M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction

Mission Statement

The Master of Education (M.Ed.) Degree program is designed to provide advanced professional studies in graduate course work for persons who currently hold teaching credentials (such as those found in formal PK-12 settings) or for those with experience as educators in environments where such credentials are not required (i.e. instruction in the community college, informal educational environments such as zoos, nature centers and museums and/or private educational organizations).

Rationale for the M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction

The M.Ed. enables those who complete it to:

  • Engage in a range of professional development opportunities providing both a general core along with a focused experience in a variety of areas
  • Gain enhanced ability and practice skills and expand content knowledge both as a teacher and educational leader
  • Acquire a broad and deep knowledge of and insights into curriculum models, education programs, educational standards, human growth and development and learning theories
  • Earn additional licensure or endorsement (where appropriate) in fields such as Gifted and Talented Education, Middle Level and/or TESOL
  • Engage the teaching profession at a deeper level than possible within the initial credential program by exploring its history, nature and professional network
  • Learn about, critique and demonstrate the ability to integrate research and practice
  • Demonstrate leadership in the application of research and inquiry skills to analyze and evaluate trends, problems and practices
  • Expand knowledge of the diversity of learners and plan instructional experience responsive to the intellectual, psychological, social and physical needs of individual learners
  • Develop advanced skills that integrate the use of modern technologies in instruction
  • Consider the nature of advanced graduate work since the M.Ed. degree interfaces with and prepares students for the Ed.S., Ed.D. or Ph.D. degrees

Program of Study

Students pursuing an M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction must complete a minimum of 33 credit hours. See the Program of Study PDF.

Entrance Requirements

Students must apply for and gain entrance to the UA Graduate School before being considered for admission to the M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction. In addition to the UA Graduate School admission requirements, students must provide two letters of recommendation and a personal statement discussing reasons for entry into the program accompanied by a discussion of the interest area to be pursued. Students are expected to have at least two years of experience working/volunteering in some education setting before beginning the M.Ed. program but are not required to possess a teaching certificate/license for acceptance. Each student is assigned an advisor on entry into the program related to their area of interest. The advisor and student will together prepare a Program of Studies before completion of the first 12 hours of coursework.

Transfer Credits

The University of Arkansas Graduate School and the Department of Curriculum and Instruction will accept limited transfers of graduate courses from other accredited institutions, with the following limitations. 1) There is no guarantee that any course taken elsewhere will transfer. 2) No more than 6 credits will be considered for transfer. 3) Courses considered for transfer must have been completed within the previous 6 years from the time of admission to the program).


The M.Ed. must total at least 33 graduate credits. Some students may have to select one or more relevant elective classes to reach this level while other students may have more than 33 credits particularly if they pursue an endorsement concurrently. Once the core and interest area classes have been selected, students may, in consultation with their advisor, select classes from other interest areas or from outside the department to develop a supporting cognate area and to earn the proper number of credit hours of graduate study.

Program Assessment

The program faculty will carefully monitor the opinions and GPAs of exiting students and will track alumni to ensure that the program maintains relevance. The quality of the research project will be used as another element by which program quality and relevance to professional and career goals is assessed.

Research Requirement

Students are not required to complete a formal master's thesis but will take a class (CIED 5013 or CIED 5273) that provides an introduction to education research and then design and carry out an action research project in CIED 5983 Practicum in Curriculum and Instruction at the conclusion of degree program. Students then will defend their project as the comprehensive exam for the degree. This project will be assessed by a faculty panel to include the students' advisor and two other M.Ed. faculty members.

For students who have the experience and desire necessary to complete a formal thesis, this option exists. In such cases, students will form an advisory committee and then propose, write, and defend a thesis project. The successful defense of the thesis will represent the comprehensive exam for the M.Ed. degree. Students who choose the thesis option will not be required to complete CIED 5013 or 5273 or CIED 5983 but must take six credits of master's thesis credit (CIED 600v) in the place of these two courses.