Curriculum and Instruction Course of Study

Curriculum and Instruction

Course of Study

The College of Education’s MA/MS in Curriculum and Instruction is designed for professionals who want to pursue advanced work in education. Courses are intended to help students develop as leaders in their schools and communities or simply increase their knowledge base about how students learn and the best ways to educate them. The master’s degree is:

  • a non-licensure degree program, culminating in a Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Sciences (MS)
  • 45-credits consisting of core courses (24 credits required) and electives (21 credits based on student needs and advisor approval)

Curriculum & Instruction master's degree delivery options

Online option

Earn a Curriculum and Instruction master's degree in a uniquely collaborative online format. Designed for working teachers and professionals in education-related fields, our online master's program encourages you to put theory into practice. You will:

  • Work closely with outstanding faculty. The same faculty who teach our in-person courses also lead our online courses. 
  • Connect with other students. PSU's easy-to-use online course platform encourages direct, frequent interaction among classmates.
  • Join a cohort. You'll take your core courses with the same group of students, enabling you to develop strong relationships.
  • Apply what you learn. Use course material to address challenges specific to your own classroom, school district, nonprofit or governmental agency
  • Earn the same credential as students studying on-campus and develop the skills to promote ethical, culturally sensitive instruction and curriculum in your education career.
  • Online cohort takes one 3-credit course together each term during the academic year and two 3-credit courses during the summer term.
  • The online program starts their core courses fall term as a cohort. You may apply for admission for the online program for a different term, start by taking your elective courses, and then jump in with the new cohort fall term and begin your core courses together online.

Face-to-Face/Hybrid option

  • On-campus courses offered throughout the year
  • Schedule your classes around your life and learning style with face-to-face, hybrid, and online courses 
  • Summer term select core courses offered in online, hybrid, and face-to-face formats
  • The on-campus program is not a cohort so you can apply and start taking your core courses and electives at any time. 

Schedule options

  • On-campus Thursday night fast track during the academic year 
  • On campus summer—selected core courses offered in online, hybrid and face to face formats 
  • Online cohort takes one 3-credit course together each term during the academic year and two 3-credit courses during the summer term.
  • Program planning guide

Other options available. We are flexible; speak to your advisor.

Core courses

  • CI 561 Advanced Educational Psychology
  • CI 565 Theoretical Models of Curriculum
  • CI 567 Curriculum and Culture
  • CI 580 Theories of Instruction
  • CI 581 Issues in Education
  • CI 510 Guidance for the Classroom Teacher
  • CI 590 Action Research Proposal
  • CI 591 Action Research Implementation


Elective credits are selected with the help of an advisor and may be taken in conjunction with core courses. They are not limited to CI courses and can be applied to specializations, endorsements, graduate certificates, and certificates of completion throughout the College of Education and University as a whole. (e.g. Reading Endorsement, ESOL endorsement, math specialization, Teacher Leadership, and Autism Spectrum Disorder). There are face-to-face, online, and hybrid options each term. Electives may also be transferred into the program (up to 15 credits) provided they meet the University’s transfer credit criteria.

  • Can be used to earn endorsements, specializations, graduate certificates, or certificates of completion
  • Are not limited to education courses which allows for an individualized curriculum
  • May be transferred into the program provided they meet the University’s transfer credit criteria
  • Are limited to six credits at the 810 level within the master's degree, with advisor approval. No 808 level classes are acceptable.
  • Summer 2021 electives
  • Fall 2021 electives

MA/MS culminating activity

The purpose of the Action Research Project is to study and improve one’s own practice systematically and is accomplished by successful completion of two core courses:

  • CI 590 Action Research Proposal (3 credits): Candidates design and write their independent action research project proposal.
  • CI 591 Action Research Implementation (3 credits): Candidates implement and analyze their project.

You have a 7 year window in which to complete your 45 credits of core courses and electives. Most students complete in a little over 2 years.

Course descriptions

For course descriptions, please consult the Bulletin or Class Schedule.