The graduate degree programs in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction (C&I) at Penn State provide innovative research experiences for graduate students. With a focus on exploring the role of education in public life that includes early childhood settings, schools, teacher education contexts, and community institutions, our department is committed to studying and practicing equity-minded pedagogical approaches, how early childhood through 12th grade students learn and understand different content areas, and identifying and critiquing systemic inequities. C&I faculty are leaders in their fields, conducting cutting-edge research across many areas of study pertaining to education theories and practices representing various academic disciplines, ages and grade levels, research paradigms, and methodologies. Our courses are grounded in current educational theory, research-informed pedagogies, and are taught by C&I faculty. Graduate students in our program benefit from engaging with faculty in teaching, research, and outreach directed toward the creation, development, and maintenance of diverse educational projects.  

Students in the C&I graduate programs (M.S. and Ph.D.) are offered a broad array of graduate-level courses and experiences. In addition to taking coursework in their emphasis area(s), graduate students in the Master of Science and Doctoral programs learn about educational research in a number of ways – through coursework, in collaborations with faculty, and ultimately from their own independent research projects. The expansive range of educational courses within and beyond our C&I department at Penn State offers students a variety of opportunities to situate and develop their plan of study, whether that be in a particular academic discipline or through interdisciplinary, and even inter-departmental exploration. Our Master of Science program also prepares students for studies in a number of education doctoral programs. 

Our Master of Education (M.Ed.) programs are offered as resident programs or through our World Campus program. Students enrolled in our Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree programs engage with faculty in the professional development of teachers through courses and purposeful experiences in a wide variety of formats and emphasis areas. Students who graduate from our M.Ed. program often transition into school and district curriculum and instruction leadership roles. This program also prepares students for studies in a number of education doctoral programs.  

Ranked among the top Curriculum and Instruction graduate programs in the United States, the Department offers the time, space, and expertise for our students to develop their knowledge and pedagogy in order to bring together educational practice with the latest theory and research. Graduates from the PhD program go on to university and college faculty positions, leadership positions in policy, state departments of education, and school districts. Graduates from the master’s degree programs (M.S. and MEd) often take on leadership roles in their schools or districts, such as curriculum specialists or grade level chairs, or continue their education in doctoral programs.  

We hope to welcome you to our C&I community soon. We are…the Penn State Department of Curriculum & Instruction.  

Dr. Scott McDonald

Interim Department Head, Curriculum & Instruction 

Dr. Kimberly Powell 

Director of Graduate Studies, Curriculum & Instruction 

Curriculum & Supervision
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Early Childhood Education
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Language, Culture, and Society
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Literacies and English Language Arts
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Mathematics Education
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Science Education
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Second Language & Multilingual Education
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Social Studies Education
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Master of Education


Master of Science


Doctor of Philosophy


Graduate Study through World Campus

Advance your knowledge of curriculum, teaching, learning, teacher education, and educational supervision with this M.Ed. This flexible degree program allows you to choose your area of emphasis, preparing you to succeed in an increasingly diverse educational landscape.

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