Curriculum and Instruction

Girl teaching two young girls
Degrees Offered: MA MA+ licensure PhD

Graduate study in the School of Education is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills to master and critically analyze scholarship in the field of education and, particularly at the PhD level, to contribute to that scholarship. Students work with a collaborative faculty whose members combine nationally and internationally recognized senior scholars with a cadre of energetic up­and­coming junior scholars and whose overall scholarly productivity is among the top 20 of U.S. schools and colleges of education. The faculty share a commitment to two broad principles that unite graduate study across the school’s program areas: 1) evidence­based policy and practice, and 2) democracy, diversity and social justice.

Graduate MA and PhD programs are available in four general areas in the School of Education: Curriculum and Instruction (EDCI); Educational Equity and Cultural Diversity (EECD); Educational Foundations, Policy and Practice (EFPP); and Educational and Psychological Studies (EPSY). A PhD program is available in Research and Evaluation Methodology (REME). A joint PhD program is available in Educational Psychology and Learning Sciences and the Institute of Cognitive Science. Graduate programs combining the MA and teacher licensure are also available.

Graduate Studies


Master’s programs in EDCI are divided into three emphasis areas: K­12 humanities; K­12 mathematics and science education; and literacy. The humanities program is designed to support teachers who are interested in developing greater understanding and expertise in the teaching and learning of the humanities. The program helps teachers develop their own content knowledge in humanities, as well as greater understanding of how instructional strategies and curriculum can be tailored to foster students’ understanding of inquiry and exploration in the humanities. The mathematics and science education program is designed to support teachers who are interested in developing greater understanding and expertise in the teaching and learning of mathematics and science. The program helps teachers develop their own content knowledge in mathematics and science, as well as greater understanding of how instructional strategies and curriculum can be tailored to foster K­12 students’ understanding of mathematics and science. In the literacy program, candidates completing this 30 semester­hour program are eligible for a Reading Teacher K­12 endorsement from the State of Colorado. The MA in Literacy Education emphasizes comprehensive literacy programs, including meaningful use of language and skills, in order to promote educational diversity, equal educational opportunity and research-based practice within three central areas: reading to learn, learning to read and literacy in a diverse society.


The doctoral program in EDCI combines rigorous training in specialty areas with training in curriculum and instruction, cognitive and social processes and research methodology. Programs are designed for those interested in the processes of instruction and learning in a particular subject area, in literacy, and in the education and development of teachers. Programs prepare students for careers in research and teaching in university settings, educational leadership and services to schools or research and development in the private sector.