Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction

A young male teacher learning about instructional methods

Our 30-credit Master of Education (MEd) in Curriculum and Instruction is a professional degree that supports K-12 teachers in the early stages of their careers. Delivered in a 100% online format, this program provides advanced training in instructional methods that will allow you to keep pace with the changing educational landscape. We prepare you to develop high-impact learning experiences for student learners by developing activities that are engaging, equitable, and empowering, and which will build your students' skills in complex thinking, collaboration, and communication. Through our emphasis on STEAM Education and Literacy, we ensure that your teaching practices align with the latest developments in 21st-century learning standards. For teachers based in Pennsylvania, this MEd program fulfills the Act 48 continuing education requirements and provides the PA Department of Education STEM Endorsement, while also providing a master's degree to support your career advancement. Students seeking initial teacher certification should complete our school's Master of Arts in Teaching or Instructional I Certificate programs. 

Quick Facts

  • Program Duration: 2 academic years (4 semesters)
  • Time Commitment: Full-time or Part-time 
  • Term of Enrollment: Rolling
  • Course Requirements: 30 credits 
  • Format: 100% Online
  • Application Deadline: Rolling Admissions 
  • Admissions Requirements: GRE exam not required

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Program Details

Our MEd in Curriculum and Instruction degree develops practicing teachers’ ability to create and facilitate cross-disciplinary (transdisciplinary) learning experiences that emphasize critical thinking, problem-based learning within real-world contexts, collaboration, creativity, and personal expression. These advanced teaching skills are represented in learning standards in most states, including Pennsylvania, and are considered highly desirable for most school districts. In addition, this program focuses on equity-oriented teaching practices that will increase equity within K-12 schools across a number of contexts.

The program addresses the gap in professional learning and training for teachers to teach STEAM and Literacy Education skills. There is much interest among practitioners and researchers in the STEAM approach because of early findings suggesting increased participation of underrepresented groups in STEM fields. The program satisfies the requirements for the Pennsylvania Department of Education's STEM Endorsement. Related, the coursework in literacy addresses the need for all K-12 teachers to have strong foundational and pedagogical understanding of the role of literacy across all educational contexts. The International Literacy Association (ILA) defines literacy as, “the ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, compute, and communicate using visual, audible, and digital materials across disciplines and in any context.”

In addition, coursework will focus on supporting school safety and students’ mental health (e.g., trauma-informed care, dealing with traumatic events in schools and communities, avoiding burnout), the skills and habits of reflective practitioners (e.g., peer collaboration to support continuous improvement in instruction), positive classroom support (e.g., creating clear and positive classroom norms and routines), and connecting schools and communities (e.g., connecting in positive ways with students’ caregivers, and communities in which students live).

Curriculum Overview - 30 credits

General Courses (9 credits)
EDUC 2100: Education and Society
IL 2405: Introduction to Action Research
IL 2290: Research Seminar for M.Ed. Students

STEAM-Oriented Courses (12 credits)
IL 2008: STEAM: Instructional Design
IL 2007: STEAM: Transdisciplinary Learning Approaches
IL 2009: STEAM: Assessment
IL 2010: STEAM: Implementation

Literacy-Focused Courses (9 credits)
IL 2003 - Language & Language Systems
IL 2243: Theory and Practice in Teaching Writing
IL 2219: Disciplinary Literacy

Program Format

Our MEd in Curriculum and Instruction is offered 100% online to support the learning needs of working professionals. Additionally, we offer voluntary professional development experiences for students who wish to participate in in-person activities. Options include:

  • Annual summer workshop offered by the Western PA National Writing Project, which is led by Dr. Laura Roop, a faculty member in our Department of Teaching, Learning, and Leading
  • Center for Urban Education Summer Educator Forum hosted by our school's Center for Urban Education
  • Remake Learning Network events


After completion of this degree program, current teacher license holders in Pennsylvania will receive the PA Department of Education's STEM Endorsement. 


Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree. 

Career Pathways

The MEd for Curriculum and Instruction is tied to opportunities for career advancement for new and practicing teachers. The State of Pennsylvania requires early-career teachers to complete a minimum number of credit hours of graduate-level work in order to gain their Level 2 teacher certification. In addition, many school districts offer pay incentives for teachers with a master's degree.

The program also satisfies the requirements of the PA Department of Education's STEM Endorsement. The credential opportunities additional opportunities for career advancement.