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MA in Education - Curriculum & Instruction: Degree Overview

The Master of Arts in Education with a focus on curriculum and instruction prepares experienced educators to design curricula, plan academic coursework and evaluate students. Find out about the curriculum and the careers graduates pursue.

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Essential Information

The Master of Arts in Education program with a focus on curriculum and instruction is aimed at experienced teachers and educational professionals in all program levels and academic disciplines. While working on this degree, individuals may build on their curriculum design, academic planning and student evaluation skills. Students in this degree program may also specialize in a specific academic discipline, such as science, social studies, language arts or mathematics. These two-year programs may require students to complete an internship prior to graduation.

All applicants must hold a bachelor's degree. Some programs include the instruction and preparation necessary for licensure or certification. Others expect incoming students to be already certified or licensed in their state when they enroll.


Master of Arts in Education - Curriculum and Instruction

Students create a plan of study with the help of faculty advisers, who take into consideration the student's subject-matter expertise and educational goals. This master's program uses the psychology, sociology and education fields to aid students in developing intellectual knowledge, an educational philosophy and the ability to make decisions about the curriculum in both public and private schools. Some of the common courses in this degree program include:

  • Psychology of education
  • Research methods and assessment
  • Social issues in education
  • Special education
  • Classroom methods and instructional strategies
  • Communication for educators

Popular Career Options

Graduates of a master's degree in curriculum and instruction are prepared to gain employment in instructional technology, curriculum supervision, educational leadership or administrative positions. Possible job titles include:

  • Instructional coordinator
  • Instructional technologist
  • Distance learning coordinator
  • Program administrator
  • Curriculum specialist

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of elementary, middle and high school principals is anticipated to grow by 6% during the 2014-2024 decade (www.bls.gov). A 7% increase in employment is projected for instructional coordinators. In May of 2014, the BLS reported that education administrators at the elementary through high school levels earned a mean yearly salary of $92,940. Instructional coordinators earned $64,870 in mean annual wages.

Continuing Education and Certification Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that most instructional coordinators or curriculum planners are required to have a state teacher or administrator license in addition to a master's degree (www.bls.gov). If a student has not obtained the appropriate certification or licensure during his or her undergraduate work or as part of an M.A. program, he or she will need to obtain these credentials for employment.

According to O*Net OnLine, 73% of instructional coordinators hold a master's degree (www.onetonline.org). For those wishing to assume educational positions of greater responsibility, such as school superintendent or academic dean, a doctoral degree in an education field might be beneficial.

By earning an MA in Education with a focus on curriculum and instruction, experienced teachers can learn more about designing curriculum and assessing students. Graduates can redirect their careers toward educational leadership or specialist positions.

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