, faculty may contact applicants to schedule individual interviews.

Register for an application support session

For more information, email education@ucdenver.edu or call 303.315.6300.

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