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 per semester that link curriculum concepts. Students are considered part-time graduate students.  Note that this program requires students to enroll in two courses during the summer semester to successfully graduate in five semesters. Detailed information about each course 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 about 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. The 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.



The first required meeting is a 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, master's final project and practicum expectations, textbook procedures, TitanCard, and software purchases.



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



  • 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 responsible for purchasing authoring software,  Articulate Storyline. 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.



By earning your degree, 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 
  • Certificate of Instructional Design - Level I certificate (plus digital badge)
  • Certificate of Instructional Design - Level II certificate (plus digital badge)


Ready to Apply?Opens in new window
Apply now for Fall 2023

Visit our Admissions PageOpens in new window or use our step-by-step Cal State Apply GuidePDF File Opens in new window to get started!


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 difference between the MSIDT program and the M.A. in Educational Technology?

The MSIDT program is designed for individuals seeking to advance their knowledge of instructional design and improve their skill level. This can apply to educators (K-12 and higher education), those in the business, corporate, medical or military fields, as well as those interested in training in e-learning or curriculum development. With the MSIDT degree, you can pivot your career path at any time as the skills we teach you are diverse and can be applied to any field. 

The Educational Technology degree is designed for K-12 educators.

I don't have a bachelor's degree in Education. Can I still apply to the program?

Yes, we accept all undergraduate majors!

I am not a resident of California. Can I still apply?

It depends on which state you reside. Please review the State Regulation list of approvedOpens in new window states. This list changes often.

Do you accept international students? What are the requirements for admission?

We do accept international students. It is important to check the International Graduate Eligibility Requirements before applying. Application and transcript deadlines still apply.

Please note that the MSIDT program does not provide visas as we are a 100% fully-online program. You are more than welcome, however, to participate from your home country!

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

Students generally pay approximately $2800 per semester, with five semesters total. These fees can vary by semester. You can check with Student Business Services  (select "Tuition Fees," then "Graduate and Post-Baccalaureate Program Tuition and Fees") for the breakdown of fees for each semester.

Students enrolled in the program take 6 units each semester and are considered part-time graduate students. Campus-based fees are required, even if you are an online student. It makes all on-campus resources available to you at any time.

For online distance fees, there is an additional $198/semester or $99/course. These fees are part of Category III fees. These fees are required for students who participate in any online course and have been approved by the Chancellor’s Office. All fees are subject to change.

Can I apply for financial aid?

Financial aid is available to students. Please visit the Office of Financial Aid's websiteOpens in new window to find out more information and to contact them with any questions you may have. 

Are there any prerequisites to the program? What are the requirements for admission?

There are no prerequisites to apply to the program.

In order to apply, you must have the following:

  • A bachelor's degree from an accredited university. 
  • A minimum GPA requirement for admission to the university of 2.50 cumulative undergrate GPA. The MSIDT program requires a 3.0 GPA. Applicants with a GPA between 2.50 and 3.9 may be conditionally accepted based on review of resume, essay, and interview at the discretion of the MSIDT admissions committee. 

Not required:

  • GRE
  • Letters of recommendation 

If you feel you are below the GPA requirements, including those below the 2.50 university GPA requirement, please contact the program directorOpens in new window to discuss options before applying. 

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 site,  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. At this time, please also submit your resume and personal statement through "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. 

How and where do I send transcripts? Can I send electronic copies?

Cal State Fullerton requires that all official transcripts be sent to the Office of Admissions. This includes universities or community colleges where you took only one course. Do not send your transcripts to the program. Attaching them to your application will also not qualify as submitted transcripts. 

It is preferrable to send electronic copies as it is faster to upload them to your file. You can request your university to send electronic copies to admissions@fullerton.eduOpens in new window . If your university does not participate in sending electronic transcripts, please send sealed, official copies to:

California State University, Fullerton
Office of Admissions
P.O. Box 6900
Fullerton, CA 92834-6900

More information about sending transcripts can be found on the Admissions transcript pageOpens in new window

Deadline to send in transcripts for admission consideration: July 15th 

When will I know I've been accepted to 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 are the technological requirements for the program? What kind of computer do I need?

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

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 (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 (At least 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? Do you use any software?

No. Coding or programming knowledge is not required.

Students do not learn HTML, coding, or programming while in the program. Students will learn skills on authoring software, such as Articulate Storyline.

What is the structure of the program?

This is a cohort program, consisting of 10 courses. The program duration is 5 semesters, including a required summer semester. Each semester, students enroll in two graduate courses (3 units each course). Students are considered part-time graduate students. 

Are the courses asynchronous? Are there any synchronous required meetings? 

The courses are scheduled, generally, in asynchronous, weekly modules. Usually, you will not have set day(s) or time(s) you meet for live lectures. 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, Saturday meetings: Boot Up Orientation and Midpoint Research Symposium.  The meetings are on campus, but there is a video conferencing option for students who need to attend virtually. Attendance and participation is a mandatory requirement for this degree.

These meetings have additional fees, which are non-refundable, subject to change, and assessed at the same time you take the first semester of the program. The fees have been approved by the Chancellor with a specific Executive Order that includes the $345 Boot Up fee and the $228 Midpoint fee. 

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 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.

This event is mandatory and part of the program's requirements for graduation.

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.

This event is mandatory and part of the program's requirements for graduation.

What is the master's project?

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?

The MSIDT program incoporates several research-related opportunities for students. Students attend and can present at the annual Teaching Colleges and Community (TCC) Online ConferenceOpens in new window , sponsored by the University of Hawai'i. 

Graduate students can also present their research during the poster session at the College of Education's yearly Education Week, a week dedicated to those sharing their insights on the field of education.

Additional research opportunities are added as they are arise and connect with graduate-level coursework. 

Does the program have internships or networking events? Do they help with job placement?

The MSIDT program host networking events for current and former students to intermingle with each other as well as prospective employers. We also host online webinars and workshops each semester. 

The program does not provide internships to students. We do, however, post any internships or available jobs given to us or we find to each cohort community page or our social media outlets. We actively post new jobs in Instructional Design each week. Cal State Fullerton also has the Career Center, which helps with mock interviews, resume building, job postings, and host hiring expos. 

Does the program have an alumni chapter? Where do your alumni work after they graduate?

The MSIDT program has an officially sanctioned and outstanding alumni chapter, the MSIDT Alumni Association. Our alumni members are very active and enthusiastic, often providing mentoring opportunities to current students advancing through the program. They also provide supplemental professional development and webinars, as well as participate in networking events. 

Our alumni also work in various fields, including education, military, and business. We feature several alumni spotlight stories on our LinkedIn pageOpens in new window to share our graduates' successes with our future and current students. 

Please check the MSIDT Alumni Association Facebook groupOpens in new window for more information!

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

Please visit our certificate pageOpens in new window to find out more information about the certificate program. You can also contact us with any questions you may have. 

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

Notification of admission can vary. It is all dependent on how fast we receive your application items, including all transcripts. Once we have all application items, we can place you into review. Although we usually notify applicants within a week or two after review, sometimes it can happen later, depending on how early you applied for the new upcoming semester. You will, however, receive an email notification about the university and/or our decision on your application. 

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) 278-3100, or submit a Admissions Help Desk ticketOpens in new window .