Priority Deadline: March 24, 2020
Final Deadline: June 23, 2020

Career options

  • Instructional designer
  • Online instructor
  • Course developer
  • Curriculum designer/specialist
  • Learning specialist
  • Instructional coordinator
  • Corporate trainer
  • Entrepreneur
  • Instructional technologist
  • Digital media designer

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

This master's degree prepares you for a career in instructional design. Delivered fully online, the program features work-friendly scheduling and takes 16 months to finish.

In that time, you will learn to design, implement and assess educational programs, such as online courses, professional development seminars and how-to modules for products and services. You will also learn how to develop instructional games and simulations, allowing you to educate people and organizations through play-based learning.

Along with practical course work, you will explore the theoretical components of curriculum design: how and why people learn what they learn and the best ways to deliver it.

Upon graduating, you will be ready to:

  • Design educational courses
  • Develop employee training programs
  • Design and prototype educational games and simulations
  • Manage projects
  • Create online instructional modules
  • Assess the effectiveness of educational interventions
  • Use instructional games and simulations in an education or corporate setting

Where do I use this and what would I do?

Instructional designers develop the majority of today's educational content, especially course work that's online. 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, organizations communicate policy, train employees and implement wide-scale change. Everything from private language lessons, like Rosetta Stone, to online master's programs, such as this one, is the work of instructional design.

Educational game and simulation development is a rapidly growing area of instructional design. This program will prepare you to design, prototype and evaluate games and simulations that can be used across a variety of industries.

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)

Instructional games and simulations certificate

A unique benefit of this program is the ability to earn a certificate in Instructional Games and Simulations. This certificate is a built-in feature, requiring no additional classes or course work. In other words, when you receive the master’s degree, you also receive the certificate.

Powerful tools for education, instructional games and simulations allow designers to create rich learning experiences that challenge and engage users.

You’re likely familiar with many such games. Lumosity, which tests your cognitive sharpness, is a popular one. Duolingo, which helps you learn languages, is another. With this certificate, you can design similar products, opening many new career paths.

Through its lessons, you will learn to:

  • Design educational games and prototypes
  • 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, including learning management systems, such as Canvas. Most course work is project-oriented. You will build your own learning games, test prototypes and build a portfolio to share with prospective employers.

This, in addition to classroom instruction, equips you with the project management skills to lead projects and teams of other instructional designers.

Work-friendly scheduling

You will take one class at a time and only two courses per semester. Each course is designed for maximum flexibility, giving you the freedom to absorb the program's lessons in the settings, and at the times, that work best for you.

Group learning

This program is delivered in the cohort, or group learning, format. With this model, you will join a group of other working adults and move with them from the first day of class to the last. This learning community supports 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, specifically focused to help our adult students, which will help you navigate the options to fund your education.

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.