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Instructional Systems Development


Master of Arts


Program Requirements

Admissions Requirements

MA Required Course Offerings by Semester

Program Requirements

The Master of Arts requires a minimum of 36 credits hours. Students must complete seven required core courses (totaling 21 credits), five elective courses (totaling 15 credits) and take a final comprehensive examination (students admitted prior to fall 2012) or complete a professional portfolio (students admitted fall 2012 and on).

Portfolio Requirement
Beginning with the Fall 2012 semester, students admitted to the Master’s degree in Instructional Systems Development – Training Systems, will be required to complete a professional portfolio. This requirement replaces the comprehensive exam requirement.

The purpose of this requirement is to provide students an opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned in their coursework and the program. It also provides students, employers, clients, colleagues, etc. with tangible evidence of our graduates’ knowledge, skill, abilities and competencies. Portfolios can be a wonderful career tool that may assist graduates in getting jobs, promotions, new clients, and other professional opportunities.

Students have the opportunity in nearly every class to create basic artifacts. With some polishing and improvements, these artifacts may be used to satisfy the portfolio requirement.

Click Here to review course descriptions

Four Core Courses (12 credits) - Taken in first 18 credits 


EDUC 602: Instructional Systems Development I (*Must be an ISD section of the course)


EDUC 603: Instructional Systems Development II


EDUC 605: Adult Learner


EDUC 671: Principles of Training and Development



Three Advanced Courses (9 Credits) - Taken after 21 credits


EDUC 771: Research Design in Education (*Must be an ISD section of the course)


EDUC 792T: ISD Internship


EDUC 794: ISD Project Seminar (*Must be an ISD section of the course)



Choice of Five Elective Courses (15 Credits)


EDUC 641: The Online Classroom


EDUC 643: Principles of Distance Education


EDUC 647: Corporate Distance Training


EDUC 648: Consulting for Training & Performance


EDUC 649: Best Practices in Training & Performance


EDUC 681: Survey of Instructional Technology Applications


EDUC 682: Instructional Technology Design and Development


EDUC 683: Multi-media Project Management


EDUC 689: Connecting ISD and Human Performance Improvement


EDUC 689: ISD for Informal Learning


EDUC 689: Managing Your Career


EDUC 689: Managing & Training Performance


EDUC 689: Portfolio Development & Talent Management 3

EDUC 689: Project Management


EDUC 690: Individual Projects (must have program director's approval)



Comprehensive Exam

All M.A. students, admitted prior to fall 2012, are required to complete a comprehensive exam at the conclusion of their program of study. The purpose of the comprehensive exam is to evaluate a student's ability to analyze, synthesize and problem-solve a case study within the context of training and development.


Portfolio Credits
All M.A. students, admitted fall 2012 and on are required to submit a professional portfolio of course-related work samples that reflects their accomplishments throughout their tenure in the program. UMBC ISD Portfolio Requirements  0


TOTAL number of credits:


Elective Credits

Students enrolled in the ISD-Training Systems Master's program may select 15 credits of electives from the above group of courses. It is possible with the approval of the program director to take some electives that are not in this group. Please contact the graduate program director for details.

Admissions Requirements for Master’s Degree

  • Bachelor's degree: Earned from a regionally accredited college or university or an equivalent degree from a comparative foreign institution  
  • No specific undergraduate degree is required
  • GREs or the GMAT are not required
  • Three letters of recommendation

Additional Program Admissions Requirements For Specific Applicants

The following additional program admissions requirements (beyond those required by the graduate school) apply to all students that do not hold a bachelors degree or higher from a regionally accredited United States college or university:

  • TOEFL score in excess of 550 on a paper-based test, 213 on a computer-based test or 80 on an internet-based test
  • GRE verbal test score in excess of 450
  • GRE quantitative test score in excess of 580
  • Admissions Committee review

Optional Interview

An in-person or a phone interview is not required, but prospective students may have questions concerning the program. The purpose of the interview is to address any questions or concerns that you may have. It also is an opportunity to discuss your career plans, and to see how the program can help you reach your goals. Dr. Chuck Hodell, Associate Graduate Program Director, is available to talk with prospective students on the phone or to meet with them in person. Dr. Chuck Hodell can be reached at

Applying Online

Save money by applying for the program online! Pay only a $50 application fee (instead of $70) and get your materials to us immediately. To apply, go to the UMBC Graduate School Online Application Site and follow the instructions to create an account.

Application Packet Materials

Students applying for the Master’s degree must submit the following materials:

Completed Application Packets Should Be Sent To:

Renee Eisenhuth

Program Coordinator

ISD - Training Systems Graduate Program

1450 Rolling Road

Halethorpe, MD 21227

Applications materials may also be faxed to 443-543-5096.

ISD Program Policies

Graduate Tuition and Fees

Graduate students are charged a per credit hour rate for tuition and other fees. UMBC tuition and fees may be paid by check, credit card, cash or employer-provided benefits. Some students may qualify for student loans, graduate assistantships or Veteran's benefits. For more information on graduate tuition and fees, click here.

Financial Aid, Loans, Fellowships, and Veterans Affairs

The Office of Financial Aid maintains and coordinates a variety of scholarships, grants, loans, student employment opportunities and veteran's benefits. Students wishing to be considered for financial aid resources must complete and submit a "Free Application for Federal Student Aid" (FAFSA) to the U.S. Department of Education (listing UMBC's Federal School Code: 002105). The FAFSA may be completed on the web at

Information about federally subsidized and unsubsidized loans, the federal work-study program and other forms of need-based assistance is available from the UMBC Office of Financial Aid.

Graduate Assistantships

The Graduate School has graduate assistantships available to qualified, full-time, degree-seeking students. Applications are accepted in the spring of each year. The graduate assistantship appointment is a 10-month contractual position, beginning in August. Appointment benefits include: financial stipend, tuition remission for 10 graduate credits per academic year and health insurance.

Detailed information about assistantships and their responsibilities, benefits and stipend levels is available in the Graduate Assistant Handbook.