The Best Online Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction Programs

Classroom teachers are required to stay on top of learning events, classroom management, parent meetings, and committee assignments. To maintain these responsibilities, educators rely on administrators and teacher leaders to assist their work. By earning an online master's in curriculum and instruction, you can prepare to serve as an instructional coach, assistant principal, or curriculum director, and help other teachers excel in the classroom. Most programs offer courses such as constructivist approaches to learning and theories of instruction that prepare you to teach others in professional development workshops and seminars. If you are looking to move into a related field outside of K-12 work, this master's degree can also open new doors in corporate training and development.

The field of education continues to evolve and improve. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects education jobs to grow by 9% through 2026, as schools add teachers, instructional coordinators, principals, and other administrators at all levels. Salaries in the field are also on the rise; instructional coordinators, for example, earn a median annual wage of $64,450. Earning an online master's in curriculum and instruction can prepare you to make a difference in the lives of teachers, students, and parents while accelerating your own career trajectory.

Rank School Name School Logo City Cost Address & Contact Info School Links Acclaim for Online Programs School Description
1Western Governors UniversitySalt Lake City$$$$$4001 East 700 South, Suite 700
Salt Lake City, UT 84107
(801) 274-3280

Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, Western Governors University began in 1997 as an experimental model in education funded by the governors of 19 states. Today, the university serves more than 115,000 students.

WGU offers an online master of science in curriculum and instruction for professionals looking to gain skills in design, psychology, instructional theory, evaluation, and research. Using WGU's competency-based model, students complete an assessment for 13 courses, such as learning theories, educational psychology, curriculum design, and curriculum evaluation. The curriculum concludes with a capstone project.

Applicants to WGU's online master's in curriculum and instruction must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and must be 16 years of age or older. The program accepts new learners on the first of each month. About 80% of participants complete their degree in 6-25 months.

2Columbia International UniversityColumbia$$$$$7435 Monticello Rd
Columbia, SC 29203-1513
(803) 754-4100

An evangelical, nonprofit institution located in Columbia, South Carolina, Columbia International University serves more than 1,000 students and offers approximately 45 online programs, including the master of education in instruction and learning.

Students in this 30-credit online master's in curriculum and instruction learn to apply educational theories, foster a nurturing school environment, and collaborate with other professionals. CIU's curriculum maintains consistency with the certification requirements set by the Association of Christian Schools International.

The curriculum includes six credits of foundations courses, 12 credits of core courses, and 12 credits of courses in the concentration. Students complete courses such as authentic assessment, curriculum development and instruction, instructional models and strategies, and designing instruction for understanding. Most students need five semesters to finish the degree, although CIU permits extensions for up to six years. To apply, prospective students must hold a bachelor's degree with a 2.7 GPA or higher.

3North Carolina State University at RaleighRaleigh$$$$$2101 Hillsborough Street
Raleigh, NC 27695-7001
(919) 515-2011

A public university of about 34,000 students located in Raleigh, North Carolina, North Carolina State University at Raleigh emphasizes applied research in science, technology, engineering and math. NCSU began in 1887 and today provides numerous on-campus and distance education programs, including the master of education in curriculum and instruction.

NCSU's online master's in curriculum and instruction focuses on new literacies and global learning. Students take a 12-credit core and one of three 18-credit concentrations: K-12 reading, English language arts, or social studies. Courses include new literacies and media, as well as theory and research in global learning. The program concludes with a design studio showcase of project-based work.

Students can take approximately 50% of the M.Ed. program online, starting in the fall semester or one of two summer semesters. Applicants must submit a goals statement but do not need to take a standardized entrance test.

4Clarks Summit UniversityClarks Summit$$$$$538 Venard Rd
Clarks Summit, PA 18411-1250
(570) 586-2400

A fully-accredited, faith-centered higher learning institution composed of nearly 1,000 graduate and undergraduate students, Clarks Summit University sits in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania near Scranton. CSU offers the master of education with a curriculum and instruction concentration online through five, eight-week annual sessions.

This 31-credit online master's in curriculum and instruction takes less than three years to complete. As part of the program, students take courses such as advanced curriculum design, learning disabilities, leadership in educational settings, and the philosophical base of education.

Prospective students need to hold a qualifying bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA or higher. Applicants without a bachelor's degree in education may need to take leveling coursework. Many prospective learners -- such as CSU alumni, alumni from ABHE-accredited schools, and full- or- part-time Christian workers -- can qualify for discounts.

5Mississippi CollegeClinton$$$$$200 South Capitol Street
Clinton, MS 39058
(601) 925-3000

Affiliated with the Mississippi Baptist Convention and located in Clinton, Mississippi, Mississippi College serves more than 5,000 students in 130-plus areas of study. Mississippi College offers both on-campus and online programs, including the master of education in curriculum and instruction.

Featuring multiple start dates, this fully online master's in curriculum and instruction requires 30 credits taken in seven-week terms across 10 months. The curriculum consists of nine credits of core courses and 21 credits of electives. Coursework includes technology in education, project-based science curriculum, and information management dimension of leadership.

Applicants must hold a standard, renewable teaching license along with appropriate, professional test scores. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher throughout the program to graduate. Learners whose GPA falls between 3.0 and 3.75 will need to take a comprehensive exam to complete their degree.

6University of South FloridaTampa$$$$$4202 East Fowler Ave
Tampa, FL 33620-9951
(813) 974-2011

Located in Tampa Bay, Florida, the University of South Florida-Main Campus enrolls more than 50,000 students. Online learners can pursue degrees through internet-based study, including the master of education in curriculum and instruction, secondary education with a concentration in foreign language education.

USF's 33-credit online master's in curriculum and instruction consists of nine credits of core courses, six credits of electives, and 18 credits of either foreign language education courses, or courses in the student's target language along with a comprehensive exam. Learners can take courses in one of 13 languages, including Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish.

For admission, prospective students need to pass a General Knowledge Test, hold a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 or higher GPA, have taken 30 credits of foreign language coursework, and demonstrate proficiency during a language interview.

7University of VirginiaCharlottesville$$$$$1827 University Avenue
Charlottesville, VA 22903-2628
(434) 924-0311

The University of Virginia enrolls nearly 23,000 students through eleven schools. In addition to its on-campus education, UVA offers numerous online programs, including the master of education in curriculum and instruction.

One of the best online master's in curriculum and instruction, this program requires 15 credits of core courses and 15 credits in an area of focus such as literacy, social foundations, educational innovation, instructional technology, or English as a second language. The core courses draw from the disciplines of curriculum, instruction, assessment, and diversity. Part-time students can finish their degrees in five years, and full-time students can finish in two years and one summer.

Applicants to this program need a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and qualifying GRE scores or evidence of National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification.

8Calvary Bible College and Theological SeminaryKansas City$$$$$15800 Calvary Road
Kansas City, MO 64147-1341
(816) 322-0110

Calvary University offers approximately 50 degrees taught from a Biblical perspective. The university maintains two brick-and-mortar campuses and provides a robust online program, which includes the master of science in education with a concentration in curriculum and instruction.

Like other top ranking online master's in curriculum and instruction, Calvary's 36-credit master's in education includes courses such as the master teacher, educational assessment, and the graduate writing workshop. Students may choose a thesis track, a non-thesis track, or a master's project track. Learners in the thesis track take 12 credits of electives, a three-credit research course, and a six-credit thesis along with core courses and electives. Non-thesis students complete introduction to research and 18 elective credits. Those in the project track complete a research course, 15 credits of electives, and a three-credit project.

Applicants must submit official transcripts showing an acceptable GPA for admission.

9Brandman UniversityIrvine$$$$$16355 Laguna Canyon Road
Irvine, CA 92618
(949) 341-9800

Brandman University began in 1958 as an adult-education focused extension of Chapman University. Now a separate institution, Brandman still maintains its focus on adult learners by offering programs such as the online master of arts in education-curriculum and instruction.

Brandman's 30-credit program includes 18 credits of core courses and 12 credits in a specialization. Core courses include research and evaluation methods and democracy, education, and social change. Students emphasizing curriculum and instruction must either hold a valid teaching credential or take teaching the adult learner prior to enrolling in specialized coursework.

Prospective students must meet one of four GPA options: a 3.0 GPA in the last 30 credits; a GPA between 2.75 and 2.99 in the last 30 semester credits plus qualifying exam scores; a master's degree or higher; or a portfolio showing adequate preparation for graduate studies.

10Indiana Wesleyan UniversityMarion$$$$$4201 S Washington St
Marion, IN 46953-4974
(765) 674-6901

Located in Marion, Indiana, Indiana Wesleyan University maintains a total enrollment of nearly 15,000 students. Among its more than 120 degrees, IWU offers a master of education - major in curriculum and instruction.

Like other online master's in curriculum and instruction programs, IWU's curriculum emphasizes constructivist approaches to help learners achieve higher proficiency as educators. Students register once and then work with a cohort group to complete their 33-credit degree in 24 months. Learners take courses such as curriculum leadership for rigor and relevance and the teacher leader as a collaborative coach.

Applicants must possess a bachelor's degree or a master's degree with a 2.75 GPA or higher from an accredited institution. Prospective students also need a valid teaching license from a state agency or a qualifying Christian agency, one or more years of experience, and access to a classroom.

11Averett University - Non-Traditional ProgramsDanville$$$$$420 W Main St
Danville, VA 24541
(800) 448-5233

A private institution located in Danville, Virginia, Averett University began in 1869 and today enrolls about 1500 students in 35 programs.

Averett offers a fully online master of education in curriculum and instruction for applicants who hold a current teaching license in Virginia. In this 15- or 20-month, 31-credit degree, classroom teachers can learn to teach effectively to their students' strengths.

Like many other curriculum and instruction online master's programs, Averett's degree operates in an accelerated, cohort-based format. Learners take one or two classes at a time in six-week blocks. Courses include child and adolescent psychology, and technology in the 21st century classrooms.

Applicants need a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution showing a 3.0 GPA or higher in the last 60 credits, one year of teaching experience as a certified teacher, and a minimum score on the Praxis I, Praxis II, GRE, MAT, or Virginia DOE Test.

12Concordia University - Saint PaulSaint Paul$$$$$1282 Concordia Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55104-5494
(651) 641-8278

A private, comprehensive liberal arts institution affiliated with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, Concordia University-Saint Paul enrolls more than 5,000 students in 80-plus degree programs.

The university offers a 30-credit online master of arts in education in curriculum and instruction with a K-12 reading endorsement for current, licensed Minnesota teachers.

Like many other curriculum and instruction online master's programs, Concordia's degree requires students to take a sequential curriculum. Courses include diversity in education and assessment, evaluation and supervision in literacy programs along with a capstone.

Applicants need a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution and a minimum 3.0 GPA. Prospective students also need to submit a personal statement of 400-1000 words, discussing their traits, experiences, and goals. Concordia also requires applicants to possess a current, valid Minnesota teaching license.

13The University of West FloridaPensacola$$$$$11000 University Parkway
Pensacola, FL 32514-5750
(850) 474-2000

Located in Pensacola, Florida, the University of West Florida enrolls about 13,000 students pursuing 70-plus degrees.

The school offers an online master of education in curriculum and instruction to help elementary teachers, reading specialists, and secondary teachers prepare for school leadership roles. As a result, applicants must hold or currently seek a professional teaching license. As with other curriculum and instruction online master's programs, out-of-state applicants to UWF's program should make sure the program is accepted in their states.

The curriculum in this 36-credit degree consists of 21 credits of core courses and cognate courses in elementary education, middle education, or secondary education. Core courses include exceptionalities and issues in teacher education: a biopsychosocial perspective.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA or higher along with a current teaching license and must submit GRE or MAT scores.

14Concordia University - IrvineIrvine$$$$$1530 Concordia West
Irvine, CA 92612-3203
(949) 854-8002

Located in Irvine, a city in southern California, Concordia University-Irvine operates within the Concordia University System, a consortium of eight Lutheran-operated universities and colleges. Concordia Irvine maintains an enrollment of more than 4,000 students, of which about 1,500 study at the undergraduate level.

The university offers an online master of arts in education in curriculum and instruction to provide educators with innovative, research-based content that will help them develop as teachers in a global and digital world.

Like many other online master's degree programs in curriculum and instruction, Concordia's degree requires about 10-15 hours of work each week and takes 12-24 months to complete. New students can begin at multiple start dates throughout the year. The 30-credit program includes courses in brain-based teaching and learning; coping with stress and violence in today's classroom; and school community and diverse family structures.

15Dallas Baptist UniversityDallas$$$$$3000 Mountain Creek Parkway
Dallas, TX 75211-9299
(214) 333-7100

Located in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, Dallas Baptist University educates nearly 5,000 students across 78 undergraduate programs, 31 master's programs, and two doctorates. As a Christian liberal arts school, the university is affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas and other faith-based entities.

DBU offers a 36-credit master of education in curriculum and instruction to prepare learners for careers as instructional coaches and curriculum directors. The degree combines academic instruction with community service and personal reflection. DBU's degree can combine with other programs, allowing students to earn two master's degrees or a master's degree and an advanced certificate.

The curriculum includes 21 credits of core courses and 15 credits of the student's chosen specialization. Core courses include defense of degree, improvement of instruction, and curriculum design and evaluation. The school's seven specialization options include Christian school administration, professional life coaching, and instructional technology.

16Texas A&M University - CommerceCommerce$$$$$2600 South Neal
Commerce, TX 75429-3011
(888) 868-2682

Located in Commerce, Texas A&M-Commerce serves nearly 10,000 students in about 100 programs. TAMU-C is the fourth-oldest institution of higher learning in Texas and the third-largest in the Texas A&M System.

The university offers both a master of education in curriculum and instruction and a

master of science in curriculum and instruction. The M.Ed. serves certified and experienced teachers while the MS serves those enrolled in an alternative certification program. Both degrees require 36 credits, and feature core courses, specializations, and a comprehensive exam.

These online master's degree programs in curriculum and instruction include courses in classroom management for teachers, diversity and equity in education, and research literature and techniques. Applicants need a bachelor's degree, a valid teaching certificate, and passing scores on an admissions exam.

17Nova Southeastern UniversityFort Lauderdale$$$$$3301 College Ave
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314-7796
(954) 262-7300

Founded in 1964, Nova Southeastern University educates more than 20,000 students in 150-plus degrees. This private, nonsectarian university introduced its first off-campus educational program in 1972 and today maintains a vibrant non-traditional program, which includes a master of science in education with a specialization in curriculum, instruction and technology.

This online master's degree in curriculum and instruction welcomes current educators, and anyone with a bachelor's degree and a 2.5 GPA or higher. Ideal candidates should want to improve their knowledge of curriculum development and technology integration. Once enrolled, students take 36 credits in courses such as internet for educators, theories of learning, technology for school curriculum, and web 2.0 tools: applications for teaching and learning. To graduate, students must have a 3.0 GPA or higher and submit an acceptable portfolio of work.

18Arizona State UniversityTempe$$$$$University Drive and Mill Avenue
Tempe, AZ 85287
(480) 965-9011

Arizona State University graduates 20,000 students each year across more than 40 academic areas. ASU's online students can pursue one of 150-plus undergraduate and graduate degrees, including the master of education in curriculum and instruction or the master of arts in curriculum and instruction: English as a second language (ESL).

These online master's degree programs in curriculum and instruction each require 30 credits. The M.Ed. serves practicing teachers who wish to expand their knowledge in the fields of autism spectrum disorders, early childhood education, or gifted education. The MA prepares students to teach English language learners in U.S. schools or other educational settings.

ASU learners take courses such as verbal behavior, emergent literacy, sociolinguistic issues in bilingual education, and a practicum conducted near their homes. Applicants need a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA or higher in the last 60 credits.

19Texas A&M UniversityCollege Station$$$$$805 Rudder Tower
College Station, TX 77843-1244
(979) 845-3211

A public research university, Texas A&M University-College Station maintains the largest study body in Texas and the second largest in the U.S. The school's Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture educates more than 1,200 undergraduate students and about 400 graduate students. TAMU-CS offers on-campus and online programs, including the master of education in curriculum and instruction. Students can specialize in reading, STEM, teacher certification, or generalist.

This master's degree curriculum and instruction online requires 36 credits. Students pursuing a Reading Specialist Certification or a Master Reading Teacher Certification may need additional credits. Courses in the program include using advanced literacy to teach and learn across disciplines, organization and leadership of reading programs, and writing development assessment and instruction. Students also complete a practicum.

Applicants need a bachelor's degree with a 2.75 GPA or higher.

20William Woods UniversityFulton$$$$$One University Avenue
Fulton, MO 65251-1098
(573) 642-22512251

Founded almost 150 years ago, William Woods University now educates more than 3,500 students, including traditional undergraduates and non-traditional learners. The school's campus sits in Fulton, Missouri, a town near St. Louis. The university offers almost 20 online programs, including the master of education in curriculum and instruction.

This master's degree curriculum and instruction online prepares students for National Board Certification. Many William Woods' learners are PK-12 teachers looking to become curriculum designers or directors. This 33-credit program requires 10 courses plus an action research project. Courses include literacy instruction, curriculum construction, and appraisal of student learning. The action research project can take the form of a classroom-based study or an article for publication in a professional journal.

Applicants need a bachelor's degree with a 2.5 GPA or higher.

21City University of SeattleSeattle$$$$$521 Wall Street, Suite 100
Seattle, WA 98121
(800) 426-5596

A private and nonprofit institution based in Seattle, City University of Seattle maintains more than 20 locations around the world, and enrolls nearly 7,000 students in six schools. City University's programs all provide flexible degrees tailored to adult learners.

The university's master of education in curriculum and instruction helps teaching professionals improve their students' classroom performance through current, research-based methodologies. This master's in education curriculum and instruction online uses a performance-based model in which learners make their own classrooms the basis for learning. As part of the program, students can pursue their National Board Certification.

The curriculum consists of three foundational courses, four emphasis courses, and a master's thesis project. Courses include instructional theory and design and school and community engagement. Applicants need to submit proof of a bachelor's degree and a current teaching certificate.

22Northwest Nazarene UniversityNampa$$$$$623 S. University Blvd.
Nampa, ID 83686-5897
(208) 467-8000

A comprehensive Christian university affiliated with the Church of the Nazarene, Northwest Nazarene University is located in Nampa, Idaho. The school serves more than 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students through 60-plus academic programs offered both online and on campus.

Online students can complete NNU's 33-credit master of education in curriculum, instruction, and innovation in about 12 months. This master's in education curriculum and instruction online promotes personalized learning in innovation, instructional coaching, and curriculum design. The curriculum aligns with NNU's Ed.S. and doctoral programs. Courses include innovative instruction, data-driven decision making, and education in a globalized & multi-cultural society along with a portfolio.

Applicants need a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA or higher from a regionally accredited college or university. Once accepted, students can begin the program with a spring, summer, or fall cohort.

23Florida State UniversityTallahassee$$$$$222 S. Copeland Street
Tallahassee, FL 32306-1037
(850) 644-2525

Located in Tallahassee, Florida, Florida State University educates nearly 42,000 students at its main campus, on branch campuses, and online. The university offers nearly 300 academic programs, including an online master's in curriculum and instruction.

FSU master's in education curriculum and instruction online helps current educators become teacher leaders by improving their understanding of diverse student populations, research-based instructional approaches, and dynamic policy environments. Students begin the degree in the fall semester and take core courses in a mostly asynchronous format. Learners go on to complete 33 credits across 11 courses and a 0-credit portfolio.

Courses include culturally responsive teaching and making sense of data to inform instruction. In addition to the core coursework, students may select one of eight specializations, such as social science education, autism spectrum disorder, and elementary education. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA or higher and minimum scores on the GRE.

24Concordia University - NebraskaSeward$$$$$800 N Columbia Ave
Seward, NE 68434-1556
(800) 535-5494

Affiliated with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and located in Seward, Nebraska just west of Lincoln, Concordia University-Nebraska serves about 2,500 students in more than 100 programs, including the online master's in curriculum and instruction.

Students in this master's in education curriculum and instruction online take 12 courses worth a total of 36 credits. The curriculum consists of a 12-credit core, 12 credits in curriculum and instruction, nine credits in research, and a personalized capstone project. Courses include psychological foundations of teaching and learning, and enhancing learning through linguistic and cultural diversity. These inquiry-based courses focus on professional development and InTASC Model Core Teaching Standards. Each course lasts eight weeks.

Applicants need to submit transcripts, a resume, and a letter of intent. Transfer applicants can bring up to 25% of courses in from another school. The university offers start dates throughout the year.

25Emporia State UniversityEmporia$$$$$1 Kellogg Circle
Emporia, KS 66801-5415
(620) 341-1200

Located in Emporia, Kansas, Emporia State University began in 1863 as a public institution and now offers more than 65 academic programs in settings across the state and online. Students can pursue ESU's fully online master's in curriculum and instruction with one of four specialization options.

ESU's master's in education curriculum and instruction online requires 33 credits and takes just 12 months to complete. Students can emphasize curriculum leadership preK-12; effective practitioner preK-12; instructional coach/teacher leader preK-12; or national board certification preK-12. Core courses include supporting technology integration for school leaders; beliefs, values and issues in educational practice; and contemporary teaching and learning strategies.

Applicants do not have to submit a teaching license or GRE scores, but they must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution with a 2.75 GPA or higher in the last 60 hours of coursework.