• Students may choose either a research or practicum path
  • Off-campus cohort groups bring opportunities to students in their communities
  • Program analyzes curriculum choices and strategies
  • MTSU seeks to help teachers develop teaching skills that improve student performance

Curriculum and Instruction, M.Ed., Ed.S.

The Curriculum and Instruction program, leading either to a Master of Education (M.Ed.) or a Specialist in Education (Ed.S.) degree is designed to foster the development of teaching skills that result in increased pupil performance. By analyzing curriculum choices and strategies, along with best teaching practices, those who complete either of these programs will be better equipped to provide an environment in which students engage in relevant and meaningful learning activities. Upon enrollment in a Curriculum and Licensure program, students will select either the research path or the practicum path. MTSU offers a specialization in secondary education licensure. This specialization offers a path for non-licensed degree-holding individuals seeking licensure to teach in secondary public schools. The Womack Educational Leadership department also offers a non-licensure generalist Curriculum and Instruction major.

Grad named National Teacher of the Year

Grad named National Teacher of the Year

Terry Weeks, a full-time professor and graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, exemplifies the excellence of the Womack Educational Leadership department. Weeks is the only National Teacher of the Year in history to hail from Tennessee! This is quite an accomplishment considering that the Council of Chief State School Officers created the program more than six decades ago in 1952 in an effort to highlight and reward excellence in teaching. Weeks was teaching social studies at Central Middle School, Murfreesboro, in 1988 when he was named National Teacher of the Year. He had graduated from MTSU in 1972 with his undergraduate degree and in 1974 after completing his master’s in Curriculum and Instruction. He had a tremendous impact on individual schoolchildren while he was a classroom teacher, as well as an impact on the profession as a whole. Weeks works diligently in his role as a professor within the Curriculum and Instruction program to prepare the teachers of tomorrow. His students are taught to go out into the workforce and take jobs in classrooms across Tennessee, the South, and the nation.

Degrees made possible by cohort groups

Degrees made possible by cohort groups

“Living in a rural part of southern middle Tennessee has many perks, but the downside is that you are quite a drive from most activities,” says Kim McFall of Collinwood, who began teaching in 1985 and finished her master's in 1988 before having a family. “With the added responsibilities of children, it never seemed feasible to pursue an advanced degree. Several different times, I sought programs that might fit into my schedule, but that became increasingly difficult especially after I accepted a 12-month position outside the classroom,” she remembers. In 2012, a fellow teacher contacted her about joining a cohort seeking an Ed.S. in Curriculum and Instruction. “I hesitated to make the commitment, but at the very first meeting I was assured that the professors would work to help each student succeed,” McFall says, adding that they received their degrees in Spring 2014. “It would not have been possible had the classes not been brought to my home county! I was amazed at how much I learned from our professors as well as the others in our cohort. The program is designed for teachers who are working on the front lines, allowing them to readily implement the concepts and practices being discussed. This creates a perfect balance between instruction and practice, theory and practicality,” McFall says. More recently, both her niece, Ragan Greer, and her daughter, Amelia McFall Baer, have pursued additional degrees through cohorts that brought classes to them. “MTSU has helped my family of teachers sharpen their skills and be better informed, more knowledgeable educators,” McFall concludes.

Graduates from the Curriculum and Instruction programs may be employed in a variety of positions. Examples include, but are not limited to,

  • Central office personnel
  • Department chairs
  • Instructional leaders or supervisors
  • Team leaders

MTSU graduates are employed through various school districts throughout Tennessee; examples include

  • Cannon County Schools
  • Coffee County Schools
  • Franklin County Schools
  • Franklin Special School District Schools
  • Murfreesboro City Schools
  • Rutherford County Schools
  • Tullahoma Schools
  • Van Buren County Schools
  • Warren County Schools
  • Wayne County Schools
  • White County Schools
  • Williamson County Schools
  • Wilson County Schools

The Womack Educational Leadership Department offers the Specialist in Education degree (Ed.S.) with a major in Curriculum and Instruction with both on- and off-campus cohorts. A Master of Education (M.Ed.) with a major in Curriculum and Instruction is offered. Specializations include secondary education licensure, offering a path for non-licensed degree-holding individuals seeking licensure to teach in secondary public schools. The department also offers a non-licensure generalist Curriculum and Instruction major.

For complete curriculum details, click on the REQUIREMENTS tab above. 

Also available under the Curriculum and Instruction major is a concentration in English as a Second Language leading to an M.Ed.

The department offers the Ed.S. with a major in Curriculum and Instruction and a specialization in Culture, Cognition, and the Learning Process.

Other graduate degrees

Under the Administration and Supervision major, Womack Educational Leadership offers the M.Ed., as well as a concentration in Agricultural Education Leadership. Administration and Supervision programs leading to an Ed.S. include specializations in Higher Education and Instructional Leader Licensure.

The major in Library Science leads to a Master in Library Science (M.L.S.).

A major in Professional Counseling includes programs leading to an M.Ed., with concentrations also available in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling.

Curriculum and Instruction, M.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction, Ed.S.

Curriculum and Instruction, M.Ed.

James Huffman, Program Director
(615) 898-2855

The Womack Educational Leadership Department offers the Specialist in Education degree (Ed.S.) with majors in Administration and Supervision as well as Curriculum and Instruction and the Master of Education degree (M.Ed.) with majors in Administration and Supervision, Curriculum and Instruction, and Professional Counseling.

The M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction offers a concentration in English as a Second Language and a specialization for the professional education coursework needed for teacher licensure (secondary education licensure path).

The Curriculum and Instruction program is designed to foster the development of teaching skills that result in increased pupil performance. By analyzing curriculum choices and strategies, along with best teaching practices, those who complete this program will be better equipped to provide an environment in which students engage in relevant and meaningful learning activities.

Please see undergraduate catalog for information regarding undergraduate programs.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction program requires

  1. an earned bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college;
  2. a satisfactory score on the Miller Analogies Test, the Graduate Record Examination, or the Praxis II (Principles of Learning and Teaching) or a valid Tennessee Teacher license;
  3. teacher licensure—the licensure requirements may be waived in special circumstances.

Students pursuing an M.Ed. degree must be fully admitted to the program prior to the completion of their initial semester of coursework.

Application Procedures

All application materials are to be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.

Applicant must

  1. submit an application with the appropriate application fee (online at www.mtsu.edu/graduate/apply.php);
  2. submit official transcripts of all previous college work;
  3. submit three letters of recommendation addressing the applicant’s potential for completing the Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction;
  4. submit official scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), Miller Analogies Test (MAT), or Praxis II or a copy of the teaching license.

Degree Requirements

Once admitted to the program, candidate must

  1. complete 33 semester hours with no more than 30 percent of the total degree hours dually listed as undergraduate/graduate hours (see specifics in Curriculum section below);
  2. successfully complete a written comprehensive examination during the semester of graduation (exam may be retaken once).

Curriculum: Curriculum and Instruction

Candidate must complete 33 hours in the following course of study:

Required Courses (9 hours)


  • FOED 6020 - Educational Foundations

    3 credit hours

    Assists educational personnel in developing contexts and concepts in which educational problems and issues may be understood through awareness of findings in humanistic and behavioral studies.

  • FOED 6610 - Analysis and Application of Educational Research

    3 credit hours

    Qualitative and quantitative research applicable to the field of education. Both producers and consumers of educational research with a literature review presented to support possible solutions to significant hypotheses or problems.

  • SPSE 6430 - Introduction to Curriculum Development

    3 credit hours

    Opportunity to study, discuss, and evaluate modern practices and procedures in curriculum development and reorganization in schools and school systems.

Specialized Core (18 hours)

  • SPSE 6140 - Teacher Leadership for School Improvement

    3 credit hours

    Assessing standard teaching practices, analyzing the relationship between effective teaching and effective schools, and developing strategies for instructional and school improvement. Includes experiences to help students become more reflective in their daily teaching.

  • SPSE 6250 - Seminar in Curriculum Improvement

    3 credit hours

    For the advanced major in curriculum development utilizing small group or seminar approach. Issues and research in curriculum improvement analyzed critically.


  • SPSE 6480 - Instructional Excellence in Secondary Schools

    3 credit hours

    Development of creative approaches for secondary classroom teaching in order to stimulate creative and critical thinking abilities of students.


  • SPSE 6640 - Microcomputers in the K-12 Educational Setting

    3 credit hours

    Offers preparation for incorporating microcomputer technology into the K-12 school environment. Student designs a computer-assisted instruction project by applying the microcomputer skills and understanding acquired.

  • FOED 6630 - Educational Tests and Measurements

    3 credit hours

    Basic concepts in educational measurement and evaluation; evaluation as a part of the teaching-learning process; utilization of evaluation for instructional improvement.

Electives (6 hours)

 To be selected with approval of advisor

Program Notes

Students taking courses for licensure renewal, add-on endorsements, or "plus 30" upgrade on teacher licensure should register as non-degree-seeking students. Students enrolling in 6000-level courses must hold a bachelor's degree, and students enrolling in 7000-level courses must hold a master's degree. Non-degree-seeking students cannot register for 7000-level courses without departmental permission.

Candidate must

  1. file a degree plan in the College of Graduate Studies prior to entry into the program;
  2. file a Notice of Intent to Graduate form in the College of Graduate Studies within the first two weeks of the semester in which the student intends to graduate.