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Instructional Design and Technology

*M.A.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction

banner Curriculum and Instruction

Campus: Virginia Tech Blacksburg Campus
Instruction: Residential/On Campus 

Program Overview

Instructional Design and Technology (IDT) is a comparatively new field dedicated to applying what is empirically understood about how humans learn and improve upon performance to the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of learning and performance support products, processes, and environments. IDT professionals understand and leverage technologies as both product (such as a Web-based course for distant learners or print-based job-aids for the workplace) and process (such as an iterative and formative approach to learner assessment). Instructional technologists practice their unique, multidisciplinary profession in a variety of settings including industry, preK-12 schools, higher education, and government.


Why choose this program?

Our Faculty and staff in the Instructional Design and Technology program have very diverse interests that encompass all aspects of instructional technology and committed to support students as they develop the professional, academic, research, and interpersonal skills required for a successful career of their choice.Our coursework is designed to help students advance their understanding of educational issues, theories, and practice related to Instructional Design and Technology. Our IDT program is affiliated with the Center for Instructional Technology Solutions in Industry and Education that offers excellent research opportunities with a focus on design, development, and evaluation of learning experiences, distance learning, health promotion, preparation of instructional technology professionals, and innovations in technology.

What You'll Study

The Master's degree in Instructional Design and Technology is a 30-credit hour degree program consisting of coursework in foundations of Instructional Design and Technology, research methods, and restricted electives. There are three following components: 

You will study theoretical foundations of technology-enhanced learning, design for learning, foundations of instructional design and technology, instructional design and technology portfolio, and project and report.

In this component, students will enroll in Program and Product Evaluation.

Twelve credit courses from: 

  • Principles of Learning Message Design
  • Applied Theories of Instructional Design
  • Topics in Instructional Technology Tools and Methods
  • Topics in Learning Environment Design and Development
  • Distance Education
  • Digitally Mediated Learning
  • Interactive Learning Media, Arts, and Design
  • Interactive Learning Media Development
  • Problems in Education
  • Graduate Seminar in Education
  • Independent Study

The process of developing electronic portfolios serves to provide meaningful learning contexts for the acquisition and application of instructional design and development skills. In addition, the portfolios will serve as a means of assessing and evaluating what you have learned from the program. The competencies you will develop are established by the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT). In addition to these competencies, the electronic portfolio is designed to showcase the specific standards identified by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). The ISTE standards represent recommended foundations in technology for all teachers, and they constitute the core of NCATE's professional education program technology standards. Learn more about the

Learn more about full requirements here.

Graduates of the IDT master’s program apply their multidisciplinary expertise as instructional designers, trainers, or performance consultants in educational institutions, businesses, organizations, and government, and as teachers or technology coordinators in PreK-12 or collegiate settings.

This degree program is offered at the Blacksburg campus. The Blacksburg campus offers students the full services of the university, including an extensive library, technology support, and the Graduate Life Center. 

Admission to the master’s program in Instructional Design and Technology will be based on a review of the Graduate School application including the elements below.  Applications that provide evidence of strong academic potential and prior professional experience are preferred.

  • Official transcript(s) of all college coursework, including documentation of completed bachelor's degree
  • Quality Credit Average (QCA) of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 = A scale) in the last 60 credit hours of undergraduate study (for regular admission status).
  • Official TOEFL scores for all international students whose first language is not English, except those applicants who have graduated from an accredited university where English is the language of instruction.  Official IELTS scores are also accepted.
  • Names and Addresses of three references
  • A brief statement (1-2 pages) focused on academic and professional goals
  • GREs are not required for admission to this graduate program

Applicants whose cumulative grade point average is less than 3.0 but not lower that 2.50 for the last 60 credit hours of undergraduate study and/or whose academic background is deficient or not current may be admitted under provisional status. Upon completion of no fewer than 9 credit hours, a provisional student may be recommended for regular status if the student has maintained at least a 3.0 average. The recommendation for a change of status is made by the student's advisor. The status change must be approved by the Department Chair and Vice President and Dean for Graduate Education. Please contact Program Leader for further information.

Visit this page for more information on how to apply, including requirements, deadlines, and what you'll need in detail.

A question on the application for graduate admission asks whether you want to be considered for an assistantship. Check yes. Please note that Indicating that you wish to be considered for an assistantship does not mean that you will be offered one, only that you wish to be considered for one, if available.

Learn more about other available funding opportunities

Domestic Application
Spring: January 1
Summer I & II: May 1
Fall:  August 1
International Application
Spring: September 1
Summer I & II: January 1
Fall: April 1
Deadline for early decision admission with full funding consideration for Fall: January 15


Ken Potter
Program Leader
144J Smyth Hall

Nancy Nolen
Enrollment Services Assistant
402 Wallace Hall (0565)


Ken Potter
Program Leader
144J Smyth Hall

Nancy Nolen
Enrollment Service Assistant
402 Wallace Hall (0565)
Blacksburg, VA 24061
(540) 231-5348

Faculty Experts in Instructional Design and Technology

Emeritus Faculty Members

John K. Burton, Professor Emeritus of Education.
Michael Moore, Professor Emeritus of Education.