Frequently Asked Questions

What is Instructional Design?

Instructional Design (sometimes called Instructional Systems Design) is the art and science of creating education and training in a systematic manner. Our program focuses on adult learning in the workplace.

What types of jobs are available for instructional designers?

Graduates work in three main areas: the corporate world, government, or higher education. Graduates typically function as trainers, managers, designers, developers, eLearning experts, or consultants who assist organizations that are committed to improving the education and skills of their employees.

What skills do I need to be successful?

Students in the program come from a broad spectrum of the workforce with undergraduate degrees in a variety of subjects: English, business, mathematics, history, language, art, nursing, aviation, and others. Some have had experience in training and educating adults, but many have not. All bring personal experiences that enrich the learning for all. Perhaps the most important skills to bring to the program are attitudes: curiosity, desire, and the willingness to share.

How long does it take to complete the program?

Most students take the courses part-time, two courses per semester and a single course during the summer. Adhering to that schedule, the MEd program would take 2½ years to complete; the Certificate program would take 1½ years to finish.

How much will the program cost?

Click here for Fees Overview

What does the job market look like?

As in all industries, the instructional design field experiences the effects of the economy. Currently, the job market in the Northeast is robust and the prognosis for the future is equally bright. Many companies regularly contact our office with job postings.

Does the MEd certify me to become a teacher?

No, if you are looking to become certified as a k-12 public school teacher, our program is not for you. We focus entirely on adult education. Other programs at UMass Boston provide teacher certification. Yet teachers also find specific courses in our program useful for their continuing professional development.

What are the similarities and differences between online and on-campus classes?

The time structure is similar in both formats. Sessions are held weekly and an instructor is assigned to each course. In the case of online courses, the instructor provides two live sessions via computer with the remaining communication handled through discussion boards and emails.

The projects and workload are fundamentally the same but the methods used in each format are adjusted to take advantage of either an electronic environment or a face-to-face environment, depending on which form the class is using.

Although some students love the ability to control the time and place of their learning, we have found that the online environment is not for everyone. Some folks really need a teacher and fellow students in the same room with them to provide the motivation to attend class. You know yourself best.

If I were a contestant on Survivor, would I win?

Yes. The skills that you will develop through the program will enable you to be successful in any situation: jungle, desert, or outback. You will hone your analytical skills, better understand motivation, and create learning that will ensure that your team is granted perpetual immunity. Spend your million dollars now!

No. Our graduates are much too nice to step on colleagues in order to get ahead.

Where do I find costs?

Tuition and fee information can be found on the website.

Where do I receive information about financial aid?

More info on Financial Aid