California Masters in Curriculum and Instruction Programs
Masters in Curriculum and Instruction programs focus on two main things, the development and delivery of instructional materials. Some programs also highlight teacher education. Students study current trends and methods of educating. They also learn to use educational research to improve their teaching practice and use new methods of classroom management.
A Masters in Curriculum and Instruction stress’ curriculum theory, research and implementation as a concentration within education. Students may be either current or aspiring educators, or interested in educational leadership.
Why Consider a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction?
Masters in Curriculum and Instruction programs stress instructional design. This is an area important to dedicated educators who are concerned about student achievement and how to motivate their students to perform better. With a keen understanding of the learning process, teachers are better equipped to help students to understand what they are being taught. Curriculum and Instruction Masters programs advance the ability to design course materials for a specific student population. They may also highlight a content element or look for a program that focuses on a subject. Stem education is one example.
We asked Continuing Education Instructor Dr. Courtney L. Teague about the biggest benefit of earning a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction:
"Learning about various instructional methods is the most valuable part of earning a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction. I am now able to determine which instructional strategies I should select based on my experience researching the history of curriculum and instruction."
~Dr. Courtney L. Teague, Continuing Education InstructorClick to Tweet
About Instructional Coordinators
The Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction might be a door opener, especially for those who aspire to pursue a career as instructional coordinators. Instructional Coordinators are often educators who have moved into school administration. They help develop curriculum and work with teachers and administrators to improve instruction. They synchronize educational content and manage teaching standards.i
DID YOU KNOW? Instructional coordinators need a Master’s degree and related work experience to pursue entry-level career positions.ii
Masters in Curriculum and Instruction: Essentials
Masters in Curriculum and Instruction programs may require completing 30 to 39 credits. That is roughly two years of full-time study beyond the Bachelor’s degree. There are several degree tracks to consider aside from the Master of Education (MEd). These include the Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Science (MS) in Education. And the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT).
As with program length and credit stacks, admissions to Curriculum and Instruction Masters programs vary. Applicants commonly have a Bachelor’s degree, earned at an accredited college. Some programs also ask prospective students to have previous teaching experience. They may also need a current teaching license. Minimum GPA or GRE scores may also be necessary. This is up to each school.
Curriculum and Instructional Design Courses
Curriculum and Instructional design courses differ between schools. As a student, you should look for a syllabus that teaches you what you hope to teach others. Aside from instructional material design, some of the courses you might find in a Curriculum and Instruction Masters program could include the following topics:
- Emerging technologies
- Alternative instruction
- Educational research
- Student assessment and evaluation
Potential C & I Specializations
Within Masters in Curriculum and Instruction programs there are often “specialization courses”. This offers an extra area of focus. For example, a instructional technology course may teach how to incorporate technology into a curriculum. Other concentrations, such as the following, allow you to tailor your degree to your interests.
- Children’s Literature,
- Elementary Education
- Curriculum and Supervision,
- Adult Education,
Students may have to complete a research project, thesis or practicum. This usually comes near the end of a Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction. These experiences allow educators to synthesize what they've learned in the program.
Which Degree is Right for Me? MA, MS, MAT, MEd Options
Keep in mind that Masters Curriculum and Instruction programs do not necessarily lead to an endorsement or a teaching license. If you want to become a classroom teacher, contact your state's education authorities prior to enrolling. Or pursue a degree that explicitly prepares for initial licensure.
Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction
Masters in Education curriculum and instruction degrees often appeal to certified teachers who want to grow their academic and professional skills. M.Ed.s refine students' knowledge of research methodologies and organizational change. A M.Ed. C&I program is likely to include a thesis and research project.
Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction
In general, a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction includes more theory and core classes in educational philosophy and ethics. Considered flexible, this track provides an opportunity for teachers to specialize throug concentration courses.
Master of Science: Curriculum and Instruction
Curriculum and Instruction is one of the concentration areas within MSEd degree programs. The Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction often appeals to educators with experience who want to transition into leadership.
Master of Arts in Teaching
MAT degrees are designed for students with a Bachelors degree in an area outside of teaching who wish to enter the field. The MAT degree is sometimes called ‘teacher preparation’. It generally leads to initial licensure. Students may be able to add an endorsement to this degree. This could be adding a second subject like Math. Or, English as a Second Language (ESL).
Online, On-Campus and Hybrid Programs
Are you excited to learn in a social learning setting? If so, browse ‘campus’ programs. Or go straight to the location setting and look for a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction program in a specific city, state or country. If this doesn’t suit your busy schedule, distance education might. Search for online or hybrid programs. The latter combines web based courses with infrequent visits to campus.
Accreditation is an assurance of quality through an external review process. When a graduate school is accredited it has demonstrated several things. One, that it meets educational standards. And two, that it continues to maintain or exceed these standards. There are presently six regional accreditors. These are recognized by the Department of Education. Your prospective school may also have accredited programs. The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) is the principal accreditor. It is the resulting organization from the merger of the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) and National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
After Graduation: Potential Next Steps
Wondering what you might do with a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction? Some students work towards a PhD or EdD in Education degree. Especially if educational leadership, research or policy reform is on their radar. Other options depend on factors like your work experience.
Per the BLS, at least five years of teaching or working in administration is required to pursue a career as an Instructional Coordinator. ii Also known as curriculum specialists and instructional coaches. That said, demand in this field is expected to grow by about 7 percent from 2014 to 2024.ii Salaries vary depending on setting. In May 2015, the median annual wage for instructional coordinators employed by the government was $70,190.ii Other potential career paths might include Technical Trainers and E-Learning Developers.iii
Take the Next Step
Ready to deepen your understanding of teaching and learning? Browse our sponsored listings. Find a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction degree that speaks to your goals. Use the on-page navigation to submit a form. That is the next step. Request information today!
[i] onetonline.org/link/summary/25-9031.00 |[ii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/instructional-coordinators.htm |[iii] onetonline.org/link/summary/13-1151.00
California State University, Northridge
Prepare to create educational courses and programs for corporate clients, higher ed institutions and many other industries with an online Master’s in Instructional Design. Graduates also earn a Certificate in Instructional Games and Simulations – no extra...
- San Luis Obispo, CASan Luis Obispo, CA
California State University, Cal Poly
The M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction is designed for practicing classroom teachers who want to deepen their instructional literacy in the era of Common Core standards...
California Southern University
California Southern University’s School of Education offers a graduate program that leads to a Master in Education (M. Ed) with concentrations in Counseling in Education, Curriculum and Instructional Design and Organizational Leadership.
- Oakland, CAOakland, CA
- San Francisco, CASan Francisco, CA
San Francisco State University
- Fullerton, CAFullerton, CA
California Union University
- Rohnert Park, CARohnert Park, CA
Sonoma State University
Concentration within the Education include: Educational Administration, Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, Early Childhood Education, Reading and Lang...
- Los Angeles, CALos Angeles, CA
California State University, Los Angeles
Hope International University
The Master of Education program is for individuals who have a desire to develop life-long learning skills to become more effective educators. The...
- Santa Barbara, CASanta Barbara, CA
University of California - Santa Barbara
- Camp Pendleton, CACamp Pendleton, CA
Central Michigan University
The Master of Arts degree in Education is designed to provide knowledge and skills for individuals required to function effectively in various positio...
- Riverside, CARiverside, CA
University of California - Riverside
- Davis, CADavis, CA
University of California - Davis
The Master of Arts in Education offers instruction in theories, methods, and research that contributes to understanding the interrelated roles of learners, teachers, families, schools, and other social institutions. It prepares professionals who can con...
- San Francisco, CASan Francisco, CA
New College of California
California State University, Bakersfield
The Curriculum & Instruction (C&I) Program is intended for educators and those interested in education who are seeking to...
- Bakersfield, CA
- Chico, CAChico, CA
California State University, Chico
The graduate program strives to improve the quality of education at all levels, to promote equality of opportunity for all learners, and to enhance th...
University of Southern California
Help all students achieve their full potential with a Master's of Education in Advanced Instruction delivered online from the...
- Arcata, CAArcata, CA
Humboldt State University
Administrative Services emphasis, special education emphasis, special studies emphasis (work on issues of pedagogy within specific disciplines that do...
- Stanford, CAStanford, CA
- Seaside, CASeaside, CA
California State University, Monterey Bay
The graduate degree program in education at CSUMB is designed for graduate students who want to design their own individualized learning plan.
- Hayward, CAHayward, CA
California State University, East Bay
M.S. in Education prepares teachers who are committed to improve school practices for California's diverse student populations and model such practice...