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Curriculum and Instruction Master's Degree FAQs

Is it a full-time program? I’m a teacher and cannot take classes during the day.
No, most of our classes are geared toward students who are teachers or are otherwise employed during the day.

On-campus classes usually have a start time of 4 pm or 6:40 pm, except for summer. Online coursework is done on your own schedule, according to your class syllabus.

Will I receive a teaching license with this degree?
No, this program is mainly for people who are already teaching, or who do not wish to earn a teaching certificate. If you would like to become a teacher but have never been licensed, you may be interested in our Graduate Teacher Education Program (GTEP).

Is there a time limit to complete work for my master’s?
You are allowed seven years to complete the required coursework. Coursework older than seven years will not count toward your degree. Any courses transferred from another institution must also be within seven years of your graduation date. A limit of 15 credits may be transferred.

Is it a cohort-based program?
In the on-campus master’s programs, students work at their own pace to achieve their degree. Students may be admitted for any term, but must take at least one class for the term they’re accepted. If you do not take any courses for five terms, you must fill out a re-enrollment form.

For the online program, students are accepted as a cohort (group) and complete the core classes in a set sequence over a two-year period.

What’s the difference between the MA and MS?
The main difference between MA (Master of Arts) and MS (Master of Science) is that an MA degree requires a foreign language exam, given by a PSU foreign language department, or a waiver showing demonstrated proof of fluency in another language.

Can I use all my credits from another institution? Is there a restriction?
There is a limit of 15 transfer credits, including PSU credits taken before formal admission to the master’s program (pre-admission credits). Not all transfer credits are acceptable. Your faculty advisor makes the determination with the final approval of the Office of Graduate Studies. 

What about electives - how do I know what’s acceptable?
Electives are usually chosen with the help of your faculty advisor, who is assigned to you when you are admitted. Most graduate level courses (500 and above) are good choices. HOWEVER, there are certain exceptions: No 808 (workshop) courses are acceptable for a master’s degree and only six credits of 810 (professional development/inservice) credits may be used. All transfer credits must show a grade of B or higher. Pass/No Pass courses are not acceptable.

Can I start taking classes before I’m accepted?
Many students take a few courses before they are formally admitted. Not only does this give you an opportunity to become familiar with our programs, but you may also be able to transfer a certain number of these PSU graduate level pre-admission credits into your program of study. It is possible to take up to eight credits per term without formal admission. However, there are limits and restrictions on transfer in and pre-admission credits. We ask that you speak with a faculty advisor before you pursue pre-admissions coursework. 

Can I add an endorsement to my program?
Yes. Common endorsements are the ReadOregon programLibrary Media, Literacy Education/Reading endorsement program, Special Education (Elementary, Secondary, or Master's), and the ESOL endorsement. If possible, apply to these programs at the time you apply for admission to your master’s degree in curriculum and instruction so as to reduce any additional paperwork.

Who can I talk to about getting more information?
Each term there are open-advising sessions with Curriculum and Instruction faculty and staff that students may attend without making an appointment. If this isn’t convenient, a one-on-one appointment may be scheduled with a faculty member by calling the Graduate School of Education receptionist at 503-725-4619. Advising may also occur by email or phone. Our faculty have many years of experience in advising master’s candidates in their coursework and can answer any questions you may have.