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How Long Does It Take to Earn an MS in C&I?

Earning your Master of Science (MS) in Curriculum and Instruction (C&I) online can be an affordable and convenient way to advance your education and career. And, while many master’s degree programs take two years to finish, the Emporia State University (ESU) accelerated, fully online MS in C&I programs can be completed in as few as 12 months. Clearly, ESU’s accelerated MS in C&I could work well for professionals, parents, and others who value their time and wish to continue working while earning their degree.

But “accelerated” and “online” do not mean less time, effort, and academic commitment. ESU’s MS in C&I programs meet high academic standards and are based on in-depth study and rigorous coursework, just like any other master’s degree program. Understanding the actual time commitment involved in a program like ESU’s is an important part of considering your graduate school options.

What Are the Course Requirements of ESU’s Online MS in C&I Programs?

Students enrolled in ESU’s online MS in C&I programs are required to complete 11 courses worth three credit hours each, totaling 33 credit hours. These courses consist of eight core courses and three electives. Elective courses are chosen depending on a student’s area of C&I concentration.

What Timeline Do These Courses Follow?

ESU offers four seven-week sessions per academic year. Accordingly, each course lasts seven weeks. Students can choose to start at the beginning of any of these four sessions. Students can also set the pace of their master’s degree experience, taking on a course load that best fits their personal schedule start by start.

How Much Time Should I Expect to Spend on Coursework Every Week?

Being accelerated and fully online, ESU’s MS in C&I offers flexibility and efficiency in where and when you work on your degree. But the amount of work and time you spend will generally be similar to what you would experience in a traditional, campus-based program.

You can estimate how much time you will spend on a course by its accorded credit hours. The concept of the “credit hour” is based on the semester-long course model. One credit hour is assumed to equal to one “contact” hour in class and two “preparation” hours out of class each week for a 16-week-long course. That totals roughly 48 hours spent per credit per semester, or 144 hours spent on a typical three credit hour course.

An accelerated seven-week-long online course, also worth three credit hours, would require about 20 hours of work each week. If you plan to complete your MS in C&I over four sessions, you will have to take two to three courses per session. That amounts to 40-60 hours spent on schoolwork each week. But if that is too much for your schedule, you can elect to earn your degree over a longer period of time by taking fewer courses per session.

Regardless, knowing what to expect concerning the time and work it will take to earn your master’s degree can help you make an informed decision about your own academic future. Accelerated online degree programs demand a high level of intrinsic motivation and self-discipline. But the effort can also pay off quickly. If the length of a degree program is an important consideration, ESU’s accelerated online MS in C&I is a good option.

Learn more about Emporia State University’s online Education programs.


StudyPortals: What You Need to Know About Academic Credit Systems in the U.S.

USNEI: Structure of the U.S. Education System: Credit Systems

U.S. News & World Report: Discover the Weekly Number of Hours Online Students Study

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