2020 Best Graduate Schools Badge

25 Best Master's in Curriculum & Instruction 2020

By the GradReports team | Updated 4/1/2020

The 25 schools on this list offer the top Master's Degrees in Curriculum & Instruction, based on median salary one year out of college. Concordia University-Irvine is ranked #1 with a salary of $82,700. Graduates of Western Governors University had the lowest median debt on the list at $11,543, while graduates of Olivet Nazarene University had the second lowest debt, with a median of $13,378. The range of median salaries for the top 25 schools is $50,200-$82,700.

Tuition, median salaries, and median debt were reported by the U.S. Department of Education in November 2019. View our methodology for more details about these rankings or read more about the top-ranked schools.

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Salary and debt data reported by the U.S. Department of Education
Salary and debt data reported by the U.S. Department of Education
Rank School Location Annual Tuition Median Debt Median Salary
#1 #1 Irvine (CA) Irvine (CA) $8,528 $20,500 $82,700
#2 #2 New York (NY) New York (NY) $35,430 $50,321 $70,500
#3 #3 Westminster (MD) Westminster (MD) $9,769 Not Reported $59,500
#4 #4 Storm Lake (IA) Storm Lake (IA) $9,936 $20,500 $57,700
#5 #5 Fitchburg (MA) Fitchburg (MA) $6,246 Not Reported $56,400
#6 #6 River Forest (IL) River Forest (IL) $9,705 $15,045 $54,800
#7 #7 Seattle (WA) Seattle (WA) $11,812 $41,000 $54,600
#8 #8 Joliet (IL) Joliet (IL) $14,325 $13,497 $54,400
#9 #9 Bourbonnais (IL) (and 1 other) Bourbonnais (IL) (and 1 other) $12,290 $13,378 $53,900
#10 #10 Fairfax (VA) Fairfax (VA) $38,986 $30,750 $53,400
#11 #11 Portland (OR) Portland (OR) $22,296 $26,312 $53,200
#12 #12 Stockton (CA) Stockton (CA) $51,872 $20,500 $53,100
#13 #13 Oshkosh (WI) Oshkosh (WI) $19,171 $15,853 $53,000
#14 #14 Saint Paul (MN) Saint Paul (MN) $18,210 $18,650 $52,700
#15 #15 Chicago (IL) Chicago (IL) $12,171 $20,500 $52,700
#16 #16 Las Vegas (NV) Las Vegas (NV) $23,302 $20,681 $52,700
#17 #17 College Park (MD) College Park (MD) $36,598 $33,097 $52,100
#18 #18 Houston (TX) Houston (TX) $18,871 $37,104 $52,100
#19 #19 Denver (CO) Denver (CO) $24,820 $30,942 $51,300
#20 #20 Augusta (GA) Augusta (GA) $20,002 $32,000 $51,000
#21 #21 Fort Lauderdale (FL) Fort Lauderdale (FL) $23,911 $52,250 $51,000
#22 #22 Manchester (NH) Manchester (NH) $11,286 $31,321 $50,600
#23 #23 Salt Lake City (UT) Salt Lake City (UT) $8,444 $11,543 $50,400
#24 #24 Commerce (TX) Commerce (TX) $14,682 $19,445 $50,200
#25 #25 Arlington (TX) Arlington (TX) $24,005 $20,500 $50,100

2020 Best Colleges Highlights

Median Salary $82,700
Median Debt $20,500
Annual Tuition $8,528

The Concordia University Irvine Master of Arts in Education (MAEd) with an emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction focuses on the improvement of school programs through best practices originating in current research, innovative technology integration, and cutting-edge classroom strategies. Offered either fully online or in a blended format on Concordia’s campus, the program is 30 credits, and offers a 12 month or 24 month plan. The objective of the program is for students to advance in pedagogical practice, curriculum development, and leadership skills.

Core courses include Curriculum Design and Assessment; Educational Research: Methods and Analysis; Educational Discourses: Change and Reform; and Instructional Leadership. Curriculum & Instruction courses include School, Community, and Diverse Family Structures; Educational Technology; Brain-based Teaching and Learning; and more. Students will also present a Capstone Project addressing an educational problem. Students who complete this degree can qualify for earning a second MAEd in Educational Technology with the addition of 5 other courses.

Concordia University Irvine is a private Lutheran university. Created in 1962, its main campus is located in Irvine, California.

Visit Concordia University-Irvine's website.

Median Salary $70,500
Median Debt $50,321
Annual Tuition $35,430

The Master of Arts in Curriculum & Teaching at Teachers College, Columbia University is designed for current educators wishing to deepen their knowledge, skill, and vision as teachers, and as designers of curriculum. The program is 32 credits and can be completed full-time in three semesters, but it does also have part-time options. The core, common coursework is approximately half of required credits, beyond which students need to complete field experience and, with advisor support, design their own course of study reflecting their professional interests.

Common core courses include Principles of Teaching and Learning; Curriculum Theory and History; and Designing Curriculum and Instruction. Students select their own elective coursework, which can focus on any of the following subjects: early childhood, literacy, diversity, equity, urban education, inclusive education, gifted and talented education, or further study in curriculum theory and design. All students complete an Integrative Project focused on an issue, problem, or question of their choice.

50 practicum hours are required and consist of observation and reflection on instructional practices, interactions between and among students and teachers, curricular enactments, and design activities. Field placements are traditionally completed over ten weeks and occur in New York City schools or informal educational spaces.

Teachers College started in New York City in 1880 when philanthropist Grace Dodge pioneered a new kind of pedagogy that reflected an understanding of learners’ backgrounds and of how to present material in relevant, meaningful ways. Since its founding, the school has integrated a broad-based scientific approach to human development premised on the interrelationship among three broad areas: education, psychology, and health. The college became affiliated with Columbia University in 1898.

Visit Teachers College at Columbia University's website.

Westminster (MD)
Median Salary $59,500
Median Debt Not Reported
Annual Tuition $9,769

McDaniel College offers a Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction. The program is 34.5 credits and is available in a hybrid format. The program empowers educators to increase their knowledge and skills in developing, implementing, and evaluating curriculum. Program highlights include flexible scheduling, small class sizes, strong advising support, and key partnerships with local school systems.

Throughout the program, students will complete 21 credits of core curriculum, 12 credits of elective courses, and 1.5 credits of a Capstone Experience, which includes either a portfolio, synthesis, or action research experience.

The core curriculum includes courses like Curriculum Analysis and Planning; Introduction to Research Methodology; Curriculum Trends and Issues; Monitoring and Aligning Curriculum; Instruction and Assessment; among others. Specialization coursework includes the following categories: Generalist, Gifted and Talented Education Specialist, Leadership, Learning Technologies, and Equity and Excellence in Education.

McDaniel College is a private liberal arts college founded in 1867. Its campus is located an hour outside of Baltimore in Westminster, Maryland.

Visit McDaniel College's website.

Storm Lake (IA)
Median Salary $57,700
Median Debt $20,500
Annual Tuition $9,936

Buena Vista University’s School of Education offers a Master of Education - Teacher Leadership, Curriculum, and Instruction degree. The program is entirely online and provides four tracks aimed at working teachers looking to advance their careers. The four track options include Effective teaching and instructional leadership; Talented and Gifted Education; Teaching English as a Second Language; and Teacher Technology Integration.

The program is designed to be completed in 2 years while continuing to teach. The core curriculum includes content like Learning, Development & Motivation; Leadership in a Changing Society and Culture; and Assessment & Evaluation of Classroom Learning. The coursework offered for the four specialized tracks includes Differentiating Instruction for Diverse Learners; Collaborating with Home, School, and Community Partners; and Cognition and Instruction: Research Based Instructional Strategies, among others.

Buena Vista University was founded by the Presbyterian Church in 1891 and is located in Storm Lake, Iowa.

Visit Buena Vista University's website.

Fitchburg (MA)
Median Salary $56,400
Median Debt Not Reported
Annual Tuition $6,246

Fitchburg State University offers a Master of Education in Curriculum and Teaching as a non-licensure degree designed for individuals looking to advance in their reflection, knowledge, skill, and professionalism in education. The program is 36 credits total and is offered both online and on-campus, with class offerings in the evenings and during the summer. The program can be completed in 2 years full-time and must be completed in no more than 6 years.

The core curriculum includes Dynamic Perspectives in Education; Educational Research; and Capstone: Implementation of Best Practices. For the Capstone, students review literature on best practices and implement a project that assesses the impact of an intervention on student learning. In addition to the core curriculum, students choose curriculum from a focus area that suits their interests, including the following areas: technology, assessment, special education, diversity, literacy, curriculum and instruction, secondary and elementary education, among others.

Founded in 1894, Fitchburg State University is a public university located in Fitchburg, Massachusetts.

Visit Fitchburg State University's' website.