Master of Science

The Master of Science in Instructional Design and Technology (MSIDT) degree is designed to meet the needs of working professionals. Watch our videoOpens in new window to find out more about the program and stellar graduates.

Who attends our program? Professionals who are working in the field of technology in education (kindergarten through higher education), the military, and corporate settings. Many individuals who wish to change careers find the MSIDT degree beneficial to their current and future career prospects. The MSIDT degree is designed for individuals who wish to further their skills and knowledge in direct application of technology in teaching, training, education and curriculum development. The MSIDT degree is designed to meet the needs of:

  • Instructional technology trainers in business, education, industry, military, or corporations and universities,
  • Instructional designers
  • Web developers
  • Software consultants or designers
  • Anyone working with curriculum development and training in e-learning and multimedia environments for an educational (K-12, community college, higher education, or extended education), corporate, business or military settings. 


PROGRAM information videos

Want to learn more about the program? Please view our information videos on YouTubeOpens in new window to find out more.




The MSIDT program integrates a cohort model. The program is part-time and consists of 10 courses over 5 semesters. Students enroll in two courses that link together each semester. Students are considered part-time graduate students.  Note that this program requires students to enroll in two courses during the summer semester to graduate in five semesters.  Detailed information about courses is posted in the course catalog.Opens in new window

Semester 1:

IDT 505 - Foundations of Instructional Design and Digital Authoring Tools
IDT 510 - Research Practices in Instructional Design and Technology

Semester 2:

IDT 520 - Instructional Design 1: Issues in ELearning and the Design Process
IDT 525 - Learning Theories for Postsecondary and Adult Instructional Settings

Semester 3:

IDT 530 -    Instructional Design 2: Advanced Issues in Implementation, Management and Program Evaluation
IDT 535 - Instructional Strategies and Universal Design Issues in Learning Environments

Semester 4:

IDT 540 - Systematic Approaches to Digital Design and Development
IDT 545 - Trends, Emerging Technologies and Issues in Instructional Design

Semester 5:

IDT 550 - Practicum in Instructional Design and Technology
IDT 597 - Project

For additional information of the Instructional Design and Technology program, please visit the MSIDT catalog pageOpens in new window .



Mandatory Meetings

In addition to the courses, there are two required on-campus/video conference Saturday meetings with additional fees. These events are mandatory. You cannot graduate without attending both events. These required orientation and research meetings have been approved by the chancellor with a specific executive order that includes current fees of $345 for the Boot Up Orientation and $228 for the Midpoint Symposium.  Note that these fees are non-refundable, subject to change, and will be assessed during the first semester courses, IDT 505 and IDT 510.



The first required meeting is our one-day Boot Up Orientation held prior to the start of the first semester. The Boot Up Orientation consists of a variety of workshops and experiences acclimating students to the overall program requirements, faculty and support staff, program technology requirements, library database resources,  course management system, final project and practicum expectations, textbook procedures, TitanCard, and software purchases.



The Midpoint Research Symposium is also a one-day required meeting that occurs at the end of the third semester. At the Symposium, students review their progress related to professional goals and learning outcomes, confirm final project and practicum activities, and work with a program advisor. Students also solidify their research questions, digital instructional project ideas, and consult with faculty regarding next steps.




  • Assessment/Evaluation:  Critically discriminate, compare, and select appropriate criteria, and effectively implement methodology for developing an effective digital instructional product.
  • Collaboration:  Work productively in team, group or collaborative settings to achieve common goals or purposes.
  • Critical Thinking & Problem Solving:  Critically analyze, evaluate and synthesize information as well as effectively generate, select, and apply appropriate solutions to solve problems in the development and implementation of the digital instructional product based on reasoned rationale.
  • Project Management:  Plan, organize, and manage resources (including needs analysis, group dynamics and leadership) to methodically bring about the completion of defined project goals and objectives.
  • Research:  Conduct, evaluate, interpret, and synthesize research and apply theoretical ideas to the development and implementation of an instructional product in a practical setting.
  • Technology Enabled Media Literacy:  Compare, discriminate, design, implement and assess various media and technology sources in the development and implementation of the digital instructional product.
  • Written Communication:  Effectively and critically present ideas in a logical framework in a variety of written formats with proper language structure and mechanics.



Cost of Attendance

View current tuition and fees on the Student Business Services tuition and campus fees website. Select “Graduate and Other Post-Baccalaureate Programs.” Students enrolled in the program are considered part-time graduate students. The program is six units each semester (two courses, which are three units each) and five semesters total. Tuition and fees are subject to change.

Tuition and Fees

MSIDT program include the following:

  • Tuition Fees (part-time)
  • Non-resident tuition fee per unit (only applicable if a student is not a California resident)
  • Mandatory Campus-Based Fees
  • SIRF (Student Involvement and Representation Fee)

In addition, the following fees are charged to MSIDT students. View these fees on the Student Financial Services’ list of all student fees webpage (see Category III Fees):

  • Online Distance Fee - $33 per unit ($99 per three-unit course)
  • Seminar fees are one-time fees charged when students are first admitted/registered:
    • Orientation Fee - $345
    • Symposium Fee - $228

Software and Textbooks

Students are also responsible for purchasing authoring software, typically either Adobe Captivate or Articulate Storyline. Students will be instructed by faculty as to which version of these authoring softwares they will buy. Otherwise, the CSUF campus offers a variety of software for free to currently enrolled students.

Our program is also an affordable textbook program. Most of our course textbooks are available free in ebook format to currently enrolled students, thanks to our campus library.





By earning your degree with our program, you also earn two certificates. When you complete your degree we will award you Certificate of Instructional Design - Level I and Certificate of Instructional Design - Level II. In addition, we will send you   digital badgesOpens in new window   that you may include on your website, LinkedIn profiles, or other web-based profiles. By the end of the program, you will have earned:

  • Master of Sciene in Instructional Design & Technology degree
  • Certificate of Instructional Design - Level I certificate (plus digital badge)
  • Certificate of Instructional Design - Level II certificate (plus digital badge)



Ready to apply?

Visit our Admissions PageOpens in new window to get started.

Need help applying? Please view our Cal State Apply GuidePDF File Opens in new window .


Frequently Asked Questions About the Master of Science

The following represents a list of frequently asked questions and responses related to the Master of Science in Instructional Design and Technology program.

What is the cost of the program? What are the online course fees?

You can check the campus website Student Business ServicesOpens in new window (select "Fees," then "Tuition and Campus fees") for the fees for this academic year. Students enrolled in the program are considered part-time graduate students.

This graduate program is 6 units each semester (two courses that are 3 units each) and there are five semesters total. 

For online course fees, there is an additional $198/semester or $99/course for the Chancellor’s Office approved distance fee support for this program tuition. All fees are subject to increase.

If I live outside of California, may I apply to the program?

The answer to this question depends on which state you reside in when you apply. Please review  the list of approved statesOpens in new window as the list changes often.

What are the requirements for international students?

Please visit the  International Student Services websiteOpens in new window   to review the requirements for international students. Please note that the MSIDT program does not provide visas as are a 100% fully online program. You may, however, study from your home country! We always welcome applications from international students.

Are the courses asynchronous? Are there required meetings?

The courses are scheduled, generally, in asynchronous, weekly modules. Usually, you will not have a set day or time you meet. Occasionally, instructors will hold special class meetings or meetings with students, but they will work around your schedule. The MSIDT program also does have two mandatory full-day meetings: Boot Up Orientation and Midpoint Research Symposium.

I don't have a degree in Education. Can I still apply for the MSIDT program?

Yes! We accept  all  undergraduate majors.

What is the application process?

The application process consists of three steps:


Step 1

Complete a formal online application to the university by the due date indicated on the   Cal State Apply siteOpens in new window ,  indicating your interest in the MSIDT Program at CSU Fullerton. You will then receive a username and ID and can manage your own application process (primarily the submission and evaluation of your official transcripts). At this time, please also submit your resume and personal statement via "Program Materials" on the application or email them to the MSIDT program at

Essay - Please submit a personal essay (500 word limit) indicating your reason for choosing the M.S. in Instructional Design & Technology program at CSU Fullerton, and your future academic and professional goals.


Step 2

As per the information you will receive through the Cal State Apply site, you will send your transcripts directly to the Admissions Office (P.O. Box 6900, Fullerton, CA 92834-6900) or send the transcripts electronically. If an email is required, please send them to Note that it usually takes 3-4 months for your transcripts to be submitted and evaluated. In the meantime, you’ll need to continue on to Step 3 in the MSIDT program application process. Please note there are deadlines to submit your transcripts.


Step 3

After your application, essay, and resume have been received, a member of the department staff will contact you by e-mail to schedule an appointment for a telephone interview. This interview is related to the information on both your essay and resume.

When will I know if I've been accepted into the program?

After all transcripts are collected and your application status is considered complete, our admissions committee will review your application. You may be notified  as early as week after all transcripts are collected with an answer. 

What is the GPA requirement for admission to the program?

Please note that there is a minimum GPA requirement for admission to the university of 2.50 cumulative undergraduate GPA resulting in a BA/BS degree from an accredited institution and a 3.0 GPA department requirement. (Applicants with a GPA between 2.5 and 3.0 could be conditionally accepted based on review of resume, essay and interview). Remember, the GRE is not a requirement, and references are not required. You will be able to see what is required at the university level by Admissions and Records when you apply through Cal State Apply for graduate admissions.


If you feel you are below the GPA requirements, please contact the program director to discuss options. 

Can I send digital transcripts?

In order to send digital transcripts, visit the website of the university you graduated from and sent the transcripts. Similarly, you can send your transcripts through   eTranscript California,   Credentials Solutions, or   Texas SPEEDE   systems if your school participates in using any of those systems. A list of participating universities can be found on the   Admissions websiteOpens in new window . If they require an email address, please use:

If your university does not participate in sending electronic transcripts, please send printed copies to:

California State University, Fullerton
Admissions and Records
P.O. Box 6900
Fullerton, CA 92834-6900

Deadlines to send in transcripts for admission consideration:

Fall Admissions: July 15th
Spring Admissions: December 15th

What are the technical requirements for the program? What kind of computer/laptop do I need?

An email account (preferrably your student email account), dependable internet, microphone, and video camera are required. 


For a PC/Windows system:
Processor:   Intel®, AMD, or ARM processor with 64-bit support
Operating system:   Windows 10 (64-bit)
RAM:   4 GB or more (I would recommend MORE)
Hard disk space:   4 GB of available hard-disk space; additional space is required for installation (I just installed a 4 TB hard-drive. I would recommend at least 1 TB)
For a MacOS
Processor:   Multicore Intel® processor with 64-bit support or M1 Apple Silicon processor
Operating system:   macOS Sierra (version 10.12) and later | Big Sur 11.0 (Apple M1 silicon)
RAM 16 GB or more
Hard disk space:   4 GB of available hard-disk space; additional space is required for installation (Lindsay has the right idea with 1 TB )
The Creative Cloud desktop app won't install on a volume that uses a case-sensitive file system


Do I need any coding or programming experience?

No. Coding or programming knowledge are not required. Our students have a wide range of experiences that they bring to the program, and coding or programming knowledge is not required.

What is the structure of the program?

This is a cohort program consisting of 10 courses. The program duration is 5 semesters. Students are considered part-time graduate students. Each semester students enroll in two graduate courses. The summer semester is a requirement for this program. We accept new students in the fall semester and the spring semester.

What are the required meetings?

There are two mandatory Saturday meetings with additional fees. The fees are non-refundable and paid during the first semester of the program. The meetings are offered face-to-face and by video conference. Attendance and participation in the meetings is a mandatory requirement for this degree.

Mandatory orientation meetings have been approved by the Chancellor with a specific Executive Order that includes current fees of $345 for the boot-up camp and $228 for the midpoint symposium. Note that these fees are nonrefundable, subject to change, and will be assessed at the same time that you take the first semester courses of IDT 505 and IDT 510. The fees have been the same amount since 2002 and have not increased.

What is the Boot Up Orientation?

The boot up orientation is scheduled prior to the start of the first semester. The boot up orientation consists of a variety of workshops and experiences acclimating you to the overall program requirements, faculty and support staff, program technology requirements, library resources, course management system, final research project and practicum expectations, Titan Card, and software purchases. During this orientation you will spend time all the program faculty and meeting your classmates and getting to know one another. We begin to establish the online community of learners during the orientation.

What is the Midpoint Research Symposium?

During the fourth semester of the program, students participate in a mandatory midpoint research symposium. At the midpoint symposium, students review progress to date in relationship to individual professional goals and learning outcomes, students confirm their final research project and practicum activities, and work intensively with a program advisor.

What is the final project and culminating research?

As part of the Master's degree, students complete a research paper and create a digital instructional product. This requirement is completed during the final semester of the program in IDT 550 and IDT 597. Since the culminating research project and practicum are essential program components, it should reflect each student’s overall professional goals and learning goals. Students should have preliminary ideas about their research and digital instructional product, which is discussed during the admission's interview.

You should expect to continue to refine and expand these ideas during the Boot Up Orientation and throughout the program courses, thus finalizing your focus at the Midpoint Research Symposium.

One of the benefits of completing your degree at CSUF is that the program integrates components of the final research project in each graduate course. Each semester you will work on your research project, collect related literature for your literature review, and focus on your research ideas. This allows you time to consider your research and the focus of your digital instructional project ideas. Faculty guide you through your research agenda and you will find that you are prepared to complete your research and design your digital instructional project.

Are there any opportunities to present at research conferences?

Recently, the MSIDT program has incorporated several research related opportunities for students. Students attend and present at the TCC Online ConferenceOpens in new window sponsored by the University of Hawai'i. Graduate students also present at the College of Education's Education WeekOpens in new window featuring their research during the poster session. Additional research opportunities are added as they arise and connect with graduate level coursework.

Is there an Alumni Association and networking opportunities?

The MSIDT Program has an officially sanctioned and outstanding alumni chapter. Alumni members provide mentoring opportunities as individuals advance through the program, as well as, professional development, webinars and networking events. Please check the MSIDT Alumni Association information on Facebook.Opens in new window

Where do MSIDT Alumni work after they graduate?

We feature several alumni spotlight stories to share success stories with future graduates on LinkedIn. Please visit us at CSUF MSIDT on LinkedInOpens in new window .

How can I find out more information about the Certificate in Instructional Design?

Please visit the certificate pageOpens in new window to find out more information about the Certificate program.


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

Please direct all MSIDT program questions to the department office at (657) 278-2842.

All questions concerning the online application and transcripts should be directed to the CSUF Admissions Help Line at (657) 278-7601.