Why This Matters


    Rising enrollment across elementary, secondary, and postsecondary schools will boost growth in employment of education-related jobs through 2028. About 513,000 new jobs are expected in that period.


    Instructional coordinators use their advance knowledge of teaching pedagogies and methods to design curriculums and teaching standards. Jobs in this field are expected to grow by 6% within the next decade.


    According to the National Council on Teacher Quality, 88% of the largest U.S. school districts offer additional pay to teachers who hold an advanced degree. This is either in the form of a stipend or annual pay increases.

Our Research

For this list, we focused our research on master’s degrees in curriculum and instruction. The most common types of degrees available in this field are Master of Education (M.Ed), Master of Science (MS), and Master of Arts (MA).

All programs are offered by schools that have regional accreditation. Many programs also have specialized accreditations for educational programs through the Council for the Accreditation of Educational Programs (CAEP). These accreditations ensure that programs meet the high standards of quality for postsecondary education.

We specifically sought programs that can be completed entirely or primarily through online coursework. These programs are accessible to the greatest number of students regardless of geographic location or schedule.

Our researchers evaluated the programs based on their reputation, outcomes, cost, flexibility, and faculty. Using this information, we calculated the Intelligent Score of each program on a scale from 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

  • 64 hours to write this article
  • 177 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 431 education programs we compared

The Top 62 Online Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction Programs

Best Online Master's in Curriculum and Instruction Degree Programs
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What You Should Know About This Degree

Master’s programs in curriculum and instruction are designed to teach educators how to enhance their theoretical and practical approaches to teaching and develop curriculums that adhere to the most advanced teaching standards and practices. Generally, individuals seeking master’s in curriculum and instruction degrees are already practicing teachers.

A major consideration is whether a program leads to teaching licensure or certification. Some programs lead to professional credentials, while others are designed for teachers who already have their licensure or certification. Review the program’s eligibility requirements carefully to ensure that you select a program for which you are qualified.

Each state sets its own regulations for teaching credentials, so if you are pursuing a master’s in curriculum and instruction as a way to obtain credentials, be sure you select a program that fulfills your state’s education requirements.

Whether a program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educational Programs (CAEP) is a consideration if you are planning to pursue teaching licensure or certification. Employers and certification boards typically want candidates who graduated from an accredited program.

Depending on your career goals, there may be other master’s programs in education that are of interest to you, including a master’s of education administration, master’s of educational leadership, or master’s of higher education.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching Online Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction programs:

  • Does this program offer the specialization I want? Within a master’s in curriculum and instruction program, there are often opportunities to specialize in a particular area such as early childhood education, English as a second language, or special education. If you are interested in a specialization, be sure to select a program that allows you the opportunity to pursue in-depth study in that area.
  • Are there any in-person requirements? Even if all of the coursework from a program is available online, there may still be experiential learning components that require in-person attendance. Additionally, many education-related programs offer online classes during the traditional academic year, but have on-campus classes during the summer. Review the program’s curriculum carefully to identify any in-person requirements so that you can plan how you will accommodate them in your schedule.

This is also an ideal time to begin collecting your application materials as well as confirm the application deadlines and procedures for the programs that interest you. Financing your graduate degree is another important consideration. Options for financial aid include student loans, scholarships, assistantships, and employer tuition assistance if you are currently working.