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MA Program Requirements|Curriculum & Instruction

The Master of Arts degree in Education is offered in two options:

  • Plan A, which requires writing a thesis 
  • Plan B, which requires a written paper based on a scholarly project
A minimum of 32 semester hours beyond the Bachelor’s degree is required.  All course work and degree requirements must be approved by the student’s graduate committee.

The Master of Arts degree in Education consists of a set of core courses and one of three emphases: Certificates/Endorsements, Content Studies, or Curriculum Studies. All students are required to complete the core courses and one of the three emphases. Specific courses are outlined below.

View the M.A. Degree Program Overview and Application Instructions packet for forms and details.

Course Overview

Core Courses (17-20 credit hours)

  • Assessment (3 credit hours): EDCI 5500 – Classroom Assessment
  • Curriculum (3): EDCI 5000 – Principles of Curriculum
  • Diversity (3): EDCI 5450 – Issues in Multicultural Education
  • Instruction (3): EDCI 5790 – Advanced Instructional Strategies
  • Research (3): EDRE 5530 – Intro to Research or EDRE 5550 – Action Research
  • Midpoint Review (1): EDCI 5400 – Portfolio Reflection (1) (EDCI 5400 represents a midpoint evaluation and must be taken no later than 2 semesters [may include a summer semester] before graduation).
  • Capstone Experience (1-4): Plan A thesis (4) OR Plan B project (2) OR National Board Certification (1-3). Students, as guided by an academic advisor, may pursue a Plan A thesis or a Plan B non-thesis. Generally, one can think of the Plan A thesis as a research project that emerges when a student finds that a problem of interest has not been addressed in the research literature. A Plan B non-thesis is a research project that emerges from practice, typically involving a problem of interest within a student’s school, classroom, or work site.

Emphases (15-18 credit hours with approval from Committee)


  • Literacy (18 credit hours)
  • Early Childhood/ECSE (25-26 hours required-18 may be applied to elective credit)
  • English as a Second Language (15 credit hours)
  • Teachers of American Indian Children (12 credit hours)

Content Studies (15 to 18 hours)

This specialization is intended for those practicing teachers who are pursuing the “highly qualified” status.  Coursework will primarily be taken in students’ content areas (e.g., History, English, etc. 4000 and 5000 level courses).

Curriculum Studies (15 to 18 hours)

This specialization is intended for those who are interested in focusing on issues of curriculum and instruction.

  • Potential coursework:
    National Board Certification
    EDCI 5800 – Curriculum Development
    Research Methods
    Educational Leadership
    Instructional Technology
    Special Education
    English as a Second Language (ESL)
    Teachers of American Indian Children
    Graduate level content courses

Capstone Experience

  • EDCI 5960 Thesis/Plan A (4 credit hours)
  • EDCI 5890 Directed Professional Study/Plan B project (2 credit hours)
  • EDCI 5890 Directed Professional Study/National Board Certification (1 credit hour)

 TOTAL: 32 minimum semester hours

Areas of Emphasis

Certificates/Endorsements Emphasis

The Certificates/Endorsements emphasis allows practicing teachers to take coursework toward eligibility for certificates/endorsement in Literacy, Early Childhood Education, English as a Second Language, or Teachers of American Indian Children through the state of Wyoming’s Professional Teaching Standards Board. These endorsements are only available to teachers who hold valid teaching certification in the state of Wyoming.

Content Studies Emphasis

The Content Studies emphasis is designed to allow practicing teachers to pursue further education in a particular content area – such as history, English, math, etc. -- through 4000 and 5000-level courses in those content areas. This coursework may be helpful particularly in the case of practicing teachers who are pursuing “highly qualified” status in a content area.  Please note that this option is based on availability of graduate courses in other departments that the student may be interested.  There is no guarantee of outreach course availability.

Curriculum Studies Emphasis

The Curriculum Studies emphasis is designed for practicing educators who are interested in gaining knowledge and expertise related to curriculum and instruction.

Teacher Leadership

Another strand, focusing on Teacher Leadership, is available through the Department of Educational Leadership:

Visit our Course Schedule page to view projected MA core and emphasis course offerings

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