Become an Instructional Designer

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

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Tuition and Financial Aid

How much will it cost?

  • Summer 2018: $441 per semester hour graduate credit ($1,323 per course)
  • Tuition Due Date - July 18, 2018
  • 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

How do I register online?

Register now to reserve a spot for summer and fall 2018.

Complete the Online Registration Request Form

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When is the registration deadline?

This program is very popular; courses fill early.

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.

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.

Nine Month Instructional Design Fast Track Option

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

Course Sequence

Completion of each course is the prerequisite for the next course. 

Each course is three semester hours graduate credit.

Successful completion with a GPA of 3.0 or higher in each course within the certificate course sequence is required for registration in the next class.

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

Register soon to reserve a spot.

Begin instructional design courses in April 2018

EDUC 765 Trends and Issues in Instructional Design
 -- April 30 - June 22, 2018
EDUC 766 Instructional Strategies and Assessment Methods
 -- June 25 - August 17, 2018
EDUC 767 Designing Computer-based Training (CBT)
 -- August 27 - October 19, 2018
EDUC 768 Project Management for Instructional Development
 -- October 22 - January 11, 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 instructional design courses in August 2018

EDUC 765 Trends and Issues in Instructional Design
 -- August 27 - October 19, 2018
EDUC 766 Instructional Strategies and Assessment Methods
 -- October 22 - December 14, 2018
EDUC 767 Designing Computer-based Training (CBT)
 -- January 7 - March 1, 2019
EDUC 768 Project Management for Instructional Development
 -- March 11 - May 17, 2019

Participation Expectations


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

How will I create an ePortfolio?

Students may use Weebly, 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

Instructional Design Program Benefits

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

  • 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.

Career Services offers current students and alumni access to job preparation services.

All courses are taught by experienced, currently practicing instructional designers

Credits may apply as electives in the Master of Science in Technical and Professional Communication or the Master of Science in Education or the Master of Science in Career and Technical Education (MSCTE) graduate degrees at University of Wisconsin-Stout.

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

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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

USDLA Certification

University of Wisconsin - Stout is proud to be the first university in Wisconsin to be certified for excellence in distance education practices.

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