UMass Boston's Graduate Certificate in Instructional and Learning Design 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 healthcare industries. Target populations include educational professionals, training managers and specialists, and design mavens who hold a Bachelor’s, Master’s or terminal degree and are interested in a certification in Instructional Design.

This 15-credit certificate program consists of five (5) courses, (4 core courses and 1 elective), and provides students with the foundational knowledge and skills needed to be successful instructional design specialists across a variety of settings. The program can be completed entirely online and in one year.

Learn more about this program:

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Sample a Course

Click here for more information on the Graduate Certificate in Instructional and Learning Design


Please see Fee Schedule below.

Type of Fee Amount
Fee per credit $575
Application Fee $60 (Domestic) $100 (International)(non-refundable and mandatory)
Deposit $250 (sent with acceptance letter - can be used against new student fee)
New Student Fee $390
Registration Fee $60 per semester
Graduation Fee $200 (Does not apply to certificate candidates)
Program Fee $225 ( If you do not take a class but wish to remain active in the program)
Course Fee Online course fees - See current semester fees
Total for course* $1725 (575 x 3 credits = 1725)

Other Tuition/Fees Information:

Click here to browse our course listings.

* Courses can vary from one to six credits; this total represents a standard 3 credit course


The University of Massachusetts is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

Did you know?

University of Massachusetts has earned several awards for its distance learning programs, faculty and technology including:

  • University of Massachusetts Lowell’s B.S. in Information Technology Ranked Among Top Affordable Online IT Degrees by Get Educated
  • UMass Ranked Among Top 10 Best Colleges in Online Education in Communication & Public Relations Degrees, by The Best Colleges
  • UMass ranks 19th highest-rated university in the world by the Times of London.
  • UMass ranked 56th in the Times of London's Top 200
  • UMassOnline, UMass Boston President's Special Achievement Award, Valerie C. Haven, Sloan-C 2010 Awards
  • University of Massachusetts Ranked Among Top 28 Best Value in Online Education for Human Services & Psychology Professionals, by Get Educated
  • Ranked Top 10 Online Degrees Colleges- (Online Degree Reviews.com)
  • UMassOnline Awarded Public Sector of the Year by Mass Technology Leadership Council
  • Most Outstanding Online Teaching and Learning Program, UMass Lowell's Online Graduate Behavioral Intervention in Autism Program, Sloan Consortium Excellence Awards
  • 'Excellence in Online Teaching' Award, Dr. Jeannette E. Riley, Sloan Consortium Excellence Awards
  • 21st Century Best Practices Award, United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA)
  • Program of Excellence, University Continuing Education Association (UCEA)-Journalism Certificate
  • Excellence in Faculty Development, Sloan-C Excellence Awards
  • Excellence in Online Programming, Sloan-C Excellence Awards
  • Excellence in Online Teaching, Sloan-C Excellence Awards
  • UMass Amherst Isenberg MBA, Top 10 national rankings, #4 Best Professors (Best Business Schools rankings)
  • 4th in Primary Care Education, U.S. World Reports
  • Excellence in Distance Teaching Education - United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA)

The Graduate Certificate in Instructional and Learning Design invites applications from individuals with a variety of academic and experiential backgrounds who hold at least a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution and who have appropriate interests and work experience.

Completed applications are due:

  • August 1st for the Fall and
  • December 1st for the Spring

Please note: All Admissions Criteria should be completed by the stated deadlines

Admission criteria include:

  • Graduate Application: Apply Online | Download PDF
  • Official transcripts of all previous undergrad and graduate work.
  • A personal interview with the program faculty (call 617.287.5980 for appointment before applying);
  • A statement of interests and intent (see requirements in Graduate Application);
  • Two letters of recommendation from former teachers familiar with the applicant’s recent academic work, or from employers or colleagues familiar with his or her professional ability;
  • An updated resume

The Instructional Design Program Office offers support and guidance through the application and admissions process. Call: 617-287-7749 or email: instructionaldesign@umb.edu.

Plan of Study: 

Graduate Certificate in Instructional & Learning Design Program

Participants seeking the certificate take a total of five courses (15 credits) which offer hands-on experience with software commonly used for face-to-face, online and blended educational materials; as well as studies relating to the place of educational technologies in instructional strategies, techniques of project management, and the proposal and design phases of technology-based instructional development.

Students are required to maintain a 3.0 GPA throughout the program. Students are allowed to take up to two (2) Instructional Design courses before application to the certificate program. All credits earned under this graduate certificate may be transferred into the Instructional Design Master's Program.

The program is also open to students currently matriculated in any UMass Boston graduate program. Students may enroll in the program after consulting with academic advisors in their own programs, and should submit a statement of purpose to the director of the ID program. These students must complete INSDSG 601 as their first course in the program, unless a specific exception is sought by the program director.

Students complete a minimum of five (5) courses (4 required and 1 elective) for a total of 15 credits.

Required (Core) Instructional Design Courses (4):

  • CORE: INSDSG-601, Foundations in Instructional Design and Learning Technologies

This course provides 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 are expected to complete an instructional design plan for a learning or training event. - Credits: 3

  • CORE: INSDSG-602, Adult as Learner

In this course students 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. - Credits: 3

  • CORE: INSDSG-642, Assessment and Evaluation in the Instructional Design Process

This course explores 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. Students explore methods and approaches of collecting, organizing, and analyzing data through the lens of these two instructional design junctures. - Credits: 3

Prerequisite: INSDSG 601 and 602

  • CORE: INSDSG-684, Design and Instruction of Online Courses

This course is for instructors, teachers, trainers, or instructional designers who want to explore the critical success factors in designing and delivering online instruction. Through readings, discussion, and various activities, we will examine the pedagogical implications of technology-mediated learning, the dynamics of the virtual classroom, the elements of effective online course design, as well as the tools and technologies available to create and deliver online instruction design, and to assess student performance. Through group-based and individual project work, we will design and create online modules. This course will use a range of interactive and collaborative instructional techniques in an effort to provide current or potential online instructors rich firsthand experience of what it is like to be a student learning in an online environment. - Credits: 3

Prerequisite: INSDSG 601 and 602

Elective(s) Instructional Design Course(s) (select at least 1 of the following):

  • INSDSG-604, Communication Theory and Practice

This course is based on communications strategies and practices as supported by current communications theory. Learners apply theory and strategies to their organizational environments and learning contexts. The course addresses theories of media communication and the study of communication as applied to instructional design. - Credits: 3

Prerequisites: INSDSG 601

  • INSDSG-605, Collaborative Learning Design

This course is a hands-on introduction to the many web-based, digital tools used in teaching and learning. Students will have the opportunity to explore how these tools enable instructional designers to provide diverse learners with opportunities for both formal and informal collaborative learning. Students will also be reviewing mobile learning concepts and their implications for instructional designers. Moreover, students will investigate how online and social media tools have been adapted to the mobile environment. - Credits: 3

Prerequisite: Masters or certificate student in Instructional Design or permission of instructor.

  • INSDSG-607, Using Primary Research for Evidence-Based Practice

This course examines how understanding data, research methodology and research reports can contribute to informed evidence-based practice. The course emphasizes research relevant to the field of instructional design. Students will be introduced to the processes and vocabulary of research designs, including the questions, methodologies and standards of validity and reliability. Students learn to formulate a unique research question and look to academic sources to answer that question. Students will learn to locate, critically read and evaluate research reports, and synthesize research findings to inform design practice. - Credits: 3

Prerequisites: INSDSG 601 and 602

  • INSDSG-616, Design and Authoring of eLearning

This project-based learning course is designed to introduce students to key components of creating self-paced and technology mediated learning. Students have an immersive learning experience by exploring the development process of eLearning programs using current and emerging eLearning tools. Research-based techniques are examined and applied during the development process. Through hands-on assignments students address user interface design, the execution of effective instructional strategies and techniques of graphic production. Students work individually and in teams to create prototypes and produce eLearning portfolio-ready projects. - Credits: 3

Prerequisite: INSDSG 601 or permission of instructor.

  • INSDSG-634, Project Management for Instructional Designers

Project management is an essential tool for instructional designers. Rarely will you be the only person on a project. The success or failure of the intervention depends on the work of many people and you will often be in charge of managing the process. Traditional project management methods can be used for building anything from buildings to software. In this course, we will explore strategic project management, including goal setting, diffusion of innovations, the interaction of social and technical interventions and the arc of project implementation. NOTE: There will be three REQUIRED synchronous online course meetings, at this point scheduled for Saturday, early afternoon East Coast time. - Credits: 3

Prerequisite: INSDSG 601

  • INSDSG-640, Planning, Design and Development of eLearning

This course provides an overview of the process of designing and developing eLearning. Students define the characteristics of effective eLearning, and look at the implementation of sound instructional design principles in designing and developing digital learning experiences. Students will explore various activity types and their learning contexts. The course emphasizes development strategies, visual design and navigation. Throughout this course, students will examine the role of the instructional designer working in multidisciplinary teams involving diverse stakeholders. - Credits: 3

Prerequisite: INSDSG 601 or permission of instructor.

  • INSDSG-646, Universal Course Design

This online elective course will investigate the principles and theories of Universal Course Design for Learning. The focus will be primarily on access tools for diverse learners with particular emphasis on learners with disabilities. The practical application of Universal Design principles to the discipline of Instructional Design will be explored. Some examples of instructional design tools that can be re-purposed to support universally designed learning are reusable learning objects and gaming. Reusable learning objects can be embedded into learning environments to support diverse learning styles and gamification is a useful resource for educating learners with learning and cognitive disabilities. The development of accessible multi-media and the use of on- line for the establishment of inclusive teaching practices will also be presented. - Credits: 3

Prerequisite: INSDSG 601

  • INSDSG-696, Independent Study

The comprehensive study of a particular topic or area in instructional design, as determined by the needs of the individual student. The student works under the guidance and supervision of the instructor. - Credits: 3

Prerequisite: Program Director permission required.

Financial Aid: 

Those seeking financial assistance may contact the UMass Bursars Office at https://www.umb.edu/bursar