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Earning Your Masters in Curriculum and Instruction Online

Earning your masters in curriculum and instruction online may be the key to the next step in your inspirational teaching degree path. Masters in curriculum and instruction

(sometimes referred to as an M.Ed. curriculum and instruction) are the most popular degree level for this subject area.

Classrooms are evolving as technology and education policies develop. Students who are earning their masters in curriculum and instruction online are looking to the future of education to create the most effective and engaging classrooms possible.

Did You Know?

In 2014, 16,353 students earned their masters in curriculum and instruction in this country. Keep on truckin’, teachers of America! i

Essentials of a curriculum and instruction m.ed online

This type of graduate degree program is designed for experienced teachers who want to develop their understanding of teaching, learning, and the direction that education as a whole is headed. As with most masters degree programs, this typically takes two years for students to complete. But it will depend on how many courses you can take at once. Also typical, it takes 30 credit hours of study to earn a masters in curriculum and instruction.

Additional Requirements of a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction Online

In terms of admission requirements, there may be minimum grade point averages from having earned your bachelors degree. You may also need to already be a certified teacher, or else be seeking certification as a teacher. GRE or GMAT scores may also be required. Sometimes the requirement for standardized test scores are waived if an applicant’s undergraduate GPA is high enough. Every school’s program requirements will vary. So once you’ve decided on where you want to apply, be sure to keep track of all admission requirements.

What Is M.Ed.?

The abbreviation stands for Master of Education degree. You’ll likely see this abbreviation before masters programs in curriculum and instruction, as well as education masters programs in school psychology, counseling, and administration. While you’re researching programs, you may find interesting programs listed as this. And you also might find comparable programs listed as the following.

  • Master of Science in Instructional Design & Technology
  • Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction
  • MA/Education – Curriculum & Instruction Specialization
  • Master of Education – Curriculum and Teaching
  • M.S. in Instructional Technology (K-12)
  • MS – Instructional Design for Online Learning

As you can see, programs are listed as masters of education (M.Ed.) and Masters of Arts (M.A.), as well as Masters of Science (M.S.). Each program will vary in what they offer and why the program is labeled as such. Because earning a degree is such a commitment, be sure to ask as many questions as you have to schools whose programs you’re interested in. You want to be sure you’re making the right decision for your future career path.

Did You Know?

About 50.4 million students entered public elementary and secondary (or high school) schools in the fall of 2016. That’s not even counting all of the private school children! ii

Coursework for Masters in Curriculum and Instruction Online Students

Everyone wants to know what to prepare themselves for when it comes to earning a graduate degree. Doing the research to prepare yourself is especially if you’ll be earning your degree on your free time while you’re working at the same time. The coursework for each school’s online med in curriculum and instruction will vary. But some typical course focuses include:

In an Introduction to Education and Policy, professors go over the history of educational policy. Delve into the development, theories, analysis, and implementation of current educational policy. Why do these policies change? And how do we measure the results of these policies?

e-Learning Instructional Design courses help students explore instructional design strategies. Planning curriculum with the aid of technology is a crucial part of developing education, and students will address learning needs and strategies in this context.

Teaching Diverse Populations teach students how to address and manage the varying needs and changing factors of educating a diverse student body. This course also addresses how to involve the parents of a diverse student population in the learning process.

Theories of Learning and Teaching show students how to use research as a guide, explore how students learn and how to meet different types of students’ needs.

School Improvement Planning reviews the latest research for practices having to do with improving schools. Students may be given a hypothetical school scenarios and tasked with using research and policy to make improvements.

What Is a Capstone Course?

A capstone course is a project where students actually develop, implement, and evaluate results of a program. It’s common for masters in curriculum and instruction programs to require capstone completion.Typically, the teacher work sample should focus on major areas of teaching, including the following 6 things.

  1. Contextual Factors
  2. Learning and Development Goals
  3. Assessment Plan
  4. Design Plan for Instruction
  5. Student Learning Analysis
  6. Reflection and Future Goal Planning

Did You Know

Multnomah County in Oregon awards the most curriculum and instruction degrees anywhere in the country. After that, it's Maricopa County, Arizona and Claiborne County, Tennessee.i

Career Outcomes for Masters in Curriculum and Instruction Online Degree Studentsiii

Boosting a career is the reason many people decide to enroll in a masters program, no matter what the subject. But in the field of education, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that K-12 teachers earn a 24-44% more salary with a masters degree than with just a bachelors. And since a masters degree is typically required to be considered for education administration, we’ve included that on this list. To clarify, BLS does not distinguish if these teachers earned their masters in curriculum and instruction online or in another specialization.

Education Administrators

Median annual salary in 2015 for bachelors degree holders: $52,000

Median annual salary in 2015 for masters degree holders: $75,000

Kindergarten Teachers

Median annual salary in 2015 for bachelors degree holders: $30,000

Median annual salary in 2015 for masters degree holders: $43,000

Elementary and Middle School Teachers

Median annual salary in 2015 for bachelors degree holders: $42,100

Median annual salary in 2015 for masters degree holders: $54,000

Secondary School Teachers

Median annual salary in 2015 for bachelors degree holders: $45,000

Median annual salary in 2015 for masters degree holders: $56,000

Secondary school teachers are also known as 'high school teachers.

Keep in mind that every salary figure will depend on the amount of experience, location, and district salary brackets.

BLS also states that the entry-level education for an Instructional Coordinator is a masters degree. The median annual salary for this position in 2015 was $62,270. The salary was expected to see a rate of 7% growth from 2014-2024, as fast as average for all positions.iv

The First Step

Students may want to earn a masters in curriculum and instruction online as a way to become better teachers, eligible for a higher pay grade. They also may see it as a stepping stone to one day pursuing a position in administration. The good news is that you’ve already taken the first step—finding out the basics of earning your masters in curriculum and instruction online!

You’ve learned what’s typical of the work you may need to accomplish and the career outcomes you may benefit from. Be sure to stay on top of deadlines and ask every question that comes to mind when considering programs. Start exploring masters in curriculum and instruction programs and move your teaching career to the next gear.


[i] datausa.io/profile/cip/130301/ |[ii] nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=372 |[iii] bls.gov/careeroutlook/2015/article/should-i-get-a-masters-degree.htm#Education | [iv] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/instructional-coordinators.htm

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