Curriculum & Instruction Degrees

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Consider an online teaching program currently accepting applicants for 2023.

View online teaching programs currently accepting applicants for 2023.

An integral part of being an educator is creating and delivering engaging educational content that meets school and state standards. An online degree in curriculum and instruction will prepare you to do just that. A program in curriculum and instruction can allow you to learn best practices for teaching to students of a wide variety of learning styles, preferences, and abilities. This degree is an option for individuals wishing to pursue their initial teaching license, as well as for those who are already teaching in the classroom and wishing to pursue further education.

Most curriculum and instruction degrees are Masters in Education programs

Curriculum & instruction is not usually offered at the undergraduate level because instruction coordinators are required to have a Master's degree in Education. However, undergraduate programs in interdisciplinary studies offer many of the courses required of students pursuing curriculum & instruction graduate programs. Some specific courses you can expect to take are: bilingual generalist; special education; English/language arts and reading/social studies composite; and educating students with disabilities.

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Consider an online teaching program currently accepting applicants for 2023.

School Level Program Admissions

University of Southern California

Master Master of Arts in Teaching Online
Earn Your MAT Online From USC Rossier in 12 Months. No GRE scores required.
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Arizona State University

Bachelor Online Bachelor of Education Programs Website

Arizona State University

Master Online Master of Arts in Education
100% online, 9 focus areas of teaching education available. No GRE scores required for application.
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The University of Texas Permian Basin

Master MA in Special Education
CAEP-accredited, Complete in as little as 12 months, six start dates a year, cost-effective tuition.
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View more 100% online teaching programs currently accepting applicants.

Are There Online Degree Programs in Curriculum & Instruction?

Yes, there are online Curriculum and Instruction degrees. Online education is also an option for students pursuing degrees in curriculum & instruction.

Michigan State University, for instance, offers an online Master of Science in Teaching and Curriculum program aimed at both beginning and experienced teachers interested in becoming leaders in the teaching field. With the exception of one course, all courses can be completed online. Students have five years to complete this program so they can continue to teach while earning the degree. This program also gives students/teachers the opportunity to obtain several state endorsements.

Curriculum & instruction programs are offered in many colleges and universities.

Finding an online Masters in Curriculum and Instruction degree

While there are options to earn a bachelor's degree in curriculum and instruction, it is more common for an already established teacher to pursue a master's of this type. A classroom teacher that earns a master's in curriculum and instruction may be eligible for raises, special positions (such as mentor, grade-level chair, etc.), or promotions to administrative level positions. Employment possibilities for those with their master's in curriculum and instruction include instructional coordinator, curriculum and instruction specialist, vice principal, postsecondary teacher at a junior or community college (some, but not all, will accept candidates at the master's level), and postsecondary education administrator. Therefore, this degree is an option for those who wish to teach and/or those who wish to work in education without being a classroom teacher.

If you are interested in pursuing a career in the realm of education, a standard degree in education may sound like the obvious choice. However, this is not the only pathway to a career as an educator: another option for you to explore may be an online curriculum and instruction degree. Professionals in the education field are in high demand, making this degree a solid choice for anyone with the desire to make a difference in the school setting.

In Depth Review of Top Master's Degrees in Curriculum & Instruction, Updated for 2023

Masters in Curriculum & Instruction program at the University of Wisconsin Madison

The Master of Science in Curriculum & Instruction program at the University of Wisconsin - Madison is an example of a graduate program aimed at students that want to advance their education, seek employment as instructional coordinators or educational specialists, or prepare for doctoral study.

To successfully complete this program, the student must complete 24 graduate credits, complete a master’s project or thesis and pass a master’s examination. Areas of study in this program include digital media, teacher education, multicultural education, disciplinary studies, and language and literacy. Master degree programs generally take about two years to complete.

To work as an instruction coordinator, you must not only have a master degree but must also have a license either as a teacher or school administrator. Obtaining licensure usually requires passing a test and completing continuing education courses to maintain licensure. Curriculum & instruction students can also pursue other areas of certification.

UW-Madison, for example, offers educator certification programs in superintendent, principal, director of special education and pupil services, reading specialist, and director of instruction. This is in addition to the various teaching certifications that are also offered like special education, mathematics, English, English as a second language, early childhood, and secondary education programs, among others.

Prior to enrollment in a curriculum & instruction graduate program, students must meet specific admission requirements. Although the requirements might vary by school and program, typical requirements include an undergraduate degree from an approved school; an undergraduate major of appropriate background for entry into the graduate program; official transcripts from all colleges attended; a resume; and letters of recommendation. A completed education certification program satisfies the appropriate undergraduate major requirement.

Western Governor's University North Carolina- Master of Science Curriculum and Instruction

This degree is different than some others because you do not need a teaching license to be accepted into the program. Therefore, this course is an option for professionals in other fields that wish to break into education. This program takes 6-25 months to complete, as this program is set up to let you move at your own pace. Because tuition is based off of time and not number of credits, students who are able to move through the program more quickly can save money. Financial aid is available.

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University of South Florida- Master of Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Teaching English Speakers of Other Languages

This is a 33 credit course that takes two years to complete. This program is designed for professionals who are already teaching that would like to advance their skills by being trained in TESOL (Teaching English Speakers of Other Languages). In other words, teachers with a concentration in TESOL are prepared to teach English to students who are not native English speakers. Classes in this degree will focus on linguistics and culture to prepare teachers for this specialty. A 3.0 undergraduate GPA as well as two years of work experience is required prior to being accepted into this master's program. Financial aid is available.

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Doctorate Degrees in Curriculum & Instruction

Curriculum & instruction is also offered at the doctoral degree level. Students entering this program will already have a master degree. This doctorate program offers concentrations in curriculum studies & global studies; digital media; disciplinary studies; languages and literacy; and multicultural education, teacher education and childhood studies. Doctoral degree programs are generally research-based. The intent of the program is to teach students to perform research effectively in the education system and to prepare them for leadership positions in education settings.

In addition to choosing a major in doctorate in curriculum & instruction, students can take other programs and choose curriculum & instruction as a minor. This option works well for students that may be working in other educational areas but wish to also work with curriculum. This minor program requires the student to complete twelve credits, and these credits must be graduate courses independent of the credits earned towards the regular doctoral degree program.

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Careers in Curriculum & Instruction

Graduates of curriculum & instruction programs may find careers as teachers but more often work as instructional coordinators. Instructional coordinators design instruction and lesson plans, assist the teachers in implementing them into the classroom, and assess their effectiveness. They work in elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and even colleges.

If you are currently a teacher hoping to expand your skill set through earning a master’s in curriculum and instruction, online learning is the ideal choice. Through a virtual campus experience, you will be able to keep your teaching job during the day and study at night. You can also put the skills you learn as you progress through the course into practice in your own classroom.

Typical Online Curriculum and Instruction Courses

Classes/areas of study you can expect to find in an online curriculum and instruction course are:

  • Educational technology
  • Assessment
  • Online learning
  • Adult learning
  • Teacher leadership
  • How to diagnose reading problems
  • Multicultural education
  • Theories of learning
  • Interactive learning environments
  • Instruction in English/reading
  • Instruction in mathematics
  • Instruction in social studies/science
  • Social and political issues in education
  • Curriculum evaluation

Keep in mind that there may be an in-person “field work” component to an online curriculum and instruction course, meaning you may have to go to a real-life classroom to put your learning into action. You may be required to find a school and/or teacher to agree to work with you on this part of your learning. Make sure to ask the online college of your choice about such in-person requirements.

Also keep in mind that some online campuses may require you to physically visit their campus at some point. Make sure to inquire about this as well when choosing your campus.

If you are aspiring to become a classroom teacher, note that finishing your degree does not automatically qualify you for a teaching license. Qualifications needed to obtain a valid teaching license vary by state. If you are seeking your teaching license, ask a representative of the college you attend if the curriculum and instruction degree program has a licensure track that meets the requirements for teaching licensure.

Student teaching is generally required to become a licensed teacher. If you are in an online degree program, you may need to find your own school and cooperating teacher to host your student teaching semester. You will need a supervisor from the college to oversee your student teaching. They may do this in person or over the internet through video capabilities.

You will likely need to pass a state mandated test (such as the PRAXIS) to complete the requirements for a teaching license. Again, if teacher licensure is your goal, make sure to check with a representative of the college about additional requirements outside of the degree program needed to apply for licensure. You will need to decide the grade (and in some cases, subject) you wish to teach as there are different requirements for different levels and subjects.

What can you do with a Curriculum and Instruction Masters degree?

Where would our classrooms be without curriculum and instructions? After all, without a curriculum, there could be no lesson plan. Curriculum & instruction is a field within the education field that deals with development and implementation of curricula that help students achieve the maximum learning both in and out of the classroom.

A teacher with a degree in curriculum and instruction can be specialized in a certain area, making them a valuable asset to a school above and beyond that of a teacher without this degree. Concentrations in reading instruction, technology, special education, gifted and talented, etc. may be available for the degree candidate to choose from. Having this concentration may increase opportunities for the graduate with a degree in curriculum and instruction.