Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. What is Instructional Technology?
Instructional technology refers to the tools and processes used to improve teaching and learning in varied contexts. We believe that Instructional Technology is much more than hardware and computer software development. Instructional Technologies also encompasses the instructional design process, including analysis, design, development, evaluation, and implementation of instructional systems and other learning environments. Related areas of study include educational psychology, organizational development, graphic design, multimedia development, technical writing, information systems design, project management, and program evaluation, to name a few.
The Master of Arts Degree program in Instructional Technologies prepares practitioners and researchers to build and test processes, products, systems, and services for education and training settings. Graduates of our program typically assume design/development roles in public or private organizations—both in education and corporate organizations. Some graduates continue on to doctoral programs in the field of instructional design and technology.
Q2. What can I do with a degree in Instructional Technologies?
Active professionals with degrees in Instructional Technologies (or instructional design) are highly regarded in many varied educational and training settings. Examples include computer-based learning, online learning, instructional videos, or “just-in-time learning” modules used in government or businesses. Other examples include:
- Developing instruction for government agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), US Coast Guard, or Department of Defense (DoD)
- Facilitating learning experiences in non-school educational settings such as museums and libraries
- Managing training programs for medium to large businesses or corporations
- Creating custom learning solutions for various clients in an instructional design or consulting firm
- Supporting teachers and students at K-12 or college/universities as they incorporate technologies into their curricula
Q3. What are the program requirements and required courses?
You can visit our website to find out about the program requirements.
Q4. How do I apply to the program?
The application process is explained on the Graduate Application Procedures for Admission page.
Q5. Can I apply for a summer term admit?
We admit students during the Fall and Spring semesters. We currently are not accepting summer applications.
Q6. What is the cost of attendance?
As part of the CA State University system, your tax dollars help keep tuition costs low, providing superior value to graduates. Program costs vary by student based on career goals and pace through the program, but a typical MA student can expect to spend $15K-20K (in 2020-2021), and a typical Certificate student can expect to spend $8K. Current SF State tuition costs for attendance can be found here.
Q7. My GPA is below 3.0. What can I do to improve my chances of getting accepted into the program?
We require students to earn a 3.0 in the last 60 units of course work they have completed before entering our program. We review the complete application package, and if we determine you are a competitive candidate in other areas, such as exceptional teaching background or expertise in using software programs, or relevant work experience, we do make an occasional exception for such applicants on a case-by-case basis. In some cases, several ITEC classes may be completed in a probationary status to raise a GPA to the required level before official program admission.
Q8. Do I need teaching experience to improve my chances of getting accepted into the program?
Teaching experience is a plus, but not a requirement. Teaching can also be practiced in non-school settings, such as businesses and service agencies and in informal settings such as helping others learn in normal life settings. We consider applicants from education and non-education backgrounds alike, asking everyone to explain how this program will help them meet their life and career goals.
Q9. Do I need to know computer coding or any other advanced software programs to be successful in this program?
No, it is not required for you to have any kind of coding or advanced software program knowledge. Our students can learn these skills while they are taking our courses. We do expect that you have access to a laptop or desktop computer and the skill to use it for productive purposes. Instructors will provide a list of the software you need to acquire or purchase to succeed in a course. We try to keep required purchases to a minimum in order to support affordability.
Q10. What is the list of software I need to purchase in the program?
All ITEC courses require standard productivity software such as the Microsoft Office Suite or equivalent. Selected courses focus on developing specific technology-related skills, such as designing instructional graphics or eLearning courses using authoring tools. The ITEC department regularly uses Photoshop, Dreamweaver, iMovie, and other Adobe products such as Captivate, although many other programs are utilized in the industry (Illustrator, Director, Final Cut Pro). Students often take advantage of student discount opportunities.
Q11. How expensive is this software?
With your student ID, you can avail yourself of these programs at a discounted rate. You will work directly with the vendor to purchase your copy.
Q12. Can I transfer my credits that I have earned from other universities or colleges or training programs?
You can transfer up to six non-SFSU credit units that you have earned from an accredited institution and have not applied to any other degree program. Credits earned through the SFSU College of Extended Learning are also considered as external to the program and are subject to the same limitations. We recommend you check with the ITEC program coordinator to seek approval for a proposed credit transfer.
Q13. How long does it take to graduate?
The ITEC Master of Arts program consists of 30 units, or 10 standard courses. Students may be able to graduate in as few as three semesters of full-time study. However, most students finish their program in 2-3 years, depending greatly on their work and life schedules outside of school. Some students extend their studies over longer periods to fit their specific needs.
Q14. Do I have to be a full-time student? Can I be a part-time student?
We adopt a flexible approach with our students, i.e., we work with your schedule. Some students enter into our program with a need to finish in a year. Therefore, they can take between 4-5 courses every semester. Others who are either working full-time/part-time are enrolled in 1-2 courses. You can consult with the faculty advisor to decide your degree plan and timeline.
Q15. Do you offer courses in the summer semester?
We offer courses in the Fall and Spring semesters. Our students can take electives from other SFSU programs after consulting with the faculty advisor. There may be opprtunities for independent study or internships during the summer; check with your ITEC faculty advisor.
Q16. What are the steps to graduate?
Official graduation processes and information. In summary, students must apply for graduation during the semester before they intend to graduate, must complete all coursework during their final semester, and must submit the culminating experience project and required culminating experience completion paperwork before the end of their final semester.
Q17. What kind of culminating experience (Creative Work/Thesis) projects do students have to complete?
Students may choose from two culminating experiences: ITEC 894 – Creative Work or ITEC 895 – Field Study. Course descriptions are available. Students decide on their culminating experience during consultation with their faculty advisor. Currently, most students choose to complete an ITEC 894 Creative Work project.
Q18. Is there assistance with finding a job after graduation?
Your faculty advisor will provide guidance and feedback about your professional portfolio. Additionally, the ITEC department supports an informal network of alumni through relationships among faculty, staff, students, and alumni. The Instructional Technologies Student/Alumni Network (ISAN) supports students and alumni in various ways, including providing ways to network with other instructional design professionals, especially in the Bay Area.
Q19. Are there currently any jobs in this field?
Yes! As in any profession, the economic cycles and shifts create a dynamic work search environment. During “booming” times the jobs seem to be looking for you, at other times you have to search long and hard for the right opportunity, but the field of instructional design is well recognized as adding value to teaching and learning in schools and training organizations.
Examples of job postings include:
- Instructional Design/Course Engineer
- Instructional Designer/Writer
- Instructional Designer/Trainer
- E-learning Instructional Designer & Project Manager
- Instructional Designer/Product Development Specialist
- Sales Instructional Developer
- E-learning Curriculum Developer
- Training Analyst/Instructional Designer
- Director of Training
- Training Specialist
- Learning Consultant
- Instructional Technologist
- Instructional Systems Designer
- Project Manager, Product Training
- Academic Director
- Instructional Services Specialist, Technology Specialist
Q20. Can the ITEC MA and Certificate programs be completed fully online?
Yes! All ITEC program courses have fully online participation options, using a mix of synchronous (web conferencing) and asynchronous (on your own time) technologies and activities. Some courses offer a classroom participation option as well, using a Hybrid-Flexible (HyFlex) format. The university class schedule provides information about participation options and expectations for each class. Contact the listed ITEC faculty for each class with specific questions.