Master of Arts in Teaching and Learning: Research in Curriculum Design

The MA in Teaching and Learning is currently not accepting applications.

The M.A. in Teaching and Learning at UC San Diego offers local professional educators an extensive overview of educational research in curriculum design.

A key feature of the M.A. program is the integration of research and practice. M.A. students remain full-time teachers for the duration of the program. They design, implement and evaluate curricular innovations in their own classrooms. The culmination of the M.A. work is a thesis describing the rationale, development, and effectiveness of these innovations.

Once students have completed this M.A. graduate program, they may apply to enter directly into the second year of the Ed.D program either immediately or at a later time.

What do teachers say about their experience in the M.A. Program?

"There is much to think about, much to learn, and much room for improvement in education. This program is an opportunity to start your quest to help the field of education as more than just a teacher."

"Think of this program as something you do for yourself. This is an opportunity to return to the 'life of the mind.' This year gave me a chance to recharge my intellectual batteries!"

"This program skillfully leads you through a process of discovering your own philosophy about teaching and learning, questioning your assumptions, and engaging with educational research."

"The best learning experience of my life."

Examples of M.A. Research Projects

The topics of the M.A. theses in past years are varied, and have included: multimedia approaches to secondary biology and chemistry instruction; writing revision among emergent writers; building partnerships between families and schools; activities which link home and school experiences in the content areas of reading and writing, mathematics, science, and social studies; improved integration of curriculum and assessment; motivation and art; using technology for mathematics and geography teaching; and embedding ESL in native language instruction.

Since the program's inception in 1988, more than 240 educational professionals have earned M.A. degrees in Teaching and Learning (Research in Curriculum Design). Of these, over half came from the ranks of elementary teachers while the remaining teach in secondary and post-secondary settings.


Admission to the M. A. Program

The MA in Teaching and Learning is not currently accepting applications.


The M.A. Course of Study

The M.A. program requirements consist of forty quarter units of coursework, including the master's thesis. Courses are usually offered for 4.0 quarter units of credit, and are typically offered one night per week, from 5:00-7:50 pm. Core coursework comprises twenty-eight units, with the remaining twelve units consisting of elective coursework.

Core M.A. Coursework

First Summer (mid June - late August)

EDS 229: Introductory course about research on teaching practice.

EDS 231 or 232 (offered alternating summers): Each summer includes an intensive course in innovative instructional theory and practices. Specific topic changes each year. Examples include: portfolio and authentic assessment; telecommunications in the classroom; collaborative learning; and research on child development and learning.

Fall, Winter, and Spring

EDS 230A-B-C: Three-quarter seminar providing an extensive overview of curriculum design principles, and application of educational research to classroom practice

EDS 233A: Graduate seminar in which UCSD faculty present their research on educational topics.

EDS 290 (fall & spring only): Intensive work with faculty.

Second Summer (mid June - late August

EDS 231 or 232: (see above.)

EDS 295: Completion of M.A. thesis writing. 

The M.A. in Teaching and Learning (Research in Curriculum Design) and first year Ed.D. students typically have part-time student status and thus pay part-time fees. In addition, most Teaching and Learning graduate students are able to waive student health fees since they receive health benefits from their employers.  For current graduate fees, visit here

Note: This M.A. program satisfies the requirements for the first year of the Doctor of Education in Teaching and Learning program.


Resources for Current Students


The MA in Teaching and Learning is not currently accepting applications. For questions about our other graduate programs, please contact Melissa Wolf.


Students of the Master of Arts and First Year Ed.D's in Teaching and Learning 2013-2014.

Student Biographies

Ed.D. in Teaching and Learning