About Instructional Technology & Learning Sciences
ITLS is an interdisciplinary field that focuses on understanding teaching and learning as they occur in school, online, in the workplace, at home, and in the community. It also addresses the design of environments with the potential to facilitate learning and development more effectively. Additionally, students can focus on the use of emerging technologies and their potential to work as a support for learning or to promote change in learning. Students with bachelor’s degrees in any area can earn a graduate degree in ITLS. A graduate degree in ITLS is a good complement for those with backgrounds in graphic arts, business administration, management information systems, computer science, technical writing, and more. Students focus on the core areas of theory and design and learn to use design skills and other technologies in a variety of business areas, customized to specific career goals.
The goal of the MA program is to prepare individuals for careers in instructional design and development in business, industry, government, and education. Positions range from highly design-oriented jobs requiring extensive instructional development skills to product development-oriented jobs requiring skills in media production. This program prepares people to handle a variety of possible positions. Graduates can use these skills in preparing educational materials for visitors at nature centers, historical sites, and other places that aim to educate the public. They can also design distance-learning classrooms and use the skills learned in their graduate program in the field of education. MA students choose between an internship or a creative project as a culminating experience.
The Master of Science program prepares individuals for instructional design positions that require or benefit from research expertise. In addition to the full range of instructional design positions that our MA students gravitate towards our MS students are prepared to design and carry out research studies. Education coordinators for foundations, science museums, and non-profits, community college faculty, and those wishing to go on and pursue a doctoral degree are all good candidate for an MS degree. Instead of an internship or creative project, MS students complete a thesis and carry out their own original research.
Students who graduate with the EdS are qualified for careers in education. They are typically already teachers who wish to increase their knowledge of technology’s role in education. They can also go on to supervisory positions with school districts and education offices, or work for businesses who specialize in creating curriculum and educational resources. Many other possibilities are open to people with ITLS degrees depending on the student’s undergraduate degree and interests. Graduates will gain the technical skills and knowledge to succeed in a wide variety of fields and with companies and organizations across the spectrum.
The EdS is beyond the master’s level and contains much of the coursework required of PhD students but does not require students to complete a dissertation. Instead, they complete a creative project for their culminating experience. It has the equivalent number of credits to a PhD program.
The PhD is geared toward students interested in pursuing research careers and for those interested in working as faculty or in other positions within a higher education environment. While coursework overlaps with the MS, there is a much stronger research focus for PhD students.
The Emma Eccles Jones College of Education & Human Services may charge differential tuition for this program. Differential tuition is an added cost per credit for courses in the program. Contact the department or see the last page in the USU Tuition & Fee schedule for more information about the cost of this program.
Students are welcome from any undergraduate background.
Complete the online application, including the following:
- Provide transcripts of all college/university credits (must have a 3.0 or higher GPA on the last 60 semester or 90 quarter credit)
- Take the GRE or MAT (score at or above the 40th percentile)
- Provide three contacts for letters of recommendation
- Pay the $55 application fee
- Submit a statement of purpose
- Submit a writing sample
International students have additional admissions requirements.
Those with master’s degrees may work in the private sector, academia, work for themselves, or work directly or indirectly for the government, including both K-12 and military settings. Depending on their interests, students may decide to focus on administration and project management, on design work, or on development-oriented efforts. Graduates gain the technical skills and theoretical knowledge to succeed in a wide variety of fields and with companies and organizations across the spectrum. The following list demonstrates the depth and variety of career paths available.
- Faculty support at an academic institution
- Traditional classroom teacher (with additional education and licensure)
- Entrepreneur (instructional design firm, etc.)
- In-house corporate trainer
- Instructional designer (In-house corporation, military, etc.)
- Corporate chief educator
- Government sub-contractor for the military
- Human resources (it is recommended that students take electives in the school of business)
- Chief learning officer
- Designer for informal learning environments (museums, nature facilities, etc.)
- Project manager
- Multimedia specialist
- Technical writer
- E-learning specialist (distance learning, digital classroom designer, etc.)
- Educational or curriculum software consultant
- Independent consultant (contracting jobs from organizations)
- Graphic designer
- Information systems programmer
- Simulation and games design specialist
- Mobile app developer
Those who graduate with an EdS are typically already teachers who wish to increase their knowledge of technology’s role in education. They can also go on to supervisory positions with school districts and education offices, or work for businesses who specialize in creating curriculum and educational resources. EdS students are also qualified for the same career paths as the MA and MS students
Those who graduate with a PhD work in business and industry, K-12 settings, and also pursue work in higher education in student services, libraries, faculty support/instructional design and also as tenure-track faculty.
Utah is a member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) and Utah State University (USU) is an approved SARA institution, which means we adhere to established standards for offering post-secondary e-learning programs in all member states. Please review our state authorizations to see if this program is offered in your state and our process for student complaints against the university.Back to all degrees