Professional Certificate in Instructional Design (PIND)

This graduate certificate provides a strong foundation in instructional design as well as the tools and perspective needed for flexible career paths and continuing professional development in the field.  It will prepare students to become generalist instructional designers who are equipped to work in a variety of fields and professional settings, including both education and business environments. It provides a breadth of foundational knowledge and skills in different areas, rather than a focus on a narrower area of specialization within the field, such as learning technologies. It will prepare instructional designers to work with technical specialists as well as subject matter experts and allow them to develop more specialized interests as they grow in their profession.

This certificate builds upon a four-course, twelve-credit hour Foundations of Instructional Design Certificate (FIND) and courses can be applied toward the MPS in Instructional Design. The Professional Certificate in Instructional Design* can also be paired with a master’s degree in another field to qualify a candidate to be hired as an instructional designer.

Total Number of Courses 6
Total Number of Credit Hours

18 credit hours

Start Term & Time to Completion

Students will start the certificate in Fall I (August) and take 1 course each 8-week session for six sessions completing the certificate in 1.25 years.

Schedule Format

Courses offered in 8-week sessions in a fully online format with evening synchronous meetings.

Course Locations

Online. This certificate is completed fully online.

Application and Admission Requirements

Completed application

Official transcripts from all prior institutions. To be eligible for admission, your transcript must show an earned bachelor's degree or a bachelor’s degree in progress (with an expected graduation to occur before the start of your graduate program).

2.5 GPA or higher and in good standing at all prior institutions. In exceptional cases, applicants whose undergraduate GPA is below 2.5 may be admitted. Each program area gives meaningful consideration to the applicant's graduate GPA, recommendations, professional experience and reasons for pursuing a graduate program.

1 letter of recommendation (up to 2 letters accepted). If you supply your recommender's email address as part of your completed online application form, then your recommendation letters will be submitted directly through the online application system. Recommenders may be academic or professional in nature.

Personal statement

Graduate Pathway

The six graduate-level courses in the Professional Certificate in Instructional Design can be applied toward the MPS in Instructional Design. Students must complete the certificate and then may apply for admission into the MPS program.


Certificate Requirements

CIEP 470 Principles of Instructional Design (pre-requisite for all courses)

INDN 420 Theories and Models of Instructional Design

INDN 421 Design and Development of Instructional Materials

CIEP 488 Participatory Action Research in Teaching, Learning, and Communities

INDN 440 Application of Human-Centered Design Principles


INDN 430 Performance and Improvement in Organizations OR

INDN 431 Fundamentals of Learning Analytics

Program Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the Foundations of Instructional Design certificate, candidates will be able to:

  • Utilize instructional design processes and appropriate theoretical approaches to design effective and innovative learning experiences.
  • Employ a variety of technologies and multimedia authoring tools to produce instructional materials.
  • Adapt instructional design processes to a professional setting (K-12 schools, corporate organizations, higher education institutions.)
  • Manage the iterative lifecycle of instructional design projects progressing from conception to implementation to revision.
  • Apply culturally responsive and ethical practices that engage diverse communities and promote social justice.
  • Conduct research designed to inform practice and stay abreast of emerging trends in the field of instructional design.

For more information

Contact us at or 312-915-6501 to schedule a meeting with one of our admissions counselors.

Course Descriptions

Course descriptions are available on LOCUS

Select the “Search for Classes” link found below the sign-in area. Choose “Browse the Course Catalog” link to search for a course and view the description.

Course Rotation Schedules

Please use the course rotation schedules below as a guide to plan out when you will take future classes. We will make every attempt to adhere to this schedule but please understand that scheduling is subject to change.

Course Rotation Schedule - Majors

Course Rotation Schedule - Certificates

Course Rotation Schedule - School Requirements

Course Rotation Schedule - Core

Course Rotation Schedule - Graduate Programs