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Programs / Master of Arts

Instructional Design and Technology (IDT) is a field dedicated to applying theory and research about how people learn to the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of learning experiences and products

Virginia Tech’s IDT program offers the masters degree on campus, online, or through a blending  of the two approaches.

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.

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. (For suggested minimum scores, see the Graduate School Web site.)
  • 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.

Evidence that the applicant meets these requirements will be obtained from the following documents required for admission.

  • Application for Admission (form provided by Graduate School). Select Curriculum & Instruction major.
  • Official TOEFL scores (if applicable)
  • Two official copies of transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate programs attended.

Admission materials and completed forms should be sent to:

Graduate Admissions (0325)
Graduate Life Center at Donaldson Brown
Graduate School, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061

It is the applicant's responsibility to have transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended and TOEFL scores, if applicable, sent to the Graduate School at the address shown above.

For additional information concerning admission to Instructional Design and Technology, contact:

Dr. Barbara Lockee
(540) -231-9193

Review of Applications

Applications to the Instructional Design and Technology Master's program will be reviewed as received. Applications that are incomplete will not be reviewed.


The Masters 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.  Courses may be completed on campus, online, or through a blending of the two approaches.    

IDT Foundations (15 credits)
EDIT 5154:     Theoretical Foundations of Technology Enhanced Learning (3C)
EDIT 5164:     Design for Learning (3C)
EDIT 5274:     Foundations of Instructional Design and Technology (3C)
EDIT 5654:     Instructional Design and Technology Portfolio (3C)
EDIT 5904:    Project and Report (3C)

Research Methods (3 credits)
EDIT 5584:     Program and Product Evaluation (3C)

Restricted Electives (12 credits)
EDIT 5224:     Principles of Learning Message Design (3C)
EDIT 5534:     Applied Theories of Instructional Design (3C)
EDIT 5564:     Topics in Instructional Technology Tools and Methods (3C)
EDIT 5594:     Topics in Learning Environment Design and Development (3C)
EDIT 5604:     Distance Education (3C)
EDIT 5614:     Digitally Mediated Learning (3C)
EDIT 5624:     Interactive Learning Media, Arts, and Design (3C)
EDIT 5634:     Interactive Learning Media Development (3C)
EDIT 5774:     Problems in Education (3C)
EDIT 5784:     Graduate Seminar in Education (3C)
EDIT 5974:     Independent Study (1-19C)

Comprehensive Master’s Examination

IDT master’s students must pass a comprehensive exam documenting acquisition of the content mastery, research competence, and professional dispositions outcomes.  The exam consists of a comprehensive electronic portfolio prepared in accordance with guidelines issued by program faculty. The faculty committee reviews and evaluates the portfolio using an evaluation rubric.  Successful completion of the portfolio constitutes success on the comprehensive master’s exam.

If the comprehensive exam results in a "conditional acceptance," the student is given a maximum of two weeks to correct the portfolio to the standards acceptable to the committee. An inability to produce an acceptable portfolio is considered an examination failure. At the discretion of the committee, a student who fails the comprehensive exam may be allowed to retake the exam one time.

Transfer Credit

Up to 6 semester hours of graduate credit can be transferred from another institution and counted toward the master's degree if approved by your advisor. See the Graduate Manual for exceptions for certain Virginia institutions.

Additional restrictions on coursework earned at another university may apply. See the Graduate catalog, and check with your advisor.

Coursework Time Limit and Revalidation

Coursework must be completed within 5 years after approval of POS.

This checklist is intended to serve as a guide during the period of study for Masters degree in Instructional Design and Technology. It is the responsibility of the student to see that each of these steps is completed as scheduled. See  for relevant information and forms. If you have questions, please contact your faculty advisor.

Plan Program of Study

1. Confer with the temporary advisor assigned to you in your admission letter. An early conference will be of help to you in planning your tentative program of study.

2. Select an advisory committee. Your temporary advisor will serve as your major professor unless you request a change of advisor through submitting the appropriate form. As your advisory committee must include three members, select two additional members for your advisory committee after consulting with your advisor. A typical committee consists of:

  • Advisor from Instructional Design and Technology
  • One or two additional members from Instructional Design and Technology
  • No more than one member from outside of the Instructional Design and Technology program area, with advisor's approval. These outside members may be experts in the student's area of concentration, cognate area, or research methodology.

3. Meet with potential committee members to determine if they are willing to serve on your committee.

4. Complete the Ethics and Integrity Tutorial and Quiz. Print a copy of the tutorial completion validation to be submitted along with your Plan of Study. See Ethics and Integrity section at (See for instructions on how to complete this requirement.

5. Finalize Plan of Study with your major professor. (See for form.) You must submit your committee-approved Plan of Study and the Ethics Tutorial Validation form to the School of Education Office of Academic Programs (WMH 107) before completing 12 credit hours at Virginia Tech toward the degree.

6. Begin preparation of your Professional Development Portfolio.

7. Once you and your advisor have determined that all the degree requirements for the Masters will be completed during a specific semester, complete an "Application for Degree" card from the Graduate School. The specific deadline for submitting the card is established each year by the Graduate School but is usually no later than the beginning of the semester in which the degree requirements will be completed.

Final Defense

8. Complete your Professional Development Portfolio (or other exam requirements as negotiated with your committee.)

9. Based on discussion with your major advisor, schedule a Portfolio Defense. Oral exams can be scheduled during one of three "exam weeks" scheduled during the semester. Typically, there is one exam week scheduled near the beginning, middle, and end of the semester.

10. Complete Request to Admit Candidate to Final Exam. Submit to the Graduate School at least two weeks before your scheduled exam time. (See   for form.)

11. Immediately after the exam: 1 ) Make a copy of the signed Final Exam card. 2) Submit the copy to the School of Education Academic Office. 3) Return signed Final Defense Exam card to the Graduate School.

12. Revise portfolio and resubmit for approval as required by your advisory committee.

Sample Plan of Study for Full-Time Masters Students

The following plan is only a sample. Each student should consult with his/her advisor to create his/her specific plan of study. The IDT Masters degree requires completion of:

  • 15 credits Foundations coursework
  • 3 credits Research Methods
  • 12 credits Restricted Electives


Fall Semester

Spring Semester


Year 1


EDIT 5274: Foundations of Instructional Design and Technology (3C)


EDIT 5164: Design for Learning (3C)


EDIT 5534: Applied Theories of Instructional Design (3C)



EDIT 5154: Theoretical Foundations of Technology Enhanced Learning (3C)



EDIT 5564: Applications of Digital Media (3)



EDIT 5224: Principles of Learning Message Design (3C)



EDIT 5604: Distance Education (3C)



Year 2


EDIT 5584: Program and Product Evaluation (3C)





EDIT 5654: Instructional Design and Technology Portfolio (3C)





EDIT 5904: Project and Report (3C)





Year 1, Fall Term Credits:                                      9

Year 1, Spring Term Credits:                                 9

Year 1, Summer Term Credits:                              3

Year 2, Fall Term Credits:                                      9

TOTAL CREDITS                                                  30