MS in Instructional Design


The MS in Instructional Design degree prepares you to design, develop, and implement powerful learning materials, such as websites, online courses, and interactive presentations for learners of all ages. Through a deep exploration of learning and design theory, as well as practical strategies and an array of digital tools, you’ll learn to analyze and generate creative solutions for the complex learning problems that we encounter today.

This program challenges students to leverage effective "instructional design thinking” — the questions we ask when we encounter a learning need and what factors we should consider as we craft a solution. Coursework will prepare you to apply prevailing research on learning and media, along with best practices in design, to create dynamic and effective learning experiences.

As a student in the program, you will have the opportunity to customize your coursework through electives that delve into specialized topical areas ranging from online course design to preparing video instruction. The best of your work throughout the program will become part of a web-based professional portfolio that you will refine during your capstone experience, resulting in a resource that you can immediately apply to support your career goals.

Fall Application Deadline: August 19
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Programs of Study & Curriculum

The master of science program in instructional design allows you to customize your degree based on your particular objectives and professional needs. Core requirements cover theoretical and practical approaches, including foundations of instructional design, learning theory and design for learning. The ability to customize your electives allows you to explore the utilization of instructional design best practices in a variety of learning environments including the K-12 classroom, higher education, and corporate & nonprofit organizations.

The capstone project gives you the opportunity to prepare a well-developed design proposal and project, which allow you to demonstrate your fluency with elements of an instructional design analysis as well as specific technologies.

View Curriculum

The field of instructional design teaches us to use what we know about how people learn to guide the design, development and implementation of educational materials. Our focus is on digital resources and environments such as websites, apps, online courses, videos, podcasts, social media, simulations and games.

Instructional design applies a systematic approach to the design of these learning resources, including:

  • Analysis of instructional needs, learners and the context for learning
  • Selection of appropriate media and educational strategies
  • Proposal of a design
  • Development, implementation and evaluation

Instructional designers work in a variety of settings, from corporations and non-profits to schools and universities, where they address a wide array of questions and problems dealing with education and training.

No special technical or programming skills are required to enroll in the program.

Upon completion of the Instructional Design program, students will demonstrate the following competencies:

  1. Communication: Communicate effectively in visual, oral and written form, taking into account the type of information being delivered and the diverse backgrounds, roles and varied responsibilities of the audience.
  2. Collaboration: Collaborate effectively with peers, including the use of consensus-building, negotiation, conflict resolution skills, and constructive feedback.
  3. Research and Theory: Draw on their understanding of the discipline of instructional design and pertinent research to inform their design decisions, explaining and applying key concepts of instructional design approaches and models, learning theory and multimedia principles.
  4. Ethical Issues: Identify and respond to ethical, legal and political implications of design in the workplace.
  5. Technology: Analyze and apply existing and emerging technologies for instruction, with regard for the learning need, the learners and the learning context.
  6. Planning and Analysis: Utilize the instructional design approach to conduct a needs assessment to recommend appropriate design solutions and strategies; address the needs of the target audience and the learning context; and create a plan for the development, implementation and evaluation of instruction.
  7. Design: Design instructional interventions in accordance with the instructional design plan, incorporating appropriate principles of visual design, interaction design and learning strategies, and addressing social, cultural, political and individual differences that may influence learning.
  8. Development: Produce instructional materials in a variety of delivery formats that align with the content analyses, proposed technologies, delivery methods and instructional strategies included in the planning and design phases.
  9. Implementation: Use technology effectively to implement a design plan; target appropriate strategies to prepare individuals and/or the environment for implementation.
  10. Assessment: Design assessments; evaluate instructional interventions; utilize evaluation to guide iterative design of learning resources.

Today's educators have access to an increasingly connected global community and an abundance of digital resources. In addition to connecting our candidates to those resources, Quinnipiac University's School of Education has a collaborative community of its own, both online and off. That community includes our outstanding faculty members – experienced educators, top practitioners and scholars–who guide and support students through our programs every step of the way.

This environment prepares candidates for fulfilling careers in education and human development by cultivating:

  • An ability to engage in sound practice that is informed by educational theory
  • A commitment to equity and social justice
  • A deeply reflective and mindful approach to their work

By fostering personal as well as intellectual transformation, we aim to prepare innovators committed to positive social change, who will have a meaningful impact on the lives and futures of learners.

Rankings & Accreditations

US News and World Report Top Online Education Program
AN NCATE Accredited Institution

Admission Requirements


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