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Get certified to create education and training programs for the adult learner in professional and academic environments.

Program Type

Graduate Certificate

Semester Start

Fall, Spring

Study Options


Minimum Duration

9 Months

UMass Boston’s Instructional and Learning Design Certificate focuses on the creation of education and training programs for adults in both professional and academic environments. It’s designed for educational professionals, corporate training specialists, librarians, and other educational design mavens who want to hone their skills and add a certification to their résumé. Explore cutting-edge learning technologies and develop a strong foundation in corresponding design theories and evaluation methods. Apply these skills to virtually any field — from sales to engineering to professional development. You have the option to continue on for an additional two semesters to earn a full Instructional Design MEd.

This graduate certificate focuses specifically on design, assessment and evaluation considerations of instruction. As well, this certificate addresses learning theory and other design elements required in training and education. The content of this certificate is applied across all education and training arenas that involve adult learners, including higher education institutes, corporate associations and health care industries. You'll gain the foundational knowledge and skills needed to be a successful instructional design specialist across a variety of settings.

The Graduate Certificate in Instructional & Learning Design is for training and educational professionals practicing instructional design that have a firm grasp on current learning technologies but without formal training in relevant learning theories and methods.  This Certificate augments the learning technology experience educational professionals may already possess with a strong foundation in adult learning theory, effective design principles, and sound methods of evaluation. The Instructional and Learning Design Certificate equips you with necessary knowledge to design, develop, implement, and assess learning interventions based on expertise in your field.


  • This program consists of five 3-credit courses, or 15 credits.
  • Online tuition is $575 per credit.
  • Total estimated tuition cost to complete this program is $8,625.
  • Estimate is based on completing program by minimum duration. Other fees may apply. Request Info to connect with a program representative for further details.


  • July 1 for fall, November 1 (priority deadline) and December 1 (final deadline) for spring

Application Checklist

  • A personal interview with the program faculty (email for an appointment before applying)
  • A statement of interests and intent (see requirements in Graduate Application)
  • Two letters of recommendation from former teachers familiar with your recent academic work, or from employers familiar with your professional ability
  • An updated résumé or CV
  • Official transcripts of all previous undergrad and graduate work

Required Courses:

  • Foundations in Instructional Design and Learning Technologies (INSDSG601)
    Get an introduction to the field of instructional design. Various instructional design models are analyzed theories are introduced, and learning technologies are explored. As a final project, students complete an instructional design plan for a learning or training event.
  • The Adult as Learner (INSDSG602)
    Research the practices and theoretical underpinnings of adult learning. An experiential process allows students to increase their understanding and ability to apply theories of adult learning, to set appropriate learning climates conducive to the characteristics of adult learners, and to become familiar with a variety of existing and emerging tools and techniques for facilitation the adult learning process.
  • Assessment and Evaluation in the Instructional Design Process (INSDSG642)
    Explore data collection and analysis in two key aspects of instructional design: the needs analysis phase and the evaluation phase. These two phases not only bookend the instructional design process but are also data-driven decision points by nature. Gain an understanding of methods and approaches of collecting, organizing, and analyzing data through the lens of these two instructional design junctures.
  • Design and Instruction of Online Courses (INSDSG684)
    Examine the critical success factors in designing and delivering online instruction. Through readings, discussion, and various activities, we examine the pedagogical implications of technology-mediated learning, the dynamics of the virtual classroom, the elements of effective online course design, as well as some of the tools and technologies available to create and deliver online instruction. Through group-based and individual project work, students design and create online modules.

Elective (Pick One):

  • Communication Theory and Practice (INSDSG604)
    Apply communications theory and strategies to organizational environments and learning contexts. The course addresses theories of media communication and the study of communication as applied to instructional design.
  • Using Primary Research for Evidence-Based Practice (INSDSG607)
    Examine how understanding data, research methodology, and research reports can contribute to informed evidence-based practice in instructional design. Become familiar with the processes and vocabulary of research designs, including the questions, methodologies and standards of validity and reliability. Learn to formulate a unique research question and look to academic sources to answer that question. Understand how to locate, critically read and evaluate research reports, and synthesize research findings to inform design practice.
  • Information Design and Visual Literacy (INSDSG608)
    Explore principles of visual literacy and information design and apply them to instructional design and learning. Topics include the foundations of image processing and visual learning and their practical application to enhance teaching and learning experiences. The role of perception in communication and learning, visual cueing and communications, information design and presentation will be discussed.
  • Video Principles for Instructional Design (INSDSG610)
    Get a comprehensive introduction to video production theory and technique, including the study of principles for analyzing and synthesizing information, and of some basic video instructional formats. The goal is to equip those responsible for developing instructional materials with the skills they need in order to work with video professionals in creating, designing, and producing instructional video programs.
  • Project Management for Instructional Designers (INSDSG634)
    Rarely does an instructional designer work alone. Explore how to use strategic project management in instructional design, including goal setting, diffusion of innovations, the interaction of social and technical interventions, and the arc of project implementation. This course includes three required, synchronous online course meetings, typically scheduled for early Sunday evening eastern time.
  • Planning, Design and Development of eLearning (INSDSG640)
    Get an overview of the process of designing and developing eLearning. Learn how to define the characteristics of effective eLearning, and look at the implementation of sound instructional design principles in designing and developing digital learning experiences. Explore various activity types and their learning contexts. Examine the role of the instructional designer working in multidisciplinary teams involving diverse stakeholders.
  • Universal Course Design (INSDSG646)
    Investigate the principles and theories of universal course design, focusing on access tools for diverse learners with emphasis on learners with disabilities. Explore instructional design tools that can be repurposed to support universally designed learning, such as reusable learning objects, multimedia, and gamification.
  • Designing Your Professional Online Presence (INSDSG651)
    Learn the necessary web-literacy skills to create and maintain a self-hosted website on which to showcase your online digital presence. Produce items for a WordPress-based website such as digital stories describing your unique strengths and differentiators as an instructional designer and educational professional. Develop skills in blogging and publishing of thoughtful opinion; insights on how to build a professional network, how to select signature portfolio pieces to showcase on their website, as well as personal branding and design for learning considerations. Further, the course provides you with proficiencies in self-directed learning in order to support life-long knowledge enhancement.

At the end of this two-semester program, you’ll be awarded a graduate certificate in Instructional and Learning Design. The program is designed for training and educational professionals practicing instructional design that have a firm grasp on current learning technologies but without formal training in relevant learning theories and methods, as well as professionals who already hold advanced degrees such as librarians, publishing professionals, sales managers, engineers, health care professionals, and college/university professors and instructors. The certificate will demonstrate your expertise in the field on your résumé, as well as in interviews and workplace evaluations. You can also continue on for an additional two semesters to earn an Instructional Design MEd.

Recent Graduates

Employers include:

Microsoft      Online Learning Consortium       Apple

Fidelity          Pearson           AETC New England AIDS Education & Training Center Program

Why UMass Boston Online?


Among the lowest online tuition rates of an accredited, public research university.


Study full-time to finish fast, or part-time to suit your schedule. Live sessions scheduled with the working professional in mind.


The same courses taught by the same academic departments as on campus. No third-party providers.

Learn More

Get the inside scoop on the program and connect with the people who run it.

Instructional and Learning Design Certificate