This Education Degree Enables You to Improve Teaching and Learning
Great student outcomes begin with a great curriculum—one that provides focus, depth, and clarity for eager students. You can be an integral part in impacting the future for students and teachers alike with a master's degree in curriculum and instruction. If you already have a bachelor's degree in education and are interested in enhancing your career by building strong learning opportunities for students, a master's degree in curriculum and instruction could be an ideal fit. Stand out from the competition and lead impactful innovation in your organization with this valuable curriculum and instruction degree. WGU’s online M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction program provides you a direct path to become a leader in education, impacting individual students, entire classrooms, and your whole community.
This curriculum and instruction program is built in alignment with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and the National Education Association's Teacher Leadership Competencies, ensuring that you will get the best quality degree that will prepare you for the next steps of your career. In earning this curriculum and instruction degree, you will acquire specialized skills and valuable expertise in instructional theory and practice, learning science, and educational research—all focused on how to better engage students and deliver improved learning outcomes.
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COURSES & COMPETENCIES
Curriculum and Instruction Courses
Enhance your skillset with practical principles for curriculum development.
This online master’s degree program in curriculum and instruction is similar to an M.Ed. degree in that it provides the essential skills, knowledge, and field experience you need to design elementary and secondary school curriculum that meet the demands of today's educational systems.
The WGU M.S. Curriculum and Instruction degree program was designed (and is regularly updated) with input from the experts on our Education Program Council. These respected authorities know exactly what it takes for a graduate to succeed designing curriculum in a range of subjects for elementary and secondary schools.
This program is made up of the following courses. You will typically complete them one at a time as you make your way through your program, working with your Program Mentor each term to build your personalized Degree Plan. You’ll work through each course as quickly as you can study and learn the material. As soon as you’re ready, you’ll pass the assessment, complete the course, and move on. This means that you can finish as many courses as you're able in a term at no additional cost.
WGU's M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction program is ideal for individuals who have teaching experience and want to increase their curriculum development skills and advance their careers. Similar to an M.Ed. program, it is for people who are passionate about education and who wish to provide students with learning experiences that educate, motivate, and inspire.
Designing Curriculum and Instruction I examines the influence that specific theories, design principles, and evaluation models have on the quality and effectiveness of a curriculum. During the course, candidates will conduct a needs analysis in order to determine the content that students need. The course requires candidates to learn how to define the scope and sequence of a curriculum to ensure vertical and horizontal alignment. This course will also teach how to map curriculum to address any gaps or unnecessary duplication within and across grade levels. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Differentiated Instruction examines how the classroom environment and students’ readiness levels, interests, and learning profiles influence learning. K–12 educators taking this course will acquire a deep understanding of their students in order to differentiate their curriculum, instruction, and assessments in response to individual students’ needs. This course will allow students to also learn how to effectively monitor and communicate students’ progress toward standards and adjust their practice as needed to empower students and nurture their abilities and aptitudes. As a result of their learning in this course, K–12 teachers will be prepared to act as catalysts for differentiation within their schools and districts. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Designing Curriculum and Instruction II examines commonly used curriculum and instructional models and demonstrates how they can be used during the design process to achieve curricular and instructional goals. This course demonstrates how to design curriculum and instruction that leverages digital tools to facilitate deep, authentic learning and provides strategies for ensuring successful curriculum implementation. Designing Curriculum and Instruction I is a prerequisite for this course.
Standards-Based Assessment teaches candidates how to unpack academic standards to determine the essential learnings within the standards that should be assessed. This course teaches candidates how to determine, based on academic standards, which topics should be assessed and how to use proficiency statements to create and score standards-based assessments. This course also prepares candidates to analyze assessment data and develop a holistic assessment system for a specific subject and grade level. Differentiated Instruction is a prerequisite for this course.
The Reflective Practitioner defines what reflective teaching is and how accomplished teachers reflect meaningfully on their pedagogical choices to improve their practice. During this course, candidates will examine their teaching to determine how they can more effectively plan, facilitate, and evaluate learning. Candidates will also develop a professional growth plan and incorporate evidence-based practices that support the achievement of their professional goals. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Learning as a Science examines how research from the field of learning sciences can be applied to improve teaching and learning. This course explains how teachers can create a sense of community by examining personal biases and establishing a culturally inclusive learning environment. The course also provides evidence-based strategies for improving motivation, increasing understanding and retention, and teaching social-emotional skills that students need to be successful socially and academically. There are no prerequisites for this course.
The Collaborative Leader demonstrates strategies teacher leaders can use to collaborate with other professionals, families, and communities to build strong relationships and improve school effectiveness. This course examines models of collaboration and the benefits and challenges of collaboration. It also examines the characteristics of effective professional development and explains how to collaboratively design effective professional development opportunities for educators. Finally, this course demonstrates how accomplished teachers can build relationships with families and the community to create a positive learning experience for students. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Educational Research focuses on practical problem solving. This course teaches candidates to use scholarly literature and current research to inform their own practice. It also empowers candidates to recognize opportunities for improvement and engage in action research to systematically implement and evaluate changes. This course prepares candidates to conduct research for the capstone. Data-Informed Practices is a prerequisite for this course.
The Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction Capstone is the culminating course of the degree. It unites content area knowledge with the completion of a research project or study. This course teaches candidates, under the guidance of program faculty, to apply their data literacy and research skills to topics related to curriculum and instruction and to their career goals. Projects for this course include action research or applied research through the necessary qualitative, quantitative, or mixed research methods. Prerequisites for this course include Data-Informed Practices and Educational Research, as well as all prescribed courses in the candidates' area of study. Additionally, students wishing to add the Capstone with fewer than eight weeks remaining in the term must receive permission from the Program Chair.
Data-Informed Practices focuses on the development of data literacy skills. This course teaches candidates about the different types of data, the benefits and limitations of those data types, and how they can use data to identify and solve problems and inform decisions. The course also teaches candidates how to locate, collect, and analyze data from relevant and credible sources, and how to draw conclusions from data in order to drive continuous improvement. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Program consists of 10 courses
At WGU, we design our curriculum to be timely, relevant, and practical—all to ensure your degree is proof you really know your stuff.
Special requirements for this program
The online M.S. Curriculum and Instruction degree program requires the successful completion of a capstone project. You'll take what you've learned during your studies and apply it to a real-world situation, proposing a solution to an actual issue you're likely to face in a professional academic environment.
You Aren't On Your Own
WGU has Program Mentors who work with you from the day you start, all the way through graduation. They help you chart your courses, answer your questions, and ensure you can go through your program. You're not alone when you choose an online degree at WGU.
Flexibility You Need
Students choose WGU for their online degree program because of its flexibility. Whether you already have a full-time job, have responsibilities as a parent, or just have a busy schedule, WGU can work for you.
Strong Alumni Network
When you enroll in an online master's degree program at WGU, you join an impressive network of teachers. Over 13,000 students graduated from the Teachers College in 2021 alone, taking their skills and impacting the educational system all around the United States.
One important measure of a degree’s value is the reputation of the university where it was earned. When employers, industry leaders, and academic experts hold your alma mater in high esteem, you reap the benefits of that respect. WGU is a pioneer in reinventing higher education for the 21st century, and our quality has been recognized.
A Master's Degree Is Within Reach
There is help available to make paying for school possible for you:
A Different Way to Learn: Degree Programs Designed to Fit Your Life—and All the Demands on Your Time
At WGU, we understand that you have professional responsibilities, family obligations, and personal commitments. That’s why we offer a personalized, flexible approach to higher education. If you work hard and put in the hours needed, you’ll get a solid, challenging, career-focused education that fits your life. Complete your coursework online, anytime and anywhere your schedule allows, and move through your studies and assessments as quickly as you are able.
A Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction Opens Doors to Career Success
Effective teaching is no accident. It happens by design. With the tools you'll acquire in your curriculum and instruction master’s degree, you'll be prepared to help schools create courses of study that are engaging, meaningful, and memorable. You'll stand out from the competition and become a leader in creating courses that enhance student understanding, promote classroom diversity, and create better learning opportunities for students and teachers alike.
Once you have completed your Curriculum and Instruction degree online, you’ll be in demand. You’ll have the knowledge, skills, expertise to be a valuable asset to school districts nationwide.
Return on Your Investment
Career Opportunities for Curriculum and Instruction Graduates
Graduates of WGU's online Teachers College have found meaningful, rewarding education careers including:
- Private Learning Center Instructor
- Instructional Coach
- Area Superintendent
- Curriculum Director
- Academic Advisor
- Learning and Development Coordinator
- Private Tutor
- Corporate Trainer
Impressive Class of Graduates
Graduates of the WGU Teachers College include recipients of many professional honors, including:
- Gates Millennium Scholars
- Intel Grant for Mathematics and Technology
- Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction Award
- Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award
- Association of Public Charter Schools Educator of the Year Award
Focused on Equity and Accessibility
The WGU Teachers College is in the top 1% for granting degrees for Black and Hispanic/Latinx educators at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. It is second in the nation for combined graduate and undergraduate degrees and credentials for students of color, according to the federal Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).
Master in Curriculum and Instruction Admission Requirements
To enroll in this program, you must be in possession of a bachelor's degree from an appropriately accredited institution and have experience in an educational environment. During the duration of the program, you will need access to a population of learners OR educators in a kindergarten to 12th grade environment. Often this population can be found in the current K-12 school district or school you’re serving. A population is a minimum of 15 participants. This audience will be used to respond to some assessments from a K-12 classroom teacher perspective.
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More About the M.S. in Curriculum & Instruction
- More About This Degree
- Financial Aid
Curriculum and instruction is a rapidly growing field that strives to transform the educational landscape through improved curriculum design and teaching best practices. Incredibly important to the future of our nation's success, curriculum and instruction specialists work in both in schools and the corporate sector to improve learning—which results in a better-educated population with superior achievements, goal attainment, and career or life outcomes.
A master's degree in curriculum and instruction can prepare you for many careers including:
- Curriculum specialist
- Curriculum coordinator
- Instructional coach
- Training and development specialist
- Training and development leader
Most master's degree programs are 2 years, but at WGU you can accelerate your program and graduate faster. Most students finish their curriculum and instruction program in just 18 months.
A master's degree in curriculum and instruction gives you additional credentials and skills that enhance your education career. The program will be designed to teach you about how to improve the future of education and transform instruction.
A master's degree in curriculum and instruction may be a good fit for those who want to become a principal, as it gives you important credentials and skills that can help you prepare to lead a school.
Scholarships are available for new WGU students and returning graduates. This video shows more about scholarship opportunities and how they can help you pay for school. Get information on:
- How to apply
- Eligibility requirements
- Examples of scholarships
- What happens after you apply
- Other financial aid options
WGU's tuition is a flat rate that is charged every six months. You can take as many courses as you are able in that six-month term—with no extra cost. You simply pay for the term and do as much work as you can or want to during that time. This means that finishing faster helps you save money—a major benefit you won't find at other schools.
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