If you have been putting off going to graduate school because you think it’s too expensive, there’s no time like the present to look into how much it would really cost to get a master’s degree in curriculum creation. While you can spend tens of thousands of tuition dollars per year furthering your education, you don’t have to. Many programs exist online and on campuses across America that offer more reasonable tuition costs that will allow you to quickly see a return on the investment you make in your education.

How much does it cost to get a Master's in Curriculum?

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Prices for Top-Ranked Curriculum Degree Programs

The cost of a good master’s degree program in curriculum creation can vary from a few thousand dollars per year to more than $20,000 per year. Students are also bombarded with additional costs in the form of fees from the time they apply for admission to the time they graduate.

Among the top-ranked graduate programs in curriculum and instruction, per-credit tuition costs can be as low as $215 for online programs like the American College of Education’s, according to U.S. News & World Report. In a 30-credit master’s program, that tuition cost can be as little as $6,450, plus fees. On the other side of the tuition cost spectrum, the most expensive graduate program in curriculum and instruction on U.S. News & World Report’s list, the University of Idaho’s, costs $1,499 per credit for out-of-state students. That jumps the price up to $44,970 for a 30-credit program – or nearly seven times the cost at the cheapest school on the list.

What determines the cost of a master’s degree? There’s no one definitive answer to that question. Factors like the size of the graduate school or program and whether it is a public or private school can impact the price, with larger public schools traditionally having lower tuition costs than small private schools. However, students are often surprised at what they learn by comparing top-ranked programs. A private school happens the most affordable institution on U.S. News & World Report’s ranking list, while the most expensive option is a public institution.

There are ways to minimize the cost of your master’s degree in curriculum creation. Applying for scholarships and graduate assistantships can help reduce the burden. Some school districts offer tuition assistance programs for teachers going back to school.

An Investment in a Future Career

A master’s degree is the minimum level of education required for most roles in instructional design and curriculum creation, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The majority of instructional coordinators have some form of graduate education, with 60 percent holding a master’s degree and 11 percent having a post-master’s certificate. While this means that having a master’s degree won’t necessarily improve your earning potential compared to other applicants in the same career field, the degree program will considerably raise your likelihood of being able to get started in this career path – a profession which pays considerably more than the typical teacher’s salary.

The median wage for instructional coordinators and curriculum specialists is $64,450, according to the BLS. That’s somewhat above the $60,320 median wage for high school teachers, who earn the highest wages of kindergarten through twelfth-grade instructors, the BLS reported. With a salary increase of several thousand dollars per year above what they can make as a teacher, instructional coordinators can quickly begin seeing the payoff of their investment into a master’s degree program in curriculum creation.

Instructional coordinators in certain work settings can see an even bigger financial benefit of earning their master’s degree in curriculum creation. The seven percent of the occupation working for government agencies command a median wage of $76,970. The industry employing the most instructional coordinators, public and private elementary and secondary schools, also sees a slightly higher median wage of $69,900.

Ultimately, the financial costs of pursuing a master’s degree in curriculum creation and the economic benefits of the instructional coordinator career path are only two of many factors to consider. Graduate students with a thirst for further learning are likely to find their advanced education more rewarding in non-financial ways than those who only go back to school to prepare for a promotion. If what you really want to do is teach in the classroom, or if your end goal is to become a school counselor or a principal, you may find that this investment isn’t the right one for you to make.

Among primary and secondary school teachers, middle school teachers are the next highest paid, with a median wage of $58,600, followed by kindergarten and elementary school teachers, for whom the median salary is $58,230.

Additional Resources

Which Schools Have the Best Master’s Programs in Curriculum Writing?

Is Instructional Design the Same Thing as Curriculum?

What Are Some Good Skills or Qualities for a Person Who Specializes in Curriculum Creation?