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The 10 Most Affordable Online Master's in Curriculum and Instruction - Early Childhood Education Degrees
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The 10 Most Affordable Online Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction


If you are looking to move into curricular development, chances are you’re an advocate for positive change in the field of education. We selected these programs because we understand the value of finding an affordable course – it may be the difference between going back for an advanced degree or not. And we think this is a positive change in an increasingly expensive educational landscape!

For this ranking, we also considered the fact that “sticker price” often isn’t what students pay for tuition, and we looked at the percentage of students receiving financial aid for all programs. All of these picks show a percentage of 92% and higher of students who receive financial aid. And rest assured, the more affordable a course does not correlate with lower quality. It just so happens that established programs with the latest information in curriculum and instruction are also academically fantastic and able to offer affordable tuition rates. The education you receive from these programs offer extremely high academic quality. This is the definition of value: an affordable online high quality education that prepares you for real advancement in your career. If you are ready to learn about the latest in educational research, methods for integrating technology into your classrooms and schools, and best practice for curriculum design for exceptional learners and more, these are our top ten Affordable Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction.

Our Metrics:

  • Out-of-State Tuition Rate weighted for the number of potential in-state students.

  • Percentage of Students Receiving Financial Aid.

1.) Clarion University of Pennsylvania

Clarion University of Pennsylvania is a public 4-year university located in Clarion, Pennsylvania. There are 5,224 students enrolled, and the student-to-faculty ratio is 19:1. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education accredits Clarion University to award associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees as well as postbaccalaureate certificates, and post-master’s certifications. According to U.S. News Clarion University ranks 86th for best online MBA programs and 133rd for best online graduate education programming. There are over 100 academic programs hailing from their College of Arts, Education and Sciences, School of Education, College of Business Administration Sciences, and School of Information Sciences. Students may select from a vast range of programs that include programming from accounting to theater. The online offerings are robust as well including over 25 bachelor’s, master’s, and professional certification programs. The most popular online degrees are in the fields of education, business, and health.

We selected Clarion University’s M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction for its affordable online tuition rate, and percentage of students receiving financial aid. That’s not all, CU offers a number of concentrations for a wide-variety of educational interests. The Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction is broken into four core component parts including the education core, specialization courses, electives, and a capstone. The core components emphasize research, curriculum development and evaluation, professionalism, and either an analysis of teaching or a reading pedagogy. Specialization classes naturally focus on curriculum and its foundation, instructional leadership skills, classroom assessment for learning, and educational computer application. Each student is required to take 6 elective courses that include special education, management, history and many others. We like the flexibility afforded in the capstone experience as students may select to finish their degree with either one of these: a written comprehensive exam, portfolio presentation, an a thesis defense. The total credit hour requirements for this degree are 30 and the cost is $260 per credit hour. 95% of students receive some form of financial aid.

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  • Out-of-state Tuition Per Credit Hour: $260

2.) Greenville University

Greenville University- previously Greenville College, is a public liberal arts Free Methodist institution located in Greenville, Illinois. There are 1,211 students enrolled who benefit from small classes and a student-to-faculty ratio of 11:1. The Higher Learning Commission accredits Greenville University to award bachelor’s and master’s degrees. According to U.S. News, Greenville University ranks as the 74th best school in the Midwest. The most popular degree programs are in the fields of business, Arts, and education. Though there are opportunities available in a wide range of fields including biology, digital media, health, nursing, engineering and more. Though a small liberal arts university, Greenville awards 10 online degrees including bachelor’s and master’s degrees. They have robust programming in marking, physical education and coaching, curriculum and instruction and more. There is even a unique online course for medical psychology. We like Greenville University for its affordable online tuition, quality of academic programming, and flexible online course offerings.

Greenville University offers a Master of Arts with a major in Curriculum and instruction. This program is appropriate for both traditional and non traditional education fields and may be completed in 24 months. We selected this online course for its affordable tuition rate and the percentage of students who receive financial aid. 100% of students attending receive some degree of financial aid. Students are not required a teacher certification to enroll in this program. This 30 credit hour program is broken into two components: course material and a capstone project. All students will study managing learning technologies, managing change in education, literacy, assessment, instruction methods and program valuation, curricular design and more. The capstone experience is achieved through the practical implementation of the course material in the student’s classroom or organization. The cost of this affordable program is just $418 per credit hour.

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  • Out-of-state Tuition Per Credit Hour: $418

3.) Louisiana State University Shreveport

Louisiana State University Shreveport (LSUS) is a public four-year institution that is located in Shreveport, Louisiana. There are 4,746 students enrolled and the student to faculty ratio is 22:1. According to U.S. News LSUS ranks highly for its best online graduate education programs as well as for its business degrees. Quality academic programs come from their two academic colleges: College of Arts and Science and the College of Business Education and Human Development. Students have a wide range of programs to select from including accounting, marketing, and sociology among others. We selected LSUS for is affordable online degree offerings. When it comes to tuition, students at LSUS are fortunate to find these unbeatable prices for quality: undergraduates pay just $5,630 per year while graduate students pay $5,852 per year. The average cost for tuition is thousands of dollars above this rate and when factoring in the cost for room and board, the average undergraduate saves $90,000 over the course of their bachelor’s degree- savings that equate to a high value learning experience.

Louisiana State University Shreveport (LSUS) offers a fully online Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Curriculum and Instruction. This program may be completed in 24 months. We selected this program for its affordable tuition and high percentage of individuals receiving financial aid but we also like the 5 areas of concentration offered. Students have the flexibility to focus on areas of specific interest. Those concentration areas include: a concentration in reading and literacy, EST, Educational Technology, Academically Gifted, and a General Emphasis. All programs require 36 credit hours for completion. The General Emphasis includes two components: foundation course and additional courses. The foundation courses include educational research, curriculum, learning and education, educational technology and more. Additional courses will cover areas from the other concentrations such as foundations in reading, curriculum in a multicultural classroom and teaching English as a second language. Students have the freedom to develop their own final project. The cost of this affordable online course is $418 per credit hour.

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  • Out-of-state Tuition Per Credit Hour: $349

4.) Gardner-Webb University

Gardner-Webb University is a private 4-year institution located in Boiling, North Carolina. There are 3,915 students enrolled who benefit from their small classes and a student-to-faculty ratio of 13:1. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accredits Gardner-Webb to award associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees as well as postbaccalaureate certifications and post-master’s certificates. There are two colleges and over 15 departments providing curricula for myriad of degree opportunities including some of their most popular programs in psychology, business, home land security, and health. According to U.S. News Gardner-Webb ranks as the 220th best school in the nation and has the 75th best online graduate business programs. In addition to a vast range of brick-and-mortar degree offerings, Gardner-Webb offers robust online course offerings in fields like business, education, health, social science and more. Online course range from bachelor’s degrees to doctoral degrees and include professional certifications. We selected Gardner-Webb for its affordable online course offerings, high quality of education, and flexible online degree offerings as well as the large percentage of students receiving financial aid.

Gardner-Webb offers an online Master of Arts in Teacher Leadership in Curriculum and Instruction. This program is appropriate for teachers who aim to gain a better understanding of how leadership and curricular development inform and advance their teaching practice. We selected this program for its affordable online tuition rate as well as the high percentage of students who receive financial aid. This course includes core academic work as well a practicum. Students will engage with philosophy history, and methodology of curriculum and instruction, teaching strategies for diverse populations, measurement assessment and action research, current issues and special topics for teacher leaders, and teaching literacy in the age of accountability. This course is 5 semesters, and requires 33 credit hours for completion. The cost of this program is $429 per credit hour and 100% of students attending receive some form of financial aid.

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  • Out-of-state Tuition Per Credit Hour: $429

5.) University of Central Missouri

The University of Central Missouri (UCM) is a public state university located in Warrensburg, Missouri. There are 13,988 students enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 19:1. The Higher Learning Commission accredits UCM to award bachelor’s and master’s degrees as well as postbaccalaureate certificates and post-master’s certificates. According to U.S. News UCM ranks as the 86th best university in the Midwest, 21st top public school, and 72nd for best online graduate education programs. UCM also ranks in G.I. Jobs as one of the top ten military friendly institutions not only for active military and veterans but also for spouses. Additional student support services include remedial services, academic/career counseling, employment services for students, placement services for graduates, and on-campus day care for students’ children. We like UCM for its wide range of high quality academic offerings, affordable tuition rates, and robust online learning opportunities.

University of Central Missouri offers a Master of Science in Education (MSE) in Curriculum and Instruction. There are three options available online: K-12 Education/Curriculum and Instruction, Middle Level Education/ Curriculum and Instruction, and Secondary Education/ Curriculum and Instruction. We selected this course for its affordable tuition rates and high level of students who receive financial aid. In fact, 95% of students receive financial aid of some sort. This online course is broken into three component parts: core course for 18 credit hours, 9 credit hours for electives, and 3 credit hours for the capstone experience. The core courses are in advanced foundations of education, curriculum development and assessment, contemporary instruction, differentiation in K-12 learning environments, advanced curriculum development and assessment, and research. This affordable program requires 30 credit hours for completion and costs $324 per credit hour.

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  • Out-of-state Tuition Per Credit Hour: $324

6.) Chadron State College

Chadron State College is a public school located in Chadron, Nebraska and enrolls 3,000 students from across the U.S. Student-to-faculty ratio is 20:1 where 83% of faculty hold the highest degree in their field. The Higher Learning Commission accredits Chadron State to award bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The college is situated in the northern part of the Nebraska Panhandle and five of its colleges are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Chadron is regularly listed as one of top 50 sports and outdoor towns. Chadron is more than a beautiful place to go to school, it offers over 100 degree programs for undergraduate and graduate students and is very affordable offering a flat-rate for in-state and out-of-state tuition. In fact, this affordable tuition rate is just $4,620- far below the national average for public schools.

Chadron State University offer a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction. We selected this course for its affordable online tuition rate and also the high percentage of students receiving financial aid- which is 95%. The Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction at Chadron State College has six areas of concentration. They are: Elementary- General Education, Elementary Field Option (Concentration in a Subject Area), Secondary, PK-12 Reading Specialist, or K-12 Special Education. Expect to learn how to design your own research and analyze data, understand a philosophy of education, engage with up-to-date curricular development, understand the essentials pertaining to school law, assess student performance, and learn about what characterizes behavioral and emotional disabilities and how to implement a differentiated approach that includes all types of learners. This masters degree program equips you to handle the issues that arise in today’s classroom environment. This affordable online program requires 36 credit hours for completion and costs $325 per credit hour.

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  • Out-of-state Tuition Per Credit Hour: $325

7.) Arkansas State University

Arkansas State University is a public research institution located in Jonesboro, Arkansas and is the flagship university of the Arkansas State University System. There are 14,085 students enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 18:1. The Higher Learning Commission accredits Arkansas State to award associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. According to U.S. News , Arkansas State ranks as the 59th best college in the South, 34th best college for veterans and 20th top public school in the region. Arkansas State is known for its diverse student body including their high numbers of international students. There are more than 150 degrees available including via a thriving online university program. In fact, there are over 30 distance learning programs that range from the bachelor’s to doctoral level as well as a number of professional certification courses offered all completely online. The most popular online degree offerings are in the fields of business and education.

Arkansas State University offers a fully online Master of Science in Education in Curriculum and Instruction. We selected this program for is extremely affordable tuition rate and high percentage of students receiving financial aid. This online course may be completed in as little as 20 months. Additionally, there are two areas of emphasis: the curriculum director emphasis, and the special education director emphasis. Each program requires 36 credit hours for completion and includes core course material as well as specific course for each area of interest. All students engage with an introduction to statistics and research, philosophies of education, ethical leadership, school law, school and community relations, theories of instruction, supervision and evaluation of teaching, curriculum management, as well as an internship. Those who wish to focus on the director emphasis will continue to study elementary school curriculum, middle school curriculum, and secondary school curriculum. Those focusing on special education will learn about special education law, and administration and supervision of special education. The cost for this program is $288 per credit hour.

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  • Out-of-state Tuition Per Credit Hour: $288

8.) Nicholls State University

Nicholls State University is a public 4-year institution located in Thibodaux, Louisiana and is part of the University of Louisiana System of universities. There are 6,255 students enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 20:1. The student body is diverse and represents over 40 nations across the globe. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accredits Nicholls State to award associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees as well as postbaccalaureate certificates and post-master’s certificates. According to U.S.News Nicholls State ranks as the 102nd best school in the South, and 43rd best public school. G.I. Jobs designates Nicholls State as a “Military and Veteran Friendly” institution for its ease of implementation of the G.I. Bill and affordable tuition rates. Nicholls State offers a vast array of courses including a B.S. in marine biology and biological oceanography, master’s in curriculum and instruction, history, counseling and more. The online courses are affordable and continue to expand at Nicholls State. There are currently 14 programs that online bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and professional certifications. Some of the most robust programs are in business, health, and education.

Nicholls State University offers a Master of Education (Ed.M) in Curriculum and Instruction. We selected this program for the high percentage of students receiving financial aid as well as for their affordable tuition rates. Additionally Nicholls State offers five areas of concentration to help you tailor your degree to meet your specific educational interests and requirements. The are as follows: Early Childhood Education, High Incidence Disabilities with Applied Behavior Analysis, Reading Specialist, Elementary Education, or Secondary Education. Each program differs but the core components focus on education research, a seminar in foundations, history and philosophy of American Education, and a Seminar in K-12 curriculum studies. Candidate may also opt not to specialize and fulfill the core 36 credit hour programming. Those who do add an area of concentration will add an additional 12 credit hours of material. The cost for this program is $385 per credit hour.

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  • Out-of-state Tuition Per Credit Hour: $385

9.) Sam Houston State University

Sam Houston State University (SHSU) is a public 4-year institution located in Huntsville, Texas. There are 20,477 students enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 21:1. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accredits SHSU to award bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees as well as postbaccalaureate certificates. U.S. News ranks SHSU as the number 1 best online graduate school for criminal justice, 11th best for online graduate computer information technology programs, and 22nd for best online graduate education programs. The most popular online education program is in curriculum and instruction. According to College Factual SHSU also ranks as a high value school, for not only its affordable tuition rate but also for the quality of education received compared to schools of a similar tier. SHSU offers a wide-range of programs from agriculture to visual arts. The online programs are also vast. In fact, there are 30 affordable online degrees and certifications available in fields like business, photography, history, and education.

Sam Houston State University offers a Master of Education (Ed.M) in Curriculum and Instruction. This program works well for teachers who are interested in implementing the most current supportive curriculum in their classrooms and schools as well as Community Colleges. We selected this online course for its affordable tuition rates and additionally for the high percentage of students receiving financial aid. This affordable online course consists of 12 core hour and additional 12-18 hours of concentration material. All students will learn about the current issues in education, research in teaching, ways to integrate current teaching technology, and curricular trends of class technology. The concentration hours are like electives and include human growth and development across the lifespan, instructional coaching, assessment of learning among others. The cost of this 30 credit hour program is $323 per credit hour.

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  • Out-of-state Tuition Per Credit Hour: $323

10.) Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University is a private for-profit university located Phoenix, Arizona. There are 75,834 students enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 19:1. The Higher Learning Commission accredits GCU to award bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. GCU offers a wide range of programs in fields like the humanities, business, education, health care, engineering, and more. Online, Grand Canyon University offers an impressive number of degrees that range from the bachelor’s to doctoral level including a PhD in psychology, nursing practice, and management among several others. We not only value GCU for its fantastic online options but also for their student support services that include academic/career counseling as well as employment services. GCU also accepts dual credit, credit for life experience, and AP credits.

Grand Canyon University offers a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Curriculum and Instruction. We selected this course for its affordable tuition rates and high percentage of students receiving financial aid. Additionally, this program is also accelerated as course are 6-weeks in length. Grand Canyon offers a generous credit transfer allowance- up to 12. The curriculum is comprehensive and includes brain-based learning, educational research, curriculum design theories, culturally responsive curriculum and instruction, differentiated instruction, leadership and instructional coaching, curriculum mapping, methods of instruction and assessment, developing and implementing professional development, and culminates with a curriculum and instruction capstone. The cost for this 32-credit hour program is $515 per credit hour.

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  • Out-of-state Tuition Per Credit Hour: $515
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