How a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction Degree Enhances Teaching Skills?

Rapid advancements in technology, societal changes dictating how and what we teach, and new research into classroom best practices — these and other changes are shaking up the educational landscape. Even experienced educators can sometimes feel challenged to keep up.

If you yearn for more advanced training to recharge your teaching career, become a better educator and recommend and develop a curriculum rather than just implement it, the University of Cincinnati (UC) Online’s Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction (M.Ed. C&I) is for you.

Explicitly developed for practicing educators and instructors, the M.Ed. C&I degree is 100% online and designed to fit your busy lifestyle. Whether your expertise is working with preschool, K-12, or adult learners in or out of a traditional school environment, you can tailor this master’s program to your personal interests and career goals.

University of Cincinnati’s online M.Ed. C&I program advances your general understanding of today’s teaching best practices with a curriculum that builds on your core skills and experience. What you learn will boost your knowledge and better equip you to lead and manage how students in your classroom learn.

The asynchronous online graduate courses focus on enhancing your ability to lead impactful instruction to meet the diverse needs of students in the classroom and informal learning settings. Modules emphasize the role of translating current research in cognition and learning into effective classroom practices.  You’ll learn from fellow educators/students from across the country in online discussion boards, individual research projects, and one-on-one mentoring.

Meet Dr. Helen Meyer, Curriculum and Instruction Educator

The M.Ed. CI program is structured around two components: a core curriculum and a focused concentration area you select based on your interests.

Professor Meyer describes the program in this way:


The core courses build on the historical and philosophical traditions that underpin American education traditionally taught in undergraduate education programs. It shines a critical light on standard practices in schools and curricula and allows educators to reflect on their practice.


Dr. Helen Meyer, Professor M.Ed. CI program
Dr. Helen Meyer, Professor M.Ed. CI program

The concentration areas are focused on classroom implementation and will develop educators’ content and pedagogical knowledge, their use of research centered on human learning and motivation, and their ability to implement innovative instruction and assessments.


Three areas of concentration are offered in the M.Ed.:

STEM and Sustainability Education: This concentration area focuses on the major challenge of this century; the impacts of individual and collective consumption of resources on our biosphere. Through the use of problem and project-based learning activities, you will analyze the political and economic barriers to sustainability and how to translate personal and collective action toward creating more ecologically sustainable communities. You will apply this knowledge and your personal ethics to the development of educational and interpretive curricula and the assessment of planned outcomes.

Gifted Education: This concentration area is designed for licensed teachers interested in teaching gifted students PreK-12. You will apply constructs learned in class to a field experience, including the development, implementation, and publication of lesson plans, and theories and methods in teaching gifted, talented, or creative students in a classroom setting.

Teaching and Learning: General Studies This concentration area provides an in-depth focus on curriculum and instruction. You will develop knowledge in teaching, learning, and educational research within an area agreed upon with your advisor, and take required courses that include theories and trends, diversity, and research methods.

Helen says the strength of the online master of education program at UC lies in the simultaneous development of foundational knowledge and instructional skills. Course instruction includes hands-on opportunities to develop an understanding of lesson design, implementation, and evaluation by working on multiple mini-projects, culminating with your chosen capstone project.

The M.Ed. CI program is fully online and asynchronous and designed to fit the tempo of adults who hold multiple roles: educator, parent, and student.” – Dr. Helen Meyer, UC Online

Personal Guidance That’s Aligned with Your Success

UC Online has made easy access to professors and one-on-one guidance a top priority to ensure your success in the M.Ed. CI program. Right from the start, you’ll be assigned an Enrollment Services Advisor and a Student Success Coordinator to guide you through the admissions process, assist with course selection, answer your questions, and support you in completing your master’s degree.

Throughout the 30-credit-hour study program, your professors and advisors will keep in touch to make sure you’re progressing on track and feeling confident about your work. All professors are readily accessible to answer questions and guide you via phone, email, or Zoom.

Maximum Flexibility to Fit Your Busy Life

Flexibility to take classes on your schedule and at your own pace is a key component of every UC’s online program. Helen underscores this, saying, “The M.Ed. CI program is fully online and asynchronous and designed to fit the tempo of adults who hold multiple roles: educator, parent, and student.”

Most classes are three credits each, with 15 credits needed to fulfill the core requirements and 15 for your chosen concentration area.

“At the time I was looking for a program, there weren’t many that would focus on and be applicable to my field — I teach science and STEM. I really liked the course descriptions I read online and knew I didn’t want to spend money and time learning about stuff that was too general or not applicable to my practice. The structure, administration, and content of the program combined with the excellent UC faculty and staff made the whole experience worth every penny and moment of time I spent.” – Amy B., M.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction Graduate

Manageable Study Workload

The online curriculum and instruction master’s program has three start times a year, with required and elective programs offered each semester. You can take one class or a full schedule of 10 credits per semester. As most participants are employed and lead busy lives, the M.Ed. CI degree is designed to be completed as a part-time program over two years, with two courses a semester.

For most modules, you are expected to meet weekly deadlines, yet you can fit studies into your daily workflow and timeline.

So, how challenging is it to complete the program while working full-time? Helen says,

Work is assigned on a weekly basis, and you can expect to spend approximately 6–8 hours a week accessing the new information, reflecting on it, and demonstrating your understanding. In a typical week, you access information via readings, mini-video lectures, or other media sources. You will be asked to demonstrate how you synthesized the accessed information and report this via a written reflection, online discussion board, or online classroom application. In addition to weekly learning assignments, each course has a set of longer assignments that require you to apply what you learned over several weeks.

Award-Winning University and Faculty

UC is a top-ranked, nationally recognized university, one of the first in the country to offer online classes more than 20 years ago. Our programs are fully accredited by the Council of the Accreditation of the Educator Preparation, ranked top 50 Online M.Ed. programs by U.S. News & World Report (2023), and ranked “Best Online” Public University on College Consensus (2022).

The M.Ed. CI program brings together an award-winning, nationally renowned faculty of more than 50 educators, teaching learners of all ages from pre-school to college, which Meyer points out, saying, “It provides a broad lens through which we consider the role of education in a democracy.”

A hefty 75% of the faculty have a Ph.D. in education, while the remaining 25% are practicing teachers who work directly with the program on curriculum design to keep it current with the issues and expectations of today’s classrooms.  Most of the faculty are active in research and are published authors of books and articles about enhancing teaching, learning, and education policy.

Before starting the online M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction program, here are five things to consider.
Benefits of a Specialized Master of Education Degree

Beyond giving you the skills to help your students achieve their full potential, leading to their success and yours, there are even more benefits to studying curriculum and instruction. Perhaps you are eyeing a principal or administrator position or considering redirecting your career trajectory into corporate training, school textbook publishing, or another educational off-shoot. A curriculum and instruction master’s degree opens a whole new world of career opportunities and a path to higher wages.

“Returning to learning after being a professional educator can be an exciting adventure because you bring your teaching experience to the material, connecting with education in a completely different way than you did in your undergraduate years,” Helen says.

Ready to Learn More?

For a deeper dive into how UC Online’s M.Ed. C&I program can benefit you, read our How Course Curriculum and Instruction Expertise Benefits Your Teaching Career article.

If you’re interested in taking the next step, contact an Enrollment Services Advisor online to ask whatever questions are on your mind.

Where will an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction lead you? Imagine the possibilities!


birds eye view of students working at a round table with laptops and study materials
Need additional student resources?
Already an online student? UC Online has additional tips and tricks to ensure you are on the path to success. Check out our Student Resources section for what you need to maximize your learning.
Corporate Taxation professionals having a meeting
Helping You Build a Better Business Through Continuing Education
Employee recruitment and retention is crucial for the growth and profitability of an organization and should be a high priority for every business. At the University of Cincinnati Online, we want to help develop and retain your employees through our Business Partnership offering.

Sign up for updates from UC Online

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.