Literacy Education

MA in Literacy Education

The MA in Literacy Education will prepare you to teach all students, from birth to grade 12, the reading and writing skills needed for academic success. The Department of Teaching and Learning offers two master’s degree options – Literacy Education B: Birth through Grade 6 and Literacy Education C: Grades 5 through 12. The Literacy Education program is open to candidates who hold or are eligible for initial teaching certificates in Early Childhood, Childhood, or Secondary Education. This master's degree leads to eligibility for the New York State Literacy Specialist Certificate, with reciprocity in most other states.

What you'll learn

You will work closely with our faculty members to learn:

  • Explicit techniques for teaching reading and writing skills to all prekindergarten, elementary, middle, and high school students
  • Methods for meeting the literacy needs within specific subject areas such as science, math, English, and social studies
  • Supportive strategies for the literacy and language development of diverse learners at varying developmental stages, skill levels, and socio-cultural contexts
  • A diagnostic-intervention protocol to guide all children's progress toward ELA standards
  • Leadership skills for facilitating school literacy improvement as a literacy coach

See the curriculum and degree requirements for the Birth-Grade 6 program.

See the curriculum and degree requirements for the Grade 5-12 program.

How you'll learn

Build on Your Professional Teaching Experience
You will develop your expertise as a literacy specialist in general education or within a content discipline. For example, you will improve your technical skills as a reading teacher; acquire the expertise needed to meet the needs of children from diverse linguistic backgrounds; integrate literacy teaching with specific subject areas such as social studies, science, or math; and acquire specialized strategies for supporting students with literacy-associated difficulties. Your coursework will build on your professional knowledge, teaching experience, and your professional goals.

Courses That Synthesize Theory and Practice
Our program philosophy interprets literacy as the means by which people think, learn, and communicate through reading, writing, listening, and speaking. You will take courses designed to help you understand the principles of language and literacy learning. We focus on the development of diverse learners, especially those who are experiencing difficulty with literacy acquisition. Our program emphasizes the utilization of current research to inform the effective instruction of word recognition, comprehension, vocabulary, and expressive writing. Nationally recognized, full-time faculty members teach most of our courses.

Extensive Field Experiences
Most courses in our program incorporate the application of content in the field. These assignments typically may be completed in your school or classroom if you are a practicing teacher. Each instructor supports the identification of field placements for assignments as needed. Our required capstone experience is the Clinical Literacy Practicum. In the clinic, you engage in supervised, long-term individualized tutoring with children who have literacy difficulties.

Prepare for a career as a
  • Classroom teacher or interventionist with specialized expertise teaching reading and writing in public or private preschools, schools through grade 6, or in grades 5-12
  • School literacy specialist or literacy coach, including NYC DOE literacy specialist hiring initiative
  • Literacy expert in clinical settings, including private tutoring, dyslexia intervention, psycho-educational centers
  • Editor or publisher of educational materials for literacy teaching and assessment
For more information about this master's program, please contact

Kay Stahl
Program Director
East Building, Room 504

Our faculty members in literacy education are: