Master's Degree (M.S.Ed.) Curriculum and Instruction


If you're a teacher ready to advance your career while developing a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of education, our M.S.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction will prepare you to succeed and lead in schools, classrooms and wherever else learning takes place. As you complete your degree, we'll empower you to clarify your professional purpose, and to improve the academic environments where you work. Our program's three paths – Curriculum and Cultural Practices; Academic Literacy and Learning; or Teacher Leadership – will develop you as a more knowledgeable and reflective practitioner.

The Three Paths

  • Curriculum and Cultural Practices: examine teaching and learning from a global perspective.
  • Academic Literacy, Language and Culture: focus on the social and cultural dimensions of language and literacy learning with adult learners.
  • Teacher Leadership: contribute to building leadership capacity in classrooms, schools and districts through courses that qualify you for a Teacher Leader endorsement on your professional educator license.

You can apply to the NIU Graduate School as a degree-seeking student or as a Student-at-Large, which allows you to take a course while waiting for official admission to the program. Your complete application packet will require:

  • Two letters of recommendation.
  • Your career goal statement.
  • Your college transcripts.
  • Your test scores (GRE or MAT).

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During your program of study, you will:

  • Identify best (research-based) practices in curriculum and instruction.
  • Compare/contrast various models of curriculum and instruction.
  • Incorporate best practices in the design of curriculum for diverse learners in school or community educational settings.
  • Analyze the influences of social, political, historical, environmental and ideological contexts on decision making in curriculum and instruction.
  • Support positions on issues in curriculum and instruction with scholarly literature.
  • Demonstrate effective communication skills orally and in writing.
  • Reflect on professional roles and activities.
  • Synthesize principles from coursework in a master's project.

Our mission is to prepare you to become a leader in your chosen profession through programs of study grounded in engaged learning experiences. Our unique paths prepare you to succeed and lead. Curriculum and Cultural Practices prepare you to address fundamental questions such as: “What should be taught?” “To whom?” “For what ends?” You'll examine the organization of schools and education, explore policies related to teaching and learning and evaluate curricular and assessment processes.

Academic Literacies, Language and Culture equips you to serve diverse groups of learners in community college and university settings. You'll develop critical understanding of historical contexts, diversity of learning and instructional design. Teacher Leadership enables you to contribute to educational practice, including mentoring of new teachers, outside the capacity of principal. You'll learn effective leadership, school organization, supervisory behavior and community relations.

Core Courses in Curriculum and Instruction (9 credits)

  • TLCI 500 Curriculum, Instruction and the Community
  • TLIC 510 Critical Practices in Curriculum and Instruction
  • TLCI 598 Master's Culminating Project

Educational Research (3 credits)

  • ETR 528 Educational Assessment

Educational Foundations (3 credits)

Choose one of the following:

  • EPS 501 Psychological Foundations of Education
  • EPFE 500 Social Foundations of Education
  • EPFE 510 Philosophical Foundations of Education
  • EPFE 505 Foundations of Language-Minority Education
  • EPFE 520 Historical Foundations of Education
  • EPFE 521 Historical Foundations of Education in the United States
  • EPFE 530 Comparative/International

Education Curriculum and Instruction Courses (18 credits)

Six courses approved by your advisor from your chosen focus area:

  • Curriculum and Cultural Practices
  • Teacher Leadership or
  • Academic Literacy and Learning

You will discuss these options during advising.

Contact Us

Department of Curriculum and Instruction
Nick Slicer, Graduate Advisor

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Complete this short contact form and our advisor will follow-up with specific program information. 

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