Master of Education in Training and Development

School of Behavioral Sciences and Education

The master of education degree program in Training and Development at Penn State Harrisburg helps students prepare for professional careers in training and development in diverse organizational settings, including business and industry, government, and health care. Graduates of the Training and Development Program frequently assume positions such as trainers, instructional designers, program evaluators, performance analysts, career development specialists, and organization developers. Additional information about the role of a training and development professional is available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

The overarching goal of the Training and Development Program is to help students develop the ability to assess and improve learning, performance, and change at the individual, group, and organizational levels. Accordingly, specific goals of the program include developing the ability to: analyze employee performance; design a broad range of performance improvement interventions, with particular emphasis on the design, development, and delivery of training programs; evaluate training and development programs; facilitate work group discussions and group processes; translate training and development theory into practice; and critically evaluate research in training and development.

Degree Conferred: M.Ed.

Program Requirements for Admission

Requirements More Information

Admission decisions are based primarily on an applicant’s junior/senior cumulative grade-point average and career-goal statement. Additional information pertaining to any postbaccalaureate course work and professional experience are considered. The best-qualified applicants will be accepted up to the number of spaces available for new students. 

Applicants with low grade-point averages may be required to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or take 9 credits of course work recommended by a program faculty member and maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher in order to be reconsidered.


An applicant must hold either (1) a baccalaureate degree in any field from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or (2) a tertiary (postsecondary) degree in any field that is deemed comparable to a four-year bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution. This degree must be from an officially recognized degree-granting institution in the country in which it operates. 

Supporting Materials
  • A brief career/goal statement
  • Two reference letters

Application Deadline

Semester Deadline
Fall July 10
Spring November 10
Summer March 10

For early decision all required information must be submitted by April 10 for the fall, July 10 for the spring, and November 10 for the summer semester.


Application Process

Gather supporting materials and begin the standard graduate application.


The Curriculum

Students may enter the Training and Development program from a variety of backgrounds and enroll in courses to help them develop competencies in training and development. Coursework includes both required and elective courses in training and development. Students select one of two areas of professional practice, training or human resource development, as a focus for their electives in the training and development program. Weekday courses are scheduled for the evening, while some courses are offered in the weekends and online to accommodate part- and full-time students. 

Students must choose one of two capstone experiences (see details about each below). The Paper capstone experience requires the completion of a master's paper and a total of 33 credits at the 400 level or higher with a minimum of 6 credits at the 500 level; the Non-Paper capstone experience does not require a master's paper, but does require Research Designs Applied in Training (TRDEV 588) and an additional 3-credit elective in Training and Development for a total of 36 credits at the 400 or higher level with a minimum of 6 credits at the 500-level.

Both options require successful completion of the prescribed courses listed below.  

Prescribed (Required) Courses

21 credits

  • TRDEV 460: Foundations in Training & Development (3)
  • TRDEV 503: Performance Consulting (3)
  • TRDEV 518: Systematic Instructional Design in Training (3)
  • TRDEV 520: Learning Styles and Theories for Trainers (3)
  • TRDEV 531: Technology in Training (3)
  • TRDEV 561: Facilitation Theories and Practice (3)
  • EDUC 586: Educational Research  Design (3) 

Elective Courses

From Training and Development courses, select three courses (9 credits) for the Paper Option or four courses (12 credits) for the Non-Paper Option.

  • TRDEV 505: Project Management in Training and Development (3)
  • TRDEV 507: Program Evaluation (3)
  • TRDEV 528: Instructional Systems Design Applications (3)
  • TRDEV 530: Multiplatform Delivery (3)
  • TRDEV 532: Web-Based Training (3)
  • TRDEV 537: Technologies in Learning and Development (3)
  • TRDEV 563: Strategic and Critical Human Resource Development (3)
  • TRDEV 565: Implementing Training and  Development Programs (3)
  • TRDEV 567: Instructional Leadership Theories and Development (3)
  • TRDEV 583: Issues in Training (3)
  • TRDEV 590: Colloquium (3)
  • TRDEV 595: Internship (3)
  • TRDEV 596: Individual Studies (1-3 credits)
  • TRDEV 597: Special Topics (3) 


The purpose of the Professional Experience Requirement is to ensure that every student who graduates with the M.Ed. in Training and Development from Penn State Harrisburg has a baseline of practical, field-relevant experience. This baseline is a minimum of 240 hours of hands-on work. This experience can be focused on:

  • Training and Instruction
  • Human Resource Development (HRD)
  • Organization Development (OD)
  • Or a combination of these areas.

Any students who enter the program without 240 hours of work experience relevant to the field will be required to undertake an internship. At roughly the mid-point of their plan of study, students should work individually with their adviser to arrange the Internship. The Internship experience should be designed on a case-by-case basis to account for the student’s professional goals. The intention is to strengthen the viability of the student in the employment marketplace by providing them a means to demonstrate to prospective employers that they have had practical experience.

Students who entered the program prior to Fall 2014 with 240 hours or more of field-relevant experience who wish to complete the M.Ed. program without doing a structured internship must apply for an Internship Waiver. Students entering the program in Fall 2014 or later will not need to submit a Waiver. Rather they will regularly contribute to an e-portfolio over the course of their plan of study. At the approximate the mid-point the student and adviser will meet to discuss whether the e-portfolio demonstrates that the experience requirement of 240 or more hours of field-related work experience has been met. If it has not, the student will be advised to enroll in the Internship Elective, TRDEV 595.

Arrangements are made to provide a quid pro quo experience for the intern and for the organization providing the field site for the experience. The intern provides a helping hand while learning how a training unit within an organization operates on a day to day basis. An internship may be paid or unpaid and the type of internship (paid or unpaid) must be reflected in the letter of agreement.

An internship formally begins when at least one representative from the organization in which the internship will be housed meets with the intern and a representative from the M Ed., Training and Development Program. The three parties agree on the specifics of the internship experience and the objectives, which are customized to each intern.

E- Portfolio

Why are we doing it?

  • To cohere the student’s experience in the context of scholarly-practice, and to aid in sculpting their identity as a scholar-practitioner. That is,
    • what has the student accomplished in practice,
    • what has the student accomplished in the program, and
    • what is the relationship between the two?
  • To provide a reflective space in which students synthesize their experiences, make connections, and consider possibilities for future action, within and beyond their plan of study.

What will go in it?

  • Student Goal Statement from the program application.
  • Record of practical field experience coming into the program such as a resume or CV, including work samples as appropriate.
  • Record of practical field experience accumulated as the student is participating in the program.
  • Reference letters that substantiate the quality of contributions to practice.
  • Record of all course work.
  • Reflections on the influence of coursework on professional identity and practice (if applicable).
  • Work product produced in the context of course work (individual and group, properly credited) that would be of interest to prospective employers.
  • Final reflection on the arc of the program experience, especially relative to the Student Goal Statement.

Capstone Requirement

3-6 credits

Choose one of the following capstone experiences:

A. TRDEV 587: Master's Paper (3 credits)

B. Non-Paper Experience (6 credits)

  • TRDEV 588: Research Designs Applied in Training (3)
  • one additional 3-credit elective

Additional program information

Current students

Including information related to independent study, the Master's paper, advising, and more.

New Students

A brief orientation for students considering or recently admitted to the TRDEV program.

This page is not a part of the official Penn State University Bulletin.