Programs and Degrees

Instructional Design and Technology : Online

Why study Instructional Design and Technology : Online?

The University of Cincinnati offers an online graduate program in Instructional Design and Technology (IDT) with a specialization in teaching in blended and online environments. Blended and online learning and teaching are modern, technology-mediated learning modes that require specific skill sets, combining facilitation, collaboration, management, learning design, and assessment. Teaching and facilitating courses in such environments requires understanding of the nature of online and blended learning experiences, how they differ from traditional classrooms, and how to overcome the challenges and leverage the benefits. Led by educators with proven success in the field, students will examine current and projected trends, experience authentic online classrooms, and complete hands-on practice with eLearning tools. By completing project-based assignments, students will develop the skills needed to design, manage, and lead their online and blended classrooms.

Career Possibilities

Students in the teaching specialization of IDT may have careers as:

  • Online instructors
  • Corporate online trainers
  • Teachers of e-learning
  • Online learning content developers
  • Technology professional development coordinators
  • E-learning consultants
  • Educational technology specialists
  • E-learning managers

Major Maps

The curriculum consists of a minimum of 30 semester credit hours of graduate study, which can be completed over 1 academic year for full-time students or over a longer period of time for students who wish to attend part-time. Classes are offered in a fully online format. Students have the option to apply directly to the online Master’s program or apply to the 15-credit Graduate Certificate in Blended Online Learning and Teaching and then later apply to the Master’s, and transfer those graduate certificate credits into the Master’s program, if admitted. A teaching background is not a prerequisite for the program. This degree does not lead to a teaching license.

The curriculum includes 9 hours of core courses, 3 hours of electives, 15 hours of specialization requirements, and 3 hours of capstone experience. The core courses provide students with the foundation of instructional design, the learning sciences, and basic research skills needed for the field. These core courses emphasize the theoretical basis of Instructional and learning design. The electives are courses that provide the student with interdisciplinary knowledge and experience. Students can also take a professional field experience as an option for an elective. The teaching specialization focuses on facilitating learning in blended and online environments, creating technology-based assessments, gaining strategies for building in accessibility and differentiation, and learning new technology tools. For the capstone experience, students complete a project that builds upon their specialization track.

At the end of the program, the student will be able to:

  • Apply learning theories and sound pedagogical practices to the instructional design and development process.
  • Apply a systematic process to design instructional strategies that meet identified learning contexts and needs.
  • Create authentic, technology-mediated learning experiences.
  • Evaluate learning technologies and strategies using a variety of methods.
  • Analyze current research and emerging trends in the area of learning technologies.
  • Develop strategies to encourage active learning, application, interaction, participation, and collaboration in online and blended environments.
  • Facilitate effective learning in online and blended learning environments.
  • Demonstrate mastery of contemporary learning technologies.
  • Explain the instructional delivery continuum, including associated strengths and affordances.
  • Remain cognizant of the diversity of student academic needs and make appropriate accommodations.
  • Provide students with multiple and varied formative and summative assessments aligned with content and technology standards.


All incoming Master’s students will be assigned an academic advisor who is a tenure-track faculty member. Students will be mentored by their advisor on their plans of study. 

In addition to formal mentorship, students will build community through events such as the annual student showcase, which gives students the opportunity to demonstrate the projects and research that they have completed during the program and network with each other, alumni, professors from outside the IDT program, and others in the community. 

Special Programs

Our program is applicable to a wide range of educational environments including public, non-profit, higher education, and corporate training. Professors are leaders in the field, and course materials and activities incorporate the overarching methodology and latest trends in online teaching and learning. Students will experience online learning firsthand and practice the skills needed to succeed in the online teaching and learning in every stage of their coursework.

Scholarships in the form of Graduate Incentive Scholarship Awards (GIA) are available to incoming and returning students based on merit. If awarded, students can use GIA funding to cover part of their tuition. Application forms for GIA support scholarships will be sent to students after they have been officially accepted into a program. GIA funding is an annual award. A new application must be submitted each year. For more information on GIA scholarships, please see the Graduate School website.

Admission Requirements

Application Deadlines

Applications are reviewed three times a year in November, April, and July for any upcoming semester. Applicants are encouraged to submit applications for Fall in April. 

Domestic deadlines:

Fall  =  July 1
Spring  =  Nov 1
Summer  = April 1
Note: students with international student visas should apply to the IDT Master’s on-campus program. 

Application Materials

The application materials will consist of the following:

  • Video Essay. The video essay is optional and should be informal. It is a great way to let the committee know a little bit about you and to personalize your application.
  • Statement of the applicant's academic and professional goals. For your goal statement, please answer the following questions and upload it as an attached document in the online application. Your response should be no more than one page in length.
    • What are your professional goals? How will the program help you meet these goals?
    • Describe your technology skills, e.g., skills in computer-based multimedia, web, or productivity tools, video, etc. You may wish to include a link to a sample technology project to demonstrate your proficiency in the use of technologies.
  • Writing sample. Discuss your position on an issue in the field of instructional technology and how you hope to address that issue during your studies. Your essays should be between 750 and 1000 words and have at least three references.
  • Resume
  • Unofficial transcripts
  • At least one letter of reference (preferably academic).

Note: The purpose of the reference letters is to give the committee an additional data point to assess your academic and professional background. Hence, it is highly recommended to include both an academic and professional reference as part of your application. Applicants do not upload the recommendation letters.  A note is sent directly to the recommenders from the application system.  It is advisable to ask more recommenders than required because applications that do not include the required number of reference letters cannot be reviewed by the committee.

  • Applicant must hold a baccalaureate degree from a college or university regarded as standard by a regional or general accrediting agency
  • Applicant must have at least a B average (3.0/4.0 system or equivalent) in relevant undergraduate coursework or otherwise give evidence of promise that is judged satisfactory by the admitting program and the Graduate School.

Note: Candidates who graduated from a non-accredited college or university or who do not meet the minimum grade point averages requirement for admission will need a waiver from the graduate school. The decision of whether that waiver is accepted is made by the graduate school. In order for the program to request a waiver, the candidate must provide evidence that address mastery of the knowledge prerequisite to the courses required by the program, acceptable writing skills, the ability to engage in critical thinking, and a personal commitment to completing the program. The evidence must convincingly demonstrate the candidate's potential for success in graduate level work.

Candidates who are not accepted for admission into a Master’s Degree program may not apply to the same program for at least one academic year. During that period, such applicants may be encouraged by the program to enroll in appropriate course work to develop the knowledge, skills, and values deemed necessary for admission into the program, or to demonstrate that the applicant already possesses such qualifications. Whether such coursework may apply to the degree program is left to the discretion of the program. Completion of this course work does not guarantee admission into the program.

Admission decisions may not be made on the basis of race, age, sex, color, religion, sexual orientation or handicap.

Application Procedures

Prospective students will complete the online application. After logging in and/or creating a user account, select “Instructional Design and Technology, Online, Master of Education” program by the application deadline posted below.  It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all required materials and support documents are successfully submitted. Incomplete applications will not be processed or reviewed. 


Please refer to the policy provided by the Graduate School at

Changing Majors within UC Requirements

All transfer credits must adhere to Graduate School policy and are subject to approval. Courses must have (1) been completed within 5 years of admission, (2) received a B grade or above, and (3) be comparable to course work in the IDT program.

  • For students wishing to transfer graduate credit earned as a non-matriculated student, a maximum of 12 credit hours may be applied toward the degree.
  • For students wishing to transfer graduate credit from a graduate certificate or a Master’s degree program that hasn’t been completed, a maximum of 50% of the total credit hours required (or 15 credit hours) may be applied toward the degree.
  • For students wishing to transfer graduate credit from a completed Master’s degree, you should contact an advisor in the program to determine whether the graduate credit will be accepted.

International Student Requirements

International student applicants are required to provide specific information about their transcripts or degree programs to facilitate the applicant review process, including transcript translation and evaluation by a recognized translation/evaluation agency. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or successful completion of ELS Level 112, is required of all applicants whose native language is not English. Expectations for TOEFL scores are a minimum of 520 (paper test), 190 (computer-based test), or 80 (internet-based test); a minimum score on the Test of Written English (TWE) of 4.5; and a minimum score of 50 on the Test of Spoken English. The TOEFL must have been taken within the two-year period preceding admission. The University of Cincinnati maintains an International Student Services Office (ISSO), which serves international students attending the University. For questions regarding international student information, contact the International Student Services Office at (513)556-4278.


The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Quick Facts

Master of Education Degree in Instructional Design and Technology : Online

Full-Time Program Duration

2 Years


Uptown Campus West


PO Box 210014
Cincinnati, OH 45221
Phone: (513) 556-6308
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