Online Master’s Programs in Curriculum and Instruction

Earning a degree in curriculum and instruction could lead to a rewarding career. Here, we outline top online master's programs.

February 18, 2022

Edited by Veronica Freeman
Online Master’s Programs in Curriculum and Instruction

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Curriculum and instruction master's programs prepare students to become instructional coordinators. These professionals oversee curriculum quality to ensure educational programs' effectiveness. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects jobs for these professionals to grow 10% from 2020-2030.

Online master's programs in curriculum and instruction provide flexible learning options. This guide highlights the benefits of studying online. The following sections also explore career options and earning potential for graduates.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Curriculum and Instruction

true Q. What can I do with a master's in curriculum and instruction?

Graduates often become instructional coordinators. Degree-holders can also pursue administrator positions.

true Q. Can I be a principal with a master's in curriculum and instruction?

Yes. Learners can become principals after completing a curriculum and instruction master's program. Principals need at least a master's degree related to education.

true Q. What does a curriculum and instruction specialist do?

Curriculum and instruction specialists develop instructional material. These professionals observe instruction and test curriculum effectiveness.

Why Get a Degree in Curriculum and Instruction?

After completing master's programs in curriculum and instruction online, graduates can pursue education careers. Roles in the field require strategic thinking. Professionals develop curricula for various types of learners. Instructional coordinators help prepare the next generation to succeed.

Curriculum coordinators work during traditional business hours. Unlike classroom teachers, they usually work year-round. However, these professionals earn a higher median salary than teachers. According to the BLS, instructional coordinators earn a median salary of $66,970 per year. High school teachers earn a median annual salary of $62,870.

How Much Does a Curriculum and Instruction Degree Cost?

According to the Education Data Initiative, a master's degree costs an average of $66,340. Master's degree-seekers at public schools pay an average of $54,500. Students at private institutions pay an average of $81,100 for their master's.

Learners often save money by pursuing master's programs in curriculum and instruction online. Public schools typically offer lower tuition rates for state residents. However, some schools charge all online learners in-state tuition rates.

The number of required credits also impacts cost. Many schools charge per-credit tuition rates. Learners should also budget for fees and expenses.

Additional Online Student Fees

Many schools charge online learners extra fees. Institutions may waive fees for in-person activities and resources. However, online students typically pay a technology fee covering tech support and virtual classroom platforms. Learners may also need a subscription to a video conferencing service.

Students should also budget for textbooks. Learners can save money by purchasing used books or digital copies. Students may also rent books or resell them at the end of each semester.

How Much Do Curriculum and Instruction Graduates Make?

According to Nov. 2021 Payscale data, professionals with a master of arts in curriculum and instruction earn an average of $63,000 per year. People with a master of education in curriculum and instruction earn an average of $61,000 annually as of Jan. 2022.

Factors such as location influence earning potential. For example, instructional coordinators in New York earn an average of $78,210 per year, according to BLS data. Instructional coordinators in Florida earn an average annual salary of $62,150.

In addition, professionals with more experience often qualify for higher salaries. People can also earn a doctorate in curriculum and instruction to increase their earning potential.

Courses in Curriculum and Instruction

Online master's programs in curriculum and instruction typically require 30-36 credits. Degree-seekers practice analytical skills. Coursework explores how learners process information at various growth stages.

Many curriculum and instruction programs offer concentrations in science curriculum and English curriculum. Students may also specialize in a certain grade level.

The following courses commonly appear in curriculum and instruction master's programs. Course availability varies, so students should contact their prospective school for details.

How to Become an Instructional Coordinator

Aspiring instructional coordinators typically earn an education-related bachelor's degree before applying to master's programs. School districts typically require instructional coordinators to have about five years of teaching experience. Therefore, aspiring professionals must complete student teaching and earn a teaching license.

Students often continue teaching while enrolled in online master's programs in curriculum and instruction. Most online programs deliver coursework asynchronously, allowing learners to watch recorded lectures. Synchronous programs typically feature class times outside of traditional teaching hours.

Online Master's Programs in Curriculum and Instruction

  1. Mount Vernon Nazarene University
    Location

    Mount Vernon, OH

    Tuition

    $14497

    Mount Vernon Nazarene University's online Master of Arts in Education Teaching and Learning degree is a Christian-based program designed to allow flexibility, as students can choose their start dates and class schedules according to their preferred goals. The 31-credit program can be completed in 16 to 24 months, and students can take 1 or 2 classes at a time. The program is intended to improve teaching effectiveness and student performance. The courses operate in a cohort model, so that the same group of students proceeds through the courses together, which is meant to enhance the rapport. The program includes 7 courses that are required of all students, including a practitioner's project, as well as the choice of 6 elective courses in various specific subject areas such as adolescent literature; play, creativity and imagination; or curriculum leadership. To apply, prospective students must submit their free online applications as well as evidence of having earned baccalaureate degrees from accredited institutions with at least a 3.0 GPA, official transcripts from all institutions attended, a registration agreement form and an admissions interview. Those from countries outside the U.S. should also show evidence of English proficiency by submitting Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores of 70 or higher that were taken in the last 20 years. No GRE or GMAT scores are required for admission. MVNU offers several career-oriented events throughout the year to help students with career preparation such as resume writing and job searches.

  2. Missouri Baptist University
    Location

    Saint Louis, MO

    Tuition

    $25816

    The Master of Science in Education (M.S.E.) program at Missouri Baptist University can be completed either fully online or as a hybrid program that offers coursework both online and face-to-face. Courses are taught from a Christian point of view and are designed to prepare working adults for leadership positions in education, such as lead teacher in K-12 schools or coordinator for curriculum and instruction. Students can earn the M.S.E. by completing 31 credit hours comprised of M.S.E. core requirements, curriculum and instruction courses and special electives. Graduates must maintain cumulative GPAs that are at least 3.0 with only 2 C grades on coursework while enrolled in the program. The Continuing Portfolio Development course helps students build portfolios that showcase their curriculum and instruction work as they progress through the program. Students may take courses full or part time. To apply, students submit their free online applications along with official transcripts from all institutions attended showing GPAs of at least 2.75. A letter of recommendation from an employer or professional in the field and a professional statement also are required. The school stresses that students should complete their Free Applications for Federal Student Aid as part of their admissions process, as most students receive some form of financial aid. Both in-state and out-of-state students pay the same per-credit tuition, and fees aren't charged. Once students are enrolled, they have access to support services including video tutorials, articles, tools to help with time management and study skills and online help with papers. Students also gain access to tutoring assistance and counseling help.

  3. Columbia International University
    Location

    Columbia, SC

    Tuition

    $23690

    Columbia International is a Christian university that offers a fully online Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Instruction and Learning that is taught through a biblical lens. The program is intended to prepare graduates for leadership positions in school settings, such as instructional supervisor, curriculum developer, school administrator or master teacher. This 30- to 33-credit program is composed of 3 foundation courses, 4 core courses and 4 generalist concentration courses. However, students may choose to replace those generalist concentration classes with individualized concentration courses related to their area of interest (for example, elementary or secondary education, Teaching English as a Foreign Language, or learning disabilities). The program can be completed in 2 to 4 years (it must be finished within 6), and it was developed to align with the Association of Christian Schools International's certification requirements. In order to earn the degree, students must complete their courses while maintaining GPAs of at least 2.7 and no grade lower than a C in any class. To apply, students must submit their online applications, as well as show evidence of earning their undergraduate degrees with GPAs of at least 2.7, GRE scores in at least the 50th percentile and demonstrated experience in the field, which may include 1 of the following: 2 years' classroom experience, current teaching licenses, undergraduate degrees in education or a minimum of 2 years' educational administration. Also required is a reference from a church leader who has known the student for at least 2 years and an application essay. Though tuitions don't vary between on-ground and online credits, online students are not charged certain fees that would apply only to on-campus students.

  4. Liberty University
    Location

    Lynchburg, VA

    Tuition

    $23800

    Christian-affiliated Liberty University's Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction prepares graduates for careers as elementary, middle school and special education teachers, as well as a wide range of related occupations, such as school technology director, technology instructor and curriculum development professional. Admission in good standing into this degree program requires possession of a regionally or nationally accredited bachelor's degree earned with a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 or higher. Applicants with an undergraduate GPA below 3.0, however, may still be admitted on caution at the discretion of the program. Candidates who have previously earned a master's degree or minimum of 12 graduate-level credits may be evaluated for admission based on their masters-level work. Additional admission requirements include submission of college transcripts, letter of recommendation and proof of English proficiency. LU's MEd in Curriculum and Instruction is offered with 11 specialization options, including Education Technology and Online Instruction, Gifted Education, Special Education, Student Services and Early Childhood Education. The program requires successful completion of 36 credit hours of coursework which includes an in-course field experience. The entire program is designed to be completed in less than 2 years. However, students may transfer in up to 50% of their credit hours upon program approval, providing the opportunity to substantially reduce the time needed to earn their degree. Credits may also be available for military training. Coursework is presented in an asynchronous format that allows students to login and complete their coursework on their own schedule. All coursework is completed 100% online. Active military, veterans, military spouses, and Department of Defense employees enjoy a substantial tuition discount.

  5. York College
    Location

    York, NE

    Tuition

    $19310

    The online Master of Arts in Education: Curriculum and Instruction degree offered by Nebraska-based York College is designed for individuals either currently working or seeking to work in the education field in variety of positions, such as principal, teacher, project manager and development professional. Students receive a Christ-centered education that provides them with the knowledge and skills needed to develop curriculum and instruction training, and to create more effective learning environments. To be admitted into York College's online MA in Education program, an applicant must possess a bachelor's degree from a properly accredited college or university earned with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.5 or higher. Admission of applicants whose degrees were earned from a non-accredited institution, such as an international program, will be considered on a case-by-case basis. An applicant with an undergraduate GPA of less than 2.5 who submits a written statement indicating their personal goals and aspirations will also be considered for admission. GRE test scores aren't required to apply. Students accepted into the degree program must successfully complete 36 credit-hours of coursework covering a wide range of core education and curriculum and instruction topics, including Research Design and Methodology, Learning through Technology, Effective Strategies of Instruction, and Curriculum Development and Design. The program concludes with completion of a capstone project in which the student presents a written report based on an action research plan created in the Research Design and Development course. All degree coursework is completed fully online with no specific class or login times and both full-time and part-time study options are available, allowing students to fit their coursework into their current work and life schedules.

  6. Concordia University-Saint Paul
    Location

    Saint Paul, MN

    Tuition

    $11138

    Concordia University's fully online Master of Arts in Education with an Emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction prepares licensed teachers to be experts in curriculum design, instruction and assessment, as well as the integration of national and state literacy standards into meaningful learning experiences for their students. The degree program additionally prepares educators to integrate use assessment and technology into their lesson plans. To qualify for admissions into this degree program an applicant must hold a bachelor's degree conferred by a regionally accredited college or university earned with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. Applicants must additionally submit a personal statement that demonstrates their written communication skills and covers their employment history and long-term academic and career goals. Students must successfully complete 30 credit hours (10 classes) of coursework to earn their MA degree. Course topics include Foundations of Literacy, Diversity in Education, Educational Research and Applications, and Legal and Ethical Issues in Education. Study culminates in a capstone project consisting of a review and critical analysis of a specific question regarding current educational research. By completing the coursework for the degree, students also qualify for the Minnesota K-12 Reading Endorsement. All coursework for CU's online MA in Curriculum and Instruction is delivered and completed entirely online. Distance learning students are, however, welcome to visit CU's St. Paul campus and meet with their instructors in person if they desire. In addition, online students have access to a number of resources and support services, such as academic counseling, online tutoring, the CU library and the IT Helpdesk.

  7. Texas A & M University-College Station
    Location

    College Station, TX

    Tuition

    $10252

    Texas A&M's online non-thesis Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction degrees are designed to provide students a solid foundation in theory, methodology, and substantive content that allows for greater educational opportunity and workplace access. Along with the generalist MEd, there are three online emphasis options available: Reading and Literacy, Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM), and Urban Education. All 4 degree options are available 100% online. To earn the MEd in Curriculum and Instruction, a student must successfully complete 36 credit hours of coursework consisting of 4 core curriculum courses common to all emphasis options, and 24 elective courses related to the student's chosen emphasis. In addition to earning their degrees, Reading and Literacy emphasis students have the option to pursue Texas state Reading Specialist and/or Master Reading Teacher Certifications. Acceptance into any of the 4 MEd in Curriculum and Instruction programs requires a bachelor's degree from a properly-accredited college or university earned with a recommended 2.75 minimum cumulative GPA. In addition, applicants must submit written answers to 2 essay questions (3 for STEM emphasis) and 3 letters of recommendation. International students must also submit TOEFL or IELTS test scores. GRE scores aren't required for application to this major. Texas A&M distance education students have access to a wide range of academic services and resources, including those provided by the Academic Success Center (academic coaching and tutoring, etc.), Career Center (job search, resume writing and interview prep, etc.), the University Writing Center (writing and public speaking support), and Help Desk Central (IT questions). Online students additionally have access to the university's library online database, book, ejournal, research and other services.

  8. University of Florida
    Location

    Gainesville, FL

    Tuition

    $6380

    The University of Florida's online Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with Emphasis in Educational Technology is designed for students interested in careers as instructional designers and educational technologists. The 36-credit hour degree program includes 3 Curriculum and Instruction Core courses, 4 Education Technology core courses, and 6 Education Technology electives. The program culminates in a practicum in which the student poses a question related to technology and learning, develops a systemized way to gain insight into the question the practitioner inquiry process, and writes a master's-level document on the question and resulting findings. The program is designed to be completed in 2 years when taking 2 courses per session, but students may take more than 2 courses at a time or move more slowly through the curriculum, if preferred. All regular coursework can be completed fully online, and the culminating practicum is situated to the student's own current work context, meaning that no on-campus participation is necessary. UF online students enjoy a full range of support services including 1-on-1 academic and career counseling and full access to UF's online and on-campus library resources. To be admitted into this MEd program, a student must possess a bachelor's degree earned with a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA on their last 60 credits of upper-division undergraduate work, and submit an acceptable GRE test score. Applicants must additionally submit 3 letters of recommendation, a resume describing their current employment and career goals, and a statement of purpose that explains how earning thier degree will enable them to best reach their career goals. Admission is determined holistically, based on an overall evaluation of the applicant's qualifications.

  9. University of Idaho
    Location

    Moscow, ID

    Tuition

    $7864

    The University of Idaho's online Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction degree provides students with advanced professional and foundation coursework that emphasizes teacher education and prepares graduates for a variety of teaching and administrative careers. There are 2 degree emphasis options available: MEd in Curriculum and Instruction and MEd in Curriculum and Instruction plus Teacher Certification (which qualifies graduates to teach on the 6-12 grade levels in Idaho). Both options require satisfactory completion of a minimum of 30 credit hours consisting of 15 credit hours of core courses and a minimum of 15 credit hours of emphasis-related courses. The program culminates with the completion and defense of a non-thesis research project. Courses are presented in an asynchronous format that allows students to complete coursework at their convenience. All coursework for this degree is available fully online. Admittance into the program requires possession of a bachelor's degree earned with a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA. Students opting for the Teacher Certification emphasis must hold a bachelor's degree in one of the 18 content areas taught in an Idaho school for which UI has an approved program. Applicants not meeting the GPA requirement may still be admitted either with proof of a 3.0 GPA on the last 60 credit hours of undergraduate study or, alternatively, if the applicant has worked in the specific profession for at least 5 years, obtains a letter of support from a department faculty member, and submits a personal statement describing their professional experience and potential for academic success. Out-of-state online students pay the same tuition rates as Idaho residents.

  10. Northern Michigan University
    Location

    Marquette, MI

    Tuition

    $7904

    The online program in Educational Instruction is 1 of 6 curricula offered by Northern Michigan University that leads to a master of arts in education. All graduate programs offered by NMU's School of Education, Leadership and Public Service prepare students to become educational leaders who are effective communicators, understand the role of education in society, and can successfully apply knowledge and learned skills in the education field. A foundational course helps students develop instructional strategies based on concepts from history, philosophy, sociology and psychology, while an instruction course focuses on improving teachers' classroom performance through clinical and developmental supervision. Sample courses in the 32-credit-hour Educational Instruction program include Cultural Foundations of Education, Psychology of Education, Curriculum Development, Supervision of Instruction, Issues and Trends in Special Education and Learning Technologies. To graduate with a M.A. in Educational Instruction degree, candidates must earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and complete a graduate research project or a thesis. Courses are taught via EduCat, NMU's student learning portal, where students participate in real-time class chats and discussion forums, view videos or video-conference, receive and submit assignments, and take tests. All students enrolled in online courses must first complete an online course preparation tutorial to learn about the strategies, tools, and technology needed to be a successful online learner. Online students are assigned an academic adviser to assist with class registration, financial aid, and tutoring support. Military members may be eligible for special resources, including reduced tuition fees. Northern Michigan University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and all of the school's education programs by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council.

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