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University Bulletin
Graduate Degree Programs

Training and Development (TRDEV)

Program Home Page (Opens New Window)

JO TYLER, Coordinator
Penn State Harrisburg
777 West Harrisburg Pike
Middletown, PA 17057


Degree Conferred:



The Graduate Faculty


The Program

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.

The overarching goal of the Training and Development Program is to help students develop the ability to assess and improve employee learning and performance. 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.

Admission Requirements

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. a baccalaureate degree in any field from a regionally accredited, college-level institution. 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 and submit scores for the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) or take 9 credits of course work recommended by a program faculty member and maintain a GPA of B 3.0 or higher for these courses in order to be reconsidered.  Applicants for graduate assistantships are required to take and submit scores for either the Graduate Record Examinations or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT).

Students are required to submit the following:

  • A completed application with the application fee
  • Two copies of official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended
  • A brief career-goal statement

International Students

The language of instruction at Penn State is English.  International applicants must take and submit scores for the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) with the exceptions noted below.  The minimum acceptable score for the TOEFL is 550 for the paper-based test, 213 for the computer-based test, or a total score of 80 with a 19 on the speaking section for the Internet-based test.  The minimum composite score for the IELTS is 6.5.

International applicants are exempt from the TOEFL/IELTS requirement if they have received a baccalaureate or graduate degree from a college, university, or institution in any of the following: Australia, Belize, British Caribbean and British West Indies, Canada (except Quebec), England, Guyana, Republic of Ireland, Liberia, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Scotland, the United States and Wales.

Application Deadlines

Candidates may enter the program at the beginning of fall or spring semester, or the summer session. Application deadline dates for U.S. students and international students are posted on the Training and Development program website. (

Degree Requirements

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 as well as electives from outside the program. 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. Courses are scheduled 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 at least 18 credits at the 500 level or higher and 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 level or higher, with at least 18 credits at the 500 level or higher and 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 and Design (3)

Elective Courses (9-12 credits)

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 (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 HRD Development Programs (3)
TRDEV 567. Instructional Leadership Theories and Development (3)
TRDEV 583. Issues in Training & Development (3)
TRDEV 590. Colloquium (3)
TRDEV 596. Individual Studies (1-3)
TRDEV 597. Special Topics (3)

Required Experience:

Successful completion of an ePortfolio including samples of training and development work from all core courses as well as examples of other professional activities completed during the student's time in the Training and Development program.  These activities should equate to approximately 240 hours of work and will be reviewed by the student's adviser to determine whether they meet professional experience standards.  Students will be required to take TRDEV 595 (Internship) as one of their elective courses if their ePortfolio does not meet the professional experience standards established by the program.

Capstone Requirement (3-6 credits);

Choose one of the following capstone experiences:

A. Master's Paper (3 credits)

TRDEV 587. Master's Paper (3)

B. Non-Paper Experience (6 credits)

TRDEV 588. Research Designs Applied in Training (3)


One additional 3-credit elective as noted above

Transfer Credits and Course Substitutions

A maximum of 10 credits of high-quality graduate work done at a regionally accredited U.S. institution or an officially recognized degree-granting international institution may be applied toward the requirements for the master's degree in Training and Development. Approval to apply any transferred credits toward a degree program must be granted by the student's academic adviser and the Graduate School. Transferred academic work must have been completed within five years prior to the date of degree registration at Penn State, must be of at least B quality (grades of B- are not transferable), and must appear on an official graduate transcript. Credits earned toward a previously completed postbaccalaureate professional degree program (law, medicine, etc.) are not transferable. However, up to 10 credits can be transferred from a professional degree program if the degree has not been conferred.

A maximum of 15 credits earned as a nondegree graduate student at Penn State may be applied to the Training and Development program, with departmental approval. The credits must have been earned within five years preceding entry into the program.

Grade-point Average and Time Limit

A 3.00 (out of 4.00) minimum grade-point average is required to graduate from the program. All course work must be completed within eight years of admission to degree status.

Financial Aid

A limited number of scholarships, fellowships, and research grants are available, as well as graduate assistantships. Many students work full-time and take classes part-time. In many cases, employers have a tuition-reimbursement plan paying for partial or full tuition. To find other options available to you, contact the Penn State Harrisburg Financial Aid Office at 717-948-6307.


Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 699 and 800-899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not be used to meet graduate degree requirements. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.


EDUCATION (EDUC) course list


Lasted Revised by the Department: Spring Semester 2014

Blue Sheet Item #: 42-06

Review Date: 04/08/2014

Faculty linked: 8/14/14



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