35 Best Affordable Master’s Degrees in Reading and Literacy

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Reading and Literacy Teachers are dedicated professionals committed to helping students who are struggling with their language arts skills. Whether your goal is to teach students English as a foreign language or pre-K-12 students overcoming reading difficulties, you're in the right place! The programs on our list of the 35 Best Affordable Master's in Reading and Literacy will train you in the latest theories and practices of literacy education. Many schools on our list have a long history of educating teachers who want to expand their literacy skills. By offering the programs online, these schools are creating more opportunities for professional educators to get advanced training as reading specialists.

The degree programs featured on our list typically take two years to complete and grant admission to active teachers who hold a valid teacher's license or certificate. In most cases, students completing these degrees will be eligible to test for advanced credentials and licenses. Specific requirements vary by state, and not all degrees will transfer to the student's home state if the program is based elsewhere. To learn more, check with the U.S. Department of Education for information on transferring teacher licenses. Students who enroll in one of the programs on our list can look forward to high-quality instruction and hands-on learning opportunities through field-based teaching working with students with reading difficulties.

With a Master's Degree in Reading and Literacy, you'll be qualified to serve as a reading specialist in a K-12 classroom or work at the school or district level as a reading teacher, instructional specialist, or literacy coach. You'll also be able to pursue studies at the doctoral level in reading and language arts or pursue a teaching position at the junior college level. As an instructional coordinator specializing in literacy, you'll have many career opportunities. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics anticipates above-average career growth through 2026 and reports an average annual salary of more than $64,000.

Ranking Methodology: "It's science!"

The researchers and writers at Best Master's Degrees don't make recommendations based upon preference– we back our rankings with science. Here's a quick breakdown of how we organize ranking data:

  • Finances (40%)
  • Academic Rigor (35%)
  • Student Gratification (25%)

Nearly half of the data used to score each ranking involves finances and are acquired from sources such as the National Center for Education Statistics, the U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Department of Education, Glassdoor, and PayScale. Financial data encompasses the cost of tuition, fees, and class supplied; the average price of living; access to financial aid and social services; and lastly, the projected annual salary acquired from degree outcomes and income for loan repayment. The second largest category of information involves the quality of education, how competitive degree applicants should be for consideration, and how exclusive a degree program is overall. The final 25 percent of collected data is dependent on student and alumni reviews from sources such as PayScale, Rate My Professor, and Students Review. 

Want to Learn More? 

The amount of information available for specific degrees is plentiful, and Best Master's Degrees aims to provide as many resources as we can. Check out our Methodology page for more information and resource links.

 

#35 – University of Georgia

Master of Education in Reading Education
Athens, Georgia
Website

Become a strong supporter of childhood literacy with the Master of Education in Reading Education from the University of Georgia. The degree is for certified teachers and literacy professionals seeking a graduate program that emphasizes new and digital literacies. Students will complete 36 credit hours in the online program and may transfer up to nine credit hours with departmental approval. Applicants are asked to submit a score from the Graduate Record Examination and a strong undergraduate GPA, typically 3.0 or higher. The program's curriculum explores a range of topics, including reading instruction methods, pop culture, early childhood literacy, the history of literacy education, and more. Students have an opportunity for hands-on learning through the required practicum in reading instruction and assessment. The program concludes with a capstone course and final examination. The university holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $15,934

 

#34 – University of Nebraska at Kearney

Master of Arts in Education Reading PK-12
Kearney, Nebraska
Website

Build a successful future as a literacy educator with the Master of Arts in Education Reading PK-12 from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. The 36 credit hour program is offered entirely online and is open to candidates who hold both a bachelor's degree and a valid teacher's certificate. Students will be trained in instructional methodology while learning to diagnose and facilitate instructional strategies. The program leads to a Reading Pre K-12 endorsement in the state of Nebraska. Students are required to complete 12 credit hours in the program's core, which includes topics in educational research, the philosophy of education, curriculum development, and assistive technology. Students will gain hands-on experience through a reading practicum in a supervised remedial tutoring setting. Other courses include a seminar in reading, reading in the content areas, diagnosis of reading difficulties, literature, and more. Elective choices include linguistics, creative writing, directed readings, assessing young children, and special education.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $15,909

 

#33 – Capella University

Master of Science in Education – Reading and Literacy Specialization
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Website

The Master of Science in Education – Reading and Literacy Specialization gives you insights to improve the reading abilities of young learners. The online program is designed to equip students with the current literacy theories, practices, and assessment techniques. Students complete six core courses and five specialization courses, along with an in-person practicum component. Online students can look forward to ample support from the university. Students will create a career plan in their first semester and work with Capella's licensure team to obtain licensure in the student's home state. To apply, students will need a bachelor's degree from an accredited university and a minimum 2.3 GPA. Students will also need to complete the Minnesota Teacher Licensure Exam before completing their practicum. The program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. 

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $15,667

 

#32 – Edinboro University of Pennsylvania 

Master of Education in Reading
Edinboro, Pennsylvania
Website

Train for a rewarding career helping children read to their fullest potential with the Master of Education in Reading from Edinboro University. Students gain essential skills in diagnosing and assessing children with reading difficulties while also learning to prescribe effective reading interventions. The program leads to reading specialist certification upon completion of Pennsylvania's Reading Specialist Praxis examination. Students will complete 30 semester hours from courses including literacy interventions for striving readers, research design in reading, and language arts instruction. To gain admission to the program, applicants will need a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited university and a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 or higher. The program is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $15,513

 

#31 – Missouri State University

Master of Science in Education Literacy
Springfield, Missouri
Website

Missouri State University offers the Master of Science in Education Literacy to students seeking careers that will improve the lives of children and adults. Upon completion of the program, students will qualify for the state's Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Special Reading Teacher Certification for grades K-12. The program includes a total of 36 credit hours and covers topics in literacy, curriculum design, literacy problem assessment, and more. To meet the degree's research requirement, students may produce a graduate thesis worth six hours or complete a research seminar along with an extensive paper. All students must also complete a comprehensive examination before earning their degrees. To qualify for the programs, applicants will need a bachelor's degree from an accredited university and a 3.0 GPA on all undergraduate courses. Students who lack an adequate GPA may submit a score from the Graduate Record Examination to be considered for admission. 

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $15,173

 

#30 – Wilmington University

Master of Education in Reading
New Castle, Delaware
Website

Develop your skills as an educator while making a meaningful difference in the lives of young people with the Master of Education in Reading from Wilmington University. By meeting the standards of the International Literacy Association, the program prepares students for certification as a Reading Specialist in grades K-12 in the state of Delaware. Students will complete 35 credits while training in reading assessment, language development, literacy acquisition, and literature. Students also complete a series of clinical courses, including a seminar in reading research. A practicum in reading is also required. A condensed 24 credit hour version of the program is also available for teachers who do not wish to earn the degree and are seeking certification only. The university holds accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. 

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $14,955

 

#29 – University of North Carolina at Charlotte 

Master of Education in Reading Education
Charlotte, North Carolina
Website

You can learn to promote literacy among students of all ages with the Master of Education in Reading Education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The program is hosted entirely online and prepares students to qualify for the Masters/Advanced competencies "M" license in K-12 Reading Education in the state of North Carolina. Students will learn the theories and research-based foundations of reading and writing instruction while also learning to assess and evaluate reading progress among young learners. The 30 credit hour program can be completed in two years, including one summer semester. In the program's introductory phase, students will take courses in literacy education, research methods, and writing instruction. Students will also take classes on emergent literacy, middle and secondary reading and writing, global literacy, and leadership. The program includes a clinical field experience where students apply their knowledge in a Pre-K -12 classroom setting.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $14,811

 

#28 – Black Hills State University

Master of Education in Reading
Spearfish, South Dakota
Website

Develop your teaching abilities and train as a reading specialist with the Master of Education in Reading from Black Hills State University. The program meets all standards set by the International Reading Association and prepares students to reach South Dakota state standards for reading specialists. Students earn 35 credits in this online degree program. Degree candidates will work with faculty to identify and design a clinical classroom experience for the program's practicum requirement. Students will enter the program as a cohort and progress through a set sequence of courses. Topics include research methods, reading and writing instruction, literacy theory, cultural diversity in schools, and leadership for teachers. Students can customize their degree by selecting from electives that include children's literature, instructional technology, and teaching English as a second language. 

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $14,807

 

#27 – University of Colorado Denver

Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Reading and Writing
Denver, Colorado
Website

Pursue your career and academic goals with the flexible Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Reading and Writing from the University of Colorado Denver. The 30-hour graduate program is offered with two options. In the first option, students complete 15 hours of coursework in reading and writing and then earn the remaining 15 hours through a broad choice of electives. The second option follows a structured curriculum and leads to the Reading Teacher endorsement from the Colorado Department of Education. In both options, students will engage with challenging course content that exposes them to topics in language and literacy acquisition, teaching practices, literacy assessment, and more. Students will have opportunities for hands-on learning through the program's required practicum experiences. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $14,586

 

#26 – University of North Dakota 

Master of Science or Master of Education in Reading Education
Grand Forks, North Dakota
Website

Enhance the literacy skills of young students with the Master of Science or Master of Education in Reading Education from the University of North Dakota. The 32 credit hour program takes place entirely online and is for teachers seeking career advancement and instructional specialists seeking insights into literacy development. The M.S. program is geared toward professionals who support classroom teachers and students, while the M.Ed. program is designed to help K-12 teachers still active in the classroom. Students in both programs will take courses in writing, reading in content areas such as science and math, and the basics of reading diagnosis and remediation. Students also earn two credits through supervised clinical practica. To qualify for admission, students must possess teacher licensure at the early childhood, elementary, middle, or secondary level. Students who are completing the M.Ed. program may qualify for the North Dakota Reading Credential.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $14,478

 

#25 – University of West Georgia 

Master of Education with a Major in Reading Instruction
Carrollton, Georgia
Website

Credentialed teachers will gain new insights into the teaching of literacy with the Master of Education with a Major in Reading Instruction from the University of West Georgia. Offered by the university's Department of Learning and Teaching, the 30 credit hour program exposes students to current literacy theories, research, and practices. The program is designed to meet the Standards for Reading Professionals from the International Reading Association and can qualify students for a Reading Specialist certificate. Students begin their studies with 15 credit hours in the program's reading-writing concentration. Required courses include literacy theory, assessment and interventions, and literacy engagement. The program also includes topics on cultural diversity, language and culture, teaching English as a second language, and more. Students will also complete a supervised clinical experience that incorporates diagnosing and treating reading disabilities. The program has been accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $14,351

 

#24 – University of Mississippi 

Master of Education in Literacy Education
University, Mississippi
Website

Build a future as a reading specialist or literacy coach with the Master of Education in Literacy Education from the University of Mississippi. The program is available to students who hold a Praxis II Content Score from the Mississippi Department of Education and a 3.0 GPA from their junior and senior years of undergraduate work. Applicants must also either hold or be eligible for an A educator license. While courses are online, some campus visits will be necessary during the semester. Students will complete a total of 36 hours, with 30 hours coming from rigorous coursework and the remaining six earned through the program's internship requirement. Students will have the opportunity to take what they've learned and apply it in their schools and communities. Based on the program's admission requirements, the ideal candidate for the M.Ed. degree is an active teacher seeking a career as a literacy coach, reading specialist, or as a literacy resource provider at the school and district levels.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $14,259

 

#23 – Fresno Pacific University 

Masters of Arts in Reading and Language
Fresno, California
Website

Become a qualified and competent literacy educator with the Masters of Arts in Reading and Language from Fresno Pacific University. This program is best for candidates who hold a current teaching credential and are seeking advanced training in the theories and practices of literacy and language acquisition. The 32-unit program covers subjects such as the reading process, multilingual learners, current trends in literacy, and literacy research methods. Students will apply the literacy theories they learn through coursework in two clinical practica, with a particular focus on struggling readers and advanced literacy. Students can accelerate the path to their degree by taking part in an optional weeklong Summer Literacy Institute. Upon graduating, students can qualify for a Reading Certificate. The university is accredited by the Senior College and University Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $14,235

 

#22 – Jackson State University

Master of Science in Reading Education
Jackson, Mississippi
Website

The Master of Science in Reading Education from Jackson State University will empower you to be an active supporter of literacy. Students will earn 30 graduate credits through a series of eight-week courses in this accelerated program. Participants will become skilled in action research and analyzing data to affect changes in instruction. The program provides training in the assessment and diagnosis of reading difficulties, along with prescribing plans to address those deficiencies. The program, hosted by the Department of Elementary & Early Childhood Education, includes courses in elementary statistics, educational research methods, leadership in literacy, and more. Students take part in two supervised literacy practica, worth three units each. Students will also be required to develop a graduate degree plan and pass a Graduate Area Comprehensive Examination upon earning 24 credit hours. To qualify for the program, students will need a minimum 2.5 GPA from their undergraduate degree, passing scores on the PRAXIS II examination, and a class ‘A' Educator's License. 

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $14,116

 

#21 – Northern Michigan University 

Masters of Arts in Education Reading Specialist
Marquette, Michigan
Website

Support the reading efforts of K-12 students with the Masters of Arts in Education Reading Specialist degree from Northern Michigan University. The online program is offered by NMU's Global Campus and includes a total of 37 credits. Students completing the degree will be eligible to add a specialized endorsement as a reading specialist to the student's teaching certificate in the state of Michigan. The program begins with two foundational courses in educational research plus an optional thesis. Within the subject's concentration, students choose from classes that include such topics as literature for young adults, foundations of reading instruction, children's literature, and more. Several electives are also available with adviser approval. Electives range from learning technologies to school and community relations and interest-based literacy teaching. The degree program includes an immersive clinical practicum experience worth two credits. Students will gain practical experience diagnosing and treating young readers in a remedial reading program. 

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $14,005

 

#20 – University of Central Arkansas 

Master of Science in Education / Dyslexia Endorsement
Conway, Arkansas
Website

The Master of Science in Education / Dyslexia Endorsement from the University of Central Arkansas will help you expand your qualifications as a certified teacher of reading. Students will gain the knowledge and leadership skills to become competent reading instructors, or lead reading programs and act as a resource to other teachers with their literacy instruction. Students who complete the online degree program will earn the 15-hour K-12 Dyslexia endorsement in the state of Arkansas along with the Arkansas Reading Specialist License. The program's curriculum includes topics in reading instruction, curriculum design, and research methodology. Students will train for the state's Praxis test for Reading Specialists as well as a comprehensive reading examination. The program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation and meets the standards of the International Literacy Association and the International Dyslexia Association. Candidates who are licensed teachers and who only wish to earn the Arkansas Dyslexia Endorsement K-12 may do so by completing a 15-hour program separate from the degree.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $14,005

 

#19 – Pittsburg State University 

Master of Science in Reading, Reading Specialist Licensure
Pittsburg, Kansas
Website

Share the gift of reading with K-12 students with the Master of Science in Reading, Reading Specialist Licensure from Pittsburg State University. The 39 credit hour program is completed entirely online and is intended for active, licensed teachers. Students typically complete the program in seven semesters and will be eligible for the Praxis Literacy examination leading to a Kansas Literacy Specialist License. The program includes coursework in research and methods, advanced methods for English language learners, current teaching practices, and literacy topics and trends. Students will also complete apprenticeships in reading worth three credit hours and may complete an optional thesis also worth three credit hours. The program is accredited by the Kansas State Department of Education and Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. The program also conforms to the standards of the International Literacy Association. 

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,841

 

#18 – Minnesota State University, Mankato 

Master of Science in Reading
Mankato, Minnesota
Website

Take your career as an educator to new heights with the Master of Science in Reading from Minnesota State University, Mankato. This 34-credit program is offered entirely online and can be completed with either a graduate thesis, creative project, or alternate plan paper. Students will earn 18 credits through the program's common core requirements. These requirements include topics in reading intervention, reading assessment and diagnosis, instructional strategies, and a field-based reading practicum. The program also consists of six units of research and methods courses and an additional six credits from electives. Students can select either teaching writing in elementary school, literacy for diverse learners, or educational technology as elective topics. The program has received accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,704

 

#17 – Ball State University 

Master of Arts in Education with a Concentration in Reading/Literacy
Muncie, Indiana
Website

Gain the skills to become a competent and compassionate teacher of literacy with the Master of Arts in Education with a Concentration in Reading/Literacy from Ball State University. Students can look forward to small class sizes designed to encourage maximum interaction among faculty and students. The program consists of 30 credits and includes coursework in educational research, literacy education, the history of reading, advanced methods for language arts, and more. An optional graduate certificate in reading/literacy is also available. Teachers certified in the state of Indiana may earn the graduate degree as part of the state's required ten-year teaching license renewal. The university holds accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, and the program meets standards established by the International Literacy Association.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,535

 

#16 – Arkansas State University 

Master of Science in Education in Reading
Jonesboro, Arkansas
Website

The Master of Science in Education in Reading from Arkansas State University offers a convenient way for teachers to gain valuable skills in literacy education. The 30 credit hour program is entirely online and can be completed in as few as 12 months. Students can take part in the Arkansas Delta Writing Project model while gaining clinical experiences. These experiences can include working with pupils experiencing reading difficulties and organizing school-wide reading reform. Upon completing the program, students will qualify to take the Arkansas reading specialist certification exam. Additional coursework covers topics in research, emergent literacy, adolescent literacy, literacy for diverse learners, and an introduction to statistics. To gain unconditional admission to the program, applicants will need a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA along with a valid teaching certificate. Conditional admission may be granted to students who do not meet the GPA requirements. The university has been accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation. 

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,420

 

#15 – East Carolina University 

Master of Arts in Reading Education
Greenville, North Carolina
Website

Develop your skills as a teacher of literacy and language skills with the Master of Arts in Reading Education from East Carolina University. The degree includes 30 semester hours and delivers a program based on literacy knowledge, the assessment and evaluation of reading, and curriculum and instructional design. Classes are delivered entirely online in eight-week sections. Students may customize their degree by choosing among electives. The electives include Literacy Specialist, Academically Gifted, Adult Literacy, Adult Education, Special Education, Teaching English as a Second Language, and more. The program also includes classroom-based reading practicum experiences, which are typically completed in the candidate's school. The reading graduate program has been offered since 1979 and maintains its high quality by meeting the requirements of the International Literacy Association and the International Dyslexia Association. The university has been accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,327

 

#14 – University of Wisconsin La Crosse

Master of Science in Education with Reading Teacher certification 
La Crosse, Wisconsin
Website

The Master of Science in Education with Reading Teacher certification from the University of Wisconsin La Crosse will put you on a path to becoming a skilled teacher of literacy. The 30-credit program prepares candidates to teach reading at an advanced level in a classroom setting, in a Title 1 reading program, or a reading recovery program. Students will study topics ranging from Literacy and Language Development to Children's Literature and Research Methods. The program includes a graduate thesis requirement worth six credits. An optional 37-credit dual-certification program is available. Students will earn the Reading Teacher graduate degree along with a Reading Specialist certification. Additional coursework in guiding and directing a school-wide literacy program and an administrative portfolio is required for the Reading Specialist certificate. To complete the degree, students are required to pass the Foundations of Reading Test with a score of 240 or higher and complete two years of teaching at the K-12 level. 

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,045

 

#13 – University of Texas at Tyler

Master of Education in Reading
Tyler, Texas
Website

Gain the insights and knowledge to become a successful literacy instructor with the Master of Education in Reading from the University of Texas at Tyler. Students begin their course of study in the 30-hour program with an overview of language, literacy, and culture. Coursework continues with themes of research, teaching literacy to adolescents, and new and emerging media literacies. Students will develop analytical skills with a required action research course, while literacy practica focusing on literacy assessment and instruction provide clinical learning experiences. The program includes a Reading Specialist certificate, which may be obtained without the degree if the candidate already holds a master's degree and has two years of teaching experience. To join the program, applicants will need a valid teacher's certificate or license and a minimum 3.25 GPA from their undergraduate degree. Students who don't meet the GPA requirement may substitute a score from the Graduate Record Examination in some cases. 

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,776

 

#12 – Eastern Kentucky University

Master of Arts in Education — Literacy P-12
Richmond, Kentucky
Website

Train with highly qualified professionals while building your career with the Master of Arts in Education — Literacy P-12. The program includes 30 credit hours and can be completed entirely online. Upon finishing the degree, students will qualify for certification as a Literacy Specialist P-12 and will be prepared to lead school-wide literacy efforts. Students who are certified to teach in the state of Kentucky will also be eligible to apply for the Kentucky Teacher Leader Endorsement. This endorsement leads to advancement in rank and further career opportunities. Courses are delivered in eight-week terms and an asynchronous format, giving students maximum flexibility for studying. To apply, students will need a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 and a valid teaching certificate. Students who have completed some graduate training may be able to transfer up to nine credits to the university. This program has been accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. 

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,659

 

#11 – Western Kentucky University 

Master of Arts in Education in Literacy Education
Bowling Green, Kentucky
Website

Students can build a solid foundation of literacy knowledge with the Master of Arts in Education in Literacy Education from Western Kentucky University. Students completing the program will have the opportunity to take the Praxis 5204 examination leading to an Endorsement in Reading on their teacher's license. The 30-hour program can be completed with a thesis or by completing a seminar in literacy issues and trends. The program includes coursework in the foundations of literacy instruction, reading intervention literacy methods and evaluation, special topics in English, and more. Students have several electives to choose from, allowing them to customize the degree to meet career and academic goals. Among the electives offered by the university are courses for gifted education, the psychology of learning, curriculum development, advanced children's literature, and many more. To qualify for the program, students must possess a bachelor's degree from an accredited university and current teacher certification. 

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,817

 

#10 – University of South Florida

Master of Arts in Reading
Tampa, Florida
Website

The Master of Arts in Reading from the University of South Florida offers students a course of study designed to expand literacy education skills. Students are required to complete 36 credit hours in the online degree program. The program's two pathways are designed for students with a valid teacher's license and those without teacher certification who are seeking career paths other than K-12 teaching. All students, regardless of the pathway, will complete required coursework in educational research, literature in a diverse society, reading remediation, and literacy assessment. A three-credit practicum in reading is also required. Students on the certified-teacher pathway will complete a course in teaching literacy to students with limited English proficiency. Non-certified students will complete coursework on the history and psychology of education. To qualify for the program, all applicants will need a minimum 3.0 GPA on their upper-division undergraduate coursework and a valid teacher's license depending on the pathway selected by the student. 

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,766

 

#9 – Sam Houston State University 

Master of Education in Reading/Language Arts with Reading Specialist Certification
Huntsville, Texas
Website

Enhance your skills as a teacher and student of literacy with the Master of Education in Reading/Language Arts with Reading Specialist Certification from Sam Houston State University. The 36-hour program is designed for active, certified teachers seeking to expand their skills as a practitioner of language arts. The program takes place entirely online and leads to a Texas Reading Specialist Certification when combined with two years of successful teaching experience. The program includes more than one hundred hours of field-based practicum experience and a reading capstone project. The program's curriculum is completed in a set sequence and covers topics in instructional strategy, secondary language literacy, the politics of literacy, and more. Admission requirements include a minimum 2.8 GPA or a Graduate Record Examination score of at least 60 for those who do not meet the GPA requirement. Students who are not seeking reading specialist certification may also apply to the program. The university's School of Teaching and Learning has been accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,742

 

#8 – University of West Florida 

Master of Education in Reading Education
Pensacola, Florida
Website

Develop expertise as a literacy specialist with the Master of Education in Reading Education from the University of West Florida. Students will be trained in a "Lesson Study" approach that ties research to practical classroom practice. The degree is designed to expand knowledge of literacy and reading education by drawing on the standards of the International Reading Association and will lead to a Florida Department of Education K-12 Reading Endorsement on the student's teaching certificate. Before admission, candidates will be asked to demonstrate proficiency in teaching English as a second language. Applicants will also need a minimum 3.0 GPA from their bachelor's degree and a score on the Graduate Record Examination no more than four years old. In addition to core coursework, students will take part in a reading practicum and action research course. Other topics in the curriculum include writing and language arts methods, reading assessment, literature for children and young adults, literacy development, and more. Students must also pass Florida teacher certification tests in the areas of general knowledge, professional topics, the student's subject area, and reading.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,550

 

#7 – West Virginia University

Master of Arts in Literacy Education
Morgantown, West Virginia
Website

The Master of Arts in Literacy Education from West Virginia University provides advanced training in literacy education for teachers looking to expand their career opportunities. Students will complete 30 total credit hours through ten online courses delivered in an asynchronous format designed to maximize student and faculty interaction. By completing the program, students will be eligible to sit for the PRAXIS Series test leading to Pre-K through adult reading specialist certification in the state of West Virginia. To join the program, students will need a valid teacher's license along with a minimum 3.0 GPA from their bachelor's degree. The program's curriculum can be completed in two years, including one summer. Topics include reading and writing in elementary school, the foundations of literacy, developing reading interests, literacy leadership, and more. The program has been designed to conform with the standards of the International Reading Association and has been accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. 

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,486

 

#6 – University of Houston-Victoria 

Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction, Literacy Studies
Victoria, Texas
Website

Learn practical strategies for educating children with the Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction, Literacy Studies from the University of Houston-Victoria. Students can select either thesis or non-thesis options in this 30 semester hour online program. Students may also select a reading specialist track, which includes additional coursework in literacy theory and practice. Students completing this option will be able to add a Reading Specialist certificate to their teaching license. Students begin the program with core coursework in diversity and educational research. Major coursework consists of 24 semester hours and includes topics in literacy instruction, foundations of writing, professional literacy research, and literacy assessment. An optional dyslexia graduate education certificate is also available. To join the program, applicants will need to hold at least a bachelor's degree and have appropriate teaching experience.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,305

 

#5 – Appalachian State University 

Master of Arts in Reading Education
Boone, North Carolina
Website

Deepen your commitment to literacy and teaching with the Master of Arts in Reading Education from Appalachian State University. The program includes a classroom/clinical concentration that is designed to help classroom teachers become skilled in all areas of reading and language arts instruction. The concentration leads to a Master M level teaching licensure in the state of North Carolina. Candidates in other states should check with the U.S. Department of Education for more information on licensure. Students may also select the degree's adult literacy concentration. The program is offered in a hybrid format, with online classes delivered in an asynchronous format. In-person courses typically meet in the evening. Successful applicants will need a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, and recent scores from a graduate admissions examination. The university's teacher licensure programs have been accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,473

 

#4 – California State University San Marcos 

Master of Arts in Reading, Language, and Literacy
San Marcos, California
Website

Train in the theory and practice of literacy education with the Master of Arts in Reading, Language, and Literacy from California State University San Marcos. Students will gain exposure to research methods and literacy instruction and assessment while also taking part in clinical field experiences. Admission is limited to students living in certain states, and applicants should check with the program's website for more information. Applicants residing in qualifying states will also need a minimum 2.5 GPA, a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, and a valid teaching credential. The 36-unit program typically takes eight semesters to complete. Students will take courses in the foundations of literacy instruction, multilingual learners, a reading and writing assessment, and more. In the program's final summer and fall semester, students will complete a master's culminating experience seminar. 

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,454

 

#3 – Eastern New Mexico University-Main Campus 

Master of Education with Emphasis in Reading and Literacy
Portales, New Mexico
Website

Learn the best practices of reading instruction and make a difference in the lives of students with the Master of Education with Emphasis in Reading and Literacy from Eastern New Mexico University. The program takes place entirely online and is designed to conform to the standards of the International Reading Association. The university is also committed to keeping the program affordable, and out-of-state students can receive in-state tuition when enrolling in fewer than six hours per semester. Students seeking full admission will need a minimum 3.0 GPA and a current teaching license. Students with insufficient GPAs may be admitted on a conditional basis. Students may enroll in either thesis or non-thesis options. Non-thesis students will meet their coursework requirements through nine hours of curriculum and instruction requirements, 21 hours of emphasis coursework, and an additional six hours of electives, plus comprehensive examinations. Thesis students also earn 36 hours, with at least six units dedicated to the thesis project.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,830

 

#2 – Louisiana State University Shreveport 

Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction: Reading & Literacy 
Shreveport, Louisiana
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Louisiana State University Shreveport offers the Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction: Reading & Literacy to students pursuing careers as literacy educators in K-12 classrooms. In addition to training in literacy education and assessment, students have unique opportunities to take administration and leadership courses. The 30 credit hour program can be completed in just ten months for students studying on a full-time basis. Students begin the program with foundational courses in graduate research and curriculum development in American education. Students then take classes in educational technology, multicultural literature, professional learning communities, data utilization, and more. The program also includes a seven-week practicum in reading. Students will spend a minimum of 25 clock hours tutoring young children in reading. The university's teacher education programs are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. 

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,393

 

#1 – Northeastern State University

Master of Education in Reading
Tahlequah, Oklahoma
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Promote literacy and reading with the Master of Education in Reading from Northeastern State University. By meeting the standards of the International Reading Association, the program is designed to build teacher competencies in reading instruction, assessment, and curriculum development. Upon completing the degree, students will be eligible to take state certification tests for Reading Specialist. The 36-hour program includes six hours of professional education, 20 hours of specialized reading, three hours of enrichment courses, and a capstone project worth three hours. Candidates must possess a valid teacher's license or certificate and have completed their undergraduate degree with a minimum 2.5 GPA. Students will also take part in clinical learning experiences through the program's practicum in literacy. The university's graduate-level teacher preparation programs hold accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. 

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,833