Graphic design of the word ‘curriculum’ surrounded by icons and a hand holding a pencil.

Benefits of a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction

There are a tremendous number of benefits to earning any master’s degree. For an educator, a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction provides several advantages, both in the classroom and beyond.

It is important to understand what a master’s in curriculum and instruction is and how it compares to other master of education, or a doctor of education. It is valuable to acquire knowledge about what is learned throughout earning this master’s degree and be aware of the benefits (both personal and professional) that are gained for completing a curriculum and instruction masters.

What is a Master’s Degree in Curriculum & Instruction?

A master’s degree in curriculum and instruction is well-suited for all those working in education. The focus of a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction is to acquire knowledge on emerging, best practices to improve school programs, and to implement innovative classroom strategies.

Ever evolving technology tools and technological supports for student learning and assessment are a part of what is gained in this graduate program. In addition, Concordia University Irvine offers its graduate students who complete their M.A.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction the option to earn a second M.A.Ed. in Learning, Design, and Technology for an additional five courses.

What You’ll Learn in a Master’s in Curriculum & Instruction Program

The coursework to earn a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction is broad and supports the graduate student in preparing to compile their capstone project. Coursework includes learning about effective leadership styles, the design and assessment of curriculum, and innovative technology as we bring our classrooms into the 21st century.

In addition, students investigate the diversity of families, schools, and communities, and how current societal changes and reforms affect society, neighborhoods, and schools where they currently work. Brain-based research focuses on assisting educators in how they engage with students in teaching and learning.

Coping skills regarding the stress and violence, which are now a part of what educators must be prepared to deal with, are also examined. The development and growth of ethics and character within the school community is another nexus that is touched upon. All the coursework prepares graduate students to select, narrow, and compose their capstone project.

The capstone project for a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction is a thesis-style document on current and innovative research of an educational focus the graduate student selects. The capstone’s focus is typically linked to a current issue at a teacher’s school site or a current passion in education that could benefit the school community that graduate student works in.

Unlike a doctorate, which takes years to earn and has a capstone project based on new knowledge tied a hypothesis and requires defending a dissertation, the capstone for a masters in curriculum and instruction begins at the start of the course work and is completed by the end of the course work, usually 12 to 24 months. This grad degree capstone project is based on existing current and peer-reviewed research. The Concordia University Irvine instructors and the progression of the coursework support the graduate student in completing their capstone project on time.

Advantages of a Master’s Degree in Curriculum & Instruction

The professional and personal advantages of earning a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction are numerous. This degree provides for a multitude of professional career advancements, progress on moving columns on a district salary schedule, knowledge to be a curricular leader within a school community, and the satisfaction of completing a high-level educational goal for personal reasons. All of these are outstanding reasons to pursue this degree.

Career Advancement

The opportunity to advance one’s career in education are numerous and much more likely with a master’s degree. Many district-level positions ask the educator to have a wide and diverse knowledge of curriculum and classroom practices, which a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction provides.

This offers the educator a leg up on the application process for these types of positions in education. Due to the diverse knowledge gained in holding a curriculum and instruction degree, it allows one to be an instructor at the university level in education courses and to work as a student teacher supervisor.

Increased Salary/Retirement

Educators need to be sure that they are being mindful of how they are setting themselves up for retirement. A master’s degree allows an educator to move laterally on the columns of a district pay schedule, ensuring them of a higher monthly check when they do decide to retire. After all the demanding work and personal sacrifices an educator makes throughout a career, one deserves to be secure in their retirement.

Knowledge to be a Curricular Leader

Taking on various leadership roles within the educational community one works in is important to personal growth as an educator. The wide berth of knowledge gained in earning an master’s degree in curriculum and instruction will aid an educator in advocating for innovative and best practices related to curriculum and classroom strategies. This will support students in their learning academically and socially.


The online format of Concordia University Irvine’s master’s degree allows educators within a cohort to network with other educators across California. Networking provides a format for sharing ideas and experiences that can support and provide for professional growth and opportunities that are different from their daily collaboration with current colleagues.

Concordia University Irvine’s M.A.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction

Most educators tend to be life-long learners and strive to remain innovative in their careers. Earning a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction supports this desire. Concordia University Irvine makes this personal and profession goal doable. The online format allows working educators to complete coursework on their own time schedule, with most dedicating evening hours to complete assignments and projects.

Graduate students can choose to complete this M.A.Ed. in 24 months or choose the accelerated program and earn the M.A.Ed. in 12 months. Concordia University Irvine has set up the coursework to build upon itself and to allow students to learn and master the APA writing style required for the capstone project.

The instructors at Concordia University Irvine are supportive in helping students to grow and be ready to complete their capstone projects successfully. If you have been contemplating earning an M.A.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, you are encouraged to make this goal a reality. You will find the journey worth the time you commit to it.