Montana State University

Curriculum & Instruction Program Overview

  • Program Overview
  • Masters Program
  • Doctoral Program
  • Application Process

Overview

The program in Curriculum & Instruction offers a Master of Education and a Doctor of Education. The Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree is designed to meet the needs of elementary and secondary classroom teachers, subject matter specialists, subject area supervisors, curriculum coordinators, and educational scholars and researchers. The Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree has three options: the Professional Educator, Educational Research, and Technology Education.

The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree is designed to prepare graduates to assume positions in college and university teacher education programs.  Graduates will develop the rich knowledge base in educational theory and practice needed to conduct research and engage in service to the greater education community.  The program offers multiple opportunities to engage in college teaching, research grounded in cutting-edge educational issues, and collaborative activities in diverse educational settings including faculty from other disciplines.  Refer to the Curriculum and Instruction website located at: http://www.montana.edu/wwweduc/grad/ci/index.shtml#tab=0 for additional and current information regarding courses offered and schedules.

The Department also offers the School Library Media Graduate Endorsement program. This totally online program is offered through the Montana State University Extended University. It consists of 21 semester credits (7 courses). The program is for teachers who want to add an endorsement in K-12 Library Media to a teaching license or take courses for certification in Library Media. Information for this program is located at: http://www.montana.edu/libmedia/

Program Objectives

At the Master's level, the Curriculum and Instruction program offers the following three options:

Professional Educator

In our redesigned online program students will share strengths, develop new instructional strategies, study theory and best practice, as well as examine current issues in education and consider implications for teaching practice. Students who complete the Professional Educator option of the Curriculum & Instruction Master’s degree are expected to demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions of a master teacher.

Technology Education 

Students who complete the online Technology Education option of the Curriculum & Instruction Master’s degree are expected to demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions of a master teacher.

Educational Researcher

Students who complete the hybrid Educational Researcher option of the Curriculum & Instruction Master’s degree are expected to demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions of a professional researcher.

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Program Flow

The graduate faculty are committed to offering multiple avenues for students to fulfill their goals and expectations for advanced study in teaching, learning, and curriculum design. The program provides academic preparation for educators who seek higher education in order to become master teachers, scholars, researchers, or curriculum coordinators in schools, districts, and other educational agencies. The program is structured to allow full-time working professionals to continue their jobs while working toward an advanced degree.

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Committees

Students in the Professional Educator and Technology Education options of the Curriculum and Instruction Master's program will be assigned an advisor. The advisor will guide the student's course selection and progress toward degree completion including the submission of the student's Graduate Program of Study form. Students in the Educational Researcher option will be guided by a graduate committee. Committee members will be included on the student's Program of Study at the discretion of the advisor/chair.

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The Master’s Capstone ~ Comprehensive Examinations

The Capstone Experience of the Master of Education degree is composed of two Comprehensive Examinations. These are the major final academic examinations during Master’s degree study that assure the graduate faculty the student has attained sufficient mastery of a program of study. Through this Capstone experience, students will demonstrate mastery in: knowledge of pertinent literature, academic and theoretical grounding, development of professional skills, and the ability to conduct effective educational research.

Capstone for the Professional Educator and Technology Education Options

As M.Ed. students in the Professional Educator and Technology Education Options approach the end of their coursework (approximately 21 credits completed), they will contact their advisor/chair to discuss the content, format, and time frame for their Master’s Capstone.

The Master’s Capstone for the Professional Educator and Technology Education Options is composed of two elements:

  1. The Written Comprehensive Exam entails the completion of EDCI 575 - Professional Paper/Project.  The content and design of the Professional Paper/Project will be determined by consultation between the advisor/chair and the student. The Professional Paper/Project will be designed to most appropriately meet the professional growth and learning needs of the individual student. Students are required to use  APA format.

    The completed Professional Paper/Project will be evaluated for written competency (quality, thoroughness, depth, and professionalism) as well as the student’s mastery of: pertinent literature, academic and theoretical underpinnings, development of professional skills, and the ability to conduct effective educational research.
     
  2. The Oral Comprehensive Exam entails formal presentation of the findings from the Professional Paper/Project.  The student will give a one (1) hour oral presentation of the Professional Paper/Project. Students can be queried about their research as well as all areas of program content during the oral presentation. The presentation will be evaluated for oral competency and mastery of: knowledge of pertinent literature, academic and theoretical grounding, development of professional skills, and the ability to conduct effective educational research.

Professional Paper Guidelines 
Download Professional Paper Guidelines

Capstone for the Educational Researcher Option

The Master’s Capstone for the Educational Researcher Option is composed of a Written Comprehensive Exam and an Oral Comprehensive Exam. 

  1. Written Comprehensive Exam
    As M.Ed. students in the Educational Research Option approach the end of their first year of study, they will contact their Committee Chair to discuss the format, content, and time frame of their Master’s Thesis. The content of the Master’s Thesis will be an original research project determined by consultation between the chair and the student and must be approved by the student's Master’s Committee. Students are required to complete the Master’s Thesis using APA format.

    The completed Master’s Thesis will be submitted to the student’s Committee for evaluation. Committee members will have approximately two weeks to read and evaluate the content and written competency (quality, thoroughness, and completeness of the research) of the Thesis.
     
  2. Oral Comprehensive Exam
    At the end of the two-week period, the student will give a 1-2 hour oral presentation and defense of the Thesis to the Master’s Committee. Students can be queried about all areas of program content during the oral presentation and Thesis defense. The presentation will be evaluated for research content and oral competency.

Program Objectives

The Doctoral Degree in Curriculum and Instruction has been designed to prepare students to teach in teacher education programs across the country in college and university settings. Progress through the degree provides students with opportunities to develop their professional knowledge and skills in the areas of research, teaching, and service.

The graduate faculty is committed to offering multiple avenues for students to reach their goals and expectations for advanced study in teaching, learning, and teacher education. The program takes an integrated approach to pre-service teacher education. The study of the theoretical underpinnings of teacher education are carefully examined in the context of practical experiences in teacher education research, college teaching, and professional service.

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Program Flow

After being admitted the student will be assigned a temporary advisor and should then meet with his/her assigned advisor. Actual courses taken during the initial stage will be based on the student's previous academic work and advisor/committee approval.

The program is designed to be specifically tailored to each doctoral student's area of research interest while providing cutting edge knowledge and skills in research and theory. The program is structured to be completed in 3 to 4 years and attempts to provide tuition support for residential doctoral students.

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Program of Study

Core Content ~ 15 Credits
Research - 9 credits; choose from the following 9
Educational Statistics II
Applied Ed Rsch
Qualitative Educational Rsch
Quantitative Educational Rsch
Research Electives appropriate to area of specialization & approved by Graduate Advisor
Curriculum & Instruction Core - 3 credits; choose from the following: 3
Adv Educational Psychology
General School Curriculum
History & Philosophy of Ed
Phil Issues in Ed
Curriculum & Instruction Electives appropriate to area of specialization & approved by Graduate Advisor
Internships/Apprenticeships - 3 credits; choose from the following 3
Internship (Teaching)
Internship (Supervision)
Internship (Research)
Independent Study
Concentration ~ 15 credits
Courses selected appropriate to area of specialization & approved by Graduate Advisor 15
Dissertation ~ 15 credits
EDCI 690 Doctoral Thesis 15
Total Credits 45
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Committees

Each doctoral student's committee must consist of at least five approved members. The chair and one other approved member must be from the Curriculum & Instruction faculty. Two other approved members will be selected based upon their ability to contribute to the student's studies leading up to and through the dissertation research. These two committee members must have academic credentials in the area of the student's program of study and be approved by the Dean of the Graduate School. A fifth member of the committee is an approved faculty member appointed by the Graduate School and serves as the graduate representative.

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Chairs

The student should carefully select his/her chair after thorough conversations with those Curriculum & Instruction faculty members that he/she believes might have an interest in their doctoral research agenda and/or the ability to work with them toward generating a defensible dissertation. The chair will give leadership and approval regarding the balance of the committee's potential membership. The committee, as a whole, is subject to the approval of the Head of the Department of Education. The chair will facilitate program approval, comprehensive exam planning and clarification, proposal hearing, and dissertation defense. Chairs and members of a student's committee are subject to change. Revision to the program of study can be made during the course of study with the chair's approval.

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Comprehensive Examinations

As Ed.D. students in Curriculum & Instruction approach the end of their coursework (30 credits completed), and prior to the Dissertation proposal meeting, they will contact their committee chair to discuss the content and format of the written and oral comprehensive examinations. The Written Comprehensive Examination will be composed of one question from each of three primary areas: Educational Foundations (e.g., synthesis of theoretical and empirical literature regarding various aspects of teaching and learning), Educational Research (demonstration of mastery of aspects of both qualitative and quantitative projects such as sampling, validity, reliability, data analysis) and the student’s major area of study (e.g., methods of science education for preservice teachers). Students who are completing a minor (e.g., History) will answer one additional question in their minor area.

The committee chair will discuss the process with committee members and based upon the members’ area of expertise, designate one member to compose an appropriate question for each of the suggested areas. The members will submit their questions to the chair who will compile them and give them to the student. The written comprehensive examination will be structured as a written take-home exam that is to be completed over the subsequent 1 to 2 week period. Students are required to complete the exam using APA format.

The completed written examination will be submitted to the committee chair and copies will be distributed to the entire doctoral committee for evaluation. Committee members will have two weeks to read and evaluate the content and written competency of the student’s responses. At the end of the two week period, the committee will meet for a two-hour oral comprehensive examination. The chair will facilitate the meeting and determine the order of questioning. At the completion of the questioning and in the absence of the student, the entire committee will discuss their evaluation of the outcome of the examination. The chair will work with the committee to make a determination regarding passing or failing both the written and comprehensive components of the examination.

The comprehensive exams must be completed by the posted Graduate School deadlines.

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Additional Doctor of Education Requirements

The Doctor of Education degree must meet the minimum requirements in the For Doctoral Students section of the Graduate School's website. Additional requirements for the Ed.D. degree beyond these minimums are available through the Department of Education. All Ed.D. degree candidates are expected to be familiar with The Graduate School's degree requirements, listed here: http://www.montana.edu/gradschool/cat_for_doc_stud.html.

Application Process for the M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction (Ed.D. listed below)

Applicants are required to submit the following documentation via the Graduate School Online Application System

  1. Completed Graduate School Application
  2. Resume/Curriculum Vitae
  3. GPA calculation sheet for undergraduate degree – The form is provided during the application process.
  4. Academic Transcripts – Provide official transcripts from all higher education institutions attended to the Department of Education Graduate Programs Office, 215 Reid Hall, PO Box 172880, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717. Admission to the program requires a cumulative GPA of 3.0 for the last two years of undergraduate coursework.
  5. Three (3) Personal Essays – Each essay should be a maximum of 2 pages in length, typed, double spaced, and must respond to the following:
    1. Essay 1 - Describe your career goals for the future and how you see the completion of a Master's degree in Curriculum & Instruction as helping you achieve your goals.
    2. Essay 2 - Describe your personal strengths as an educator and identify the ways in which you believe you could use your strengths to contribute to the cohort of students with whom you will be studying.
    3. Essay 3 - Describe the areas in which you want and need to grow as a professional educator/researcher.
  6. Three (3) Professional References – One of the three letters must be from your current direct supervisor on program letterhead. Applicants who do not have a letter from a present supervisor must provide a written explanation identifying the specific reason(s) why they were unable to secure a letter of recommendation from their present supervisor.
  7. Official GRE scores – These scores are required ONLY for those applying to the Professional Researcher option. (minimum Verbal 150, Quantitative 145). Submit official scores to Montana State University (code 4488).
  8. For International Applicants ONLY
    TOEFL (http://www.ets.org/toefl) or ACE level 7 - Applicants who are not U.S. citizens and not from countries where English is the official language are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language and score a minimum 213 (paper version- 550, 80 for the iBT). This requirement may be waived if the applicant has earned an undergraduate or graduate degree from an institution in the U.S.
  9. For International Applicants ONLY
    International Student Financial Certificate (http://www.montana.edu/wwwdg/pdf_files/fin_cert.pdf)
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Application Process for the Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction

​Applicants are required to submit the following documentation via the Graduate School Online Application System

  1. Completed Graduate School Application
  2. Resume/Curriculum Vitae
  3. GPA calculation sheet for Masters Degree – The form is provided during the application process.
  4. Academic Transcripts – Provide official transcripts from all higher education institutions attended to the Department of Education Graduate Programs Office, 215 Reid Hall, PO Box 172880, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717.
  5. Personal Essay – The essay should be a maximum of 4 pages in length, typed, double spaced, and respond to the following.
    1. Describe your development as an educator, your future career goals, and how you see the completion of a Doctoral Degree in Curriculum & Instruction as helping you achieve your goals.
    2. Describe your personal strengths and interests as an educator and identify the ways in which you believe you could use your strengths to contribute to the cohort of students with whom you will be studying.
    3. Indicate whether you would be studying as a resident close to the MSU campus or via distance education.
    4. Indicate the area of teacher education in which you would like to conduct research.
  6. Three (3) Professional References
  7. Official Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores – Applicants are required to take the General Test of the GRE. A GRE subject exam is not required. You will need to submit official GRE scores showing a minimum Verbal score of 150 and a minimum Quantitative score of 145.
  8. For International Applicants ONLY
    TOEFL (http://www.ets.org/toefl) or ACE level 7 – Applicants who are not U.S. citizens and not from countries where English is the official language are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language and score a minimum 213 (paper version- 550, 80 for the iBT). This requirement may be waived if the applicant has earned an undergraduate or graduate degree from an institution in the U.S.
  9. For International Applicants ONLY
    International Student Financial Certificate (http://www.montana.edu/wwwdg/pdf_files/fin_cert.pdf)
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Application Deadlines

The following are the preferred application deadline dates by which all of the application materials must be submitted via the online application system. To apply, Complete the online application through the Graduate School Online Application System

Fall Semester:  May 1st
Spring Semester:  November 1st
Summer Semester:  April 1st

The following are the absolute application deadline dates. If an applicant is unable to submit all application materials via the online application system by the preferred dates listed above, he or she can submit the materials by the date listed below, as there will be a second review.

Fall Semester: August 15th
Spring Semester: January 2nd
Summer Semester: May 1st

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Admission to Curriculum & Instruction Programs

The Montana State University online graduate application form can be found at www.montana.edu/wwwdg/apply.shtml. A nonrefundable $60 application fee must accompany the online application. The application fee may be paid online using a debit card, credit card, or a personal check from a financial institution in the United States. Applications will not be processed without receipt of the application fee.

Complete applications will be reviewed and rated by members of the Graduate Admissions Committee who then convene to make final admission decisions. Once applicants are accepted, their applications will be forwarded to the Graduate School for final administrative processing.  Please note that the application review process will begin on the application deadline dates and not before.

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Contact Information

For additional application information:

Maggie Secrest
Graduate Program Assistant
PO Box 172880
Montana State University
Reid Hall 215
Bozeman, MT 59717-2880 
margaret.secrest@montana.edu 

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