Curriculum and Instruction Graduate

Advanced training for leaders, scholars and practitioners in education

In-depth education to strengthen your knowledge of curriculum and instruction.


Elementary Education: Master of Arts

This advanced degree program is intended to provide the classroom teacher the opportunity to study in greater depth all curriculum and instructional areas related to teaching in elementary schools. It strengthens teaching skills and exposes the teacher to a variety of materials and programs used in elementary schools. Students can specialize in:

*Not currently accepting students for the M.A. in Elementary Education with no specialization. A specialization must be chosen.

  • Early childhood education
  • Science, technology or math
  • English language learning
  • Reading specialist/literacy coach

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Secondary Education: Master of Arts

The secondary education master's degree program is available for secondary school personnel who are interested in enhancing their knowledge and the skills necessary for leadership roles in education. Each student's interests, background and needs are considered when designing the individual's program of study. Students can specialize in:

*Not currently accepting students for the M.A. in Secondary Education with no specialization. A specialization must be chosen.

  • English language learning
  • Science, technology or math

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Secondary Education Plus Certification: Master of Arts

This program was developed to provide an avenue into teaching for individuals who have appropriate academic skills and expertise as well as a desire to teach but who have not completed a professional education program. For those individuals with a baccalaureate degree in areas equivalent in content to an approved University of South Dakota teaching major, this program provides an opportunity to become certified to teach at the secondary level. Students with degrees in art, music or physical education will also have to satisfy the necessary requirements for K-12 certification.

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Special Education: Master of Arts

Most students seek the master's degree in special education while pursuing certification in one or more areas. This degree is flexible and provides additional opportunities for those not needing or wanting certification. Students can specialize in:

  • Advanced specialist in disabilities
  • Early childhood special education
  • Multicategorical special education K-12

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Technology for Education and Training: Master of Science

A TET degree prepares educators to be successful with the integration of available and emerging technologies. This program focuses on an instructional systems approach and the principles of learning design. By capitalizing on their content expertise, students will further develop their skills to apply technological tools to the learning process.

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Curriculum and Instruction: Doctor of Education

Advanced programs beyond the master's degree are designed to provide the necessary background and professional expertise for students planning to go into university teaching, supervisory work in schools, curriculum planning, consultant work or similar positions. Ninety semester hours beyond the bachelor's degree are required for the Ed.D. degree.

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Admission Requirements

Application requirements can be found at Graduate School Admission Requirements and include:

  1. Completed Graduate Application
    Apply Online
  2. $35 application fee
  3. One official transcript verifying receipt of an undergraduate degree and official transcripts of all academic work at the undergraduate and graduate levels are required for all students
  4. Three letters of recommendation (excluding the graduate certificate applicants)
    Letter of Recommendation Form
  5. Statement of Purpose
  6.  Additional requirements exist for international applicants.  For more information, visit International Admission Requirements

For more detailed admission requirements, please refer to Curriculum and Instruction in the current graduate catalog.

Additional Program Admission Requirements:

  • Applicant for the Literacy Leadership and Coaching certificate program must be a practicing teacher who has completed a master's degree in elementary education/reading specialist, curriculum leaders and/or certified reading specialist.
  • All applicants must have a teaching license for all programs except the M.A. in multi-categorical special education, and the M.S. in TET.

Application Deadline:

  • Eight weeks before classes start

Online and Off-Campus Options


The Classroom & Beyond

  • Induction and Mentoring

    If you want to continue your education with an advanced degree, Induction and Mentoring allows you to complete a master's program in 15 months. Students work with specific schools to complete their education alongside an experienced teacher also completing an advanced degree program who acts as a mentor for the new teacher.

  • Active Student Organizations

    Our students have the opportunity to build their professional experience through student organizations for undergraduate students within the School of Education. The National Association for Education of the Young Child, Council for Exceptional Children, South Dakota Educational Association and Reading Council are all ways students can get involved outside the classroom.

  • Graduate Assistantships

    Qualified students may be able to get financial assistance and additional experience through graduate assistantships. You can apply through the Graduate School for opportunities within the School of Education.