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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.


Core Courses: (17-20 credit hours) students are required to take core courses:

  • 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 (Learning Theories & Instructional Principles as of Fall 2017)
  • 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)


  • 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)
  • Literacy (18-21 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 (See below for more information) 
    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 5090 Plan B Research/Plan B project (2 credit hours) (EDCI 5890 Directed Professional Study prior to Summer 2017)
  • 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.

National Board Certification (NBC)


Will there be classes offered to help me proceed through the National Board Certification process?

Yes, a series of seminars and workshops are offered through the Wyoming National Board Certification Initiative each semester. Information about these seminars and workshops is posted and updated on the Wyoming NBC website: Graduate level Curriculum and Instruction credit is available for these seminars (courses listed as EDCI 5515). These courses are designed to support teachers as they grow as professionals and simultaneously proceed through the Board Certification process and the UW Master’s program.  

Where will the classes be offered?

The classes are offered around the state of Wyoming to allow participation across the state. Dates and locations for upcoming seminars and workshops can be found on the Wyoming NBC website: Participants enroll in the courses through UW Outreach Credit Programs (toll free phone number: 1-800-448-7801). Up to 9 total credit hours of the seminars can be taken by enrolled graduate students. Up to 9 total seminar/workshop credit hours may be applied as electives in the Curriculum and Instruction Master’s program.  

Who will teach these classes?

The seminars are taught by Barbara Maguire, a Nationally Board Certified teacher and expert in the NBC process.

How many times can I take the NBC class?

Graduate students/National Board Candidates can enroll in the seminars as many times as necessary/desired. For those seeking graduate degrees, up to 9 credits can be applied to the Curriculum and Instruction Master’s degree program as elective hours dependent upon the student’s committee approval.

What about tuition?

Students will pay regular graduate tuition for the seminar classes. The current UW fee schedule can be found at the following website: 

Will I need to complete a Thesis or Plan B paper to finish my C&I degree? No, the NBC Portfolios will be accepted in Lieu of a Plan B Paper for teachers pursuing NBC Certification and a UW Master’s degree simultaneously. This acceptance is dependent upon committee approval (not acceptance by the National Board). An agreement to utilize this procedure and maintain portfolio confidentiality has been reached between UW and the NBPTS (National Board for Professional Teaching Standards). The NBC portfolio must be submitted and defended (in a meeting with the student’s graduate committee) prior to initial submission to the NBPTS.  The committee’s portfolio copies will be destroyed after the defense.

Note: The Rubric for Assessment of the presentation  is provided below.

If I am already a National Board Certified teacher, can I apply my NBC work retroactively to a graduate degree?

No, the program is designed for those working on National Board Certification and a C&I Master’s degree simultaneously.

How do I apply for a UW Curriculum and Instruction Graduate Program?

 The graduate application and other information can be found here

What if I have Additional Questions?

 If you have additional questions, please contact the UW Department of Curriculum and Instruction (; 307-766-6371).

Assessment Checklist for National Board Certification (NBC)
Portfolio & Presentation 

Committee members will evaluate the following areas and will determine if the student/NBC candidate accomplished each of these aims/activities at a level sufficient to warrant the substitution of the NBC portfolio and presentation for the Plan B requirement. S/U (Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory) will be assigned  for each area, and an overall evaluation of “S” must be achieved for portfolio to serve in lieu of the Plan B paper.  

______ Overall evaluation of the portfolio and presentation as suitable substitutes for Plan B

paper/project and defense

Presentation of NBC Portfolio to Master’s Committee:

______Student provides a brief overview of National Board Certification process and portfolio

______Student describes process of working on the portfolio (including connections to C&I courses

taken, time commitment, assessments and data analysis, and reflections)

______ Student presents at least one explicit connection between the portfolio documentation and

his/her C&I Master’s Degree coursework (e.g. assessment strategy learned in literacy specific

course was used to evaluate student work included in NBC portfolio), and explains ways processes informed each other

_____ Student describes challenges, pleasures, difficulties associated with the NBC process

_____Student summarizes learning derived from portfolio process and completion



 More information on National Board Certification:

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

Contact Us

Curriculum and Instruction Graduate Programs

Dept. 3374

1000 E. University Ave.

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307-766-6366


1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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