Become an Instructional Designer

Graduate certificate for professionals interested in developing focused competency in instructional design or shifting your career in a different direction.

Quick Links

Nine Month Instructional Design Fast Track Option

Prerequisite: Completion of a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution

Each course is three semester hours graduate credit.

Course Sequence

Completion of each course with a GPA of 3.0 or higher is the prerequisite for registration in the next course.

Course 1: EDUC 765 Trends and Issues in Instructional Design

Course 2: EDUC 766 Instructional Strategies and Assessment Methods

Course 3: EDUC 767 Designing Computer-Based Training (CBT)

Course 4: EDUC 768 Project Management for Instructional Development

The fall 2018 session is full.

Begin on January 7, 2019 (Spring Term)

Spring: EDUC 765 Trends and Issues in Instructional Design
January 7 - March 1, 2019
Spring: EDUC 766 Instructional Strategies and Assessment Methods
March 4 - April 26, 2019
Summer: EDUC 767 Designing Computer-based Training (CBT)
April 29 - June 21, 2019
Summer: EDUC 768 Project Management for Instructional Development
July 8 - September 13, 2019

It is possible to skip a term or two between courses if that works better than taking the courses back to back every term. However, the courses must be taken in sequence. 

Begin on April 29, 2019 (Summer Term)

Summer: EDUC 765 Trends and Issues in Instructional Design
April 29 - June 21, 2019
Summer: EDUC 766 Instructional Strategies and Assessment Methods
June 24 - August 16, 2019
Fall: EDUC 767 Designing Computer-based Training (CBT)
August 26 - October 18, 2019
Fall: EDUC 768 Project Management for Instructional Development
October 21, 2019 - January 10, 2020


Tuition and Financial Aid

How much will it cost?

  • 2018-2019: $441 per semester hour graduate credit ($1,323 per course)

    If you complete all four courses before September 1, 2019, the total cost of the four courses is $5,292.
  • Tuition is due per course, not the entire cost at the beginning of the program.
  • Spring Tuition Due Date - February 27, 2019
  • No registration fee to reserve a class

E-textbooks are provided in some of the courses.

Tuition is the same for Wisconsin residents, out-of-state and international students.

Do I need to apply for admission to the university's graduate program?

No, students who are enrolling for professional development and continuing education do not need to apply for graduate admission to the university.

Is financial aid available for a certificate?

UW-Stout Office of Financial Aid
You may qualify for financial assistance if you are enrolled in a Master's degree program for at least five (5) graduate credits in a semester.

If you plan to apply the certificate graduate credits as electives for your specialization area in the Master of Science in Education or as electives in the Master of Science in Career and Technical Education (MSCTE) degree, complete an application to the Graduate School.

Stout University Foundation sponsors scholarships for graduate students.

Register for an Instructional Design Online Course

Register now to reserve a spot.

Complete the Online Registration Request Form

register button

When is the registration deadline?

Registration closes when the enrollment maximum is reached. If a class is full, you may request that your name is placed on a waiting list.

This program is very popular; courses fill early.

Will the instructional design courses apply to a Master's degree?

Yes, only 7 additional classes are required to obtain your Master of Science in Education graduate degree.

May I enroll if I have already completed a Master's degree?

Yes, you may enroll in the instructional design courses to meet your goals for

  • professional development
  • a continuing education refresher course
  • license renewal
  • graduate credits to apply for salary advancement
  • transfer to another university.

Instructional Design Job Outlook

Where can I find instructional design job listings, hiring trends, networking tips, volunteer opportunities?

Does UW-Stout provide a professional network for instructional design students?

Yes, all instructional design students who are currently enrolled or recently graduated are invited to join our LinkedIn E-learning and Instructional Design Group.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Certificate

What will I learn?

In this four-course online program, you will learn the skills necessary to develop

  • job aids
  • self-paced e-learning products
  • print materials
  • computer-based training
  • orientations and compliance tutorials
  • courses
  • workshops
  • webinars
  • orientations
  • tutorials
  • redesign (improve) existing curriculum and instruction for just-in-time delivery and electronic performance support systems (EPSS).

You will

  • Apply project management skills to instructional development
  • Focus on real-world projects and build your e-portfolio to aid in job searches.

How will I create an ePortfolio?

Students may use Google Sites, WordPress or another method to showcase their skills and knowledge.

The ePortfolio is a major asset during the job search process.

Students are encouraged to provide a link to their ePortfolio in the cover letter, at the beginning of their resume, and on their LinkedIn profile.

Will I receive an instructional design certificate document to include with my resume?

certificate icon

Upon completion of the program, each student is mailed a signed certificate with the University of Wisconsin-Stout official seal titled "Graduate Certificate In Instructional Design.

How will an instructional design certificate help me?

  • Add your certificate to your resume and LinkedIn profile. 
  • Use your online portfolio to showcase your new skills, knowledge and competencies to employers.

"... for students balancing the jobs they must have and the advanced education they desire – a situation faced by most students today – completing a certificate can be the most direct path to career success."
~ The Certificate Solution

Will I need to purchase software?

No software purchase is required. The software is available for every experience level as free 30-day downloads.

For your portfolio project, you will use SCORM-compliant multimedia software that you download or have used previously or that your organization uses such as Udutu, Captivate, or Articulate Storyline.

While no one can become a multimedia developer overnight, you will gain hands-on experience with industry-leading software to develop computer-based training, learning objects and eLearning products.

Are online courses open to veterans and military service members?

Yes, we encourage Department of Defense staff, veterans, military service members, and retired military to join our program.

UW-Stout is a "Military Friendly® School".

Veteran and Military Education Benefit Programs

Contact our Veteran Services staff with questions about educational benefits.

What is instructional design?

Instructional Design (ID) is the systematic approach to determining the need for instruction, designing and developing objectives, content, and assessments around that need, and evaluating the effectiveness of your design in relationship to instruction.

Our program models best practices in the field by:

  • teaching learners how to design effective instruction for any delivery method
  • aligning appropriate instructional activities and assessments
  • teaching computer-based training and matching technology tools to instructional problems
  • providing students the skills for managing the complete instructional design process


Accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges & Schools (NCA) and the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA)

For More Information...

Request Information Online
Contact Us: School of Education
Online Professional Development
University of Wisconsin - Stout
Menomonie, WI 54751
Phone: 715-642-0209

Browse Courses

Request More Information

First Name

Last Name  


City and State/Country  



Register for Online Course


Nicholle Stone, Program Advisor
Office Phone: 715/642-0209

Our Students Say...

"I got a job ... a great job as an instructional designer, and it is all because of you. I have accepted a position with a prestigious federal employer. Wow, I never would have had the confidence to pursue this position without your invisible support."
~ Cally Mervine, Sheboygan, Wisconsin


"Thanks to the ID program at UW-Stout, I just landed a new ID job at a tech company. Because of the classes I've been taking this year, I was able to make changes (including my title) in my current role and make the transition to a new role!"
~ Helena Peace, Seattle, Washington


"This was such a well-built program. It inspired me to start thinking about shaping my future online courses in the same way. The instructors went out of their way to encourage, support and help us succeed."
~ Monica Kar, St. Charles, Missouri


"Working at Google is awesome! I have been so happy with the ID education I received from Stout as I can see I was prepared for this job. Going through the entire process in a case study in the Project Management course gave me so much insight into what we are doing in my current position. We do a lot of ILT and soon blended learning courses using all documents covering ADDIE. Thank you so much for helping me prepare for this!"
~ Kathleen Bagmanov, San Francisco, California


"I really have to thank you for prepping me for the interviews. I have been hired by Aurora Health Care System as an Instructional Designer in the area of medical coding."
~ Karen Pizur, Muskego, Wisconsin


"What a great experience! Although I am in my same job, I have been able to take on some additional responsibilities related to instructional design. I know my new project would not have come my way without this certificate program. I am in the midst of developing training guides, webinar sessions, and videos to help educate the field, who are spread all across the nation."
~Amy DeMage, Lees Summit, Missouri


"I feel like a sweepstakes winner after completing this certificate. I received not only a promotion, a bump in pay, and I've been tasked to change our Computer Education group (2 people) into an instructional design group that creates training sessions for staff, faculty and graduate students. I would not have been able to achieve this without the four courses in this certificate program."
~ Keith Thompson, Taunton, MA


" I did a lot of research comparing different ID programs across the country, and I am grateful that I found this program. It truly has been a rewarding experience, and everything that I have learned is so relevant."
~ Nicole Michelon, Norfolk, Virginia


"At the beginning, I had no clear idea of how time-consuming and high-quality an online course could be. Now I can tell you that I am very glad to have been part of this program."
~Carolina Borges, Belo Horizonte, Brazil


"Within 60 days of finishing the program, I had three interviews for ID positions. I have accepted and started one of the positions."

"In my recent meeting with (Subject Matter Experts) SMEs, I knew what questions to ask regarding learning objectives and desired outcomes and was also able to provide some initial resources and answer SME questions regarding possible activities/design and setting dates for piloting course, etc.

At an industrial meeting, I was the only one in the group that was able to calculate correctly the length of time needed to complete a project and its various aspects in a test simulation."

"I felt very well-prepared for both meetings due to my UW-Stout training."
~ Julie Kling, Ed.D. Lakeside Marblehead, Ohio


"I just want to say a big THANK YOU for this wonderful series of courses that you have designed. They are so incredibly helpful. I feel far more confident and sure of what I am designing."
~- Beverly Vaillancourt, La Valle, Wisconsin

"These nine months just flew by. You are great teachers, and I would like to wish the UW-Stout ID Certificate program many good years and many great students – from Russia, too, as I will obviously recommend and promote you. I have learned ALL THAT I HAD HOPED TO LEARN in this program, and I am off to new heights now!"
~ Mikhail Morozov, St. Petersburg, Russia