The Learning Design and Technology program prepares professionals to design and evaluate educationally-informed and empirically-grounded learning environments, products, and programs that effectively employ technology in a variety of settings.
In LDT, students collaborate with and learn from a diverse group of outstanding peers, while being guided and supported by GSE faculty. Practical experience in an internship and a deep dive into creative problem solving with the master’s project allow students to apply their learning to meaningful real-world challenges.
In this 11-month program (September through August), students take a minimum of 45 units over the course of four quarters. Students take core requirements complemented by electives from across Stanford. The required LDT seminar spans all four quarters and supports collaboration in the cohort as well as students’ project and portfolio work. The degree also requires two internships, a master’s project, and a portfolio.
Core courses ground students in evaluation and research methods, learning theories, and design processes. The required LDT seminar allows students to build a sense of community with their cohort while also providing the context for designing, creating, and evaluating projects.
To see the specific requirements, as well as a list of pre-approved courses, visit the Master’s Handbook.
Each academic year the GSE creates a recommended list of education electives for LDT students. Examples of topics include assessment, educational neuroscience, psychological and educational resilience among children and youth, entrepreneurship and innovation in education technology, and courses in social justice and education reform. Students can also approach professors for directed reading on a topic of interest to them.
Though students need to take a minimum of 30 units total in the GSE, they can also take advantage of a wide range of opportunities across Stanford. LDT students have access to courses in the schools of business, law, engineering, and humanities and sciences (with advisor approval).
To connect theory and practice, students take on an internship aligned to their program goals. The internship and affiliated workshop course are required for a minimum of two quarters. Internships might be with one of the many research projects on campus, or in an educational, technology, and/or design organization. Internships are supported by Stanford EdCareers.
Below is a partial list of past internship sites.
For more internship details for students and employers, visit the internship program overview on the GSE’s career resources site.
The capstone of the LDT program is the master’s project—a major design project directed and managed by the student. To complete the project, students must identify and understand a learning problem, generate and test potential solutions leveraging findings from the learning sciences, and collect evidence of learning. Deliverables will include a project proposal, preliminary and final prototypes, presentations, and a final report that includes learner assessments. Milestones will be due each quarter as students progress through the program.
Each student also compiles a portfolio of substantial works done during the year.
Each summer the LDT Expo showcases student inventions at an event that draws crowds of education and technology professionals, potential investors, and curious community members. Expo allows students to demonstrate their prototypes and get feedback from a wide variety of attendees. Part celebration, part reunion, the event itself is a learning experience for students and an opportunity to present their work beyond the GSE.
Hear from our students about why they chose to study learning design and technology at Stanford, what their learning journey has been like, and what advice they would give to future LDT students.
To learn more about requirements for admission, please visit the Application Requirements page.
To learn more about the cost of the program and options for financial support, please visit Financing Your Master’s Degree on the admissions website.
For admissions webinars and to connect with the admission office, see our Connect and Visit page.