Feb 21, 2024  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 

Master of Science in Education in Curriculum and Instruction

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The major in curriculum and instruction prepares knowledgeable, reflective practitioners and instructional leaders to work in both formal and informal educational settings. Courses help educational practitioners clarify their professional purposes and improve the pedagogical environments in which they function. This is not an initial licensure program.  

This program provides three specializations: Teacher Leadership; Curriculum and Cultural Pedagogies for Social Justice; or Academic Literacy, Language, and Culture. Teacher Leadership courses focus on building leadership capacity in classrooms, schools, and districts through courses that qualify educators for a Teacher Leader Endorsement added to their Professional Educator License. Curriculum and Cultural Pedagogies for Social Justice courses focus on examining teaching and learning from a social justice perspective. Academic Literacy, Language, and Culture courses focus on the social and cultural dimensions of language and literacy learning.

The student learning outcomes for this degree are located at http://www.niu.edu/assessment/clearinghouse/outcomes/index.shtml.

Check departmental information for any additional requirements.


Programs of study must include a minimum of 33 semester hours, of which a minimum of 18 semester hours must be chosen from one three specialization areas. Capstone options include either an advisor-approved culminating project (TLCI 598) or a master’s thesis (TLCI 699). To remain in good academic standing, students in the program must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.00 in all courses. A student who fails to maintain a GPA of 3.00 in coursework may, upon recommendation of the program, be subject to termination from the program. 

M.S.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction

Core Coursework (15 credits)

Educational Research and Data Analysis (3)

Educational Psychology

Specializations for the M.S.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction (18)

Specialization in Teacher Leader with Endorsement (18)

Additionally, select 6 credits from the following (6)


Students may select an advisor-approved culminating project, or a master’s thesis as their capstone for this degree. These course credits are embedded in the core courses for the M.S.Ed. 

Requirements for candidates choosing only the Teacher Leader Endorsement

The option for pursuing only the endorsement is available to candidates who already possess an initial Illinois Professional Educator License. The program of study for just the Teacher Leader Endorsement is 24 semester hours.   

  • Must be in a current full-time teaching or school support personnel position 
  • Must have two-or-more years of experience as a licensed educator in a Pre-K-through-12 setting 
  • Must have successfully passed any state-mandated tests 
  • Must have an undergraduate degree indicating a GPA of 2.75 or higher, or a minimum3.20 cumulative GPA in all graduate coursework 
  • Check departmental information for any additional requirements. 

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