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M.A. in Curriculum & Instruction

The M.A. in Curriculum & Instruction (formerly Education - General Option) is designed for K-12 credentialed educators who wish to broaden their understandings of education as well as deepen their knowledge and skills as teachers. The program provides opportunities for students to develop advanced understandings and capacities related to curriculum development, to interrogate the many ways in which students and their families experience marginalization and exclusion in schools, and to conduct original research to address inequities in school. It is recommended that educators begin this program after clearing their CA credential and/or after gaining at least 2 years of full-time classroom teaching experience.

This program requires a minimum of 30 graduate level units. Twenty-one (21) units must be taken in residence at CSUSM. With careful planning and advisement, those with a credential from CSUSM who attend full-time, and take a summer course, can complete the program in two semesters.

Apply by May 31, 2020!

Application Instructions

  • Admission Requirements


    1. Initial teaching credential.
    2. Completion of the Graduate/Post-baccalaureate University Application.
    3. Interview with appropriate School of Education Admissions Committee.
    4. Two (2) letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the candidate’s work in the field of education.
    5. Statement of Purpose describing your interest in the program, as well as how the program fulfills personal, educational, and career objectives.
    6. GPA according to the university admission policy.
    7. Official transcripts.

    All materials will be evaluated to assess an applicant’s qualifications for admission; however, no one indicator shall determine acceptance of an applicant.

    Students who wish to transfer in courses from other institutions may do so if the program faculty assesses that the course content is aligned with  the program student learning outcomes. Program faculty will consider up to 9 units of graduate-level coursework that a student has successfully completed at another institution.

  • Application Instructions

    To be considered for Fall 2020 admissions, applicants must submit the online Cal State Apply application by May 31, 2020 along with the $70 application fee.

    The Cal State Apply application includes the standard University requirements as well as the School of Education requisite materials that will determine your eligibility for the program.

    Note: You do not need to submit a separate supplemental application.

    Step-By-Step Application Instructions

  • International Students

    F-1 visa International students, please note: The Master of Arts in Curriculum & Instruction does not meet F-1 visa full-time status requirements. Therefore, California State University San Marcos will not be able to issue an I-20 to sponsor international students for this program. For additional questions, please contact Colleen Manthey at
  • Required Core Coursework (18 units)

    EDUC 603: Equity & Access Practicum (Fall)

    EDUC 604: Knowledge Construction & Accomplished Teaching (Fall)

    EDUC 611: Research in Curriculum & Instruction I (Fall)

    EDUC 620: Innovative Curriculum & Application (Spring)

    EDUC 628: Research in Curriculum & Instruction II (Spring)

    EDUC 698: MA Seminar (Spring)

  • Elective Coursework (12+ units)

    Elective courses are designed to provide students the opportunity to focus their learning on an area of interest related to curriculum and instruction, i.e. literacy, and special education instruction. Up to nine credits earned through CSUSM credential courses may be applied toward these electives within 4-5 years of the completion of the credential. Elective courses are chosen in consultation with a faculty advisor and must be completed prior to completing the required core coursework. Units from other relevant graduate study may also be transferred in and count toward the elective units.

  • Part Time

    Those who wish to attend part-time can complete the program over 4-6 semesters, depending upon the number of completed units transferred/applied toward the elective courses. Students will establish a program of study with their faculty advisor upon admission.

    For individuals wishing to complete the program part-time, note that EDUC 603 & EDUC 611 (Fall), as well as EDUC 628 & EDUC 698 (Spring), must be taken together in sequence during a single academic year.

Information Session

We will overview the program features and coursework (including part- and full-time options), admissions process, and application of CSUSM credential units or other graduate coursework toward the 30 unit requirement. There will then be time for Q & A with program faculty and, on some dates, with current/former students.

Information Session RSVP


Apply by May 31, 2020!

Application Instructions

Info Session

  • May 5, 2020 | 6:00 PM

Info Session Details


Nam Nguyen
CEHHS Student Services Advisor


Dr. Anne René Elsbree

Dr. Joni Kolman