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Teaching Literacy, Master of Science in Education

33-42 Credits
The School of Education
Long Island Graduate Center, Queens Campus, Staten Island Campus


The programs with a specialization in Teaching Literacy B-6, Teaching Literacy 5-12 and Teaching Literacy B-12 give the initially certified teacher the skills to teach reading, writing, and related language arts to students from early childhood to high school levels.  Both prospective and practicing teachers acquire the skills to become reading specialists, capable of diagnosing and assisting children and adults in overcoming their literacy-related problems. All coursework reflects New York State Regulations and the 2010 International Reading Association Standards.

There are three pathways to certification: Birth through Grade 6 (33 credits); Grades 5 through 12 (33 credits); and Birth through Grade 12 (42 Credits). Students can apply through The School of Education for certification endorsement upon passing the comprehensive exams and the CST Specialty Test in Literacy.

Department Faculty

Please see a list of our Education Specialties faculty.

Admissions Contact

Graduate Admissions
[email protected]


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Please view the School of Education Graduate Admission Application Requirements for detailed admission information.

Admission Requirements

  • Completed Application
  • Application fee of $70
  • Statement of goals
  • Official transcripts from EVERY institution attended, including conferral of degree
  • “B” or better average


Career Outcomes

The literacy programs enable teachers to develop a repertoire of literacy strategies that enhance teaching and learning in general education, special education, resource room, and English-language learning environments. If you already have a master’s degree in these areas, the literacy strategies you learn will improve your ability to teach a diverse population of students.

Applicants will acquire the skills to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the fundamental principles of literacy instruction.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of theories of literacy development including emergent literacy, early oral language development, and the relationship of oral to written language.
  • Identify and describe theories and models for teaching students with exceptionalities, diverse learners, and at-risk student.
  • Describe the principles of scientifically-based reading research to obtain valid knowledge about scientifically-based reading instruction and assessment.
  • Summarize the underlying principles of multi-sensory approaches to language learning emphasizing the structure of language and the study of the dyslexic learner.
  • Use computer-based instruction to enhance reading and writing skills.
  • Utilize a wide range of instructional practices, approaches, methods and materials to support literacy instruction in the classroom, including, but not limited to, those identified by the National Reading Panel (2000) and the 2010 IRA standards.

Career Opportunities

  • Reading specialist and diagnostician
  • Private practice as a multisensory instructor
  • Resource room teacher
  • Conference presenter
  • Literacy coach or supervisor
  • University or college professor with Ph.D.
  • Curriculum/staff developer

Additional Information


Literacy students conduct their practicum sessions in after-school settings where they are able to work with children from many schools. St. John’s has built partnerships with local schools to increase placement opportunities for our students after graduation.

Our program is unique in that it allows students to develop skills to teach diverse learners beyond the school setting by providing the background to establish a private practice as a diagnostician and tutor.

Students have the opportunity to work with leaders in the field—instructors who work directly with children in our city schools and who network with schools to assist with placement. Any of the literacy options can lead students to a Ph.D. program in literacy.