Difference Between Curriculum and Program

Curriculum vs Program

The words curriculum and program have gained currency in modern times because of rapidly changing content, and addition of totally new programs of study. These words cause confusion in the minds of some people as they are often used in conjunction, and when one sees them together, the phrase curriculum looks like rules and regulations to make the situation all the more confusing. However, the two words curriculum and program are different from one another, though being closely related. This article will attempt to highlight these differences for the benefit of readers.

One hears the word program and curriculum when he has completed his basic 10+2 studies, and is in search of study programs that can become a launch pad for a decent job and all material comfort associated with it. Gone are the days when there were limited study programs with curriculum that hardly changed. In today’s world, there are as many programs of study as opportunities out there in the world. One does not need to become and engineer, doctor, lawyer, or an administrative officer to be considered successful in life. There are industry oriented programs that also have curriculum that are designed to provide professionals that are industry ready. The study program of MBA has a curriculum that is fluid all the time, and keeps on changing to churn out managers for the industry that are ready to face the challenges of today.

Curriculum is the content that a program has to offer to a student, and this curriculum is set or determined by an external body that has the authority to administer the program to students. Though, new programs keep on evolving with changing times, the programs that are rock steady also see change in their curriculum that is always set according to the rule of demand and supply. So, within the same MBA program, the range of courses that a student chooses, to specialize in some aspects of business administration, form the curriculum of the program. However, curriculum does not just mean the study material or the books that students are made to learn, but also the way this content is administered, including teaching methods, and the way performance of students is assessed.

In brief:

Difference between Curriculum and Program

• Different degree or diploma courses available in various streams of study are labeled as programs, whereas as the content that is used to make up these study programs and the way it is administered is called curriculum.

• While there were limited number of programs available for students a few decades ago such as engineering, law, medicine, and MBA etc, today the situation has undergone a sea of change, and there are lots of study programs that are a result of demand from the industry.

• It is not just the number of programs but also their curriculum that keeps on changing with changing times and the rule of demand and supply.