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Best Online Master’s Degrees in Curriculum and Instruction

Best Online Master’s Degrees in Curriculum and Instruction

Would you like to inspire students with new curriculum design and engaging learning experiences? If you are looking for a career that drives the future of education, a master’s in curriculum and instruction online can be a flexible way to gain marketable skills. Read on to learn if an online master’s in curriculum and instruction is right for you.

Remember your favorite classes in school? Whatever the subject, you were engaged and excited, and enjoyed how much you learned. While much of the credit goes to your teachers, curriculum design and instruction is just as valuable for a rewarding learning experience.

A master’s degree in curriculum and instruction can open doors in this dynamic field, and an online program means you can study without relocating to campus. But which program? Let’s take a look at several online master’s in curriculum and instruction degree programs so you can decide which one best will suit your needs.

Program Spotlights: Curriculum and Instruction Master’s Degrees Online

If you’re interested in an online master’s in curriculum and instruction, you should note that not all programs are the same. Some are fully online, others are hybrid, and some offer synchronous vs asynchronous classes. There are thesis and non-thesis options, and even practical differences like the availability of part-time or accelerated degree options. Which options are best for you is a personal question, depending on your individual circumstances. A few programs stand out in terms of prestige, course offerings, student support, and more. Have a look at these online master’s in curriculum and instruction to see if they might be a match for you:

University of Florida

Program details: The University of Florida offers students a highly flexible, fully online Masters of Education (MEd) in Educational Technology, with both foundational courses in instructional design, and the option to further focus on curriculum development through elective options. Students may study at their own pace, so you can graduate in fewer than two years on the intensive route, or take longer with a part-time study plan.

  • Cost: $448.73/credit
  • Length of program and credit requirements: Time to graduate varies depending on courses per semester; 33 credits
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

University of Virginia

Program details: The University of Virginia offers a distance-learning online MEd program in Curriculum and Instruction for students located anywhere in the United States with the exception of California. This degree program is designed to prepare students for a career in an educational setting, museums and heritage work, or other community-based settings with an educational mission. Within the program, you will have the option to specialize further in fields including literacy, science education, ESL, and more.

  • Cost: $17,280/year (in-state); $27,540/year (out-of-state)
  • Length of program and credit requirements: 30 credits, with a maximum of 6 transfer credits accepted
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

Texas A&M University

Program details: The MEd in Curriculum and Instruction at Texas A&M University is offered in two formats: An on-campus degree program, or an online program which does not require a thesis, and can instead be completed through either a final examination or a capstone project. Whichever option you choose, your online degree offers flexibility in terms of time commitment, and it is possible for students originally enrolled in the in-person program to transfer to online. All students will design their own degree plan with the help of their assigned academic advisors.

  • Cost: $5,447.68/semester (resident); $11,801.80 (non-resident)
  • Length of program and credit requirements: Time to graduate varies, to a maximum of seven years; 36 credits
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

How Much Does an Online Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction Cost?

Earning an online master’s in curriculum and instruction can be a major financial commitment. Remember, any accredited online master’s program should be eligible for federal student loans, although you’ll need to complete the FAFSA to receive funding. You may also be eligible for school-specific aid, including grants, scholarships, and work study programs.

Moreover, differences in financial aid opportunities and tuition mean that costs for online master’s programs in curriculum and instruction will vary, so be sure to do your research before you apply. The more aware you are of the cost of your program before you begin, the easier it will be to form a plan to pay for it.

How Much Your Online Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction Could Cost

SchoolNo. of CreditsCost per CreditTotal Tuition
University of Virginia30N/A (UVA does not charge tuition on a per credit basis)$17,280/year (in-state) -$27,540/year (out-of-state)
University of Florida33$448.73$14,808.09
Florida International University36$508.33$18,300
Michigan State University30$933$27,990
North Carolina State University 30$525 (in-state)-$1,635.17 (out-of-state)$15,750 (in-state)-$49,055.1 (out-of-state)

What to Expect in Your Online Master’s Degree Program in Curriculum and Instruction

Once you’re enrolled in your online master’s program in curriculum and instruction, it’s time to learn! As a student in an MEd program, your courses will likely emphasize the foundations of teaching and learning, and the specific challenges of creating a curriculum that meets the educational needs of students from different cultural backgrounds, educational histories, and more.

Curriculum and Instruction online master’s programs offer a lot of variety. Some programs have a thesis component, with a project or research paper as the capstone of your degree. Others may have a more traditional final exam, or require you to complete a certain number of hours of supervised practical experience in a classroom setting.

Whichever program you choose, there will be a traditional lecture-based classroom component with either synchronous or asynchronous classes. Here are a few of the classes you’re likely to see as you pursue your online degree:

Common Online Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction Courses

Curriculum and Instruction

For an aspiring education professional in curriculum and instruction, this course is a vital introduction to the principles of the field. Here you’ll learn the fundamentals of curriculum design and how they impact instruction in an individual, classroom-level, student-to-teacher context. This course will likely be one of the first you take, and will almost certainly be a program requirement rather than an elective.

Theories of Learning

The way that students learn is a complex subject, with a rich academic history. In this course, you’ll learn the philosophical and scientific ideas behind learning, including how the physical brain works, different learning styles, and more. The topics covered in this course can help you as you design a curriculum to encourage learning for different learning styles across different subjects.

Multicultural Education

As an education professional, you’ll be working with, and on behalf of, students from a wide variety of backgrounds and personal circumstances. A course in multicultural education will help you understand how different cultures approach education, and how to craft a curriculum that suits the needs of students from a wide variety of backgrounds.

Educational Technology

Technology is becoming increasingly important in our daily lives. This course will be an introduction to new technology in education, and how to measure its usefulness and implementation in appropriate contexts. Subjects include assistive technology for students with specific needs to technology that spans entire school systems.

Classroom Assessment

When you’re looking at the impact of a curriculum change, new technology, or any other education innovation, you’ll want to know how to determine if it is successful. Classroom assessment includes how to measure the success of curriculum, education, and teaching strategies in real time. Knowing that you’re using proven assessment methods can help implement successful, evidence-based policies.

Job Outlook: What Can You Do with a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction

Your online master’s in curriculum and instruction can lead to careers in the world of education, but also in the corporate world, government and nonprofits. This is a master’s that equips you with transferable skills that can be used to enhance your existing career, so you can take on more responsibility in your current role. With this in mind, here are a few potential careers to consider once you’ve graduated:

Instructional Coordinator

Schools and school systems rely on instructional coordinators to oversee both curriculum design and teaching standards. In this role, you’ll be designing curricula for different courses and educational materials, and working with local boards of education, teachers and principals to implement and assess.

10th PercentileMedian Annual Pay90th Percentile

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022

High School Teacher

For teachers who’ve recently completed their master’s, a postgraduate degree in curriculum and instruction can be a tool to advance within their school. Often, a focused master’s can be helpful in becoming a department head while teaching at the high school level.

10th PercentileMedian Annual Pay90th Percentile

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022

Training and Development Manager

If an organization like a private company, government agency, or nonprofit wants to design a new training program or enhance their existing one, a training and development manager is their go-to. With your wide body of knowledge in learning theory and instructional coordination, your master’s will have qualified you well for this role.

10th PercentileMedian Annual Pay90th Percentile

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022

FAQs About Online Master’s Programs in Curriculum and Instruction

Even after learning about specific online master’s programs in curriculum and instruction, many students have questions about the degree process and how it will impact them, and need answers before they apply. If this sounds like you, we’ve got you covered. Here are some of the most common and most pressing questions our readers have about earning an online master’s in curriculum and instruction:

  • Are online master’s degree programs in Curriculum and Instruction fully online?

    An online master’s in curriculum in instruction is just what it sounds like: a 100% online degree. While classes may be synchronous or asynchronous, they are generally completed entirely online, from wherever you choose. The only exception is when a program has an on-site component, which may involve working with a school or another institution face-to-face in your community. In these cases, it’s not likely that you will need to relocate to campus.

  • What does the admissions process look like for this degree?

    The admissions process for your online master’s in curriculum and instruction will generally be straightforward, similar to many other online graduate programs. You will likely have to apply online, and provide an essay or personal statement, official transcripts from your undergraduate education, and letters of recommendation. Depending on your program, you may be required to submit GRE scores as well, and many programs require a minimum undergraduate GPA, often 3.0 or higher.

  • How long does it take to complete a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction online?

    A full-time online master’s degree program in curriculum and instruction will typically take two years to complete. Some schools offer more intensive, accelerated programs which can be completed in as little as one year. Alternatively, there are schools that offer part-time or self-paced programs, which may take several years to complete, but require much less time spent studying per week, making them a potentially good fit for students with personal or professional obligations outside of their studies.

  • What academic and career support services are available to online students earning their master’s in Curriculum and Instruction?

    During your online master’s program, you’ll still be able to reach out to professors and fellow classmates, even if you aren’t meeting with them physically. Many professors offer online office hours via video for online master’s students, and can facilitate virtual study groups. Also, be sure to take advantage of online career resources from your school, including resume review, online career fairs, and more.

  • Can I work while pursuing an online Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction degree?

    One of the advantages of pursuing your master’s degree online is that it’s very possible to work full- or part-time while you study. This is true for degrees in many fields, including an online master’s in curriculum and instruction. Students taking part-time or asynchronous classes find the flexibility of an online degree makes it easier to work around personal or professional responsibilities.

Other Master’s Degree Options in Education

If you are interested in a master’s degree in education but are unsure what specialization to pursue, check out these other degree pages to learn about your options:

Master’s Degrees in Education – Early Childhood Education (ECE)

Master’s Degrees in Education – Educational Leadership

Master’s Degrees in Education – Higher Education

Master’s Degrees in Education – Library Sciences

Master’s Degrees in Education – Music Education

Master’s Degrees in Education – Special Education (SpEd)

Master’s Degrees in Education – Teaching