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Degree Overview: Master of Arts in Education Degree in Curriculum and Instruction

Majors Overview July 22, 2015

This article talks about Master of Arts in Education degree programs in Curriculum and Instruction and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education and certification choices.

Master of Arts in Education Programs in Curriculum and Instruction

Education professionals and experienced teachers at all levels and disciplines who seek academic planning, curriculum design, and student assessment skills might benefit from enrolling into a 2-year Master of Arts in Education in Curriculum and Instruction program. While some programs help students secure certification or licensure, others only admit students who already possess certification or licensure in their home states.

Coursework draws from psychology, sociology, and education while helping students in developing an educational philosophy, pedagogical knowledge, and curricular decision-making skills. Experience in a specific academic discipline, such as social studies, mathematics, science or language arts can be gained by enrollees.

Education Requirements

In addition to experience in an academic setting and licensure or certification, MA programs in Curriculum and Instruction require students to have completed at least a bachelor’s degree. Most also have minimum GPA requirements and require applicants to submit scores from one or more graduate-level entrance exams.


Faculty advisers may help students in developing a plan of study incorporating their subject-matter expertise and academic goals. The degree program might include other components such as instructional theory, teaching methodology, and professional development. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Curriculum development
•Special education
•Research techniques and assessment
•Psychology of Education
•Communication for Educators
•Social issues in education
•Classroom techniques and instructional strategies

Career Choices

Program graduates may seek careers in instructional technology, curriculum supervision, or various other administrative positions. They might aspire to leadership positions in school systems or individual schools. Specific education programs, school technology, or department leadership may be the focus of some. They may choose from available job positions such as:

•Distance learning coordinator
•Curriculum specialist
•Instructional Technologist
•Instructional Coordinator
•Program administrator

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a job growth rate of 6% has been predicted for elementary, middle and high school principals. Instructional coordinators are expected to see a 13% growth (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2014, education administrators at the elementary through high school level brought in an average annual wage of $91,780, while instructional coordinators earned $64,040 per annum, on average (BLS).

Continuing Education and Certification Choices

Apart from a master’s degree, a state teacher or administrator license is required to be held by most instructional coordinators or curriculum planners (BLS). Around 98% of instructional coordinators have a master’s degree (O*Net OnLine). Program graduates who aspire to more advanced roles in education, such as academic dean or school superintendent, might benefit from earning a doctoral degree in an education field.

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