30 Most Affordable Online Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction Degrees

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Current teachers can improve student outcomes or become school leaders with an affordable online master’s in curriculum and instruction.

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The best teachers are also learners, constantly evolving to meet the needs of diverse, technology-driven classrooms. Earning a master’s in curriculum and instruction is one way to advance your practice or expand your career opportunities.

Of course, teachers are extremely busy. That’s why pursuing an online degree is a helpful, convenient option. These programs focus on action research, enhancing instructional best practices, and learning to develop, implement, and evaluate curriculum that improves student achievement.

If you’re interested in school leadership, these programs are for you. If you’re passionate about effectively teaching every student in your classroom, these programs are for you, too. Learn the latest in curriculum and instruction with one of these affordable online programs.

Top 10 Most Affordable Online Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction Degrees

Rank School Location
1 Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton, FL
2 Appalachian State University Boone, NC
3 Sam Houston State University Huntsville, TX
4 Florida International University Miami, FL
5 The University of Texas at Arlington Arlington, TX
6 Western Governors University Salt Lake City, UT
7 East Carolina University Greenville, NC
8 Arkansas State University-Main Campus Jonesboro, AR
9 Ball State University Muncie, IN
10 Chadron State College Chadron, NE
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What kind of affordable online master’s in curriculum and instruction should you get?

Many curriculum and instruction programs offer specializations or concentrations. Typically, these emphases are based on your subject area or grade level. Other programs are designed for teachers who want to facilitate online courses or teach Gifted programs. Whatever your goals as an educator, there’s likely a specialization for you.

These programs are offered both on campus and online. Of course, completing your degree online makes it possible to work around your busy schedule. If you’re interested in other online options, read our list of the Most Affordable Online Graduate Schools.

How much money do people make with an online master’s in curriculum and instruction?

The answer to this question depends on your personal career goals. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, instructional coordinators earn a median salary of $63,750.

Classroom teachers earn a median salary of $57,160. However, teachers with a master’s degree earn more than teachers who hold only a bachelor’s degree.

The job growth rate for teachers is around 7 percent, which is typical for the average career. For instructional coaches, the job growth rate is 11 percent, which is much faster than average. It should also be noted that salaries vary by location.

What can you do with an online master’s in curriculum and instruction?

An online master’s in curriculum and instruction enables current teachers to significantly improve their practice and enhance student achievement.

However, the degree can also lead to positions such as instructional coordinator or coach, curriculum specialist, curriculum director, or educational specialist.

Some programs also provide skills and knowledge that can be applied in corporate settings. Additionally, the degree can be a step toward an administrative position in a school or district.

What are the requirements for an online master’s in curriculum and instruction?

Most of these programs require teacher certification. Some either require or recommend two to three years of teaching experience. You will need a bachelor’s degree and may need to submit transcripts, test scores, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement.

The majority of these programs are 30-35 credits and can be completed in two years or less. Some require field experience. Others culminate in a portfolio, final project, or comprehensive final exam.

What are the most affordable online master’s in curriculum and instruction?

Our data is pulled from trusted sources including:

  • U.S. News and World Report
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • PayScale
  • Princeton Review
  • Official college/university websites

The 35 schools listed here offer flexible, quality education at the most affordable rates. These degrees are organized by the average price it will cost you to earn the whole degree, fees and financial aid included. Whatever your goals in the literacy field, these programs can help you achieve them without breaking the bank.

Rankings

See our rankings methodology page.

  1. Florida Atlantic University
    Location

    Boca Raton, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Florida Atlantic University is a public university based in Boca Raton, Florida. It has five other campuses located throughout the state. Princeton Review ranks FAU as one of the best public universities in the Southeast. In addition, the school is ranked among the best in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. FAU offers over 170 degree programs across 10 renowned colleges. This includes an online M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction.

    Program Features

    The 36-credit Master’s of Education in Curriculum and Instruction balances theoretical and practical application. Students complete critical writing and research projects related to curriculum, instruction, and assessment. The degree can be finished in two years and also addresses global perspectives and diversity. Courses include:

    • U.S. Curricular Trends and Issues
    • Design Components of Curriculum
    • Program Evaluation in Curriculum and Instruction
    • Global Perspectives of Curricular Trends Across Nations
    • Educational Research

    Notables

    This degree program is designed for certified teachers and other professionals, not for those seeking teacher certification. Students take core courses, research/statistics courses, and a capstone course. The capstone course requires action research in schools and communities.

  2. Appalachian State University
    Location

    Boone, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Located in Boone, North Carolina, Appalachian State University was originally established as a teacher’s college in 1899. Today, the public university serves over 19,000 students. U.S. News and World Report ranks ASU as one of the top regional universities in the South. Its online programs are also ranked as some of the nation’s best. ASU offers over 150 degree programs, including a Curriculum Specialist MA.

    Program Features

    The Master of Arts Curriculum Specialist program requires 39-credit hours. It prepares students to become curriculum instructional specialists focused on improving student learning opportunities. The program develops leadership skills and knowledge of instruction, learners, content knowledge, curriculum development, and research. Students take courses such as:

    • Supervision of Instruction
    • Connecting Learners and Subject Matter
    • Curriculum Planning
    • Teacher Leadership and School Improvement
    • Assessment to Improve Learning and Inform Teaching

    Notables

    Students apply their curriculum specialist skills in site-based leadership and management experiences. They are placed with administrators or supervisors to observe and evaluate curriculum issues in public school or agency settings.

  3. Sam Houston State University
    Location

    Huntsville, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Sam Houston State is a public university in Huntsville, Texas. SHSU’s motto is “The Measure of a Life is its Service.” Its online graduate programs are ranked as some of the nation’s best by U.S. News and World Report. SHSU currently serves more than 21,000 students and boasts over 130 degree programs. The university’s education programs, such as the M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, are also nationally recognized.

    Program Features

    SHSU’s Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction is a 30-credit program. It focuses on research, development, and implementation of curriculum changes that support student achievement. The program can also prepare students to teach at the community college level. In this program, you can expect to take courses like:

    • Current Issues in Education
    • Research in Teaching
    • Curricular Trends for Classroom Teaching
    • Assessment of Learning
    • Instructional Coaching

    Notables

    For applicants with a 3.0 GPA or higher, the GRE requirement is automatically waived. Students complete research projects and explore a combination of pedagogy, methodology, and theoretical applications.

  4. Florida International University
    Location

    Miami, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    With an enrollment of 56,886 students, Florida International University is one of the largest universities in the United States. According to U.S. News and World Report, it’s also one of the best. The top-tier research university is known for its diverse student body and varied opportunities. FIU offers more than 190 degree programs, including an MS in Curriculum and Instruction.

    Program Features

    The online Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction is a 36-credit program. It gives students the tools to affect positive change in their classrooms and schools. The program emphasizes curriculum and instruction that meets the needs of diverse learners, both culturally and linguistically. Courses include:

    • Curriculum Development
    • Learning Styles Applications
    • Developing a Global Perspective
    • Curriculum Evaluation and Improvement in Urban School Systems
    • Action Research for Educators

    Notables

    Applicants must submit two letters of recommendation, a resume, and a statement of purpose. The program is comprised of six accelerated eight-week terms. Students complete an Action Research Project at the end of the program, working to identify and solve curriculum-related issues in a K-12 setting.

  5. The University of Texas at Arlington
    Location

    Arlington, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Texas at Arlington is a public research university enrolling nearly 42,000 students. The university is recognized as one of the “Best in the West” by the Princeton Review and as a Best Value college by Forbes. It’s an educational leader and research powerhouse that values ingenuity, diversity, and excellence. UT at Arlington has an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction.

    Program Features

    The Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction offers concentrations in Literacy Studies, Mathematics Education, and Science Education. The 30-credit program includes core courses on instructional strategies, curriculum design, and diversity in education. Students also complete courses in education research and in their selected concentration. In this program, you can expect to take courses like:

    • Advanced Teaching Models for Diverse Learners
    • Understanding and Designing Classroom Research
    • Implementing and Disseminating Classroom Research
    • Effective Teaching and Learning for 21st Century Students

    Notables

    UT at Arlington’s program is fully accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. It can be completed in 18 months. The program culminates in a final capstone course. No thesis or internship is required.

  6. Western Governors University
    Location

    Salt Lake City, UT

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The idea for Western Governors University originated from 19 US governors at a Western Governors Association meeting. It was founded in 1997 as a private, nonprofit online university based in Salt Lake City. The student-centered university offers one of the best values in higher education. Courses are designed in partnership with employers in the field, and students can complete coursework at an accelerated pace. WGU offers an MS in Curriculum and Instruction.

    Program Features

    The Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction empowers candidates to develop innovative instructional materials that improve student outcomes. The program is self-paced, with some students finishing in just six months. Tuition is charged per term, so students ultimately control the cost of their degree. Courses include:

    • Introduction to Curriculum Theory
    • Learning Theories
    • Educational Psychology
    • Curriculum Design
    • Curriculum Evaluation

    Notables

    A teaching license is not required to enroll in this program. The program culminates in a capstone course. WGU is the first university offering all competency-based degrees. This means that students can progress through courses as soon as they demonstrate mastery of the material. Ninety-seven percent of graduates recommend WGU.

  7. East Carolina University
    Location

    Greenville, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Established as a small teacher’s school in 1907, East Carolina University is now South Carolina’s third largest university. ECU serves over 29,000 students and is located in Greenville, South Carolina. ECU is devoted to innovation, excellence, and service. The university is comprised of 12 colleges offering more than 250 degrees and certificates. One option is an MA in Curriculum and Instruction.

    Program Features

    ECU’s Master of Arts in Education in Curriculum and Instruction is a 39-credit program. It provides advanced study in curriculum and instruction with concentrations in English Education and History/Social Studies Education. Candidates are prepared to become district or school leaders in their selected educational field. They complete courses such as:

    • Understanding and Engaging in Educational Research
    • Introduction to Differences in Human Learning in Schools
    • Addressing Differences in Human Learning in Schools
    • Leadership and Communication Skills in Education
    • Directed Research Project

    Notables

    Students conclude the program with a directed reading and research project. This program leads to eligibility for 9-12 English advanced licensure or 9-12 Social Studies advanced licensure. The College of Education accepts applications year-round, so students can begin the program at almost any time during the year.

  8. Arkansas State University-Main Campus
    Location

    Jonesboro, AR

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Arkansas State University was founded in 1909 in Jonesboro, Arkansas. The public university is a catalyst for progress in the region. Its mission is to enrich lives, enhance intellectual growth, and educate leaders. A-State, as the school is commonly called, enrolls 14,085 students and offers 150 areas of study. Students can take advantage of an online MSE in Curriculum and Instruction.

    Program Features

    A-State’s Master of Science in Education in Curriculum and Instruction is designed for practicing teachers. The degree enhances professional growth and leadership, enriches best practices, and prepares teachers to evaluate and improve curriculum. The 36-credit program can be completed in as few as 20 months. Courses include:

    • Philosophies of Education
    • School and Community Relations
    • Theories of Instruction
    • Supervision and Evaluation of Teaching
    • Curriculum Management

    Notables

    Applicants must have two years of teaching experience. Students complete a seven-week curriculum internship. They participate in clinical activities and help solve authentic problems, applying the skills they’ve learned and sharpening their leadership skills. Graduates often go on to work as professional curriculum specialists.

  9. Ball State University
    Location

    Muncie, IN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Based in Muncie, Indiana, Ball State is a public research university with two additional locations. The university was founded in 1918 as a teacher’s college. Today, Ball State enrolls about 22,000 students. For over a decade, it has appeared on the Princeton Review’s list of the best universities in the Midwest. Ball State offers over 300 degree programs, including an MA in Curriculum and Educational Technology.

    Program Features

    The Master of Arts in Curriculum and Educational Technology is a 30-credit program delivered fully online. It prepares students to effectively develop curriculum and integrate technology to meet the diverse needs of students. Candidates select a specialization track in either curriculum or educational technology. All students take 21 credits in common, with the remaining nine focused on their area of specialization. Courses include:

    • Principles and Procedures of Curriculum Development
    • Curriculum Integration of Learning Technology
    • Evaluation of Educational Programs
    • Staff Development to Strengthen Curriculum
    • Problems in Curriculum

    Notables

    Students may opt to earn a Computer Education License add-on or Certificate in Computer Education during the program. This program is part of Ball State’s Teachers College, which is one of the top twenty-five in the nation. Courses are taught by the same distinguished professors who teach on-campus courses.

  10. Chadron State College
    Location

    Chadron, NE

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Founded in 1911, Chadron State College is a public college in Chadron, Nebraska. It’s part of the Nebraska State College System. It enrolls 2,737 students and offers 60 degree programs. Eighty-four percent of faculty hold the highest degree in their fields. Chadron State is accredited by the HIgher Learning Commission. The school offers an online M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction.

    Program Features

    Students can earn a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction for Elementary, Secondary, Early Childhood Special Education, PK-12 Reading Specialist, or K-12 Special Education. Students gain advanced knowledge of administration, research, assessment, curriculum, and supervision. Core courses include:

    • Research Design & Data Analysis
    • Curriculum Development
    • School Law
    • Educational Philosophy
    • Advanced Methods of Performance Assessment

    Notables

    Applicants must either hold a teaching certificate or be eligible for a teaching certificate and have earned a degree with a GPA of 2.75 or better. Students complete a total of 36 credits, comprised of 21 credits of core coursework and 15 hours in the selected concentration.

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