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Curriculum Studies programs at DePaul share a commitment to social justice, democracy, and critical engagement with issues affecting marginalized students and communities. We assist educators to strengthen their practice and challenge themselves and their colleagues to work effectively for justice and excellence in teaching and learning. Students engage in critical reflection, rigorous theoretical inquiry, and applied and project-based work to improve their practice and to identify and address opportunities and problems in teaching and learning.

Our program is designed for educators who wish to enhance their skills in teaching, curriculum development, instructional supervision and coaching, or leadership of departments or educational programs. We aim to equip instructional leaders with the skills to better serve the needs all learners in a variety of settings: from PK-12 schools, colleges and universities, to school districts, museums, community-based organizations, national and international policy organizations, to major corporations.

To meet students’ goals, we offer students two master’s degree options:

  • A Master’s of Arts (MA) culminating in an academic thesis (primarily for students planning to pursue a doctorate and wishing to develop their skills in research and scholarly writing).
  • A Master’s of Education (MEd) culminating in an applied capstone project and offering three concentration / endorsement options.

MA Degree

Students who are interested in doctoral studies often pursue a Master of Arts degree to further hone their skills in research and scholarly writing.

A Master of Arts degree is distinguished by the preparation of a master’s thesis. The master’s thesis provides the culminating experience for students and allows them to explore the relationship between theory, educational practice, and educational inquiry.

The purpose of the master’s thesis is to demonstrate a student’s ability to engage in research by critically analyzing an educational issue, problem or question, to demonstrate their knowledge in a specific area, and to prepare them to conduct further independent research.

The Curriculum Studies Master of Arts (MA) program has 1 concentration:

  • Curriculum Specialist (degree only)

MEd Degree Concentrations/Endorsement Options

The Master’s of Education (MEd) offers three concentration / endorsement options:

  1. Curriculum Specialist (degree only)
  2. Teacher Leader (degree with endorsement)
  3. Computer Science (degree with endorsement)

(Students who already hold a master’s degree may elect to pursue coursework leading to the Teacher Leader Endorsement only.)

MEd-Curriculum Studies, Curriculum Specialist concentration

This concentration is a cross-disciplinary program run jointly by Curriculum Studies and Educational Leadership faculty. It provides practicing teachers who desire to take on various leadership roles in their school or district with the knowledge of both leadership and curriculum to be effective instructional leaders. The program meets the standards set forth by the State of Illinois for the Endorsement of “Teacher Leader.”

MEd-Curriculum Studies with Teacher Leader Endorsement

This degree program is a cross-disciplinary program, housed in the Department of Leadership, Language and Curriculum (LLC) and run jointly by Curriculum Studies and Educational Leadership. It provides practicing teachers who desire to take on the myriad leadership roles in the local school community with the knowledge base of leadership and curriculum that will allow them to be effective and competent leaders. The program meets the standards set forth by the State of Illinois for the Endorsement of “Teacher Leader.”

MEd-Curriculum Studies with Computer Science Endorsement

This concentration is a cross-disciplinary program run jointly by Curriculum Studies and College of Computing and Digital Media (CDM) and developed in collaboration with the Office of Computer Science of Chicago Public Schools (CPS). It integrates courses in curriculum studies with courses on computer science and computer science pedagogy to meet the specific requirements of the Illinois State Board of Education computer science teaching endorsement. This concentration is for practicing educators interested in teaching in or assisting the development of Computer Science classes, curriculum, or programs.

Teacher Leader Endorsement Only

This non-degree program allows students who already have a master's degree to obtain an ISBE Teacher Leader Endorsement. (Specific course requirements are detailed under the College of Education Licensure section of this catalog).

Program Requirements Quarter Hours
Degree Requirements (MA) 52
Total hours required 52
Program Requirements Quarter Hours
Degree Requirements (MEd) 52
Total hours required 52
Program Requirements Quarter Hours
Degree Requirements (MEd) with Computer Science Endorsement 52
Total hours required 52

Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Describe major movements in curriculum history and apply them to current educational practices and controversies.
  • Analyze the theoretical foundations of curriculum and curriculum studies.
  • Conduct independent inquiry supported by appropriate research literature, methods, and theoretical frameworks.
  • Honor diverse perspectives, improve curriculum, and promote student learning and well-being.
  • Critically analyze relationships between schools, society, and curriculum, drawing especially on structural, ideological, and human development perspectives.

College Requirements

​Dispositions

The academic programs within the College of Education have set forth these dispositions as educational and professional expectations for all students. Students should be aware that failing to abide by DePaul University or College of Education policies including, under certain circumstances, these dispositions, could result in adverse consequences for the student, including removal from his or her program, the College of Education, or the University.

  • Is receptive to faculty feedback and acts meaningfully and professionally upon suggestions
  • Reflects on his or her own progress and identifies strengths and weaknesses, including evaluating strategies for success, finding alternatives for inappropriate strategies, and modifying future practices
  • Demonstrates a positive attitude and commitment to the profession
  • Demonstrates thoughtful, effective verbal and non-verbal communication and listening skills
  • Respects and considers cultural contexts in order to determine how to be responsive to learners and to proactively promote all students' learning
  • Is committed to collaboration with colleagues, families, and communities in order to promote all students' learning and development
  • Demonstrates professional ethical and legal behavior as defined by the respective codes of ethics and laws
  • Recognizes and fulfills professional responsibilities and habits of conduct (e.g., dress, language, preparedness, attendance, punctuality, etc.)
  • Demonstrates concern for and protection of safety and well-being of others 

Degree Conferral and Graduation

The awarding of a degree is not automatic. You must submit an application to be considered for the degree. DePaul awards and posts degrees at the end of each regular academic term (autumn, winter, spring, summer).

It is your responsibility to initiate the degree conferral application process by submitting an online application. Submitting an application means you intend to finish your degree requirements by the end of the term for which you have applied.

Graduate students must be approved for student teaching and complete student teaching, seminar, and induction courses to be cleared for the degree. Student must submit graduation application for the quarter you are completing the final course (student teaching is considered a course).

After you submit the application, you cannot register for any term after the one selected in the application.

To apply for degree conferral, log on to Campus Connection. Select FOR STUDENTS, then GRADUATION, then APPLY FOR DEGREE CONFERRAL. On screen instructions will take you through the application process.

Provided that all requirements and financial obligations are met, degrees are posted 30 days after the official end of the term. Official dates are listed on the Academic Calendar.

DePaul holds one commencement ceremony each year in June. If you intend to participate, you must first apply for degree conferral for the current academic year and then submit a cap and gown order. Honors are not announced at the ceremony for undergraduates completing their final courses in spring quarter because a final GPA is not available at the time of the ceremony.

Additional information about degree conferral and graduation can be found on the College of Education website.​

Degree Requirements

MA Degree Requirements

Specific degree requirements are determined according to the concentration chosen by the student. Master of Arts (MA) concentration is available in Curriculum Specialist.

Please review the concentration requirements pages for more information.

Please note: a Master’s Thesis is completed for the MA concentration in conjunction with faculty advisement. Preparation for the writing of the Thesis should begin well in advance of the completion of coursework. Oral examination on Thesis required. Consult the MA Thesis Handbook for additional information. 

MEd Degree Requirements

Specific degree requirements are determined according to the concentration chosen by the student. Master of Education (MEd) concentrations are available in Curriculum Specialist (degree only), Teacher Leader (degree with endorsement), Computer Science (degree with endorsement).

Please review the concentration requirements pages for more information.

Please note: A Capstone project is completed for only (Curriculum Specialist and Teachers Leader) MEd Concentrations in conjunction with faculty advisement, and students are required to take CS 608 to complete the Capstone project.

Academic Standards

Students must maintain a 3.0 average or higher to continue in the program. Any grade below a C will not count for credit toward completion of the program.

Concentrations, tracks and specializations provide focus to the major. In addition to any college core requirements and major requirements, students are required to complete the following: