Curriculum of the Ph.D. in Medical Education Program

The curriculum consists of 60 hours of online coursework beyond the LECOM MSMEd degree. The curriculum is completed in an accelerated two-year track. The dissertation project involves a mentored education research project intended to yield a publication in a peer-reviewed journal.  Asynchronous online assignments allow busy healthcare professionals the temporal and spatial flexibility to successfully complete coursework anywhere connection to the internet is available. The online courses are categorized into three competencies of an educator-scholar leader, including:

Advanced Educational Practice:

  • Advanced Cognitive Psychology
  • Advanced Clinical Teaching Skills
  • Teaching Practicum 1: Interprofessional Education
  • Teaching Practicum 2: Online Teaching Environments

Advanced Educational Research & Scholarship:

  • Conducting Literature Reviews
  • Advanced Educational Research Methods
  • Advanced Statistical Analysis: Correlation & Regression
  • Education Journal Clubs 1, 2, 3, & 4
  • Dissertation 1: Educational Research Proposals
  • Dissertation 2: The IRB Process
  • Dissertation 3: Implementation of Educational Innovations
  • Dissertation 4: Data Analysis & Results
  • Dissertation 5: Discussion & Conclusion
  • Dissertation 6: Presentation & Defense

Advanced Leadership & Administration:

  • Preparing for the Professoriate
  • Developing Faculty Developers
  • Strategic Planning & Accreditation
  • Educational Law & Finance 

Mentored Dissertation Education Research Project

Six sequential courses systematically lead students through their dissertation project, which is focused on solving an educational issue or problem of interest.  Students navigate the stepwise dissertation coursework throughout the entire research process from research idea conceptualization to publication.  The program director serves as the designated dissertation mentor and the student selects the committee members.

Distance Learning Delivery

The PhD in Med Ed curriculum is delivered online through distance education.  Faculty are readily available through email, discussion forums, zoom, or by phone.  LECOM instructional technology provides additional support.  Students are required to meet in Erie, PA, one time over a weekend near the end of the program to publicly present and defend their Dissertation.

How is learning assessed?

Student learning is assessed through coursework submitted in LECOM’s online course management system.  These case-based, problem-solving assignments include scholarly writing assignments, application papers, forum discussions, written examinations, dissertation, and participation in a conference of the student’s choice.  In the spirit of distance education and the competency-based education model, flexibility in assignment due dates is permitted to make success a priority. 

How can I get started?

The first step in the application process is to complete an online inquiry here: Make an Inquiry – Main | Ph.D. Programs Inquiry | LECOM Portal


LECOM received full approval for the PhD in Medical Education programs from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania State Board of Education.

Distance Education Complaint Process for Out-of-State Students
View for information regarding LECOM participation in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement.