Graduate Catalog 2023-2024

Instructional Design, Master of Science (0428)

Department website:

Program Coordinator

Janet L. Tassell,, (270) 745-5306

Program Contact
Rachael Lee,, (270) 745-2819

Instructional design is the systematic analysis of learning and performance needs, and the development of effective strategies, processes, systems, and products to address those needs. The purpose of instructional design is to improve learning and performance for people of all ages in a variety of settings, including educational environments, work places, community settings, schools, and homes. Professionals in the field of instructional design apply systematic instructional design methodologies and a variety of instructional strategies to accomplish established goals.

The Master of Science in Instructional Design prepares practitioners to assume leadership roles in public or private organizations. Program graduates are equipped to design and develop instructional elements such as instructional videos, online instructional activities, user manuals for instructors, instruction manuals for commercial products, professional development curricula for teachers, multimedia instructional units, training packs for trainers, instructional materials for vocational/technical courses, lesson and unit plans for classroom use, and educational curricula.

Program graduates will possess the following competencies:

  • Ability to analyze a variety of instructional performance issues in business, government, education, and home settings
  • Ability to design and develop instructional solutions, including appropriate combinations of traditional/- instructor-led strategies, constructivist techniques, technology systems, and performance support systems
  • Ability to ethically and effectively manage instructional design projects, including project management/tracking and scheduling, budgeting, and client consultation skills
  • Ability to design appropriate assessment plans for instructional solutions
  • Ability to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of instructional solutions

Students who graduate with a master's degree in instructional design are equipped for employment as instructional designers and trainers in businesses, corporations, school and university settings, government agencies, and military services.  Instructional design graduates may also be employed as managers of technology-based systems and designers of technology products in settings that include corporations, universities, community colleges, medical centers, libraries, and school districts.

The curriculum for all Instructional Design courses is modularized (except for ID 560 and ID 570). A student must demonstrate proficiency in each module. All courses will be offered for 3 hours credit (except for Special Topics and Practicum).

Program Admission

Admission with a baccalaureate degree or master's degree requires the following:

  1. Applicants who hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university may apply for admission with an overall undergraduate GPA of 2.75.
  2. Or completed master's degree from a regionally accredited college or university with GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Graduate School Admission

Please refer to the admission section of this catalog for Graduate School admission requirements.

Program Requirements (30 hours)

The program includes one 3-hour research course, 15 hours of required courses, and 12 hours of advisor- approved professional emphasis courses for a program total of 30 hours.

Required Courses
EDFN 500Research Methods 13
ID 560Instructional Design Foundations3
ID 570Systematic Instructional Design3
ID 587Trends and Issues in Instructional Design3
ID 590Practicum in Instructional Design3
ID 595Internship in Instructional Design3
Professional Emphasis - Select 12 hours from the following: 212
Special Topics in Instructional Design
Practicum in Instructional Design
Improvement Analysis in the Workplace
Management of Instructional Systems
Training Design and Development
Multimedia Design
Distance Education Opportunities and Challenges
With advisor approval students may take up to 6 hours of adult education, educational technology, or other appropriate courses
Total Hours30

Or advisor approved equivalent.  Students may transfer in a previous graduate research course with a grade of B or higher that meets the Graduate School Currency of Courses policy.  If the course is over six years old, students may take a Research Competency Exam to satisfy this requirement and replace the 3 hours with an elective.


The student and ID faculty advisor will collaborate to select courses in the best interest of the student's career goals. Students must take 6-12 hours of Instructional Design courses from the professional emphasis list above. If the 12 hours are completed in Instructional Design courses, no more than 6 hours between ID 575 and ID 590 courses may be taken. However, if a student elects to take 6 hours of advisor-approved adult education courses, educational technology courses, or transfer courses, then neither ID 575 nor ID 590 may be completed as part of the professional emphasis and the student must complete two other ID professional emphasis courses listed above.