Master of Education in eLearning and Instructional Design

Campus Locations Boston, Online, Seattle
Also available 100% Online Yes
Other Format(s)
Credits Required for Graduation 45
Entry Terms Fall Quarter, Winter Quarter, Spring Quarter, Summer Quarter
Meets International Visa Requirements No


With my 20 years of experience in the field of online and mobile learning, I believe this program surpasses all others in its quality and distinctiveness. Our personalized curriculum prepares students to enter or advance in the rapidly growing profession of eLearning design.”

Faculty Member Gail Matthews-DeNatale


Gail Matthews-DeNatale

PhD, Faculty Member

Today’s learning landscape relies increasingly upon the Internet in support of blended, online, and mobile learning. The Master’s in eLearning and Instructional Design is a versatile degree that opens a world of professional opportunity in our media rich, digital, networked world. Your coursework prepares you to shape the future of any learning-driven organization, including corporations, non-profits, higher education institutions, K-12 schools, and government agencies. Learn more about what to expect from our Master's in eLearning and Instructional Design.


  • Investigate the many settings where learning design takes place considering the interplay between context and design
  • Respond innovatively to the opportunities and challenges that are revolutionizing all sectors of education
  • Design and facilitate learning experiences that draw creatively upon the latest research in the science and art of eLearning
  • Develop dynamic environments that engage learners in interaction with images, words, videos, and animations
  • Put learning principles and high-impact practices into action within online and mobile learning scenarios
  • Forge constructive professional working relationships in a range of professional contexts while responding to the nuances of organizational culture, project demands, and allocated resources
  • Advance involvement with professional communities, expanding participation and visibility in the field of eLearning design
  • Develop an online, media-rich portfolio of work that demonstrates professional vision, thoughtfulness, and excellence

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  • Available fully online
  • No application fee
  • No GRE or GMAT required



Please note: Students who started this program prior to Fall 2017 should follow the curriculum reflected on their DegreeWorks audits via the self-service tab of their myNEU portal.  Please consult your advisor with any questions.


Complete the following two courses (9 q.h.):

EDU 6050 Education as an Advanced Field of Study 5 q.h.
EDU 6051 Culture, Power, Equity, and Influence 4 q.h.

Complete the following five courses (20 q.h.):

EDU 6319  How People Learn 4 q.h.
EDU 6321   Models for Learning Design 4 q.h.
EDU 6323 Technology as a Medium for Learning 4 q.h.
EDU 6324 Competencies, Assessment, and Learning Analytics 4 q.h. 
EDU 6331 eLearning Design as a Collaborative Profession 4 q.h.

Note: Connecting Theory and Practice should be taken at least 1-2 terms prior to Capstone to allow time for implementing a workplace-based experiential project that you will design as the signature assignment for the course.


Choose three of the following courses (12 q.h.):

EDU 6332 Open Learning  4 q.h.  
EDU 6558 Issues in Education 4 q.h.
EDU 6340 Learning Analytics Concepts and Theories 4 q.h. 
EDU 6330 Digital Media Literacy 4 q.h. 
EDU 6333 Social Media and Beyond 4 q.h.
EDU 6202 Faculty, Curriculum, and Academic Culture 4 q.h.
EDU 6329 Connecting Theory and Practice
This course should be taken at least two terms prior to the capstone to allow time for implementing a workplace-based experiential project that you design as the signature assignment for the course.
4 q.h. 

Complete the following course in your last term of study (4 q.h.):

EDU 6225  Capstone  4 q.h. 

Required minimum credit hours: 45 q.h.

Admissions Requirements

Below are the official Admissions Requirements for this program.

  • Online application
  • Statement of purpose (500-1000 words): identifying your educational goals and expectations from the program; please be aware that the University's academic policy on plagiarism applies to applicant's statement of purpose
  • Professional resume: Current resume that displays job responsibilities, relevant experience, and education history
  • Two letters of recommendation: from individual(s) with either academic or professional knowledge of your capabilities, such as a faculty member, current employer, mentor, or colleague
  • Official undergraduate degree documentation
  • Proof of English language proficiency: ONLY for students for whom English is not their primary language: English language proficiency guidelines
  • Website Transcript Copy: To submit and complete your application you are able to upload your unofficial transcript directly to your online application. It can be uploaded in PDF format directly to the online application. Please ensure that the scanned documents are readable and include all courses, grades, (i.e. marks, scores, etc.) and credits completed to date. The scanned documents should also include information pertaining to the institution's grading scale. If accepted, you will additionally need to provide your official transcript. In order for a transcript to be "official," it must be in a sealed envelope from the transferring college or university.

For general admissions information and recommended admissions deadlines, Graduate Admissions.

All requirements must be received prior to review.


Estimated total tuition for this program is $24,840.00.

Tuition for individual courses is based on the number of quarter hours. Most courses are 3-6 quarter hours. See Graduate Tuition Rates for details.

Use our Tuition Calculator below to see if transfer credit or tuition reimbursement from your employer could reduce your total tuition.

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Please note: The estimated total tuition is based on tuition rates for Academic Year 2017-18 and does not include any fees or other expenses. Some courses and labs have tuition rates that may increase or decrease total tuition. Tuition and fees are subject to revision by the president and Board of Trustees at any time.

*A maximum of 9 quarter hours of graduate- or doctoral-level credit obtained at another institution may be awarded as Advanced Graduate Credit to the Doctor of Education program.

In Depth | Learning Outcomes

What can I gain from the Master's in eLearning and Instructional Design?

You get hands-on experience. You design innovative eLearning environments; develop strategies for engaging and motivating learners of all ages; and create projects that are responsive to the societal and institutional changes that are revolutionizing education.

It’s rooted in the real-world practices. True to Northeastern’s experiential learning model, you connect learning with work experience. As part of the program, you will develop and implement numerous workplace-based eLearning design projects that demonstrate your capabilities in the profession.

It’s specialized. Our focus on eLearning and Instructional Design allows you to fully investigate the field and concentrate on your career trajectory. The curriculum challenges you to explore the present demands and future direction of the profession.  The curriculum and your professors help you make strategic professional development decisions, positioning yourself for advancement and leadership.

You get a national perspective. Because the program is online, you have the opportunity to exchange ideas and address common challenges with professionals in wide-ranging workplace settings.  Program instructors are nationally recognized for their excellence, and you also have an opportunity to network and interview renowned experts during online guest presentations.  Assignments prepare you to develop online presentations, publications, and case studies that increase your professional presence in the field and demonstrate your excellence.

You create an ePortfolio. You leverage the power of evidence-based learning by creating an online, public portfolio that conveys your distinctiveness and capabilities. The media-rich platform provides a space for you to communicate your goals, strengths, and unique assets, and to illustrate these assertions with real-life examples of your work.   Even after graduation, you can continue to develop and share your ePortfolio for advancement in the field.  Past program graduates have used their ePortfolios for promotions, job interviews, and doctoral degree applications. Learn more about ePortfolios.


What to expect

What is the learning experience like?
  • Extremely interactive, personalized, community of learners
  • Enthusiastic, congenial course classmates with wide-ranging professional experience
  • Learning and communication that takes advantage of current technologies – including the Blackboard learning management system, social media, and live conferencing – along with mainstays such as phone and email
  • With faculty mentoring, the opportunity to develop a professional learning plan that helps you target specific opportunities for development and get the most out of your program of study
  • Real world project assignments that you can adapt for immediate use in your place of employment
  • Extensive peer and faculty feedback that helps you improve and polish your work
  • Use of cutting-edge online tools is built into the fabric of the program, supporting you in your development of technology proficiencies
  • Close relationships with fully engaged professors
Who is a good fit for this program?

Our program is designed for professionals—educators, higher education staff, counselors, corporate trainers, and HR managers—who seek to increase or improve the use of eLearning in their work, and to advance their workplace leadership in this realm.  You are a good fit if …

  • You work in an educational and/or training support capacity in higher education, non-profits, lifelong learning, or a corporate settings
  • You are a classroom educator within K12 or higher education seeking to increase your ability to design, teach, or manage the development of online and mobile learning
  • You want to discover new ways to engage with employees and constituents online
  • You work for a non-profit or governmental organization that is interested in expanding its involvement in online and mobile learning
  • You want to transition into a career that involves eLearning
  • You want to become an expert in next-generation online and mobile learning


Program Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Specialized Knowledge
    Elucidate the major theories, research methods, and approaches to inquiry and schools of practice in the field of study, articulate their sources, and illustrate both their applications and their relationships to allied fields of study.
  2. Broad and Integrative Knowledge
    Design and execute an applied, investigative, or creative work that draws on the perspectives and methods of other fields of study and assess the resulting advantages and challenges of including these perspectives and methods.
  3. Applied and Collaborative Learning
    Design and implement a project or performance that requires the application of advanced knowledge gained in the field of study to a practical challenge, articulate in writing or another medium the insights gained from this experience, and assess approaches, scholarly debates, or standards for professional performance applicable to the challenge.
  4. Civic and Global Learning
    Assess and develop a position on a public policy question with significance in the field of study, taking into account both scholarship and published or electronically posted positions and narratives of relevant interest groups.
  5. Experiential Learning
    Integrate education-specific best practices and tools into experiential learning opportunities offered in the program.

Careers & Faculty

Industry Information

The number of students taking at least one online course has now surpassed 7.1 million and represents 33% of all higher education students.

Projected Employment for Instructional Coordinators/ Designers by 2020 to increase by over 20%

elearninginfographic Source: O*Net, 2014  


The role of eLearning is expanding exponentially in the education, non-profit, and corporate sectors. Your degree is versatile and opens up a world of opportunity in learning-driven organizations.

You create an online, media-rich portfolio of work that demonstrates your professional vision, thoughtfulness, and excellence. This helps position you as a sought-after eLearning designer who is part of the next generation of leaders in the field.



Our faculty members are nationally recognized award-winning experts known for their excellence as teachers and designers. They focus on helping you develop the knowledge and skills you need to progress your career.

Many alumni tell us that they draw from the tools and methods they learned from Northeastern’s rigorous curriculum on a daily basis, including the hands-on experience they gain during their coursework.

Meet all of our Graduate Education Program faculty.


Who Will Your Classmates Be?

Program participants are career professionals whose organizational role involves education.  Their workplace settings are wide-ranging: universities, not-for-profits, schools, and even multi-national corporations.  Their job titles are diverse as well: educator, trainer, professor, human resource expert, technology coordinator, online learning manager, instructional designer, librarian, and consultant just to name a few. Your program colleagues are diverse, but they share a passion for improving and transforming learning in our technology-rich, Internet-connected society.


Alumni Profile

Michael Warner, Advisory Educational Consultant at EMC

Michael Warner“I have an opportunity to play a pivotal role in redefining education at my workplace,” says Michael Warner, an advisory educational consultant at EMC. A few years ago he wouldn’t have believed it. Though he was eager to learn how to apply the latest eLearning theories and technologies within his work at EMC.

“I’d wanted to get my master’s for years, but I didn’t want to be that 50 year old in the back of a class of 24-year olds,” says Warner, who has worked in both the academic and corporate sides of education. But once he took the leap and signed on for Northeastern’s eLearning and Instructional Design program, he didn’t look back. “Everyone’s ideas were welcomed and discussed equally and I had strong relationships with each of my fellow students and professors,” he says.

Warner was initially wary about using new technologies, but since the program’s subject matter was in-and-of-itself online education, he decided to embrace it. He didn’t buy a single hardcover book, opting for a Kindle instead, and welcomed the chance to try new technologies like Blackboard.

This open-minded approach paid off at work. Warner conducted an analysis of the technologies and formats his company employed for online training its own staff as well as clients, to see if they were actually the best fits. EMC has more than 2,000 courses for both customers and employees—which adds up to almost 2 million hours of education each year.

“Time equals money those of us in the corporate world, so it’s important to make education efficient,” he says. He found that the educational theories he learned about in the program actually helped him come up with the ideas for streamlining the process. This now makes it possible for him to develop EMCs courses in which participants gain the most knowledge and skills in the least amount of time. Using the right tools was also key. “I usually do trainings in PowerPoint but found that it has its limitations,” Warner says. In his first eLearning course he experimented with alternatives and he’s worked several into the company’s training and workflow.

Inspired by his classmates' energy and innovative thinking, Warner has discovered new ways to improve learning at EMC. “There’s a shift in using technology to make education more engaging through interactive tools and animation,” he says. “It’s a wonderful creative outlet to incorporate these tools.”

Warner’s experience in the program is having a big impact at EMC: He’s in the process of defining new eLearning models and helping to specify a new Learning Content Management System as direct result of what he learned. “It’s been hugely rewarding to use what I learned every day,” he says. So rewarding, in fact, that Warner feels like he just might take the next leap and earn his Ph.D. “I am in the business of education after all,” he says.


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