Instructional Design Certificate

Develop focused competency in instructional design and take your career to the next level.
Degree Type Certificate
Careers & Salaries Certificate Outcomes
Delivery Online

Start or advance your career as an Instructional Designer, Content Developer, Instructional Technologist, Elearning Designer and Project Manager, Training and Learning Developer or Coordinator, and many other positions in both for-profit and non-profit organizations.


Online Registration Form

Register now to reserve a spot, there is no registration fee to reserve a class.
Register Today!

Program Highlights

Nine-Month Instructional Design Fast-Track Option

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

Graduates who complete this certificate work in many different organizations.

  • Technical and community colleges and universities
  • Business and industry
  • Department of Defense
  • State and local government
  • Trade associations
  • Educational publishing companies
  • Healthcare 
  • Retail and wholesale distribution
  • Insurance
  • Marketing
  • Manufacturing
  • Travel and hospitality
  • Telecommunications
  • Self-employed and freelance

Let's Talk

If you are considering an Instructional Design Certificate, we encourage you to contact Dr. Paul Coverstone (  He can explain how our certificate will give you a unique and competitive advantage as you pursue your career. And when you're ready to get started, Paul will help you successfully complete the certificate.

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.

Key Learning Outcomes

You will learn how to:

  • design effective instruction for any delivery method
  • align instructional activities and assessments
  • utilize computer-based training and match technology tools to instructional problems
  • evaluate the effectiveness of instructional design
  • manage the complete instructional design process
  • tap into career and volunteer instructional design network opportunities

Tuition & Financial Aid

Tuition is the same for Wisconsin residents, out-of-state and international students.

How much will it cost?

  • 2023-2024 $476 per semester hour graduate credit ($1,428 for a three-credit course).  The total cost of the four courses is $5,712.
  • Tuition is due per course, not the entire cost at the beginning of the program.
  • Summer 2024 tuition due-July 17, 2024
  • No registration fee to reserve a class

E-textbooks are provided in some of the courses.

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.

Are transcripts required to enroll?

No transcripts, resume, reference letters, GRE test, or graduate application are required to enroll in this certificate program. Register now to reserve a spot, there is no registration fee to reserve a class.

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.


Certificate Requirements

The certificate is an alternative credential for individuals seeking to obtain new knowledge and skills.



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.

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.

Register for an Instructional Design Online Course

Register now to reserve a spot.

Complete the Online Registration Request Form

When is the registration deadline?

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.

This program is very popular; courses fill early.

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.


Frequently Asked Questions about the Certificate

How will I create an ePortfolio?

Students may use Google SitesWordPress 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?

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
Student Testimonials

"Working at Google is awesome! I have been so happy with the ID education I received from Stout as I 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

"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."
~ Nicole Michelon, Norfolk, Virginia

"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

"Within 60 days of finishing the program, I had three interviews for ID positions. I have accepted and started one of the positions."

~ Julie Kling, Ed.D. Lakeside Marblehead, Ohio

"I got a job!!  Whooohoooo!  It's perfect for me as well - I am hired by Executive Director, Inc., and I'll be the instructional designer for their client, an organization called The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC).  I taught biology and chemistry as a teacher for the last 17 years, and this will be absolutely fascinating. I would not have been able to make this transition without the UW-Stout ID Certificate."
~ Julia Cabaniss, Thiensville, Wisconsin