Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction – What You Need to Know When Pursuing This Degree


Whether you’re an experienced teacher or just getting started, a master’s in curriculum and instruction can give you the tools you need to be an influential leader. Additionally, it will make you more distinctive from your rivals.

The coursework in a curriculum and instruction master’s program will help you learn how to design lessons that meet student needs, focusing on the latest research and trends in education. 

What Are the Prerequisites?

Whether you’re a teacher, curriculum coordinator or educational administrator, a master’s in curriculum and instruction can open new doors to your career. With a focus on best practices in instructional assessment, learning theory, teaching methods and educational technology integration, this degree helps you develop the expertise and leadership skills necessary to lead your school’s curriculum development.

In addition to coursework, many schools offer field-specific specializations for students in this program. These may include elementary or secondary education, English language arts, world languages, social studies and STEM education. Also, most masters of curriculum and instruction online include core courses that examine the theories, styles and frameworks of instruction, learning and assessment. This program teaches graduates how to plan, deliver and evaluate developmentally appropriate and culturally responsive instruction. 

What Coursework Will I Need?

Several different coursework options are available to students interested in pursuing a master’s in curriculum and instruction. These include general education courses, professional development and specialized classes that meet specific concentration or elective requirements.

For example, many programs will require core coursework in curriculum theory and instructional assessment. Others will focus on integrating educational technology or diversity in teaching and learning.

A curriculum and instruction degree often includes pedagogy, leadership and advocacy classes. These classes are designed to help graduates advance their careers in various teaching roles or at the administrative level.

Once you have a clear idea of what career path you’re aiming for, start to research schools that offer that degree program. Consider a local community college for the initial coursework, then transfer to a four-year university. This will ensure you get the most from your time and money.

How Long Will It Take?

The time it takes to complete your master’s in curriculum and instruction degree depends on several factors. This includes your college, degree program and desired pacing, as well as personal goals and the amount of time you’ll be able to devote to coursework. Many students find that they can take the program part-time or online, which makes it easier to balance school work with their other obligations and reduces the financial burden. Some MA programs also offer intensive summer sessions or evening classes to accommodate working teachers and others who need flexibility in their studies.

What Can I Do With My Degree?

Gaining a master’s degree in education can help you advance professionally. Graduates can work as K-12 lead teachers, curriculum and instruction coordinators or principals in public or private schools.

In addition, graduates can pursue educational consultants and instructional coaches positions in schools, colleges, universities or the government. These professionals develop instructional material, coordinate educational content and incorporate current technology into instruction. In this field, professionals are constantly trying to improve how learning is delivered and make it more effective for students at all levels of education. Their work helps lift people out of poverty and gives them the skills they need to participate in our modern world.

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