Get the practical knowledge to lead distance education programs in academic, business, government, and nonprofit organizations with a master's degree in distance education and e-learning.

In the award-winning Master of Distance Education and E-Learning at University of Maryland University College, you'll learn the management strategies and gain the practical experience to design and lead distance education programs with confidence. You'll develop essential skills in implementing distance learning technology, managing online faculty, and directing the business aspects of distance education programs. This program will help you acquire the unique skills and knowledge to maintain a successful enterprise in a technology-mediated learning environment.

UMUC is an internationally recognized leader of distance education programming and policy. Whether you're new to the field, changing careers, or looking to move up, you'll enhance your credentials with a respected degree and prepare for a wide range of mid- and senior-level management roles in the rapidly growing field of distance education enterprise.

These program requirements are for students who enroll in the 2017–2018 academic year. For prior year academic requirements, visit the catalog archive in the Current Students section.

About the Distance Education and E-Learning Master's Degree

The courses in the MDE program are designed to help you develop competencies in instructional design, technology selection, business proposals, student support systems, and distance learning project management.

What You'll Learn

Through your coursework, you will learn how to

  • Apply education theory, learning models, and various teaching and learning frameworks in distance education
  • Develop and manage distance education curricula
  • Manage intellectual property and digital rights
  • Select learning technologies
  • Perform cost/benefit analyses for distance learning programs
  • Work with various organizational and staffing models in distance education as well as different leadership styles
  • Apply distance learning programs in the workplace to drive professional development
  • Manage change in organizations
  • Perform quality assurance and project management of e-learning initiatives

Coursework Examples

In past projects, students have had the opportunity to

  • Create a personal learning environment to use throughout the course of the program
  • Submit a project proposal for the introduction of multimedia learning in a corporate or academic setting, and pepare an audio or video presentation to convince the director of an e-learning department to provide the project funds
  • Submit a proposal for improving enterprise learning based on a case study and needs analysis for a real organization
  • Create a design and proposal for a new distance learning enterprise
  • Create a prototype online course, including context analysis, learning design, a storyboard, and a project management plan
  • Design a learner support model for a public or private educational institution or corporate or military training program

Distance Education and E-Learning Master's Degree Requirements

Our curriculum is designed with input from employers, industry experts, and scholars. You'll learn theories combined with real-world applications and practical skills you can apply on the job right away.

Master's Courses

Introductory Course

  • UCSP 615
    (to be taken within the first 6 credits of study)

Core Courses

  • OMDE 601
  • OMDE 610
  • OMDE 603
  • OMDE 608
  • OMDE 606
  • DETT 611
  • DETT 607
  • DETC 620
  • DEPM 604
  • DETT 621
  • DEPM 622

Core Rules & Recommendations

Courses must be taken in the order listed. Sequential courses may be taken concurrently.


Capstone Course

  • OMDE 670

Other Requirements

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Career Preparation

This program is designed to help prepare you to lead, manage, develop, evaluate, and implement distance learning programs in a wide range of academic and training contexts.

Experience Recommended for Success in the Program

We recommend UCSP 605 if you'd like to improve your graduate writing skills.

Additional Information

This program is intended to prepare managers and leaders in the field of distance education. Although it is not intended as a teacher preparation program, it provides the theory, best practices, and background needed for teaching and administration.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Program

How does the MEd differ from the MDE? +

The Master of Education focuses on integrating technology into the pre-K–12 classroom to advance K–12 student teaching, learning, and leadership. The emphasis is on instructional applications in the K–12 schools, management and leadership of pre-K–12 technology initiatives, and technical expertise in the use of instructional technology.

The Master of Distance Education focuses on managing distance education and training in a variety contexts. The program is intended to apply to education at all levels as well as business, government, and nonprofit organizations that may use distance learning for training and staff development. Students learn about distance education history, theory, technology, organizational structures, marketing, management, and business skills.