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Field of Study: Curriculum and Instruction


Curriculum and instruction programs prepare people to plan and create sets of courses for schools and education programs.



In curriculum and instruction programs students learn to design courses for specific ages, grade levels, and subjects. They also learn how to use and evaluate teaching materials.

Curriculum and instruction programs include topics such as:

  • Instructional methods
  • Learning styles
  • Goal setting and evaluation
  • Statistics and social research methods

To enter a curriculum and instruction program, students must have a bachelor's degree.

Many universities offer graduate degrees in curriculum and instruction. A master's degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor's degree. Doctoral (PhD) programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master's degree.


College preparation

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

  • Pre-Calculus
  • Psychology
  • English Composition
  • Public Speaking


Graduate admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree, good grades, and good test scores. Your bachelor's degree may not need to be in education if you have taken some courses in the subject.

Additional requirements at some schools include:

  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) General
  • Miller Analogies Test (MAT)
  • Letters of recommendation


Typical course work

A master's degree program in curriculum and instruction typically includes courses such as the following:

  • Curriculum Theories and Practice
  • Designing Staff Development Programs
  • Historical and Political Contexts of Curriculum
  • Instructional Theory
  • Intermediate Statistics
  • Qualitative Research and Evaluation Design

A doctoral degree program in curriculum and instruction typically includes more courses such as the above, plus courses on research methods and advanced statistics, such as the following:

  • Applied Regression Methods
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Research Methods in Industrial and Organizational Psychology

In addition, graduate programs typically require the following:

  • Thesis (master's degree)
  • Preliminary exams (doctoral degree only)
  • Dissertation and dissertation defense (doctoral degree)


Things to know

Curriculum and instruction programs often accommodate the scheduling needs of working teachers, allowing degree candidates to study part time over several years.

For your master's degree, you may be able to earn a Master of Education (MEd) degree. The MEd is a good choice if you are a teacher and want to upgrade your knowledge and skills for teaching.

If research is your primary interest, or if you would like to teach curriculum and instruction in college, you will need a doctorate in this field.


Similar fields of study

Careers you may qualify for

Instructional Coordinators



Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development

Schools that offer program

Click on the school name to see a list of their programs related to this field of study.

Bemidji State University , Located in Northwest
Bemidji State University - Online , Located in Northwest
Capella University - Minneapolis, Located in Metro
College of St. Scholastica - Duluth , Located in Northeast
Concordia University, St. Paul , Located in Metro
Minnesota State University Moorhead , Located in Northwest
Minnesota State University Moorhead - Online , Located in Northwest
Minnesota State University, Mankato , Located in Southeast
Minnesota State University, Mankato - Online , Located in Southeast
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota - Winona , Located in Southeast
St. Catherine University - St. Paul , Located in Metro
St. Cloud State University , Located in Central
St. Cloud State University - Online , Located in Central
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities - Minneapolis, Located in Metro
Walden University - Minneapolis, Located in Metro