Because practitioners must understand how curricula are actually created and used in the classroom in their specific subject areas, it can be difficult to enter the field without first earning a master's degree and teaching certificate. Certification as an education administrator is occasionally a requirement as well, and prior teaching or administrative experience is generally preferred. If the breadth of education required for curriculum design seems insurmountable, take courage: you can obtain the education you need for this informational field from the comfort of your own home, through online courses.

Featured Online Colleges for Curriculum Design in 2018

Teachers who want to take their careers to the next level would be wise to consider earning an online degree in curriculum design. But how can they choose the right program from all the options available? That's why we've made this list, which features 10 specially-picked schools that offer online degrees in curriculum design. This list was created using data from the National Center for Education Statistics' Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), and you can learn more about our methodology at the bottom of this page.

1

Sam Houston State University

Tuition & Fees
$8,062
Distance Education Participation
50%
Number of Programs Offered
37
School Type
4-year

The Curriculum and Instruction Master of Education at Sam Houston State University offers students the opportunity to focus on pedagogy, curriculum methodology and theoretical applications. Instruction is intended to prepare graduates to teach courses through dual credit or at the community college level, as well as move into more traditional curriculum design positions at schools across the nation. With the fourth-highest admissions rate on this list and the second-best graduation rate, students at Sam Houston State University can look forward to completing their education in a rigorous, challenging atmosphere.

Keep in mind that this program can be completed online, with the exception of occasional research meetings. Some minors might have an on-campus requirement as well.

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

Location:

1806 Ave J
Huntsville, TX 77340
2

Emporia State University

Tuition & Fees
$6,345
Distance Education Participation
50%
Number of Programs Offered
27
School Type
4-year

The Master of Science degree in curriculum and instruction at Emporia State University is a challenging program with three concentrations to choose from: curriculum leadership, effective practitioner, or National Board Certification. This 34-hour program offers courses during spring, summer and fall terms for better flexibility. Though all courses are offered entirely online, the program does require a practicum, which will likely need to be completed in person.

When it comes to the percentage of degrees awarded to graduates in 2015 that were curriculum design degrees, Emporia had the fourth highest percentage on our list. Combined with the second-highest admissions rate of these ten featured schools, it's obvious there are great opportunities here for those who want to move into the upper levels of the educational system.

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

Location:

1 Kellogg Circle
Emporia, KS 66801-5414
3

Carson-Newman University

Tuition & Fees
$27,400
Distance Education Participation
45%
Number of Programs Offered
16
School Type
4-year

Experienced teachers with an eye toward leadership roles can benefit from the Master of Education in curriculum & instruction from Carson-Newman University in Tennessee. Available in both blended and online formats, the fully online program can be completed in five semesters (assuming attendance during spring, summer and fall terms). Students are expected to learn best uses of technology, how to use research findings to influence their own decisions, the use of varied assessment techniques, how to facilitate good relationships with students and parents, and much more. After completion of their master's degree, students can also pursue the online Education Specialist (Ed.S) or Doctor of Education with an emphasis on curriculum & instruction.

A tough admissions rate means this school takes only the best and most dedicated students, and the No.4 graduation rate of our featured schools would seem to show that the university's selections are well-chosen.

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

Location:

1646 S. Russell Ave
Jefferson City, TN 37760
4

Grand Canyon University

Tuition & Fees
$17,050
Distance Education Participation
90%
Number of Programs Offered
94
School Type
4-year

The Master of Arts in curriculum and instruction at Grand Canyon University offers a combination of coursework, research and field education to produce well-rounded teachers ready to take their leadership skills to the next level. Students should prepare to learn advanced instructional strategies, from planning and implementing a solid curriculum to evaluating and assessing student achievement. The 18-month online program has frequent start dates for added convenience. It is important to note that the percentage of degrees awarded at Grand Canyon University in curriculum design was the second-largest percentage of all the schools on our list; that implies an impressive department that is poised to help students reach their full potential.

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

Location:

3300 W. Camelback Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85017
5

Concordia University - Ann Arbor

Tuition & Fees
$28,420
Distance Education Participation
32%
Number of Programs Offered
8
School Type
4-year

Designed for educators who are ready to take their skills to the next level, the Master of Science in curriculum and instruction at Concordia University offers eight-week courses for a more flexible schedule. In addition to focusing on enhancement of curriculum and instruction skills, the university incorporates a strong ethical component that better prepares graduates for work in a Christian school setting. While pursuing the degree, students can also choose to earn their English as a Second Language endorsement.

The generous program admission rate (No.5 on our list) means more students have an opportunity earn the degree they need to advance. With the highest percentage of curriculum and design degrees awarded out of all ten of these schools, students can feel secure that the department, instructors and curriculum are all top-notch.

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Council for Accreditation of Teacher Preparation

Location:

4090 Geddes Rd
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
6

Nova Southeastern University

Tuition & Fees
$29,930
Distance Education Participation
48%
Number of Programs Offered
102
School Type
4-year

The Fischler College of Education at Nova Southeastern University is noteworthy for offering the largest number of programs in curriculum design out of all the schools on our list. There are four different online curriculum design programs at this university: two master's programs, and two post-master's certificates.

  • Master of Science in education with a specialization in curriculum, instruction and technology
  • Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) with a specialization in curriculum, instruction, management and administration
  • Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) with a concentration in curriculum and teaching
  • Doctor of Education with a concentration in instructional technology and distance education

This plethora of programs was designed for students who are ready to take their educational prowess to the next level, with courses that integrate technology into the classroom and specifically enhance district-level expertise. With the fifth-highest admissions rate on our list, if you're interested in any of these programs, there's no reason not to take a chance and apply!

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

Location:

3301 College Ave
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314-7796
7

York College

Tuition & Fees
$18,760
Distance Education Participation
27%
Number of Programs Offered
10
School Type
4-year

A Christ-centered program for the Master of Arts in Education: Curriculum and Instruction is available at York College for those who prefer a fully-online program that fits into their busy schedule. This program through York College consists of 8-week courses that can be taken on a full-time or part-time basis. Courses focus on research design and methodology, ethics, program planning and evaluation, curriculum mapping, learning through technology and much more. With the third-highest percentage of curriculum design degrees awarded in 2015 out of the 10 schools featured here, students can expect to be in ample good company at York College's education department.

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

Location:

1125 E. 8th St
York, NE 68467-2699
8

The University of Texas at Brownsville

Tuition & Fees
$7,587
Distance Education Participation
46%
Number of Programs Offered
15
School Type
4-year

The Center for Online Learning and Teaching Technology at the University of Texas offers three options for the university's Master of Education in curriculum and instruction program: elementary math and science education; specialization in mathematics education; and specialization in science education. The accelerated format of the program means the required 30 credit hours can be completed within 10 months. A big plus to this program is that it does not require teaching experience, though potential students must have a bachelor's degree. Just as appealing is the school's open admissions policy — meaning that the university accepts any applicant so long as they have earned a high school diploma or a GED certificate. This allows any qualified student to try their hand at the opportunities afforded by the UT system.

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

Location:

One West University Blvd
Brownsville, TX 78520
9

Regent University

Tuition & Fees
$17,288
Distance Education Participation
90%
Number of Programs Offered
31
School Type
4-year

Earning the third-highest rankings on our list for both graduation and admissions is Regent University, an excellent opportunity for students with teaching experience who are interested in learning about curriculum and instruction through a lens of Christian education. Students can choose one of three different concentrations for their M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction: Christian school, STEM education or teacher leader. An endorsement in gifted and talented education is also available.

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Commission of the Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Preparation

Location:

1000 Regent University Dr
Virginia Beach, VA 23464
10

University of Massachusetts-Lowell

Tuition & Fees
$14,800
Distance Education Participation
32%
Number of Programs Offered
48
School Type
4-year

The Online Master's Degree in curriculum and instruction at UMass-Lowell is a 10-course program designed for experienced teachers; candidates must be licensed to teach in their state and actively working in a classroom. In addition to the basic program, the university offers two specialty tracks: science education and autism studies. Core courses for all three program options focus on curriculum design for K-12, history and theory of curriculum, dynamics of curricular change, and educating diverse populations. UMass-Lowell's claim to fame is the highest graduation rate on this list, a statistic that bodes well for applicants who are accepted into one of the school's many commendable programs.

Accreditation:

  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
  • National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education

Location:

1 University Ave
Lowell, MA 01854-5104

Degree Overview: Curriculum Design

Online programs for curriculum design can be found in numerous content areas, including education, nursing and architecture. Based on the chosen content area, online education for curriculum design programs can vary greatly. Across the board, however, the bulk of these programs are available at the graduate level, although some programs may be found through bachelor's degree education.

Online Curriculum Design Courses

While a curriculum design student can choose from one of many content areas, we'll be focusing our discussion on the education content area. Even if the content area is outside of education, coursework is likely to have similarities, making this a good place to start the exploration. The following list includes examples of courses that could be found in online programs for curriculum design.

Career-Related Skills to Develop

Students who attend colleges offering online curriculum design degree programs will likely have many opportunities to develop specific skills that will be important to their field. Some skills that can be particularly valuable for a prospective curriculum design career-holder are listed below.

Curriculum Design Career Outlook

With the increased emphasis on holding states and schools responsible for the performance of their students, the analysis and advice of curriculum design professionals is becoming increasingly integral to schools and their faculty. Demand for these professionals is expected to continue growing as schools become increasingly concerned with the performance, training and resources of their teachers.

Instructional Coordinators
Average Salary
$67,490
Projected Job Openings
18,600
Projected Job Growth
6.3
Entry-level Education
master's degree

If you've ever wondered who makes sure that students in a particular grade level are learning the appropriate material, look no further than instructional coordinators. These professionals help ensure that instructional materials are effective, curriculum is followed and teaching standards are met. They typically work year round in educational institutions, from K-12 to colleges to professional schools. Their main responsibilities include creating and conducting teacher training (especially when new programs or standards are developed), overseeing that curriculum is implemented properly, evaluating teaching materials and textbooks, reviewing student testing data, making program improvement suggestions and more.

Instructional Designers and Technologists
Average Salary
$67,490
Projected Job Openings
18,600
Projected Job Growth
6.3
Entry-level Education
master's degree

It's not enough for students to have a good teacher in order to learn: they need well-developed instructional materials that reflect different learning styles, too. Instructional designers and technologists are the brains behind the materials and methods being taught in the classroom. They help design and deliver course material, both paper-based and digital, for all different types of learners. These professionals can work in a variety of learning environments, from elementary schools to colleges to corporate training programs. From creating engaging lesson plans to developing multimedia content, instructional designers and technologists play a vital role in education.

 
Sources
Methodology

Methodology

To be included in these rankings, all colleges had to meet the following criteria for the specific subject being ranked:

  1. Offer an undergraduate degree (either associate or bachelor's) in that subject online
  2. Have awarded at least one degree or certificate in that subject in 2015-16
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