Certificate in Instructional Design

Earn your Certificate in Instructional Design with just three courses! These online courses are the foundation of instructional design and technology. Designed by our faculty, our certificate program encompasses the fundamental knowledge of instructional design.

We provide the knowledge to help you develop your skills to design online training using web authoring software. The best part of the certificate program is that if you decide to pursue your Master of Science in Instructional Design and Technology at CSUF, the certificate courses will transfer to your degree requirements.

Please email  Dr. Cynthia GautreauOpens in new window , program director,  if you have any questions. Watch our informational video about the Certificate programOpens in new window .


Overview of the Certificate Program

Our certificate courses are graduate-level courses that are included in the Master of Science program. The Level I Certificate requires three courses, and may be completed in two or three semesters. Should you wish to continue your studies, you can earn a Level II Certificate or apply for admission to the Master of Science programOpens in new window .

The courses cover instructional design principles and e-learning development. You'll explore the science of learning as well as create online learning experiences using Adobe Captivate or Articulate Storyline.



Level I Certificate | Catalog PageOpens in new window

IDT 505 - Foundations of Instructional Design and Web Authoring Tools

IDT 520 - Instructional Design 1: Issues in E-Learning and the Design Process

IDT 530 - Instructional Design 2: Advanced Issues in Implementation, Management and Program Evaluation

Level II Certificate | Catalog PageOpens in new window

Level One Certificate courses, plus:

IDT 540 - Systematic Approaches to Digital Design and Development

IDT 545 - Trends, Emerging Technologies and Issues in Instructional Design

 For additional information of the Instructional Design and Technology program, please visit the MSIDT catalog page.


Applying to the certificate program

There are two ways to apply to the certificate program. You can apply for regular admission to the university through Cal State ApplyOpens in new window (choose the "Instructional Design and Technology Certificate Level 1" OR "Instructional Design and Technology Level 2" program), or you can register for each course through Open UniversityOpens in new window

Open University

If you plan to take one course per semester, Open University may be the better choice because students are charged per unit with no minimum. However, students enrolled through Open University are not eligible for financial aid.

Students may submit their registration to enroll through Open University. Dates for open enrollmentOpens in new window varies each semester. Please visit their website to find out when you can enroll. When registration is open, you will need to email msidt@fullerton.edu to receive permission to enroll and the relevant course code. Once you receive the course code, you'll complete registration by following Open University's intructionsOpens in new window

Cal State Apply

If you are applying for financial aid, you are only eligible if you are admitted to the university as a matriculated student. If you choose this method, you must submit your application by the application deadline, which you can find at Cal State Apply . Select either the "Instructional Design & Technology - Certificate Level 1" or "Instructional Design & Technology - Certificate Level 2" options.

Please note: Applications are only accepted for fall semester. See more about applying via Cal State Apply on our admissions webpage.


Digital Badges

We award digital badges to recognize completion of the Certificate in Instructional Design and Technology Level I and Level II. After students  complete the course requirements, they receive a digital badge to display on their LinkedIn profiles. Digital badges are widely recognized by employers.

  Digital Badge Level I Digital Badge Level II

What is unique about a digital badge?
A digital badge displays metadata associated with earning the badge, revealing the specific requirements and content mastered. Once you earn the digital badge, you can share it on social media to showcase your skills in a certified format.


Cost of Attendance

Tuition and fees will vary based on your enrollment method. If you matriculate to the university after applying via Cal State Apply, you will pay the same fees as Master of Science studentsOpens in new window .

If you enroll in the Certificate program via Open University, you will pay the fees posted by Open UniversityOpens in new window .

Online students are required to pay $33 per unit in addition to the tuition costs. Students are required to purchase the software used in the courses. Software costs range from $300 - $400. 


Frequently Asked Questions About the Certificate Program

The following represents a list of frequently asked questions and responses related to the certificate programs in instructional design and technology. 

I have a question that isn't covered here. Who should I ask?

Please direct all MSIDT program questions to the department office by either emailing at msidt@fullerton.edu or calling us at (657) 278-2842. 

All questions concerning the online application and transcripts should be directed to the CSUF Admissions Helpline at (657) 278-3100. 


Can I transfer to the certificate program, independent of the master's program?

 Yes, you can. It is not required that you apply to the master's program when transferring to CSUF.

May I take courses if I missed the CSUF application deadline?

 Yes, if there is space available in the courses. If you missed the deadline to apply to CSUF, you may register for courses through Open UniversityOpens in new window without the formal application process. Please check their website for dates and deadlines for each semester.

May I enroll in one course per semester? May I enroll in two courses per semester?

 You are welcome to enroll in one course per semester. 

If you would like to take two courses per semester, you have the option of taking it through Open UniversityOpens in new window or as a matriculated student by applying via Cal State ApplyOpens in new window . If you are planning to apply to CSUF via Cal State Apply, you will need to submit your application and submit your transcripts. A minimum of 2.50 GPA is required to be admitted. 

The application review process allows us to consider experiences, attributes, and other academic metrics, as well as the value an applicant would contribute to learning and teaching. 

Visit our admissions pageOpens in new window for more information. 

Which semesters are the Certificate Level I courses offered? When are Level II offered?

Classes are scheduled based upon what each cohort needs. However, the tables below are when each class is generally available. Please email msidt@fullerton.edu to confirm when looking to enroll in a class.

Certificate Level I Courses
Course Fall Spring Summer
IDT 505 Available    
IDT 520 Available Available  
IDT 530     Available
Certificate Level II Courses
Course Fall Spring Summer
IDT 540 Available    
IDT 545 Avaiable    

Which software will I need to purchase? What are the technical requirements?

Students are responsible for purchasing the web authoring software used in the certificate program. During the first semester, you will be informed about the software and required version. Typically, we use Adobe Captivate and/or Articulate Storyline software. The software costs is between $300 and $400.

For technical requirements

Basic requirements:

  • Working email account (preferrably your student email)
  • Microphone
  • Video camera

Computer/Laptop Requirements:

Computer/Laptop Requirements
  Recommended Minimal
Operating Sytem - Win 7/XP/Vista
- Macintosh OS X 10 and higher
- Most Linux distributions
Win XP or Macintosh OS 10x
Processor 1500 MHz 700 MHz
Memory 2 GB 1 GB
Plug-Ins - Adobe PDF Reader
- Windows Media Player
- Apple Quicktime
- Powerpoint Viewer
- JavaScript
- Adobe PDF Reader
- Windows Media Player
- Apple Quicktime
- Powerpoint Viewer
- JavaScript
Browser - Firefox 6
- Internet Explorer 10/11
- Chrome
- Safari
- Opera
Internet Explorer 8 or Mozilla Firefox 3x
Internet Connection DSL/Cable/Wireless DSL/Cable/Wireless
Software Microsoft Office 2007/2010/365 Microsoft Office 2000


What is the cost of the certificate program?

The cost varies depending on your enrollment option: through Open University or through matriculation to the university. 

When will I receive my certificate and digital badge?

As soon as you successfully complete all courses, you will receive a certificate and digital badge from the CSUF Instructional Design & Technology program. The certificate will be distributed by mail while the digital badge will be emailed. 

What if I want to lean more are completing my certificate? Are courses transferrable?

You have two options. You may continue on with your Certificate Level II or apply to the Master of Science in Instructional Design and Technology program. Three of your certificate courses will transfer into the master's program.