Master's degree programs in curriculum design, or curriculum and instruction, are designed for working professionals and can be completed entirely online, although students will need to meet certain online requirements. Majors that have curriculum design courses include the fields of curriculum and instruction. If graduates wish to work as instructional coordinators, they'll need to earn a license. School districts usually require a teaching license, but some require an education administrator license. Work experience as a teacher, principal or school administrator may also be required before a person is hired as an instructional coordinator.
Master's Degree in Curriculum Design
An online master's degree program in curriculum and instruction is intended for practicing teachers who wish to gain a deeper understanding of teaching and learn more about curriculum design and development. Candidates learn about the research, design and development steps that go into the curriculum planning process. New instructional techniques are also presented. Students become familiar with modern practices and theories of knowledge acquisition.
Program Information and Requirements
This type of degree is typically offered entirely online. Courses materials and instruction are presented through a variety of methods, including streaming video lectures, group projects, online discussion boards, PowerPoint presentations and reading assignments. Candidates can complete the approximately 30-36 credit hours in two years. Some curriculum design programs allow students to choose a specialty concentration, such as autism studies, science or mathematics education.
Technical requirements include a computer with high-speed Internet access. Some university course management systems may require Web browser plug-ins and viewing software, such as Flash Player, Adobe Reader and RealPlayer. Word processing software is likely needed to complete class assignments.
In addition to a core group of curriculum design courses, online coursework may include a number of electives that cover topics like instructional technology, adult literacy and computers as learning tools.
Through analysis of case studies and group discussions, this course covers the theories and methods of instructional supervision in social and educational settings. Focus is placed on the practices, functions and common activities involved in supervision.
History and Theory of Curriculum
This online course covers the history of curriculum development in the United States. Candidates study the theories that have helped shape contemporary curriculum design and the development processes that apply those theories.
The course covers curriculum design theory and practice. Students analyze and examine the use of curricula in today's education system. Topics include models and methods for approaching the design process.
Graduates are prepared to accept active leadership roles in curriculum design at schools and other learning institutions. Common job opportunities include curriculum coordinator, instructional coach, director of instruction and curriculum specialist.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that instructional coordinators earned a median annual salary of $66,970 in 2020 (www.bls.gov). Employment opportunities within this occupation were expected to increase at a faster than average rate of 6% during the 2019-2029 decade, according to the BLS.
Curriculum design graduates may also pursue careers as education administrators at the school or district level. Common positions include staff developer, academic dean or assistant principal. In 2020, the BLS reported the median annual salary for administrators at the elementary and secondary school levels as $98,490. The BLS's projected employment growth for elementary, middle and high school principals is 4% over 2019-2029.
Continuing Education Information
Although a specific license is not commonly required to begin a career in curriculum design, instructional coordinators are often required to participate in continuing education opportunities to stay abreast of the latest methods and techniques used in teacher evaluation, new teacher orientation, curriculum training and curriculum analysis.
A master's degree program in curriculum design is a useful asset for practicing teachers who want to learn more about their field and gain skills that will increase their career advancement opportunities. These programs are available to study fully online, and give students a working knowledge of educational theories and their practice in the classroom.