Skip to content

Difference between curricula or curriculum


In the realm of education, curricula and curriculum are terms that often come up, but not everyone is clear on their differences or when to use each term. Understanding these terms is crucial for educators, students, and anyone involved in the planning and implementation of educational programs.

Quick Facts Table

DefinitionA collection of multiple courses or study plansA specific course or program of study
UseRefers to the overall set of courses in an educational programRefers to a single, specific educational program or sequence
ScopeBroader, encompassing several programsNarrower, focused on a single program
ExampleA university’s offerings across all departmentsThe syllabus for a Bachelor’s degree in Biology

Difference Between Curricula and Curriculum

Definition of Curricula

Curricula are the plural form of curriculum, referring to multiple courses of study offered by educational institutions. It encompasses a wide range of subjects and educational programs, indicating a comprehensive array of options available to students.

Definition of Curriculum

A curriculum, on the other hand, is a single course or program of study within an educational institution. It outlines the specific subjects, lessons, and educational content that will be taught in a particular course or program.

Origin of Curricula

Curricula originates from Latin, where “curriculum” means ‘a running, course, career’ and its plural form is used to denote multiple courses or programs.

Origin of Curriculum

Similarly, curriculum also comes from Latin, referring to a singular ‘running’ or ‘course’, which in educational contexts translates to a specific program of study.


  • Curricula: /kəˈrɪkjʊlə/
  • Curriculum: /kəˈrɪkjʊləm/

Comparing Curricula and Curriculum

When comparing curricula and curriculum, the main difference lies in their scope and application. Curricula refer to the entire set of courses available in an educational setting, offering a broad overview of all educational programs. In contrast, curriculum focuses on a specific program or course, detailing the subjects and lessons that constitute that particular educational pathway.

Comparison Table

ScopeBroad, covering multiple programsSpecific to one program or course
ApplicationUsed to describe overall offeringsUsed for a single, detailed program
FocusGeneral outline of educational pathsDetailed structure of a course
Example UsageDiscussing university-wide offeringsDescribing the syllabus of a course

Usage in Sentences with Explanations

Use of Curricula in Sentences

  1. The new educational reform focuses on enhancing the curricula to meet 21st-century needs.
    • This sentence discusses updating multiple courses or programs.
  2. Schools must regularly review their curricula to ensure they remain relevant and comprehensive.
    • Here, “curricula” refers to the range of educational programs offered by schools.
  3. The conference on higher education explored ways to innovate across curricula.
    • Implies discussion on improvements in multiple courses or fields of study.
  4. Comparing curricula from different universities can help prospective students make informed decisions.
    • Refers to comparing the variety of programs offered by different institutions.
  5. Educators are tasked with the development of curricula that are inclusive and diverse.
    • Indicates the responsibility to create a wide range of courses that cater to varied interests and backgrounds.

Use of Curriculum in Sentences

  1. The biology curriculum has been updated to include more fieldwork.
    • Refers to specific changes in a single program of study.
  2. Implementing a new curriculum requires careful planning and resources.
    • Discusses the introduction of a specific educational program.
  3. Teachers attended a workshop on integrating technology into the curriculum.
    • Focuses on a single course or program’s content.
  4. Feedback from students is crucial for improving the curriculum.
    • Refers to the content and structure of a specific course or program.
  5. The curriculum for the upcoming semester includes several new courses.
    • Details the specific subjects and lessons planned for a particular period.


Understanding the distinction between curricula and curriculum is essential for anyone involved in education. While curricula encompass the broad array of courses offered by an educational institution, curriculum zeroes in on the specifics of a single program or course. Recognizing the difference between these terms helps in better discussing and analyzing educational structures and offerings.

Commonly Asked Questions

  • What is the plural form of curriculum?
    • Curricula is the plural form of curriculum.
  • Can a single educational institution have multiple curricula?
    • Yes, an institution can offer multiple curricula, covering various fields of study.
  • Is curriculum only used in educational contexts?
    • While primarily used in education, curriculum can also refer to the content of training programs outside traditional academic settings.
  • How often should a curriculum be updated?
    • This varies, but regularly updating a curriculum ensures it remains relevant and meets current educational standards and needs.
Jessica Smith

Jessica Smith

Jessica Smith, writer at, blends creativity with insight, exploring technology, culture, and psychology. With a background in English Literature, she crafts engaging stories inspired by nature and urban life. Outside writing, she enjoys exploring and continuous learning.View Author posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share this post on social!