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? Our students are typically professionals who are working in a variety of fields related to instructional design. Often students are working as instructional deesigners, higher education educators, K-12 teachers, technology trainers, LMS designers and managers, and freelancers. 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.

What makes the CSUF MSIDT program unique?

  • While you pursue your master's degree in Instructional Design and Technology, you simultaneously earn 2 certificates in Instructional Design. No other master's program in the California State University System awards certificates with a master's degree.
  • We are committed to your professional development. Each semester we offer faculty and alumni hosted webinars to supplement your academic knowledge and prepare you for your career advancement. Key topics include:  soft skills, new software, virtual reality, career advice, interview skill development, resume building, research tips, and more.
  • Our program is fully online and centered around building a community of learners with similar goals and academic interests.
  • We offer an orientation that is online and in person. This orientation supports the development of our learning community and provides students with foundational knowledge to support their academic development.
  • We offer support each semester to establish a research agenda. Research is central to the completion of a master's degree. Faculty meet individually with students throughout the semester to ensure that adequate research progress is met. This extra support provides students with the resources needs to successfully complete their master's degree research and graduate.

The MSIDT degree is designed to meet the needs of:

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

Are you a credentialed teacher?

We value your education and professional classroom experience. Credentialed teachers may transfer up to 6 units of 400-level coursework towards your master's degree. Coursework completed within the past 5 years qualifies for transfer units. This will allow you to complete your master's degree in just 4 semesters!

This degree is perfect for educators. It is 100% online and the courses are asynchronous. The part-time enrollment supports your work life balance. The MSIDT degree is personalized for teachers. Evening office hours are designed  for your schedule. You decide on your master's degree project topic. You can apply your teaching skills and build on your prior content knowledge, skills, and expertise.

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.   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 fees have not increased since 2001.



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, Titan Card, and software purchases. Students meet with the other students in the program and faculty to establish a strong sense of community which is central to online learning and collaboration.



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.



  • Candidates critically examine their implicit and explicit biases as part of their planning and organizing process to methodically bring about the completion of defined project goals and objectives.

  • Candidates discuss and assess through a critical lens (framework) that examine privilege to select and manage resources that promote equity and accessibility for individuals. 

  • Candidates use culturally relevant strategies to effectively apply solutions to solve problems.  

  • Candidates apply appropriate software design strategies in the development and implementation of digital instructional technologies to support and empower diverse communities.  

  • Candidates evaluate and synthesize research and use it to apply a critical theoretical lens to develop and implement an instructional product in a practical setting that supports learners.

  •  Candidates design, implement and apply Universal Design for Learning principles that support the needs of diverse learners in a highly diverse and digital world.   

  • Candidates develop and implement an instructional product that supports all learners.


Cost of Attendance

The tuition and fees are updated each semester and posted on the campus website. To view the current tuition and fees visit 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 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 Science 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 2024

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 with a teaching credential.

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?

In state 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 undergraduate 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 grades at the discretion of the MSIDT admissions committee. 

Not required:

  • GRE is not required
  • Letters of recommendation are not required

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 confirm the receipt of your materials. 

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 2-weeks after all transcripts are reviewed 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 asynchronous. 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 has 2 mandatory full-day, Saturday meetings: Boot Up Orientation and Midpoint Research Symposium. The meetings are on campus and available through Zoom. 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.

As you continue in the program, you will refine and expand your ideas during the Boot Up Orientation and throughout the program courses, and finalize 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 might alumni typically work after they graduate?

The MSIDT program has an officially sanctioned and active alumni chapter, the MSIDT Alumni Association. Our alumni members are very collaborative 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. 


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 soon we receive your application items, including  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. 

I am a credentialed teacher. Do any of my teaching credential courses count towards my master's degree?

YES! We are able to substitute up to 6 units of your credential courses towards your MSIDT degree. Coursework must be completed within the last 5 years. This will save you one semester of coursework. Please contact Dr. Gautreau to find out more information about this option. 

When you complete your MSIDT degree, you will also earn a certificate in Instructional Design and Technology. The certificate is one way to share your knowledge about instructional design with future employers.

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 .