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Master of Science (MS, Plan A) in Curriculum and Instruction

The Master of Science degree is a research-oriented degree designed to prepare the candidate for further graduate study in a specialized area within the discipline.  It requires a strong relationship with a major professor who will serve as an advisor and supervisor of the master’s thesis.  The Plan A thesis will consist of a major research project under the supervision of the major professor who will act as chair of a three-person faculty committee responsible to provide formal supervision and approval for the thesis.


The degree requires 36 credits of coursework including 15 credits of core courses, 3 credits of thesis, and 18 credits of supporting coursework. This may coincide with the pursuit of a USBE Endorsement.


Credit Restrictions

The following restrictions should be understood by all students who are taking master’s level courses who have not been admitted to a master’s degree program. Admitted students are also required to be aware of these credit restrictions.

  • No more than 12 semester graduate credits taken prior to acceptance into a graduate program (“non-matriculated credits”) may be counted toward the master's degree.
  • With prior approval, up to 12 credits may be transferred into a master’s degree from an accredited institution.
  • Workshop (5000 level) coursework from another institution cannot be counted toward the master’s degree.
  • P/F grades will be accepted only for seminars, special problems, interdisciplinary workshops, thesis research & continuing graduate advisement.
  • Coursework taken more than 8 years prior to the semester of graduation cannot be applied toward the master's degree.

Degree Completion and Commencement

Notify Denise Jensen ( at the beginning of the semester you plan to complete your degree. She will complete and submit a Completion of Requirements form to the School of Graduate Studies, which is required at the beginning of the semester that you plan to complete.

Final Exam

Each MS (Plan A) student is required to pass an oral defense of the thesis at the end of his/her program.  If a student fails the oral defense, he/she may retake the exam once.

Admission Requirements

Students should have a 3.0GPA for the last 30 credits of coursework taken prior to the application for admission, a score at the 40th percentile on the GRE (Verbal and Quantitative) and provide three letters of recommendation from people able to comment on his/her ability to perform successfully in a rigorous graduate program.  A statement of purpose outlining the candidates background and desire to pursue advanced study is also required.

The candidate should make contact in advance of the application, with potential faculty mentors to clarify research goals and identify possible members of the supervisory committee.

Graduation deadlines published by the Utah State University School of Graduate Studies are strictly enforced. Students should be certain to obtain a copy of these deadlines from the Graduate School for the year in which they intend to complete their degree, and plan their programs, projects, and oral examination accordingly.

Dr. Mike Freeman, Program Coordinator, 435-797-1474 
Denise Jensen, Staff Assistant, 435-797-1473