Instructional Systems and Learning Technologies


Students who graduate from the FSU’s Instructional Systems and Learning Technologies (ISLT) program gain the skills needed for in-demand instructional design careers. Instructional designers work in both public and private sectors and create training, instruction and organizational systems. Our students learn how to use technology and best practices to help improve learning and assist instructors and trainers.

Graduates from the FSU Instructional Systems and Learning Technologies program go on to work in businesses, government agencies, universities, schools and military organizations. As the #1-ranked instructional design program in the country, our program produces highly sought-after professionals. Some of the biggest names in instructional design taught at Florida State, and our program continues the legacy of luminaries such as Robert Gagné, Leslie Briggs, Robert Morgan, Walter Dick, Marcy Driscoll, Robert Reiser, and John Keller

All of our programs have a strong focus on:

  • Instructional design
  • Emerging technologies
  • Performance improvement

The program offers three graduate degrees as well as two graduate certificates. You can gain an understanding of instructional design practices with the Master of Science, which is offered both online and in person. For additional training and expertise, you can enroll in our online Ed.D. in Learning Design & Performance Technology. Finally, students interested in conducting research and teaching instructional design can earn a Ph.D. through our on-campus program. Click below to learn about each degree offered by our ISLT program.

Master of Science (online and on-campus)

This program will prepare you to become a practitioner in the Instructional Systems and Learning Technologies field. It requires a minimum of 36 credit hours and can be completed in two years. The ISLT master’s degree is offered both on campus and online. 

The Instructional Systems and Learning Technologies online master’s program offers Market Rate Tuition. This allows non-Florida residents (including international students) who do not qualify for the Academic Common Market the opportunity to complete the online master’s degree at a reduced tuition rate of $544/per credit hour.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

This degree will prepare you to conduct and interpret research in Instructional Systems and Learning Technologies. Students who have earned a master’s degree in ISLT or a related field are required to take a minimum of 48 credit hours and complete a dissertation. The ISLT doctoral degree is a residential program.

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) - Learning Design & Performance Technology

Our online doctoral program in Learning Design and Performance Technology offers advanced preparation with both theoretical and practical experience for individuals who want to become leaders in providing data-based solutions to learning and performance problems. Our students come from a number of industries and professions, united by the desire to become better scholar-practitioners in the areas of learning design and performance technology. Upon completion of this three-year program, you will develop the knowledge and skills to reach new levels in your career.

The online Learning Design and Performance Technology Ed.D. program allows you to continue your career while earning your doctoral degree in Instructional Systems and Learning Technologies. During coursework, you will learn how to use a variety of inquiry methods to examine and evaluate learning and performance problems, as well as design theories and tools that will help you develop and implement appropriate solutions. The Learning Design and Performance Technology Ed.D. program culminates in an applied dissertation project that allows you to demonstrate your ability to use inquiry skills to address an authentic problem in a real-life setting.

You will progress through the program within a cohort to encourage support, professional network building, and a sense of community. Additionally, cohorts will have an annual on-campus meeting to enable face-to-face interactions among the cohort and our award-winning faculty. These meetings will coincide with our annual ISLT conference and will include opportunities for networking with our campus students and our highly accomplished alumni.

The demand for highly skilled Learning Design and Performance Technology leaders continues to grow across a wide variety of settings, including business, higher education, healthcare, government, military, and K-12 education. Graduates from our online Ed.D. program will lead these fields with learning design, training, and performance systems.

Graduate Certificates

We offer graduate certificates in Human Performance Technology (HPT), Instructional Design and Technology, and Online Teaching and Learning. Each certificate program requires a minimum of 15 credit hours of coursework and can be completed online along with a graduate degree or as a stand-alone certificate.

Admission Requirements

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  • A master’s degree from an accredited institution (Ed.D. applicants only)
  • An undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or above (for master’s applicants) or 3.2 or above (for doctoral applicants) in upper-division courses
  • GRE test scores – Official test results are required from the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Target scores:
    • Verbal: At or above the 50th percentile
    • Quantitative: At or above the 50th percentile (Ph.D. applicants only)
    • Analytical writing: 3.5 or above (for master’s and Ed.D. applicants) or 4.0 or above (for Ph.D. applicants)

The GRE requirement will be waived for outstanding master’s applicants who meet ONE of the following criteria (master’s applicants only):

  • 5 years of professional experience as an instructional designer and a 3.0 (or better) upper-division undergraduate GPA from an accredited institution.
  • A completed master’s, J.D., M.D., or Ph.D. degree with a 3.0 (or better) GPA from a North American accredited institution.
  • Completion of 9 graduate credit hours of a graduate certificate from the ISLT program with a graduate GPA of 3.2 or higher.

Master’s applicants must submit the GRE Waiver Request Form and provide evidence to satisfy the criteria being applied.

NOTE: The GRE requirement is waived for all master's applicants through Fall 2022.

  • Language proficiency test (international students only)– FSU accepts scores from TOEFL (target scores for this program are 85 or above for master’s applicants and 90 or above for doctoral applicants), IELTS (minimum 6.5), MELAB (minimum 77), Cambridge C1 Advanced Level (minimum 180), Michigan Language Assessment (minimum 55), and Duolingo (minimum 120)
  • A statement of purpose indicating your career goals and expectations, previous academic and work experience, publications (if any), and other accomplishments
  • Three recent letters of recommendation from individuals qualified to make predictive statements regarding your potential for success in graduate studies, personal and work characteristics, intellectual ability and/or scholarly attainments. Preference is for letters from professors who can comment on your work in an academic setting.
  • A resume showing your current and previous work experience
  • Transcripts – Applicants must submit an official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each college and/or university attended to the Office of Graduate Admissions:

Florida State University
Office of Graduate Admissions
314 Westcott Building
P.O. Box 3061410
Tallahassee, FL 32306-1410

Meeting the above requirements does not ensure admission into the program. Faculty members also consider the likelihood of your success in graduate school and for employment upon graduation when making a decision about each applicant.

NOTE: The GRE requirements for master’s and specialist programs have been waived for the Spring 2022, Summer 2022, and Fall 2022 terms.

Application Deadlines

Master’s program:

  • Spring: October 1 (early deadline), November 1 (final deadline)
  • Summer: February 1 (early deadline), March 1 (final deadline)
  • Fall: June 1 (early deadline), July 1 (final deadline)

Ph.D. program:

  • Fall: July 1 (For the best chance for funding, apply for Fall by December 15)

Online Ed.D. program:

  • Summer: February 1 (priority consideration), March 1 (secondary consideration) 


Tuition & Aid

Information about tuition and fees at Florida State is available here. You can learn more about the scholarship and aid opportunities for College of Education students here.

Our Faculty

Click here to learn more about our faculty!

Career Opportunities

Instructional Systems and Learning Technologies (ISLT) is a relatively new area of specialization that draws upon the fields of psychology, communications, and management in order to improve human performance. The field of instructional systems is concerned with the improvement of educational and training programs through the application of research and technology.

ISLT graduates can expect an above-average increase in employment opportunities over the next decade. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 10.5% increase in job outlook by 2026; this growth is the result of many educational institutions increasing their focus on improving teacher effectiveness. The national median annual wage for instructional coordinators totaled $64,450.

The principles and techniques taught in the program at Florida State cut across all organization and industry sectors — profits and nonprofits, public and private, products, and services. Some specific occupations suited to this program include:

  • Trainers
  • Consultants
  • K-12 Teachers
  • Instructors, especially in the military or at community colleges
  • Educational Technology Coordinators
  • Faculty
  • Instructional Designers
  • Human Resource Specialists
  • Higher Education Administrators
  • Anyone contemplating a career in training and development, curriculum planning and Internet applications

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