35 Best Affordable Online Master’s Degrees in Curriculum & Instruction in 2021

Finding a Masters’ program with flexibility and affordability is important for the working teachers’ schedules and salaries. The 35 Best Affordable Online Masters in Curriculum and Instruction offer convenience and cost-effective teaching degrees.

In a rapidly changing society and culture, working teachers may choose to pursue graduate study to modernize and advance their teaching practice. With flexible online formats and affordable tuition, the following 35 Most Affordable Online Masters’ in Curriculum and Instruction was designed for working teachers in mind. Some programs listed take a generalist approach to curriculum development and instructional strategy, while others specialize in a specific subject area or student demographic. Many programs focus on research and theory in current trends and best practices, and others incorporate practical application in the classroom. Most programs are designed for individuals who are already employed as educators or educational administrators, and some offer additional specialized credentials

Education professionals with masters’ degrees in Curriculum and Instruction may pursue leadership or advanced administrative positions in schools and school systems. Others may move into specialized roles in areas such as English as a Second Language, gifted student education, or special education. A mastery of Curriculum and Instruction is generally applicable to roles relating to instructional coordination. Instructional coordinators develop and oversee standards in curriculum and education. Their duties may include planning curricula and coordinating curriculum and implementation, developing educational materials, and assessing their effectiveness in the classroom. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2017 median annual pay for instructional coordinators was $63,750 and field employment is expected to grow by 11 percent over the next six years.

Most Affordable Online Master’s Degrees in Curriculum and Instruction

  1. The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
    Location

    Edinburg, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley is home to the most affordable online master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction. The university's Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction has a specialization in Mathematics Education and an emphasis on teaching diverse communities. The degree is ideal for individuals who wish to teach mathematics to English language learners. The curriculum includes courses in Introduction to Historical and Sociocultural Foundations of Education, Teaching and Learning Geometric Concepts, and Teaching Mathematics for Understanding. The 30-credit-hour curriculum culminates in a supervised math and science education project and accompanying the report. The entire degree program can be completed online in just 10 months.

    Founded in 2013, UTRGV is the youngest constituent institution of the University of Texas System. It is also one of the biggest schools in the nation to have a primarily Hispanic student body, at approximately 89 percent. In 2018, the university was ranked the fourth-best university in Texas by BestColleges.com. Students are nicknamed Vaqueros, Spanish for cowboys.

  2. Texas A&M International University
    Location

    Laredo, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Texas A&M International University awards a 36-credit hour program leading to a Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction. Individuals can choose to complete the program entirely online or face-to-face and can follow a thesis or non-thesis route. Three specializations are available in an online format: Bilingual Education, Educational Administration, and Reading. Required courses include Advanced Instructional Methods, Advanced Theories of Leading, and Collegiate Coaching and Mentoring.

    TAMIU was established in 1969 as a branch of Texas A&M University at Kingsville. A public state university, TAMIU is located in Laredo, the fastest-growing demographic area in Texas. Campus research centers include the Binational Center, the Center for Earth and Environmental Studies, and the Texas Center for Border Economics and Enterprise Development. U.S. News & World Reportranks TAMIU at No. 59 for the West, No. 50 for best value, and No. 16 among public schools.

  3. The University of Texas at El Paso
    Location

    El Paso, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Texas at El Paso offers a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Bilingual Education. The university designed its 36-credit-hour program with maximum flexibility and convenience for working teachers. Required coursework covers areas including Current Topics in Early Childhood Education; Diversity in Educational Settings; Literacy Development in Spanish; and Place, Practice and Identity. The degree can be finished entirely online and is ideal for graduates pursuing jobs as a bilingual education teacher, an ESL teacher, or a two-way immersion teacher.

    Though UTEP is now a public university, a practice mineshaft remains on its campus as a reminder of its roots. The campus sits on hillsides in overlooking the Rio Grande river with views across the Mexican border to Ciudad Juárez. The university is a constituent of the University of Texas System. It is categorized in the top tier of research universities by the Carnegie Foundation. It is the second-largest university in the nation to have a primarily Mexican-American student body, at about 80 percent. U.S. News & World Reportranks the University at No. 148 for Best Online Graduate Education Programs.

  4. California State University - Bakersfield
    Location

    Bakersfield, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    California State University - Bakersfield provides a Master of Arts in Education in Curriculum and Instruction. The degree program has a special emphasis on equity and technology in education. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and valid teaching credential to be admitted. The 30-credit-hour curriculum includes core courses in Educational Leadership, Research Methods for Educational Leaders, and Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice. Elective offerings include Assessment, Intervention, and Literacy Instruction and Assessment for Writing Strategies. Individuals can choose to culminate the program with a final master's thesis, project, or exam. Students may also choose to earn a Reading and Literacy Added Authorization.

    CSU Bakersfield was founded as a college in 1965. It gained university status in 1982 when the California State College system became the California State University system. The public university researches plant physiology, robotics, social cognition, wireless communications, and more. For Fall 2017, 58 percent of enrolled students were Hispanic/Latino. U.S. News & World Reportranks the University at No. 94 for Regional Universities West and No. 36 for Top Public Schools.

  5. Southeastern Oklahoma State University
    Location

    Durant, OK

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Southeastern Oklahoma State University awards a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction. The 30-credit-hour program curriculum takes a generalist approach to K-12 curriculum development and instruction. Core courses include Learning in Culturally Responsive Learning Environments, Public School Law, and Teaching Strategies. Specialty course offerings include Collaboration Between Families, Communities, and Schools; Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports; and Professionalism, Reflection, and Ethical Practice.

    Although the university's roots in teacher training trace back to its founding in 1909 as the Southeastern State Normal School, today SOSU is a public university. In addition to its main campus in Oklahoma, SOSU offers programs in several Oklahoma towns and Van Alstyne, TX. Academically, the university is known particularly for its programs in aviation, business, elementary education, and occupational safety and health. It also provides a unique master's degree in Native American Leadership and is annually ranked among the top 10 national producers of Native American graduates.

  6. California State University - Fullerton
    Location

    Fullerton, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    California State University - Fullerton offers a Master of Science in Education with a concentration in Elementary Curriculum and Instruction. The program is designed for working teachers. Individuals can choose from among six areas of emphasis: early childhood education, elementary classroom teaching, math/science education, meeting the needs of diverse learners, professional inquiry, staff development in public and private schools, and technology in education. Core courses include Curriculum Theory and Development; Graduate Studies: Learning Theory for Classroom Use; and Survey of Educational Research. Concentrated course options include Distance Education Issues and Trends in Schools, Technology and Problem-Solving in Schools, and Web Design for Instruction in Schools.

    CSU Fullerton began as Orange County State College in 1957. Now a public university, it has the largest student enrollment of any institution in the 23-campus California State University system. The initial campus construction occurred in the late 1960s in a striking, futuristic style, and its Pollak Library houses the Philip K. Dick science fiction collection. In addition, CSU Fullerton is a federally designated Hispanic-serving institution and is also eligible for designation as an Asian American/Native American/Pacific Islander-serving institution. U.S. News & World Reportranks CSUF 126th in Top Public Schools. The school mascot is an elephant named Tuffy the Titan.

  7. Louisiana State University Shreveport
    Location

    Shreveport, LA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Louisiana State University Shreveport offers a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction. The 30-credit-hour program takes a generalist approach to teaching and incorporates practical application in the classroom. Foundation courses include Creating Multicultural Connections through Literature, Creating a Professional Learning Community, and Educational Technology Applied to the Classroom. General studies include Content Area Reading, Curriculum and the Multicultural Classroom, and Methods for Teaching English as a Second Language. Each course spans seven weeks and can be completed entirely online.

    The M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction is one of four 100 percent online master's degrees offered by the university LSU Shreveport began in 1967 as a two-year commuter college and as a branch of Louisiana State University. Now a four-year public university, LSUS is a constituent of the Louisiana State University System. The university is noted for having one of the highest percentages of faculty with terminal degrees, at 83 percent. It also has the lowest student-to-teacher ratio of any public university in the state. Located in Shreveport, LA, the campus has several educational and cultural centers, such as The Museum of Life Sciences and the Pioneer Heritage Center. The university's library system archives numerous documents regarding the history and culture of the Northwest Louisiana region.

  8. Florida Atlantic University
    Location

    Boca Raton, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Florida Atlantic University offers a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with a Multicultural Education specialization. The 36-credit program incorporates history, philosophy, and a sociopolitical perspective on teaching diverse populations. Core courses for the major include Action Research in Schools and Communities, Design Components or Curriculum, and U.S. Curricular Trends and Issues. Multicultural Education studies include Black Perspectives in Education, Foundations of Global Education, and an additional Multicultural Education Seminar. The program can be completed entirely online in two years.

    Established in 1961, FAU is a constituent institution of the State University System. It is classified as a research university with high research activity by the Carnegie Foundation. U.S. News & World Reportranks FAU at No. 77 for Best Online Graduate Education Programs.

  9. Montana State University Billings
    Location

    Billings, MT

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Montana State University Billings awards a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction program that leads to teacher licensure. Prospective students do not need to be licensed teachers to begin the program, but they should hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited university. Most class sessions are offered in the evenings, and many are provided online. Core courses include Advanced Human Development and Learning, Critical Issues in Education, and Education for Exceptional Learners. Students can complete the degree program in five semesters.

    MSU Billings was founded in 1927 as Eastern Montana Normal School and is now the third-largest university in the state. The school operates a two-year extension college called City College and an Extended Campus, which provides community activities, facilities, and events. Over 240 courses are offered through the university's online portal, MSUB Online. The school mascot is Buzz the Yellowjacket.

  10. University of Louisiana at Monroe
    Location

    Monroe, LA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Louisiana at Monroe offers an entirely online program leading to a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction. Individuals can choose from concentration areas such as Early Childhood Education, ESL, Gifted Education, and Reading. Each concentration has separate entry requirements, but most require applicants to hold a teaching certificate. The 36-credit-hour curriculum provides courses such as Assessment and Accountability, Teacher Leader I: Educational Research, and Technology Integration and Portfolio Development. Some concentration areas also require practicum and internship experiences.

    ULM opened in 1931 as the Ouachita Parish Junior College. Today, it is a public university, and a constituent of the University of Louisiana System. Until 2017, the university's Natural History Museum was home to six million fish specimen and 500,000 plant specimen. Students are nicknamed Warhawks, and the school mascot is Ace the Warhawk. The ULM water ski team is the most successful collegiate team in the history of the sport. U.S. News & World Reportranks UL-Monroe at No. 205 for Best Online Graduate Education Programs.


  • Our Methodology, Explained


    Grad School Hub compiles rankings based on public data released from educational, commercial, and government databases. Sources such as the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics play a significant role in how we source our educational data. After collecting insight for each institution, we organize information into five weighted categories.

    Metric Data Used Percentage
    Academic Quality Full-time faculty percentage, student-to-faculty ratio, student retention and graduation rates 30%
    Affordability Tuition rates, median student debt, and financial aid 10%
    Reputation Admission and enrollment rates 30%
    Program Offerings Number of program options 20%
    Online Enrollment Score Portion of learners taking at least one online course 10%

    A more comprehensive evaluation of how each category is determined and scored is accessible on our Ranking Methodology page.


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