Graduate Program Curriculum and Instruction

PSU curriculum and instruction graduate students working on a group project

Curriculum and Instruction Master's Degree Overview

The Curriculum & Instruction master’s degree program is for teachers and other education professionals who want to take action and have an impact as school and community leaders. The coursework is designed for educators who want to pursue advanced studies in teacher leadership, educational theories and research, and curriculum design Courses are intended to enhance equitable teaching practices and learning outcomes while providing opportunities for career development. The Program electives are flexible and can be used toward endorsements such as ESOL and Reading, specializations, and Certificates of Completion (e.g. Teacher Leadership and Autism Spectrum Disorder).

The Curriculum and Instruction program offers an innovative learning environment. It engages and empowers individuals to develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to improve their professional practice. The program is also grounded in social justice research. Graduates become leaders for change in their learning communities and increasingly diverse classrooms. Action research allows educators to identify, study, and address needs specific to their district or agency in practical and cooperative ways. Teachers in the program work together with PSU and school personnel toward the goal of improving the K–12 curriculum.

Degree Details

Location Definitions:

On campus:
100% on campus
100% online
Combination of online and on campus
  • M
    Total Credits
    Start Term

Curriculum and Instruction Master's Degree: Why PSU?

PSU is also the public research university for the Portland metro area. The Curriculum & Instruction program’s social justice research prepares educators to support diverse classrooms. PSU is an inclusive, vibrant, and connected learning community. The University’s outreach encourages the program’s emphasis on equity.

What can I do with a Master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction?

Our graduates work in their schools and communities as educational leaders and often make changes in their schools and districts based on the research they have done in the program. Others continue to work in their classrooms, having improved their educational practice. 96% of our graduates go on to work in the field in which they were trained. [LINK:]
Graduates may become:

  • Teachers
  • Specialists
  • Coaches
  • TOSAs
  • Teacher leaders

Online Curriculum & Instruction Master’s Degree 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 all your 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.

In our online option, you'll 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.

Featured 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. There are face to face, online, and hybrid options each term. Electives may also be transferred in to the program (up to 15 credits) provided they meet the University’s transfer credit criteria.


Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).