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Curriculum Mapping

What is curriculum mapping and how to do it.

What is Curriculum Mapping?

In academic assessment, curriculum mapping is defined as a relationship between the program learning goals/outcome and courses/educational opportunities of a program. It is a grid that portrays alignment between the student learning goals/outcomes and the curriculum, i.e. showing what is being learned and where it’s being learned.

Why do Curriculum Mapping?

Mapping courses and/or educational opportunities to program learning goals and outcomes provides an understanding of what is being learned at which educational opportunity in a particular program. It also assists in determining any gaps between the program student learning outcomes and courses. It serves as a road-map when assessing student learning in programs so that appropriate measures can be identified based on outcomes and courses

How to do Curriculum Mapping?

There are several ways to map courses to student learning outcomes as seen below.  Courses and other educational opportunities can be listed vertically while goals/outcomes horizontally while denoting a letter/symbol to mark that this learning opportunity meets this outcome.  This process can also be reversed and various letters, symbols or scales can be used to show program goals and outcomes that appear in multiple places within the curriculum. 

Some ways (scales) to denote outcomes existence in program courses:

  • Use of letter “x” to mark
  • I=Introduced, R=Reinforced, M=Mastered

The two methods below are just examples; programs can use or develop curriculum maps based on need of each individual program/preference.

Fictitious Examples: 
Courses Program Goals - (Sociology)

Written Communication skills

(Frame an arguable thesis, Interpret opposing point of views, etc. ...)

Critical Thinking skills

(Evaluate information to examine a claim...)

Information Literacy skills

(Express credibility of sources, etc....)

Knowledge of Global History and Culture Perspective

(Have understanding on the belief systems, history, and social dynamics ...)

SOC 101 X X   X
SOC 201 X X   X
SOC 312 X X    
SOC 333 X X   X

Program Goals (PG) and Student Learning Outcomes (PSLOs)

(Learning opportunities: course, seminars, internships, etc.)

  Eco 101 Eco 102 Eco 200 Eco 400 Eco 420 Eco 430 Seminar

PG1: Students will be able to present, market and/or propose information to wide business audiences (communication skills)


PSLO 1.1: Student will be able write economic policy proposals (written communication)

  I    R M    

PSLO 1.2: Student will be able to speak to business audiences regarding various policies, proposals, etc. (oral communication)

I    R   M    

PG 2: Students will be able to forecast economic data based on empirical models and existing data.



PSLO 2.1: Students will be able to analyze empirical models and explain variables, measures and correlations.


PSLO 2.2:...



[1] "Glossary of Assessment Terms", George Mason University, Office of Institutional Assessment, accessed September 2016

[2] Suskie, Linda. Assessing Student Learning, a common sense guide. (c) 2004 by Anker Publishing now part of Jossey-Bass.

[3] "Academic Program Design and Assessment to Support Semester Conversion: A Guide for Faculty", California State University, East Bay, Office of Educational Effectiveness, updated September 25, 2015, accessed September 2016 at <>

[4] "Curriculum Mapping/Curriculum Matrix", University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, last updated October 2013, accessed on September 2016,