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Master's Degrees | Learning Design and Technology

Learning Design and Technology

Entrance Exam: Not Required
College of Education

The Master of Science (M.S) in Learning Design and Technology and the Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Learning Design and Technology programs prepare education and learning professionals to design instructional, lead digital learning programs, design and develop digital learning environments and learn to apply theories and learning models from the learning sciences to the design of learning environments. Students may choose an emphasis during their studies (design, digital leadership, or inquiry).

Graduates commonly work as instructional designers and developers, classroom teachers, K-12 school- or system-level digital learning professionals, digital leaders and designers in higher education or in varied positions in government or private industry (e.g., instructional designers or e-learning developers). Graduate study leads to either a 30-credit hour Master of Education (M.Ed.) or a 36-credit hour Master of Science (M.S. with thesis) degree. Licensed teachers are able to add the 079 computer education and/or 077 technology specialist endorsement to their teaching license after completing either degree program.

Our Learning Design and Technology Program offers the following options:

  • Online Non-Degree Studies (NDS): Currently licensed teachers who take six courses (18 credit hours) from the leadership and design areas are eligible for the 079 endorsement in computer education, which is generally sufficient to serve in technology coordination/facilitation roles in K-12 schools; other interested students who would like to take a few courses before applying to a master’s or doctoral degree program can also start out as Non-Degree Studies (NDS) students and transfer up to 12 credit hours into degree programs.
  • Online master’s degree programs (30-credit hour M.Ed. and 36-credit hour M.S. with thesis): For those interested in an advanced degree in Learning, Design and Technology who plan to become instructional designers and e-learning developers. Previously licensed teachers who complete this degree program are eligible for the 077 endorsement as an instructional technology specialist, which is necessary to serve in Technology Director roles in K-12 schools and districts in the State of North Carolina.


Applicants must submit:

  • Two official* copies of all undergraduate and graduate transcripts, including any non-degree studies (NDS) at NC State.
  • Minimum of 3.0 GPA on all undergraduate work for unconditional admission. We may provisionally accept other applicants given professional experience or other high quality application materials.
  • Three letters of recommendation from persons familiar with applicant’s work.
  • A 500-800 word professional statement describing professional goals and indicating which strand or emphasis area will be focused on.
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores for international applicants whose first language is not English.
  • Academic writing sample and statement of research interests (M.S. applicants only).

* Unofficial transcripts are accepted for application review purposes but we require official ones before an admitted student can begin graduate studies.

Plan of Study

Students seeking the M.S. must take 36 hours, including six hours in methodology and independent research pertaining to the thesis study. Students must complete all requirements for the master’s degree within six calendar years, beginning with the date the student commences courses carrying graduate credit applicable to the degree program. Master’s courses incorporate the Technology Leadership (TL) Advanced Program standards as developed by ISTE and adopted by NCATE. The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (DPI) provides a list of related standards. The following curriculum displays provide a summary of courses offered by category/strand: Instructional Technology Curriculum Display (for students admitted prior to 2015); and Learning Design & Technology Curriculum Display (for students admitted January 2015 and thereafter). Current students may use our Curriculum Planner to draft a plan of study/plan of work.

Career Prospects

Graduates work as instructional designers, e-learning developers, classroom teachers, school or system-level instructional technology specialists, curriculum developers or in government and private industry as developers of learning programs.

For individuals interested in receiving graduate teaching licensure as Coordinator/Director of Technology (NC 077) in K-12 settings, courses in the program incorporate the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction Standards and Indicators for the Master of Instructional Technology Degree/Coordinator/Director of Technology License (077) which are aligned with the Technology Leadership (TL) Advanced Program Standards as developed by ISTE and adopted by NCATE. Graduates of the program also qualify for advanced licensure in a teaching field.