About Curriculum Studies

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UH Manoa College of Education students listening intently

About the Department

The Curriculum Studies department’s main focus is providing educators with opportunities for advanced scholarship and preparation within their chosen fields. CS offers two master’s degrees, a Literacy Leader Graduate Certificate, a Teacher Leader College-endorsed Certificate, an Ethnomathematics Graduate Certificate, and the PhD in Education, Curriculum and Instruction specialization.


Vision: O ke kakoo ana i na alakai i makaukau me ka pono no ko Hawaii Pae Aina a puni, me ka hookumu ana i na hana e pono ai ka aina, a me ka noho maluhia ana o Kanaka.

Curriculum Studies supports curricular leaders who are committed to collaborating with their communities, particularly in Hawai`i and the Pacific, to build a more socially just, sustainable, and equitable society.

Mission: E malama i ka olelo, i kuleana e kipa mai ai.(Pukui, 1983, p. 348)
Remember the invitation, for it gives you the privilege of coming here.
A person feels welcome when accepting an invitation and friendly promises.

The Department’s mission is to (1) foster and engage communities in respectful dialogue and critical examination of curriculum, with Hawai`i’s multiple histories at its core and (2) develop and implement programs supporting the Pacific’s diverse communities, with special emphasis placed on Hawaiian language, culture, and people.


The Master of Education in Curriculum Studies (MEd-CS) degree is a 30-credit program designed to serve licensed teachers who wish to inquire into the school levels of pre-kindergarten through grade 3, middle and secondary level or K-12 education. The program equips teachers to fill a variety of teaching and resource roles at an advanced level. Students engage in a: 12-credit curriculum studies core, 18 credit student-selected concentration, and Plan A thesis or Plan B project. Students may attend part-time, and the average completion time is just over two years.

The Literacy Leader Graduate Certificate is an 18-credit program to develop literacy coaches/specialists. When taken as part of the 30-credit MEd in Curriculum Studies, this graduate certificate may be used to add the field, Literacy Specialist, to an existing Hawai`i Standard or Advanced License. The program is a collaboration between CS and the Department of Special Education.

The 18-credit Teacher Leader Graduate Certificate is a collaboration between the Department of Curriculum Studies and the Department of Educational Foundations. Based on the Teacher Leader Model Standards, graduates may earn the Teacher Leader GCERT through the MEd-CS Aloha Kumu National Board Certification - Teacher Leader track.  This 30-credit degree program is approved to add the field, Teacher Leader, to a Hawaiʻi Standard or Advanced Teaching License.

The Ethnomathematics Graduate Certificate is a 15-credit program grounded in real-world problem-solving that empowers teachers as leaders to be locally-minded, global citizens through a sense of purpose and a sense of place. When taken as part of the 30-credit MEd in Curriculum Studies, Math Education, this graduate certificate may be used to add the field, Ethnomathematics, to an existing Hawai`i Standard or Advanced License (in process).

The Master of Education in Early Childhood Education (MEd-ECE) is a 30-credit interdisciplinary master’s degree offered by the departments of Curriculum Studies and Special Education in the College of Education and the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR). The program focuses on settings that serve children (birth-5 years) and their families. The MEd-ECE is designed to support professional development and promote leadership in the field of ECE.

The Doctor of Philosophy in Education (PhD)-Curriculum and Instruction specialization in the college-wide PhD degree program is awarded for distinguished academic preparation for professional practice in the field of education. The specialization in Curriculum and Instruction develops educational leaders in curriculum development, teaching, curriculum evaluation, and/or teacher education and professional development. The program varies in the number of credit hours required, depending upon the candidate's qualifications.

*Please see specific program pages and their corresponding handbooks for more information.

The Curriculum Studies department is also proud to house the Hawai‘i Writing Project and numerous grants on indigenous education and other major issues.

Our outreach offerings include:
  • School and community-based:  Aloha Kumu
  • School-based: Hawai‘i Writing Project
  • Online: MEd-CS Middle (and Secondary) Level
  • Online: MEd-CS Literacy Specialist Concentration

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