Graduate Certificate in Instructional Design

Explore the Core Concepts Behind Powerful Instructional Design

In this program, you’ll explore up-to-date ideas and methods behind implementing learning design and technology. You’ll graduate prepared to pursue a variety of career paths in an industry that’s constantly growing and looking for professionals with relevant educational backgrounds.

Create Exciting New Methods for Learning

Instructional design is a practice that touches a range of industries and learners. By completing this certificate program, you will be prepared with the core knowledge necessary to create concise, informative and accurate learning methods.

Expert Courses Designed to Build a Solid Foundation

In this program, you will take the first steps in exploring current, proven learning methods and educational technologies through fully online courses taught by leaders in learning experience design and emerging educational technology.

The curriculum of this online graduate certificate incorporates the latest research in learning theory, educational technology and instructional design principles. It encourages students to use their work experience as a framework for their study. This program will give you the foundation to get started in the field or advance to our MS in Education in Learning Design and Technology program. Credits for the ID certificate are applicable to the MSED program.

Program at a Glance

  • Delivery: 100% Online
  • Credits: 9
  • Course Length: 8 weeks
  • In-State Rate: $450/credit
  • Out-of-State Rate: $670/credit
  • Start Date: Fall (August), Spring (January), Summer (May)

#1 in Indiana – Best Online Master’s in Education Programs

U.S. News & World Report, 2024

#10 Best Educational/Instructional Media Design Programs

U.S. News & World Report, 2024

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A World of Career Opportunities

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of training and development specialists is projected to grow 8% from 2021 to 2031, which is faster than the average for other occupations.

Earning your graduate certificate in instructional design will set you on the path to pursue a variety of in-demand roles, such as:

  • E-Learning
  • Instructional Development
  • Multimedia Design
  • Training and Development, E-Learning
  • Project Management
  • Content Design

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Instructional Coordinators, at (visited October 25, 2022).

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Admissions Requirements

Admissions decisions are based on individual experience and the applicant’s fit with the program.

We recommend that all applicants speak to an enrollment counselor to verify eligibility and document accuracy in applying for the program. Candidates must submit a completed application as well as the following items:

  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • An updated resume
  • Official transcripts from all universities attended, including transfer credits*
  • An application fee of $60 ($75 for international students)

*Coursework used to satisfy the requirements of a conferred master’s degree from an institution other than Purdue may not be used as transfer credit.

In addition to the admission requirements noted on the first tab, international students must also provide the following information.

  • Official transcripts from all universities attended in the original language as well as English translation for transcripts and diplomas not in English.
  • Non-native English speakers must also submit the following.
    • TOEFL test scores that are less than two years old and meet the following requirements:
      • Minimum Overall: 80
      • Writing: 18
      • Speaking: 18
      • Listening: 14
      • Reading: 19
    • IELTS test scores that are less than two years old and meet the following requirements:
      • Minimum Overall: 6.5
      • Writing: 6.5
      • Speaking: 6.0
      • Listening: 6.0
      • Reading: 5.5
    • Duolingo test scores that are less than two years old and meet the following requirements:
      • Total score of 115 and 115 on each subscore

We recommend that all applicants speak to an enrollment counselor to verify eligibility and document accuracy before applying for the program. To schedule your phone interview, call 877-497-5851.

Once you have connected with an enrollment counselor, you are ready to complete the online application.

If you have any questions about filling out the application, request more information or call 877-497-5851 to speak with an admissions advisor.

Send All Other Application Materials To:

Purdue University Online Programs Admissions Processing Center
851 Trafalgar Court, Suite 420
West Maitland, FL 32751

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Current Tuition Rates and Fees*In-StateOut-of-State
Tuition Rate$381.20$601.20
PO Infrastructure Fee (per credit hour)$18.80$18.80
Digital Education Fee (per credit hour)$50.00$50.00
Total Cost Per Credit Hour$450.00$670.00
Total Credit Hours99
Total Program Cost$4,050.00$6,030.00

*Graduate Certificates at Purdue DO NOT qualify for financial aid.

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With our new Graduate Certificate in Instructional Design, you can get started in this program with a strong foundational understanding of core learning design competencies. The 2-semester program consists of nine credit hours designed to get you started on your journey.

This expert-taught program will expose you to some of the hottest topics in the design world such as learning systems design, learning theories, development and management of technology and more. With an elective option built into the program, students can focus on areas of personal interest such as educational video game design, motivational instruction design, or developing instruction with specific leading technology platforms.

This course helps students learn how theories of human learning and motivation can be applied to the instructional process in order to make the process more effective, efficient, and/or appealing. The focus of the course is on two areas: 1) the theoretical principles that have contributed to the field of Instructional Design (ID), and 2) how those principles can be applied within practical settings.

Total Credits: 3

This course is an introduction to the principles of designing instructional materials and to instructional communication theory and techniques. Topics include objectives, student characteristics, media selection, communication variables, message design, and systematic evaluation. (Pre-requisite for EDCI 67200, EDCI 56900 & EDCI 57300)

Total Credits: 3

Elective options are subject to availability and are not guaranteed.

This course provides an historical overview of the field and delineates the foundational knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed by professionals in the field of educational technology and instructional design. Students explore the field by engaging in collaborative projects along with thinking and writing about various aspects of educational technology and the underlying instructional design theories.

Total Credits: 3

This course provides an introduction to the field of human performance technology (HPT). It examines basic concepts and principles of human performance, the theoretical underpinnings of the field, research and application literature, and various approaches to solving human performance problems. A systematic approach to the analysis, design, development, implementation and evaluation of performance improvement interventions within organizations is emphasized.

Total Credits: 3

This course has been designed to provide you with an introduction to the design of educational computer and video games. Computer and Video games have been gaining increased recognition as potentially powerful media for engaging and effective learning. The focus of the course throughout the semester will be on two areas: 1) the learning, instructional design, and game design theories that can inform the design of effective and engaging educational computer and video games, and 2) how to apply those theories within practical settings. Key theories will be introduced through course readings and discussion. Students will be asked to play and analyze educational games outside of the classroom. Students will apply the theories through the design of their own educational computer or video games.

Total Credits: 3

This course addresses the fundamentals of educational/learning technologies within both the traditional classroom, as well as the corporate/business training environments. Students will explore and evaluate various tools/technologies and determine how, when, and why such technologies can/should be infused into normal, hybrid, or fully online learning situations. The goal of the course is to help the student plan, implement, and evaluate technology for teaching and learning.

Total Credits: 3

This course focuses on techniques for and issues related to integrating computers in learning environments. Topics covered stem from literature in the field and include (1) theoretical foundations of technology integration, (2) teaching and learning issues with technology integration, (3) designing the application of learning technologies for use in educational settings, and (4) emerging issues in research and practice with technology integration. Class activities are designed to model applications of learning technology, while class projects allow individuals to develop skills and knowledge in areas of your personal need or interest. The goal of the course is to help you develop an understanding of important issues associated with the integration and management of technology in learning and to effectively plan, design, implement, and evaluate technology-based instruction.

Total Credits: 3

This course involves the exploration of educational applications of multimedia. Examination and application of related research is a key component of the course. Projects involve the creation of instructional materials incorporating multimedia (e.g. sound, photographs, video, and/or interactive elements). Usability and usability testing considerations are explored.

Total Credits: 3

This course examines how the design and development of instruction are impacted by the use of the computer as delivery system. A primary focus is on effective learning design strategies for e-learning. Learners will identify and apply effective design practices with emphasis on project management, planning, and implementation. Education or training materials will be developed using appropriate authoring tools as determined by the instructional context. Learners will design an E-Learning module with end-to-end documentation of the design process (Project Plan, Design Document, Storyboard). Opportunities for collaborative feedback and evaluation will also be featured elements of the course experience. (Prerequisite: EDCI 57200).

Total Credits: 3

An introduction to the field of distance learning/education. Examination of basic concepts and principles of distance learning, the theoretical underpinnings of the field, research and application literature, and distance education delivery technologies. A systematic approach to the design, development, delivery, and evaluation of instruction for learners at a distance is emphasized. Special attention is given to course management systems.

Total Credits: 3

This course explores principles and techniques that can be used to carry out evaluations within an organization. The course also examines several aspects of conducting evaluations, including planning and designing an evaluation, developing appropriate instruments, using various methods to collect information, analyzing information obtained from those methods, and communicating results and recommendations. This course is designed to help learners understand the multiple ways that evaluation is used in instructional systems and provides opportunities to design various types of evaluation instruments. A portion of the course will examine the study of learner assessment as part of the evaluation of instructional programs; however, the course’s focus is dedicated to the study of program evaluation.

Total Credits: 3

This course has been designed to provide an in-depth study of motivation as one of the fundamental variables underlying human learning, behavior and instructional design. The focus of the course is on two areas: 1) theories of motivation and the general principles that have contributed to the field of instructional design, and 2) how those principles are selected and applied within practical design settings.

Total Credits: 3

This course focuses on how to utilize Articulate Storyline to create interactive and engaging learning modules. Through a variety of learning activities implemented in this course, learners will be able to utilize Articulate Storyline functionalities and resources along with appropriate pedagogical strategies to design and develop an original Articulate Storyline learning module. Additionally, they will be able to develop professional skills such as peer feedback and assess their instructional design growth through self-reflection.

Total Credits: 3

This course focuses on the application of project management ideas, concepts, and strategies in instructional design settings. Students will be asked to consider the relationship between instructional design and project management, tools that can assist with managing instructional design projects, and factors influencing the instructional design project management process. Students will explore these topics by creating deliverables for instructional design cases and other interactive assignments.

Total Credits: 3

This course focuses on the application of learning systems design to real-world educational situations through the in-depth consideration of key instructional design processes (e.g., analysis, design, development, implementation, evaluation). Additionally, a key focus of the course is on the development of instructional design expertise. (Prerequisite: EDCI 57200).

Total Credits: 3

Learn From the Experts

Explore how Purdue’s faculty for the online MS in Education in Learning Design and Technology can prepare you for leadership and advancement.

Luke Bennett, Clinical Assistant Professor

Peg Ertmer, Professor Emerita

Marisa Exter, Associate Professor

Wanju Huang, Clinical Associate Professor

Adrie Koehler, Associate Professor

James Lehman, Professor Emeritus

Victoria Lowell, Clinical Professor

Timothy Newby, Professor

Jennifer Richardson, Professor

Sunnie Watson, Professor

William Watson, Professor

Erin Besser, Instructor

Mary Bonhomme, Instructor

Linda L. Campion, Instructor

Sangeetha Gopalakrishnan, Instructor

George Hanshaw, Instructor

Carole Hruskocy, Instructor

Woori Kim, Instructor

Nilufer Korkmaz, Instructor

Jennifer Lee, Instructor

Judith Lewandowski, Instructor

Christopher Mong, Instructor

David Paredes, Instructor

Dana Ruggiero, Instructor

Valerie Schmitz, Instructor

Shaun Scott, Instructor

Heidi Watson-Held, Instructor

Maryshannon Williams, Instructor

Ji Hyun Yu, Instructor

Frequently Asked Questions

No, unfortunately graduate certificates at Purdue DO NOT qualify for financial aid.

All three courses for the Instructional Design Graduate Certificate can count toward MSED in Learning Design and Technology as well as the MSED in C&I Ed-Tech concentration. Two elective courses, EDCI 56900 and EDCI 57700 can be applied to the Master’s in Corporate Training and Communication.

No. Both on-campus and online programs earn the same diploma.

No. While computers and other new technology are often used as instructional tools, and their use and integration in learning and teaching is an important aspect of this program, the focus of the graduate certificate in Instructional Design is on learning systems design, learning theories, development and management of technology and more.

No. Learning Design and Technology has a wide variety of applications, not just in education. Our students come from all different educational and professional backgrounds. We do require students to hold a bachelor’s degree in order to be considered for admission. Learn more about application requirements.

A maximum of 3 credit hours may be transferred from other institutions toward the online Instructional Design Graduate Certificate. Transfer credits must be from a graduate level course with a grade of B or higher and cannot come from another conferred degree. Students should discuss any potential transfer credit with their enrollment counselor as soon as possible during the admissions process. A final decision on eligibility of transfer credit is made after review by program faculty.

The faculty of the Graduate Certificate in Instructional Design at Purdue all hold doctoral degrees and contribute to ongoing research in the field of educational technology and learning design. You can learn more about them by visiting the faculty page.

Most of the coursework is asynchronous, meaning that there are not specific times that you need to be in the course. However, interaction with your instructor and peers is a major component of our classes. As an online student at Purdue University, you’ll log into a virtual online classroom interface that includes areas for assignments, discussion boards, e-mail, and more. Just like in a traditional classroom, you’ll complete coursework and exams and interact with your instructor and classmates, but it will all be online. You can access and work on your coursework at any time. You are generally required to post assignments and check in several times per week and then you just need to complete your assignments according to the schedule posted by your professor.

The online Graduate Certificate in Instructional Design at Purdue University requires a total of 9 credit hours.

The academic experience varies by student; however, we recommend that students plan to spend 15-25 hours per week for each course they take.

The faculty and staff at Purdue are dedicated to your success at the University and in the future. You can schedule to meet with your instructors online, and instructors will answer emails in a timely fashion. Technical support is available to help you handle hardware and software issues. We have dedicated staff to talk to you about financial aid, scheduling, or other administrative matters.

As an online student, you will have access to a multitude of support resources when you need help or guidance, starting with new student orientation to familiarize yourself with the online learning environment. Other services include a help desk for technical issues, a student services coordinator and more.

Purdue University’s online programs are just as rigorous and challenging as their on-campus counterparts. The main difference is the online format, which allows you greater convenience as to when and where you learn.

Yes. Students are always encouraged to visit campus and experience all that Purdue has to offer. For visitor information, visit

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