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Arkansas State University

What Is a Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction?

A master’s in curriculum and instruction is an advanced degree for educators interested in directing curriculum programs. These leadership positions often require state licensing or certification. The master’s in curriculum and instruction can help teachers qualify for those credentials.

What do you study in a master’s in curriculum and instruction program?

Because it is a master’s degree for teachers, a master’s in curriculum and instruction is designed to build on a teacher’s existing skill set. You will study various philosophies of education, learning best practices for institutional leadership and curriculum design. You may also be required to complete coursework in research and statistics. Coursework for the degree should enrich your knowledge of education while ultimately preparing you for a managerial or supervisory role in a school or district. Within the required coursework, it may be possible to structure your degree with an emphasis on a particular aspect of curriculum leadership such as special education. As an advanced degree, the master’s in curriculum and instruction will also sharpen your critical thinking and analytical skills.

How long does it take to complete the degree?

It is possible to complete the degree online in less than two years.

What types of jobs are available for someone with a master’s in curriculum and instruction?

There are many different jobs available for educators who have completed the degree. Many teachers complete this degree in order to qualify for positions as directors of various curriculum programs in schools. In addition to general curriculum direction, schools and districts often hire directors for specific areas of curriculum and instruction such as special education, gifted and talented, math and reading. As an expert in curriculum and instruction, you may be responsible for teacher training and supervision, textbook selection and course design. The degree may also help you increase your salary or qualify for senior teaching positions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2012 median pay for instructional coordinators was $60,050 per year. By comparison, the median pay for high school teachers in 2012 was $55,050 per year.

Is the degree a substitute for certification?

While the degree will prepare you to qualify for state licensing and certification, it is not a substitute. You should always check your state rules to be sure that you are in compliance with relevant certification requirements.

The master’s in curriculum and instruction offers educators an opportunity to enrich their existing skills and qualify for positions with enhanced leadership and responsibility. Because it can be completed in under two years, it is an efficient way to acquire an advanced degree.

Learn more about the A-State MSE in Curriculum & Instruction online program.


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