Master's in Curriculum and Instruction

Master of Arts in Curriculum & InstructionAdvanced Program for Continuing Professional Education

Offered By: College of Education

Earn Your Online Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction at GCU

The online Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction non-licensure degree program from Grand Canyon University (GCU) can help education professionals position themselves for possible career advancement. Through the degree coursework, research and field experience, graduates of the Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction program can become instructional leaders at the school, district and state levels. The practical approach to curriculum development, teaching and assessment teaches degree graduates the most contemporary and effective practices for the classroom.

There are many facets to curriculum development that are focused on in the online master’s in curriculum and instruction program at GCU. Graduates can get experience with research-based differentiation strategies. They are also taught the most up-to-date assessment and content-area practices. The coursework in GCU’s master’s degree in curriculum and instruction can prepare you to pursue curriculum-related leadership positions in most educational environments.

Skills Taught In the Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction Program at GCU

Students enrolled in GCU’s master’s in curriculum and instruction online and evening degree program will study how to plan, write and deliver instruction that is developmentally appropriate, engaging and culturally responsive. Graduates also evaluate the efficacy of instructional strategies using data and student achievement information.

Graduates of the on-campus and online master’s in curriculum and instruction program complete coursework on a variety of important subject areas, including:

  • Curriculum planning
  • Assessment development
  • Engagement strategies for diverse learners
  • Culturally responsive pedagogy
  • Using assessment data to inform instruction
  • Delivering effective instruction, including the use and development of specialized materials
  • Coaching other teachers and community members
  • Professional development presentation strategies
Get More Information

Loading Form

Total Credits: 32
Online: 6 weeks
[More Info]
Up to 12 credits or 1/3 of the total program requirements in transfer (whichever is less)
Online: $605 per credit
[Tuition, Fees and Financial Aid]

Cost of Attendance


The work done by Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction graduates may take place in public or private elementary, middle or high schools. Other potential workplaces include:

  • Colleges and universities
  • Education welfare organizations
  • Curriculum development businesses
  • Education/Edtech publishers

Teachers looking to advance their skills and focus more on the foundations of what they teach may benefit from this master’s in curriculum and instruction online and in-person degree.

Master's in Curriculum and Instruction FAQs

If you find yourself drawn to inspiring others through a career in curriculum instruction, we have compiled a few frequently asked questions to help you pursue a career you may find challenging yet rewarding in the education field.

The master’s in curriculum and instruction online and in-person degree requires a total of 32 credits for completion. Most of the classes are six weeks in length. Fill out the form on this page to speak to a university counselor to better understand how long it takes to earn your master’s in curriculum and instruction degree.

Earning a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction degree can help you position yourself for possible career advancement in your teaching career. You can gain valuable insights into new approaches that have the potential to inspire the students you teach. Furthermore, GCU’s flexible education programs allow you to take classes online on your schedule.

If you have a passion for curriculum design, performing student assessments, applying pedagogical best practices and improving instructional strategies and policy, an online masters in curriculum and instruction degree program may be right for you. Successful completion of the program requirements can position you to meet new challenges in education and be qualified to take on roles outside the classroom, potentially adding value to your professional career, both in and out of the classroom.

With a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction degree you may decide to continue teaching or step into a curriculum instruction position that is responsible for the following:

  • Performing specialized instruction
  • Leading training and development programs for educators
  • Designing and coordinating curriculum and instruction
  • Developing and leading instructional coaching seminars and trainings

Education students who pursue an education degree intended to lead to licensure have the opportunity to earn a teaching certificate. This is typically accomplished by completing an applicable degree program, practical field experiences such as student teaching and passing state exam(s) for teacher licensure.1 The non-licensure version of the master's in curriculum and instruction degree program is shorter in duration as it does not include the 15-week student teaching component. This is ideal for those who already have their teaching license but are looking to position themselves to possibly advance their education career.

If seeking licensure or certification, applicants to the program are responsible for contacting their state department of education for licensure requirements and program approval. In addition, fingerprint and background clearance is required.

1 Educator licensure is determined by state departments of education and not by GCU.

85+ Alumni

Number of GCU education alumni recognized in the field of education as of May 2023

Course List

32 credits
Degree Requirements:
32 credits

Core Courses

Course Description

This course is designed to prepare students for the graduate learning experience at Grand Canyon University. Students have opportunities to develop and strengthen the skills necessary to succeed as graduate students in the College of Education. Emphasis is placed on utilizing the tools for graduate success.

Course Description

This course focuses on brain research (from neuroscience to the behavioral and cognitive sciences) that relates to teaching and learning and suggests ways that brain research can be translated into instructional practices within organizational settings. Candidates will examine the inner workings of the brain and the effect on learning, memory, and transfer. Specifically, the course explores the body of knowledge that represents the application of brain research to instructional practice, and how knowledge about the human brain can affect the curricular, instructional, and assessment decisions that the candidates make every day. Practicum/field experience hours: None. Fingerprint clearance not required.

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to applied research in education across the major quantitative, qualitative, and action research traditions. Coursework focuses on understanding the research process and its integrated components to foster knowledge in navigating research reports and projects. Research designs and data analysis options are also explored.

Course Description

Candidates will be introduced to current theories of learning and approaches to curriculum design. The emphasis will be on examining and identifying the concepts, principles, and models of curriculum design. Candidates will evaluate curriculum based on learning theories and approaches to curriculum.

Course Description

Candidates will examine frameworks, materials, and strategies for translating the principles of culturally responsive pedagogy into effective educational practice. The emphasis will be on developing curriculum considering culturally responsive pedagogy, family and community engagement, and global education. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Seek out instructional specialists at the school or district level that have insight into what professional development is available and how the topics are chosen. K-12. Fingerprint clearance required.

Course Description

Candidates will develop skills in aligning objectives, instruction, and assessments. Special attention is given to differentiating curriculum for diverse students and using assessment data to guide instruction. Candidates will collaborate with peers and colleagues to achieve instructional goals through action planning. Review of current trends in instruction and assessment are presented to guide instructional decisions with a special focus on the needs of diverse students. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required.

Course Description

Candidates will use data to differentiate curriculum, instruction, and assessments to foster learning for all students. Focus will be on principles of learning, using technology to differentiate instruction, and developing an engaging classroom environment. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required.

Course Description

Candidates develop year-long units of study based on identified goals and professional standards. Curriculum mapping analysis skills will be developed to align program objectives systematically to achieve learning goals. Emphasis is placed on backwards design and inquiry-based learning. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required.

Course Description

Candidates will apply coaching techniques in academic and professional settings. Emphasis is placed on improving professional practices, workplace culture, and effective communication. Candidates will focus on professional coaching and leadership skills. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required.

Course Description

Candidates survey effective professional development strategies and practices. Special focus is placed upon researching theories and models, including andragogy, that enhance knowledge and skill development for adult learners. Candidates develop professional learning activities aligned with the identified needs that ensure participant growth and advancement in their profession. Practicum/field experience hours: None. Fingerprint clearance not required.

Course Description

Candidates deliver, evaluate, and revise a professional development presentation, and incorporate peer interaction with feedback to assure timeliness and relevance. Candidates create a year-long professional development plan based on instructional needs identified by an organization. Practicum/field experience hours: 30. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: EDU-585 OR EDU-586.


GCU Online Student

Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.