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Specializations & Curriculum

Curriculum and Instruction

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Improving Instructional Practices and Curriculum Design

This course of study is the most flexible master’s online option at the University of San Diego (USD). It allows you to choose your specialization courses from across the School LeadershipSTEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics), Inclusive Learning: Special Education and Universal Design or the Literacy and Digital Learning offerings. With these courses, you will focus on the design, delivery, and assessment of lessons, units, and programs. The Master of Education online program teaches you to systematically examine both your own practices and leading national and international exemplars and considers how the Common Core Standards play a role in curriculum development. If you are a transfer student to USD, this specialization may make the most sense for you.

Get the comprehensive advantage that the Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction offers! View the curriculum below.


Course of Study

Earn this University of San Diego Masters Degree in Education by completing 10 courses (3-units each) for 30 units of coursework. Your Masters in Education online program consists of five foundation courses including a capstone action research project as well as five specialization courses. You may begin your study in any semester with any of the courses offered. The Capstone Seminar is the final course in the program and builds on knowledge gained in the research and specialization courses.

Ranked by Best Value Schools as one of the best Masters in Curriculum and Instruction Programs in 2022


At a Glance

20 months
30 Units
$710
January 10
December 2

PROGRAM COURSE CURRICULUM

The Master of Education with Curriculum and Instruction specialization program spans over five different semesters which includes a mandatory orientation course. Each semester is fourteen weeks and is split into two different courses. The first course is seven weeks and the second course is seven weeks. Below is a sample outline of what the span of the Master of Education with Curriculum and Instruction specialization program may look like:

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Orientation

This course introduces you to the University of San Diego and provides important information about the program. Throughout the orientation, …

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Semester 1

Course Units

Analysis of the American educational system with a particular focus on issues of diversity, inequity, conflict and social justice within a s…

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3

Exploration of digital texts, online comprehension skills, multimodal annotation, and other new literacy practices required in digital readi…

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3

Exploration of our evolving understanding of autism in the research literature, educational practice, and popular imagination. Examination a…

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3

An exploration of educational strategies and classroom approaches that leverage the multi-dimensional connections between artistic, scientif…

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3

Rigorous exploration of how school leaders use data, including standardized and school-based assessments, to drive continuous improvement th…

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3

Only Social Justice and Educational Equity [EDUC 520] is a core course, students can choose any 1 elective from the other listed courses.

Semester 2

Course Units

Explore key cognitive studies on human cognition and learning. You will critically discuss research and contemporary debates on cognitive pr…

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3

An examination of important new media literacy skills and their application in the K-12 classroom. Students will actively consider, analyze,…

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3

Examination of variability of ability and experience among students. Investigation and application of assessment tools and instructional des…

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3

Investigation of classroom practices that contribute to historical and contemporary inequities in learning outcomes in STEAM subjects for st…

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3

Contextualized within the evolving high stakes accountability context of public K-12 education, this course will consider the challenges and…

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3

Only Cognition & Learning [EDUC 521] is a core course, students can choose any 1 elective from the other listed courses.

Semester 3

Course Units

Introduction to the major educational research methods and paradigms with an emphasis on reflective, practitioner-directed inquiry. The cour…

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3

Investigation of theories about how and why we write and how we teach writing in 21st century classrooms. Exploration of how these theories …

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3

Examination of research, policy, and practice of co-teaching and collaboration models that support general education and special education s…

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3

Investigation of strategies used to build and sustain effective site-based professional learning communities. Targeted focus on how to struc…

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3

Theoretical and practical exploration of the use of technology to transform learning and teaching in the K-12 classroom. Investigation into …

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3

Only Educational Research Methodology [EDUC 522] is a core course, students can choose any 1 elective from the other listed courses.

Semester 4

Course Units

Applied exploration of qualitative research methodologies such as ethnography, grounded theory, case-study and cross-case comparisons, surve…

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3

Theoretical and practical foundation to consider what it means to teach and learn within participatory networks and affinity groups. Topics …

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3

Investigation of the historical, philosophical, legal, political and sociological constructions of disability in education. Analysis of appl…

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3

Investigation of the intersection between conceptual understanding and real-world application with a focus on the engineering design process…

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3

This course addresses the development, implementation, and assessment of rigorous and coherent systems of curriculum, instruction, and asses…

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3

Only Qualitative Methods in Educational Research [EDUC 523] is a core course, students can choose any 1 elective from the other listed courses.

Semester 5

Course Units

As a Masters student in Learning and Teaching, candidates have the option of three culminating final projects: studies employing action rese…

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3

Consideration of the ways in which young people leverage digital media for composing, accessing information, finding new audiences, and crea…

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3

Examination of points of convergence and divergence in the creative processes of artists, scientists, mathematicians, and engineers. Student…

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3

Theoretical and practical exploration of the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Investigation of brain research into recogni…

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3

This course will address strategies used by effective school leaders to build and sustain reciprocal family and community partnerships and e…

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3

Only Capstone Seminar [EDUC 550] is a core course, students can choose any 1 elective from the other listed courses.


Calendars

Students are admitted throughout the year for admission into one of three semesters (Spring, Summer, and Fall). Each semester two courses are offered, with students focusing intensively on one course at a time – a total of 7 weeks for each course. An academic calendar for the first year follows.

Success stories

This program will give you the inspiration, the spark that you need to rekindle that fire of passion.


Frequently Asked Questions

Does the online Master of Education program include a preliminary licensure or does it lead to a teaching credential?

It does not lead to a teaching credential. Our program requires that students have two years of teaching experience. As a result, most students already have a teaching credential or they work in roles that do not require a teaching credential.

Is the online Master of Education program open to students from outside the United States?

Yes! We have students and alumni from all over the world.

Is specific standardized testing like the GRE required for acceptance to the Master of Education program?

No, the GRE is not a requirement. The admissions committee takes a comprehensive approach when reviewing all applications.

Is it possible to be accepted into the program and work through the courses without being a teacher at the same time?

While you do not have to be a teacher simultaneously, you do have to have access to a classroom in order to apply what you’ve learned. Our program focuses on helping to provide skills that educators can apply immediately in their classrooms or places of work.

What accreditations does the online USD M.Ed. program possess?

The USD M.Ed. program is regionally accredited by WASC (the Western Association of Schools and Colleges). Regional accreditation is a very important consideration when deciding on a program because it is the most widely accepted in terms of transfer credit and eligibility for employer tuition assistance programs. It is typically awarded to degree-oriented, nonprofit or state-owned institutions (as opposed to for-profit schools or religious schools that offer vocational or technical training).

Does the program provide a certification for special education teachers?

If you choose the Special Education and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) specialization, you will learn a wealth of knowledge that in most cases is more in-depth than special education certification programs.

Do you need to have a science or math background to be accepted into the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) specialization?

No. At USD we are committed to helping close the STEAM gap. When reviewing applications, we look for individuals who demonstrate a commitment or passion for the field.

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