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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you still have a self-designed program?

Yes, it is called Educational Studies.

How long is the program?

The program consists of 32 hours: 9 hours of core curriculum, 14 hours for the area of specialization, and 9 hours of electives.

When are classes offered?

Almost all of our courses are offered from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

What are the requirements?

You must take 9 hours of core courses in which we offer 3 sets of courses (students must take one course from each set). Sets include:

  1. Philosophy of Education (ED 402) or History of Education (ED 403)
  2. Educational Psychology (ED 421, 422, or 445)
  3. Curriculum (ED 430) or Learning Environments (ED 431)

Each course is 3 credit hours; therefore, one from each set equals 9 hours, which constitutes the core requirement.

The other two requirements are: a self designed area of specialization (14 hours) and a set of electives (9 hours).

What is an “area of specialization?”

This is an opportunity to pursue your interests through any courses offered by the College of Education.

How do I find what is offered by the College of Education?

Visit the Courses section of our website to see class schedules for current and upcoming semesters as well as a full listing of course offerings. You can also pick up a schedule of classes from the Office of Student Services located at 3145 ETMSW, or by calling 312-996-4532.

What are some examples of “areas of specialization?”

The areas are unlimited but there are some that are frequently selected: mathematics education, science education, bilingual education or curriculum. This program offers unlimited opportunities to create your own unique and individualized course of study with an adviser.

Other areas that are popular are non-school education, community organizing, community college instructors, teachers in other realms with no need for additional licensure, teachers who want to become peer leaders, educators interested in developing staff development programs, people anticipating PhD work, teachers who feel they have earned sufficient licensure but want to enrich their practice and life.

There is also the opportunity to roll in a Middle School Endorsement if you are already licensed to teach in  K to 12 classrooms with the addition of two classes, CI 484 and EPSY 446.

You may also earn Bilingual and English as a Second Language (ESL) endorsements through this program.

Can you get initial or administrative licensure in this program?


Do I need to have a plan made in advance for my area of specialization?

No, we believe that you learn as you go along; therefore, you may not know what you want to specialize in. Thus, we encourage you to revise your plans as you progress through the program.

How do I get an adviser?

When you are admitted to the program, you are told that your adviser is the program coordinator. The program coordinator will consider your background, consult with you initially and match you with an appropriate and effective adviser.

What about electives?

These may be taken either in the College of Education or anywhere in the university where they have the background to take graduate level classes as determined by departments in question.

What if I have some graduate work at previous institutions?

If the graduate work has not been used for a degree, you may petition to have it count toward your program requirements. The maximum number of credit hours you can transfer in from a different institution is eight. You may transfer up to twelve non-degree seeking credit hours from U of I. These credit hours must be approved by the graduate college.

Can I take independent study work?

Yes, you can take up to 8 hours of independent study (596); you also may select CI 592 (Apprenticeship in Teaching) or CI 539 (Internship in Curriculum and Instruction). These can be done independently with  faculty members who agree to supervise them.

How do I know enough about faculty members to be able to choose who to study with?

You could take CI 500, the pro-seminar in Curriculum and Instruction. This is a one-hour credit course that is offered from 4 p.m. to 4:50 p.m., one day each semester. In this setting, a different faculty member speaks autobiographically each week, telling about their work and interests. If you elect this course for two semesters, you can meet about 25 different faculty members.

You can also view faculty profiles on our web site.

Is there funding available for graduate students?

Faculty members have grants that offer research assistant positions. You can also look at our website for financial aid opportunities.

More funding exists for full-time students than for part-time students. There are a limited number of tuition waivers offered through the Office of Student Services. Contact them at 3145 ETMSW or by calling 312-996-4532.

How many hours should I take per semester?

It depends on your work load. Those who are employed full time usually take one or two courses.

Are the same courses offered every semester?

No. Core courses are offered frequently, but other courses are not.

What level of courses should I take?

Course must be at least 400-level, and  you must take at least 9 hours at the 500 level. The independent study (CI 596), while it may count toward your required 32 hours, it does not count as a 500 level class. You may, of course, take more than 9 hours at the 500-level.

Is a master’s thesis required?

No, however, if someone is interested in doing an equivalent, the internship in Curriculum and Instruction (CI 539) may be taken as a culminating activity that could be similar to a thesis, but this is not required.

Are there cohorts?

No, although there is ample opportunity to work with other students.

Are classes taught on Saturday?

No. Courses are usually offered one night a week, Monday through Thursday, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Do you offer summer sessions?

We now offer two different summer sessions.