For those who are already working in the classroom but are looking to advance their teaching careers, getting a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction can help set you apart from others in your field. The programs listed below can help prepare you for a career in curriculum and instruction. While some institutions offer a Masters of Science in Education, others provide a Masters of Arts or a Masters in Education. We've been sure to specify below. One thing to note is that it's important to check with your state's certification requirements. Finally, the tuition rates listed below reflect the cost of the entire program, start to finish. Our data comes from the university and colleges' websites as well as nationally recognized U.S. News and World Report and The National Center for Education Statistics.
See our rankings methodology page.
California State University–Bakersfield
Part of the large and renowned California State University system, CSU Bakersfield is a public university located in Bakersfield. Their online Master of Arts in Education–Curriculum and Instruction program is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges as well as NCATE, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. This program focuses on equity, technology integration, and the four C’s of teaching: critical thinking, creativity, communication, and collaboration. Finally, Bakersfield stands out from the rest in that it gives its students the option of also earning a CTC (Commission on Teacher Credentialing) approved Reading Certificate.
Peru State College
Peru State College is a public liberal arts school located in Peru, Nebraska known for its commitment to teacher education. They offer a Master of Science in Education in Curriculum and Instruction for those who wish to further their experience and skillsets in education. This degree can be achieved in one of two formats, in the cohort or regular format. Both are online, but the cohort program is accelerated and can be completed in as little as nineteen months. The regular format is comprised of eight-week-long courses that can be completed at the student’s chosen pace of study. Finally, students can choose to earn a Certificate of Achievement in one of four areas: Classroom Behavior and Management, Instructional Mastery, Inclusionary Practices and Policies, or Instructional Technology.
Chadron State College
Chadron State College is a public college that is part of the Nebraska State College System. Their Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction program includes five areas of concentration for the student to choose from: elementary and general education, elementary field option, secondary education, PK–12 reading specialist, and K–12 special education. Though each specialization has its own courses and emphases, they all cover the varying aspects involved in curriculum, research, assessment, administration, supervision, and counseling. One thing to note is that applicants must hold a teaching certificate or be qualified for one.
Emporia State University
Emporia State University has been ranked by the U.S. News and World Report as having some of the best online graduate programs and the best graduate programs for veterans. The Department of School Leadership at Emporia offers a Curriculum and Instruction Master’s degree with three areas of concentration: curriculum leadership, effective practitioner, or national board certification. Unlike many of the other programs on this list, Emporia does not require GRE or MAT exam scores. The U.S. Department of Education said of Emporia’s Teachers College that graduates “are highly sought-after by school districts because of their depth of knowledge and thoroughness of training and experience they bring to the classroom.”
Tuition: resident $10,837 / non-resident $14,824
University of Nebraska at Kearney
Designed for K–12 teachers in all areas, the Master of Arts in Education in Curriculum and Instruction helps advance the professional acumen of educators. For those looking for a diverse range of concentrations, the University of Nebraska at Kearney offers seven: elementary education, instructional effectiveness, early childhood education, reading/special education, English as a second language, secondary education, and transitional certification. U.S. News and World Report ranked this program as one of the best online graduate education programs in 2015.
Tuition: resident $10,008 / non-resident $15,948
University of Texas at Arlington
At the University of Texas at Arlington, students can achieve a Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction in as little as eighteen months. The program emphasizes literacy studies and was designed to provide students with the option of pursuing one of three specialized certifications: Reading Specialist, English as a Second Language, Master Reading Teacher. The University of Texas at Arlington is a public research institution and the second largest school in the University of Texas system. Their education school is accredited by NCATE.
Arkansas State University
Arkansas State University, located in Jonesboro, is the flagship school in the Arkansas State University system. They offer a Master of Science in Education in Curriculum and Instruction degree that can be completed in as little as twenty months. This program is for those practicing educators looking for special licensure as director of curriculum and instruction, special education, or gifted and talented education. Students at Arkansas State learn a range of important skills: how to develop leadership practices, how to evaluate and improve curriculum, how to develop tools and enhance communication skills, and more. Arkansas State is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the College of Education is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.
University of Central Missouri
If you’re looking to apply your curriculum and instruction education specifically to elementary education—that is, pre-K through six grade—the University of Central Missouri has a Master of Science in Education with a focus on Elementary Education and Curriculum and Instruction. The courses at Central Missouri include everything from childhood research and development to exemplary instructional practices, from childhood curriculum and assessment to the internship. This program aligns with the National Board Standards for early and middle childhood education.
Western Governors University
The National Council on Teacher Quality ranked Western Governors University as having the Best Value Teaching Program in 2015. Their Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction is for licensed teachers, district curriculum developers, and corporate trainers wishing to advance their careers. Unique to Western is that their tuition rates are not based on credit hours, but pace. So, the faster you complete the program the cheaper it is. Courses include everything from learning theories and curriculum design to differentiated instruction and research design and analysis. Western Governors’ online university was the first to receive accreditation from NCATE.
Tuition: $8,670 in 18 months / $11,560 in 24 months
American College of Education
American College of Education is a for-profit college that is based in Indianapolis, Indiana, but delivers its education fully online. They offer a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction degree program that is based on the standards provided by the National Board for Professional Teaching Core Propositions. There are eleven areas of concentration: digital learning and teaching, mathematics for K–6, mathematics for 6–8, English language arts for K–6, English language arts for 6–8, teaching science, literacy instruction, differentiated instruction, effective classroom management, elementary literacy, and secondary literacy. This program is accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council.