Graduate Certificate in Instructional Design

With a Graduate Certificate in Instructional Design from the George Washington University (GW), you’ll develop foundational knowledge and skills to design and implement effective instruction.

This online certificate prepares you to lead instructional design from the beginning stages of defining your organization’s learning needs to determining the appropriate instructional format to designing materials and implementing them. You will utilize theories, principles, models, tools, technology and experience gained through coursework to lead instructional design in diverse organizational settings.

Throughout this completely online certificate program, you will apply course assignments to your current professional activities and engage with other professionals in the development of key instructional design proficiencies. This will enable you to lead all phases of instructional design projects for your organization, including the application of fundamental principles, proficient planning, execution and ongoing management. 



Certificate in Instructional Design Courses

The online Certificate in Instructional Design consists of 18-credit hours and can be completed in 1.5 years. Should you wish to pursue the Graduate Certificate, you can transfer credit hours into the Master's program.

Curriculum (18 credit hours)

  • EDUC 6401 Foundations in Educational Technology (3 credits)
  • EDUC 6405 Developing Multimedia Materials (3 credits)
  • EDUC 6406 Instructional Design (3 credits)
  • EDUC 6422 Instructional Needs Assessment and Analysis (3 credits)
  • EDUC 6426 Computer Interface Design for Learning (3 credits)
  • EDUC 6427 Advanced Instructional Design (3 credits)

Certificate Outcomes

Students who complete the Instructional Design Certificate will:

  • Apply foundational instructional design principles to the design, development, and implementation of learning activities in their work place
  • Demonstrate an ability to effectively lead the design of effective instruction through proficient planning, development, evaluation, and management
  • Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of numerous theories, principles, models, tools, and techniques that can be applied to the systematic design of instruction
  • Demonstrate their capacity to successfully lead all phases of an instructional design project


Corry, Michael Professor, Educational Technology
Milman, Natalie B. Professor, Educational Technology
Watkins, Ryan Professor and Director, Educational Technology Leadership Program

Career Outlook

This Graduate Certificate in Instructional Design prepares you to apply the theories, principles, models, tools, and techniques of systematic instructional design in diverse organizational settings. Successful completion of the certificate will qualify you for roles within organizations that need instructional activities that have been designed and developed for effective implementation in the classroom and in numerous other learning formats.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Services, training and development managers earned a median $95,400 annual salary in 2012, with jobs in the field expected to grow 11% by 2022. 1 Instructional coordinators earned a median $60,050 in 2012, with jobs expected to grow 13% by 2022. 2

Completion of this certificate will also qualify you for roles in technical writing, a field in which practitioners earned a median $65,500 per year in 2012, and in which job opportunities are expected to increase 15% by 2022. 3

Career Opportunities for Graduates

  • Instructional designer
  • Curriculum developer
  • Technical writer

Potential Employment Settings

  • P-12 public, private or charter schools
  • Associations
  • Corporations
  • Higher education institutions
  • Government agencies
  • Military
  • Organizations

Related Programs

Other Programs Offered

In addition to our online Graduate Certificate in Instructional Design, we also offer an online Master’s in Educational Technology Leadership and Graduate Certificate in Educational Technology Leadership.


  • Program Entry: Spring, Summer, Fall
  • Prerequisites: Bachelors Degree
  • Campus: Online

Application Requirements

  • Online Application
  • Resume
  • Statement of Purpose
  • 1 Letter of Recommendation
  • Transcripts

For more information on any of these requirements, please visit our Admissions FAQ page.

We encourage you to apply as early as possible for the next available start term. Please contact the admissions team with any questions.

Transformation Begins Here

Learn more about the Graduate Certificate in Instructional Design located online (202-994-9283).