Curriculum Studies programs at DePaul share a commitment to social justice, democracy, and critical engagement with issues affecting urban and marginalized students.  Our programs assist educators in reflecting on and strengthening their own practice and challenging themselves and their colleagues to work effectively for justice and educational excellence. Students use critical reflection to improve practice, engage in rigorous theoretical inquiry, and identify, address, and build coalitions around opportunities and problems in education. The Curriculum Studies program is designed for educators who wish to enhance their skills in teaching, curriculum development, or the administration of a department or educational program. It aims to equip leaders in a variety of educational settings with the skills necessary to develop, justify, evaluate, and modify curricula to better serve the needs of students, especially urban and marginalized students.


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 general purposes of the master’s thesis are to demonstrate an ability to engage in research, critically analyze and explicate, in a well-documented, organized and coherent manner, an (educational) issue, problem(s) or question(s); to demonstrate knowledge in a substantive area in the field; and to prepare to conduct further independent research.

MEd Degree/Endorsement Options

Within this framework, the Curriculum Studies Program offers two degree programs to meet students’ professional goals. These concentrations include a set of core classes with the opportunity for electives. Approved degree programs are MEd-Curriculum Specialist and MEd-Curriculum Studies with Teacher Leader Endorsement.

In addition, Curriculum Studies offers an option for students seeking the Teacher Leader Endorsement only (for students who already hold a master’s degree).

MEd-Curriculum Specialist

This degree program allows teacher/practitioners to take the full range of curriculum studies courses. It is designed for those who wish to develop their understanding of curriculum history, theory, development, evaluation, the relationship between theory and practice, and the intersection of teaching and curriculum. This concentration serves a solid foundation for those wishing to enhance their professional knowledge-base and their teaching, teachers interested in serving as curricular and instructional leaders, and those working within other educational programs where a knowledge of curriculum history, theory, practice, design, and evaluation are central to their work.  (See specific concentration requirements)

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.”

Teacher Leader Endorsement Only

This non-degree program allows students who already have a master's degree to obtain an ISBE Teacher Leader Endorsement.  Please review the curriculum and requirements under the College of Education Licensure section of this catalog.


​Degree Requirements (MA)                                     ​52 hours
   Total hours required    52 hours

​Degree Requirements (MEd)                                     ​52 hours
   Total hours required    52 hours