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Curriculum and Instruction Master's Degree Program of Study - On Campus

The requirements for this degree are:

A program of study consisting of not fewer than 45 credits approved by the graduate advisor and department chair, to include:

  1. A core studies area of 24 credits encompassing preparation in the areas of teaching and learning, curriculum, assessment and research, human relations, and/or issues of education. Degree plans are written in cooperation with an assigned advisor.
  2. 21 elective credits at the graduate level. Check with your advisor for program planning.
  3. A culminating activity that the student will select to complete the requirements:
  • An action research project
  • A thesis (requires an oral exam in addition to the written product)
  • A comprehensive exam

Downloadable program of studypdf

Course requirements and schedule

Total Credits: 45 (minimum for a MS/MA). Click here to view course descriptions.

CI 561 Advanced Educational Psychology 3     X X
CI 565 Theoretical Models of Curriculum 3     X X
CI 567 Curriculum and Culture 3   X   X
CI 580 Theories of Instruction 3 X     X
CI 581 Issues in Education 3 X     X
CI 510 Guidance for the Classroom Teacher 3   X   X
CI 590 Action Research Proposal 3 X X

CI 591 Action Research Implementation

CI 501 Action (by arrangment, taken independently with your advisor any term) 3 X X X X

View the PSU Schedule of Classes to register.

Electives (21 credits)
The remaining 21 credits are electives selected with the help of the advisor. Electives that can be applied to specializations and/or endorsements are listed in brochures that may be obtained through the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. You may also explore your elective options online. See your advisor for further information about these programs/endorsements that can be taken in conjunction with your core classes. Electives for the CI program are not limited to CI courses and recommended offerings are provided by your advisors each year based on the schedule. Students may select courses offered throughout the Graduate School of Education and other departments on campus as well. The following list is only for suggestions.

MA/MS culminating activity
Students will select one of the following three options to complete the requirements for the master’s degree: An independent project (3-6 credits); a thesis (6 credits); or a written comprehensive exam.

1. Independent project option (Action Research Project)

Candidates completing the independent project option must complete the following prerequisites.

  • CI 590 Action Research Proposal (3 credits)
  • CI 591 Action Research Implementation (3-6 credits)

The purpose of action research is to systematically study and improve one’s own classroom practice. In CI 590, candidates design and write their independent action research project proposal. In CI 591 candidates implement their project.

2. Thesis

Candidates selecting the thesis option will register for 6 graduate credits for the completed project.

  • Prerequisite: CI 590 Action Research or equivalent research methods course

Candidates will follow the most current Graduate School of Education Style Manual for Dissertations and Theses

Candidates selecting this option will be expected to work closely with their advisor and may be required to join a thesis seminar that may be taken as an independent study.

3. Comprehensive exam option

The comprehensive exam is a rigorous experience covering all Curriculum and Instruction MS/MA core content areas. The exam is evaluated by an examining board of faculty members.

  1. Development of the comprehensive exam
    Questions for all comprehensive exams are developed by program faculty. Three questions will be selected from a pool at the time of the exam: two related to specified course requirements and one related to the elective area.
  2. Administration of the comprehensive exam
    The exam will be administered on designated dates, at a site to be announced. Students may take up to three hours for the exam. Appropriate accommodations will be made for students with special needs and/or disabilities.
  3. Evaluation of the exam
    Students must pass all sections of the examination. If a student fails either the entire examination or any section thereof, the department may dismiss the student from the degree program, or allow the student to repeat the entire exam, or the section that was failed after a minimum of three months. The result of the second exam is final. Question evaluations will be completed within four to six weeks from the date of the exam, and students will be notified of the results.

*A minimum enrollment of 1 credit is required during the term in which oral or written exams are taken.