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Instructional Systems Development

ISD

Prospective Students FAQ

 

GENERAL

How is this program different from other programs in training and instructional design?

The ISD- Training Systems Program offers a variety of flexible options in course topics and delivery methods. Students have the opportunity to choose five elective courses in their program. Coursework can be chosen from areas such as performance improvement, online learning, instructional technology, project management, managing training and performance programs and more. Coursework usually includes hands-on projects that help students reach their professional goals. Our program’s “applied learning” philosophy allows students to work on class projects that often directly relate to assignments within their careers. Additionally, students can enroll in a combination of on-campus and online courses.

How old is UMBC’s ISD- Training Systems program?

This program is one of UMBC’s oldest graduate degree programs, and has been educating students for over 40 years.

How many students are in the program?

ISD-Training Systems is one of the largest graduate programs at UMBC. Approximately 25 Master’s candidates and over 40 certificate students graduate from our program annually.

Who are your students?

Typically, the majority of our students are adults with full-time careers who take classes part-time. Some students are already working within the field, while others are looking to redirect their career or education toward the training field.

Who are your faculty members?

Our faculty is a mix of part-time and full-time instructors. Many of our faculty members are also full-time employees in business or other fields. This connection to industry provides the program with a fresh perspective and helps keep our curriculum cutting-edge.

When can I start the program?

New students can start year-round in any of the fall, spring or summer semesters.

What sort of jobs do students get after graduating?

Graduates are hired in a variety of positions that include: instructional designer, instructional technology specialist, training coordinator, training manager, staff development manager, e-learning specialist, performance consultant, organizational development specialist, and more. For a more comprehensive listing of specific jobs, please visit the Career Information section of our website.

Who hires your graduates?

Our students are employed by a variety of private, public and non-profit organizations in the Baltimore-Washington corridor and beyond. For a sample listing of employers who have hired our students, please click here.

How long does it take to complete the program?

Most students take approximately three to four years to complete the program. To complete the program in three years, a student needs to take four courses a year. To complete in four years, a student would need to take three courses a year. There is a maximum of five years allotted to complete the Master’s degree.

When are classes scheduled?

All our courses are scheduled in the evenings (Monday-Thursday from 7:10 - 9:40 pm) or they are online.  Unfortunately, there are no daytime or weekend courses.   

Do you have online courses?

Yes. Our program is primarily an online program with certain selected courses offered each semester online. Please click here to view how courses are offered each semester.

Can I complete the entire Master’s program online?

Yes. All of the required courses and many electives for the Master’s program can be completed online. Students can complete the entire Master’s degree online (with carefully selected electives).

Can I complete the certificate programs online?

Yes. The Instructional Systems Development, Instructional Technology, and the Distance Education certificates can all be completed online.

Can I take both online and on-campus courses?

Yes. Keep in mind that there are a few courses that can only be taken online or only on-campus.

What kind of computer and technical skills do I need for the program?

We expect students to have a working knowledge of:

  • Microsoft Office (Word, Excel and PowerPoint)
  • How to navigate the Internet
  • How to use e-mail
  • How to send files using e-mail or the Internet
  • How to upload and download files from the Internet or in an e-mail

For students taking online courses, you will be taught how to use “Blackboard,” UMBC’s online learning management system. A tutorial is available for accepted students who have a UMBC login at “myUMBC.”

I’m not sure online education is for me.  Can I complete most of the Master’s program on-campus?

With the exception of three required courses, the Master’s required courses and some electives may be completed on-campus (with carefully selected electives).

How does your program stay updated and connected with the field and employers?

We have a program advisory board that is comprised of industry practitioners from organizations such as T. Rowe Price, Verizon, IBM, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab, McCormick, National Security Agency, Transportation Security Agency, Northrop Grumman and more. They provide us with feedback on our curriculum, opportunities to hire our graduates and sponsor graduate interns. Most of our faculty includes part-time instructors who work full-time in the field, keeping them at the cutting edge of new trends.

ADMISSIONS FOR THE MASTER'S DEGREE

What document do I need to submit to apply for admission to the Master’s degree program?

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

My Grade Point Average (GPA) isn’t as high as I’d like it to be.  Is it still possible to be admitted to the program?

Yes. It is possible to take courses as a non-degree or as a certificate student and establish an academic track record. This will demonstrate that you have the ability to complete work at a graduate level. Students can then apply for admission to the Master’s degree program and have a much better chance of being accepted.

Are any standardized tests such as the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) required for admission?

No.

What undergraduate major must I have to apply for admission?

No specific undergraduate major is required for admission. We have students who have successfully completed our program with undergraduate degrees that range from Accounting to Zoology.

Is an admission interview required?

No, an in-person or a phone interview is not required, but prospective students who may have questions concerning the program can request an interview. This is an opportunity for you to discuss your career plans and see how the program can help you reach your goals.  Contact Dr. Chuck Hodell, the assistant graduate program director at hodell@umbc.edu to arrange an in-person meeting or a phone appointment. 

Can I start in the Certificate program and then continue toward the Master’s program?

Yes. If you are unsure about pursuing the Master’s degree, you can start by taking courses for the certificate program. After the certificate program is completed, students can apply these courses toward the Master’s degree program. All the certificate program courses count toward the Master’s degree.

Are there deadlines for admission applications?   

Applications are accepted for the fall, spring and summer semesters.
FALL APPLICATION DEADLINE: June 1
SPRING APPLICATION DEADLINE: November 1
SUMMER APPLICATION DEADLINE: March 1

Applications that are received at least 6 weeks prior to the start of the semester receive priority. Applications received in this timeframe normally are processed in time for the start of the semester, but there are no guarantees.

ADMISSIONS FOR THE CERTIFICATE PROGRAM 

What document do I need to submit to apply for admission to the Certificate program?

Students applying for the Post-Baccalaureate certificate must submit the following materials:

How long does it take to complete the certificate program?

It’s possible to complete the Instructional Systems Development certificate program in two semesters (8 months), assuming the student takes two courses each semester. It is also possible to complete the Instructional Technology certificate in three semesters (one year).

Can I start in the certificate program and then continue toward the Master’s program?

Yes. If you are unsure about pursuing the Master’s degree, you can start by taking courses for the certificate program. After the certificate program is completed, students can apply these courses toward the Master’s degree program. All the certificate program courses count toward the Master’s degree.

Are there deadlines for admission applications?   

Applications are accepted for the fall, spring and summer semesters.

FALL APPLICATION DEADLINE: July 1st
SPRING APPLICATION DEADLINE: December 1st
SUMMER APPLICATION DEADLINE: April 1st

FINANCIAL INFORMATION

How much does tuition cost?  

Students pay either in-state or out-of-state tuition rates.  Please visit the Student Business Services webpage for details on the current rates at http://www.umbc.edu/sbs/

How much do books cost?

Books costs will vary for each course.  For planning purposes count on about $100 - $150 per course for books.

Do online student have to pay all the same fees as students taking classes on-campus?

No. Students taking online courses are only required to pay the technology fees.

When applying for admissions to an online program, you must select one of the online option codes (EDIO, CISDO, CIELO) in order for your fees to be waived.

I am a Veteran. Who would I contact about processing VA benefits?

Please visit the link for UMBC Veteran Services at http://www.umbc.edu/veterans/.

Are payment plans available?

Monthly payment plans are also available.  Check the Student Business Services website at http://www.umbc.edu/sbs/mpp.htm for more details.

NETWORKING EVENTS

What is the UMBC Training Forum?
 

Click here for a detailed description.