Curriculum Studies MA/MEd

Educational curriculum can be found not only in schools but also in business and community organizations, and  today's curriculum specialists know that curriculum is most effective when it is developed with community and learner involvement and when it is supported by a positive learning environment, engaging instructional practices, effective staff development and equitable opportunities for all.

The two-year Curriculum Studies for Social Justice, Democracy and Urban Education master's degree program offers practicing teachers and those with a bachelor's degree in fields other than education the opportunity to gain the skills necessary to develop, justify, evaluate and modify curricula to better serve the needs of all learners, but especially urban and marginalized learners. Students opt to complete one of two concentrations within the program: Curriculum Specialist or Teacher Leader.

Curriculum specialists are versatile professionals who work as highly effective general educators or curriculum specialists for schools and districts. They may also work in hospitals, businesses, community and civic organizations, publishing houses and museums - any organization or agency that needs to educate employees, students, customers, patrons or the public.

Teacher leaders can be resource providers to other teachers, helping them implement effective teaching strategies, and classroom supporters who assist teachers in developing new ideas through demonstration or co-teaching.  Teacher leaders can facilitate professional learning opportunities for other teachers, engage peers by leading data-driven discussions, and continue to serve as catalysts for change by looking for better ways to generate analysis for student learning and success.

Interested in applying for admission to this program? Learn more about the application process and find out how to apply.

Degree Program

Master of Arts (MA)
Master of Education (MEd)


The Teacher Leader concentration in the Curriculum Studies master's degree program provides students with an opportunity to obtain the Teacher Leader Endorsement from the Illinois State Board of Education, which can be added to an Illinois Professional Educator license.

Program Format

To accommodate working professionals, the Curriculum Studies master's degree program offers courses that meet on weekday evenings at DePaul's Lincoln Park campus, online, or a hybrid online and on-campus format. The program's schedule is flexible, allowing students to attend full-time or part-time as their professional and personal schedules allow.

Program Requirements

The Curriculum Studies - Curriculum Specialist master's degree program includes 52 quarter hours of coursework in Social and Cultural Foundations in Education, Curriculum Studies, Educational Leadership and Organizational Development, as well as a set of individualized electives that students choose in consultation with a faculty advisor.

The Curriculum Studies - Teacher Leader master's degree program will include 10 core courses that are taken by all students,  two specialization courses, and a Curriculum Studies capstone course. The capstone course is a culminating, project-based experience.

Students in the MA program are required to complete a thesis and an oral defense; students in the MEd program are required to complete a research seminar in Curriculum Studies.

Want to learn more? For detailed information about program requirements, see the official DePaul University Graduate Catalog.