Career options

  • Instructional designer
  • Online and virtual course developer
  • Curriculum designer/specialist
  • E-learning designer
  • Instructional technologist
  • Digital media designer
  • Multimedia specialist
  • Educational game developer
  • Learning specialist
  • Online instructor
  • Instructional coordinator
  • Corporate trainer
  • Entrepreneur

Corporate training options

  • Amazon, Apple and Google hire master’s-level instructional design professionals for training and development roles.
  • In Southern California, Amazon represented the employer with the greatest regional demands of master’s-level instructional design graduates in 2017.

Source: Educational Advisory Board

Employment of instructional designers is projected to grow 11 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. (Source – Bureau of Labor Statistics)

In this program, you’ll gain the advanced knowledge, skills and professional abilities for a career in instructional design. Most instructional designers work in the rapidly growing world of online and virtual education. Course work in this master’s program covers a wide range of educational technologies, curriculum design principles, and impactful instructional strategies. This work allows instructional designers to create courses and programs working in collaboration with content experts.

When you graduate, you’ll be ready to design, develop, and deliver online and virtual courses in a wide variety of educational and professional practice contexts – including higher education.

Enter a rapidly growing market.

In a world in which online education is experiencing explosive growth, well-prepared instructional designers are in increasingly short supply and high demand. Considered the “architects” of the learning experience, working in collaboration with content experts, instructional designers create and organize effective educational experiences. Now more than ever, these experts are needed to design virtual programs and orchestrate the shift – sometimes a very rapid one – from in-person to online learning.

Game and simulation design – learning through virtual experience and play.

In addition to core instructional skills and strategies, this master’s program gives graduates the added capacity to design games and simulations as components of the educational programs they craft. Whether in higher education, K-12, or private sector development and training, games and simulations are a high-value addition to the capabilities of any instructional designer.

Upon graduating, you’ll be ready to:

  • Design online/virtual courses and programs using an array of pedagogical tools and strategies.
  • Create and prototype educational games and simulations.
  • Build instructional modules for many different learners and contexts.
  • Assess the effectiveness of existing educational courses and programs.
  • Develop a wide range of effective online/virtual courses and programs for learners in K-12, higher education, corporations, community development, and public service.

Where would I use this and what would I do?

Instructional designers develop the majority of today's online and virtual educational content. Needed by a wide range of organizations, from military to higher education, instructional design is an indispensable part of how we communicate ideas and educate people.

Through instructional designers, schools, colleges and universities enhance the impact of education and expand access to it. Instructional designers are also indispensable to media companies, public service organizations and corporations. Everything from private language lessons to online master's programs, such as this one, is the work of instructional design.

Instructional games and simulations certificate

Unique to this program, the certificate in Instructional Games and Simulation is yours when you graduate. Alongside your master’s degree, you’ll receive a credential certifying your ability to design educational games and simulations for audiences far and wide. This certificate is a built-in feature, requiring no extra classes or course work.

Instructional simulations provide a powerful alternative to the traditional learning experience. Through a simulation, a learner can explore a complex idea or build a new skill without relying on a lecture alone. The ability to create educational games is another high-value instructional design capability. Educational games can expand the learner’s command of concepts, reinforce the application of learning, broaden understanding of complex dynamics, and be a significant component of group projects.

These important additional instructional design capabilities will make graduates of this program more distinctive in the field.

Through its lessons, you will:

  • Design educational games and prototypes as components of your instructional design professional capabilities
  • Learn about VR/AR and immersive experience design
  • Use popular 3D modeling software, such as Unity
  • Create effective learning apps
  • Write code for instructional software

Learn by doing

The program provides hands-on training with many of the field's professional tools and technologies, such as Adobe products, Google Apps, Camtasia, badging and more. You’ll build your own learning games, test prototypes and create a portfolio to share with prospective employers.

During the program, you’ll also learn to code – no prior experience necessary! Needed for game design, coding skills will help you create the most effective learning apps and products. And when you graduate, you’ll enter the market with a skill desired by every major company in the world. Even students with a non-technical background will benefit from this boost and find the lessons are easy to learn.

Most course work is project-oriented. Through this program, you’ll learn the project management tools and skills to lead projects and multidisciplinary design teams.

Work-friendly scheduling

Each course is designed for maximum flexibility, giving you the freedom to absorb the program's lessons at times and in places that work best for you.

Although the program is online, classes meet once weekly in a convenient digital environment, providing live interaction to build important relationships with your professors and fellow students.

Group learning

This program is delivered in the cohort, or group learning, format. With this model, you will join a group of other professionals and move with them from the first day of class to the last. This learning community will support your goals, connects with you professionally and helps you graduate on time.

Extraordinary support services

A program manager is assigned to you on day one. This specialist handles all of your administrative matters, from application to graduation, allowing you to concentrate on your courses as well as your career. We also have a dedicated team of financial aid advisors to help you explore your funding options.

Online programs that meet exceptional standards

CSUN's online delivery format provides midcareer adults with significant flexibility for completing course work at times and in places that fit their own schedules. The distinguished faculty and leading practitioners who design and teach in CSUN's on-campus programs also craft the university's online programs, which are held to the same high standards of academic excellence and student achievement.