In this fully online program, you’ll learn to design, implement and assess educational programs, such as online courses, professional development seminars and walk-throughs for products and services. You’ll also learn how to optimize the learning strategies of people and organizations.

In addition to practical course work, you’ll explore the theoretical components of curriculum design: how and why people learn what they learn and the best ways to deliver it.

Fast Facts
  • Applications open: Late June 2024
  • Program mode: 100% online | Cohort format
  • Program duration: 21 months (30 units)
  • Cost per unit: $833 (Financial Aid available)
  • No GRE Required

Career outlook

A booming field, instructional design is a part of every major organization – from training sessions to employee onboarding. Unsurprisingly, organizations across the nation are aggressively recruiting and compensating well-educated instructional designers.

Over the last two years, the job market for instructional designers grew significantly, in both size and pay:

10% occupational growth in the next decade
$85,466 average salary in the United States
12,000+ job postings

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Innovative education starts here.

At CSUN, we don’t just teach you how to design innovative programs. We design them ourselves.

Whether it’s a new industry development or a change in technology, we provide you with the tools and insight to create and implement cutting-edge programs and services – just like this one.

And as you learn, faculty will use their knowledge of the industry to help you leverage the program’s concepts and methods into new career opportunities.

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Enter a rapidly growing field.

In designing this program, we focused, from the start, on what an instructional designer would need on the job: strong technical skills, smart design principles and sound ethical judgment.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Design professional and educational courses
  • Design and assess instructional media for diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Ensure wide accessibility in designs and outcomes
  • Introduce sustainable innovations
  • Educate organizations on a large scale
  • Create how-to modules
  • Optimize learning outcomes

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Why you'll love us.


    At CSUN, we don’t fill courses. We build them, entirely from scratch, each and every time we launch a program. This leads to a unique education, with real and lasting outcomes in your career.


    Our world-class faculty design and teach all courses, helping you gain today’s most in-demand skills – and bringing the industry directly to you.


    When you enroll, we place you in a small, interactive group of peers from diverse organizations and industries. And from day one to graduation, you’ll learn and grow together.


    As you earn your education, we’ll stay with you every step of the way, offering close, personal support when and where you need it.

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Why instructional design?

With the world’s transition to remote learning, instructional design is in high demand. Now more than ever, these experts are needed to create virtual programs and orchestrate the shift – sometimes a very rapid one – from in-person to online education.

Considered the “architects” of the learning experience, instructional designers develop the majority of today’s educational content, especially what’s online. Needed by a wide range of organizations, from corporations to higher ed, instructional design is an indispensable part of how we communicate ideas and educate people.

Through instructional designers, organizations communicate policy, train employees and implement wide-scale change. Everything from private language lessons, like Rosetta Stone, to online master’s programs, such as this one, is the work of instructional design.

For organizations in both education and industry, instructional design is essential. Whether it’s in the office or in the classroom, clear, effective training materials are needed to teach students and employees new skills, ideas or policies.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question: How many hours a week should I plan to dedicate to classes?

Answer: Credit-bearing programs conform to Carnegie hours (i.e., one credit equals one hour of class time, plus two hours of homework). Our programs usually have six to nine credits per term. Nine credits equals 27 hours a week dedicated to classes.

Question: What professions will this degree prepare me for?


  • Instructional designer
  • Online instructor
  • Course developer
  • Curriculum designer/specialist
  • Learning specialist
  • Instructional coordinator
  • Corporate trainer
  • Entrepreneur
  • Instructional technologist
  • Digital media designer
  • Master’s-level instructional design professionals for training and development roles.

Question: What aspects of instructional design are part of this program?

Answer: We will look at instructional design by exploring case studies and learning about the latest tools (LMSs and tools for assessment, collaboration etc.).

Question: What resources will be provided in addition to lectures?

Answer: Each course requires significant reading and/or videos to supplement the live online class. Many of the best resources are recent articles and book chapters.

Question: How many projects will be completed in the program?

Answer: There will be a number of small projects in different classes (three to five) and one large thesis project. We encourage students to build on their prior work, so projects may not necessarily be independent of each other.

Question: Are the projects collaborative, or will they be completed alone?

Answer: Many of the projects will be collaborative; even the thesis can have collaborative elements (but must have independent analysis).

For additional questions and answers, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.

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