About the MEd in Curriculum Studies

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About the Department

The Master of Education in Curriculum Studies (MEd-CS) degree is a 30-credit program designed to serve licensed teachers who wish to explore, research, and apply innovative ideas into the school levels of pre-kindergarten through grade 3, middle and secondary, or K-12 education. Within the K-12 level, the program offers diverse tracks in disciplinary or interdisciplinary approaches to education.

Disciplinary tracks are generally un-cohorted and focus on the in-depth study of a particular content area. Students in these different tracks will take 12-credits of core coursework together (EDCS 622, EDCS 606, EDCS 632, EDCS 667), but have the flexibility to take at least 18-credits of electives in their specialization area. Students choose from a list of required and/or recommended courses, with consultation with their advisor. Students must complete a culminating activity:  Plan A Thesis or Plan B paper or project.

Interdisciplinary tracks are cohorted and designed around thematic approaches like place-based education and teacher leadership to the study of education. These students take a prescribed set of courses together, including their 12-credits of core coursework (EDCS 622, EDCS 606, EDCS 632, EDCS 667) and at least 18 credits of electives. Students must complete a culminating activity:  Plan A Thesis or Plan B paper or project.

The MEd-CS program equips teachers to fill a variety of teaching and resource roles at an advanced level. It does NOT lead to teacher licensure, however, three MEd-CS tracks are eligible to Add-a-Field to an existing Hawai‘i teacher license: Literacy Specialist, Reading K12, and Teacher Leader. The program also prepares students for doctoral and other advanced degrees and certificates. Students may attend part-time, but the program must be completed within seven years of the date of admission. The average time to completion is 2.4 years.


The MEd-CS program is research-based and grounded in theory. Its goals are to:

  • Develop well-informed and reflective practitioners;
  • Enhance teachers’ knowledge and improve their instructional skills;
  • Foster the application of new knowledge in the schools;
  • Enhance teachers’ ability to understand and implement research; and
  • Encourage and increase the professionalism of teachers in Hawai‘i, as well as other states and nations of the Pacific Rim.

Grade Levels and Tracks:

MEd-CS students design their own programs by selecting from the following  school levels and tracks below:

  • PREKINDERGARTEN-GRADE 3 SCHOOL LEVEL - Applicants do not need to choose a track.

  • MIDDLE (and SECONDARY) SCHOOL LEVEL - Applicants do not need to choose a track.

  • KINDERGARTEN THROUGH GRADE 12 SCHOOL LEVEL. Applicants in the K-12 school levels may choose from among the disciplinary and interdisciplinary tracks listed below:

Disciplinary Tracks

Interdisciplinary Tracks

  • Art Education

  • Language Arts/Literacy

  • Mathematics Education

  • Multicultural Education

  • Native Hawaiian and Indigenous Education and Leadership (proposed)

  • Reading K12 (add-a-field) (not currently accepting students)

  • Science Education

  • Social Studies Education

  • Aloha ʻĀina Education and Leadership

  • Interdisciplinary Education

  • Literacy Specialist (add-a-field)

  • National Board Certification  Teacher Leader


  • Place-based and Sustainability Education

  • STEMS2

  • Teacher Leader (add-a-field)


Note: For more information, please see web pages for the grade levels and tracks  that interest you and the MEd-CS Handbook 1 for Prospective and New Students, which you may download from this site.

Program Overview

Student engage in the 12-credit curriculum studies core classes below and additional 18 credits of specialization.

  • EDCS 622: Curriculum Leadership

  • Introduction to Research (e.g., EDCS 606 Intro. to Research in Curriculum & Teaching)

  • Research (e.g., EDCS 632 Qualitative Research)

  • EDCS 667: Seminar in Curriculum

Delivery Options

All courses are designed and scheduled for teachers’ convenience, usually weekdays, 4:30-7 pm. In most programs, students progress in supportive cohorts and Summer courses are available for faster completion. Most CS programs also offer hybrid courses (both online & evening).

Online Programs:

  • Literacy Specialist

  • Middle (and Secondary) Level


Community-based Program:

  • Aloha ʻĀina Education and Leadership

Learning Journeys to cultural sites on O‘ahu and other islands:

  • Ethnomathematics G-Certification & Math Education

  • Place-based and Sustainability Education

  • STEMS ²

Stipends/Scholarships/ Loan Forgiveness

  • Stipends available in some COE programs/cohorts

  • scholarships available (average award: $2000). Details here:

  • TEACH Grants: Up to $4000 for teachers in high need fields (e.g., math, reading 18 credit student-selected grade level or concentration, and specialist, science) or at an elementary school, secondary school, or educational service Plan A thesis or Plan B project agency that serves students from low-income families

  • Federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness: Elementary and Secondary teachers can qualify for up to $5000 in loan forgiveness if they teach in Title I Schools. Secondary Math and Science Teachers may qualify for up to $17,500. Title 1 Schools serve children from low income families.

For more information, see http://www.hawaii.edu/fas

Contact Information:

Phone: 808-956- 4401

Email: csdept@hawaii.edu

Program Handbooks 

Type Name Updated
Handbook/Instructions MEd CS Handbook 1 Prospective and New Students 2018-2019 Last Updated
November 2018
Type Name Updated
Handbook/Instructions MEd CS Handbook 2 Continuing and Graduating Students 2018-2019 Last Updated
October 2018