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University of West Alabama Online Master of Education in Library Media
CAEP Accredited Topics include management, reference services, information services and retrieval, reference services and more. 100% online.
University of West Alabama Online Ed.D. Rural Education: Library Media
SACSCOC accredited Focuses on critical issues, learning strategies and solutions for positive development in rural education and communities.
Auburn University at Montgomery Doctorate of Education in Instructional Systems and Learning Sciences
Accredited Develop learning science expertise that maximizes your impact in instructional design, educational research, and teacher training.
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Master of Literacy programs are designed for educators who already have classroom experience. Many of these programs are aligned to state teaching standards, with coursework specifically geared toward needs of learners in that state.

Completion of these graduate level literacy programs may include state level certification or create a pathway to certification, licensure, or endorsement. However, some programs are designed for educators interested in teaching in different states and do not include paths to additional certification.

Earning this advanced degree prepares graduates to bring 21st century methods to the classroom in support of learner advancement and to be leaders in the teaching profession and community.

Click to find featured online library science programs currently accepting applications for 2024.

Are there online programs in literacy?

Yes. Many universities and colleges offer fully online master's degrees for teachers of literacy. These may be referred to as literacy or reading and literacy degrees. As these master's programs are targeted to working educators, they offer relevant and flexible coursework. Many of these programs can be completed in less than two years when attending full-time.

Some schools may also offer students the option to complete these degrees on campus. It is not uncommon for these online programs to be delivered using the cohort learning model, where students progress through the program in a team or group.

Sponsored Online Library Programs

School Level Program
Syracuse University
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Master Online MS in Library and Information Science
ALA-accredited. No GRE required to apply. School Media Specialization available.
University of Denver
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Master Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS)
ALA-Accredited, No GRE Required.
St. John's University
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Master Online M.S. in Library and Information Science
ALA Accredited. Complete in as little as 2 years.
University of West Alabama
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Master Online Master of Education in Library Media
Develop knowledge and skills in school library media with our online library media specialist degree.
University of West Alabama
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Doctorate Online Ed.D. Rural Education: Library Media
Explore the essential role of library media within rural schools and districts.
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In-depth review of top 5 online Master of Literacy degrees

A number of quality online master's programs in reading and literacy are available to interested educators. These programs emphasize contemporary strategies and best practices for classroom instruction, analysis of relevant issues and trends, understanding of policy, and evaluation and application of technology. These programs prepare teacher candidates to support learners across all subject areas, as effective literacy skills are cross-disciplinary. Literacy degree programs may also carry additional accreditation at the state, regional, or national level.

California State University San Marcos - Master of Arts in Reading, Language, and Literacy

This fully remote continuing education program provides current educators with the necessary knowledge and skills to meet the needs of today's learners. Future literacy teachers learn applicable strategies to support monolingual and multilingual students. The cohort program can be completed fully online in just 16 months.

Coursework is completed by semester, with each semester consisting of one to two blocks. Candidates take core coursework and complete a culminating project or thesis. Some of the core courses are Foundations of Literacy and Literacy Instruction, Reading and Writing Assessment, and Teacher Inquiry to Improve Student Learning. The 6 unit culminating experience includes Research Methods in Education and three single-unit culminating experience courses. Students choose to complete either a thesis or a project as the culminating experience.

This online master's program is aligned to the state of California's reading and literacy standards. To be admitted candidates must have a bachelor's degree, teaching credential or equivalent experience, and submit a statement of purpose and letters of recommendation. No GRE is required to apply for the program. The cost per unit is $449, with a total program cost of $16,164. CSUSM also offers a literacy scholarship for eligible K-12 educators teaching in California.

University of Florida - Reading and Literacy Education

The University of Florida offers two nationally ranked online master's degrees, the Master of Education (M.Ed.) and a Master of Arts in Education (M.A.E.) in reading education. Both programs emphasize modern theory and best practices in reading and literacy teaching, learning, and assessment. The evidence-based programs can be completed within four to six semesters and are offered by a Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) accredited provider.

The 36-credit M.Ed. is a non-thesis program consisting of six areas. Area subjects are Foundations of Reading, Classroom Reading Assessment and Supervision, Diagnosis and Remediation of Reading Difficulties, Language Arts and Literature, English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), and electives. The M.Ed. program does not automatically result in Florida K-12 reading certification, though candidates are provided steps for completion of this certification if they are interested.

The 36-credit M.A.E consists of coursework (30 hours) and a thesis or project (6 hours). Working with a faculty committee, candidates complete courses across reading, language arts, children's literature, and English as a Second Language (ESL). This program is designed for international applicants and those not interested in pursuing a Florida reading certification.

To be considered for admission to either program, applicants must complete a statement of purpose, submit three letters of recommendation, provide transcripts, and submit a resume or CV. Tuition and fees are based on residency status. Florida residents pay $517.98 per credit hour, while non-Florida residents pay $656.51 per credit hour. Degree programs must be completed within seven years. These programs can also be completed on campus.

University at Albany, SUNY - Master of Science in Literacy

Those interested in earning literacy certification in the state of New York may explore this program which emphasizes current research and policy relevant to today's teachers. Completion of the program prepares teacher candidates to work as classroom teachers, literacy coaches, or literacy specialists. The program is offered fully online and is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

This 30-credit degree program includes coursework across a number of subject areas. Coursework in literacy development, strategic instruction, assessment, family partnerships, and data-informed decision making is included. Students in the program complete synchronous (live) courses and have access to a personal concierge for the duration of their studies.

Admission requires an initial teaching certificate in any area of certification. Upon completion of the program and passing of the New York State CST Literacy exam, candidates earn initial certification as a Literacy Specialist and the graduate degree required for professional certification in literacy. Tuition and fees are based on residency and enrollment status.

Arizona State University Online - Master of Arts in Education, Literacy Education

ASU's teachers college is nationally ranked and recognized. The incorporation of digital technology and social justice themes are central features of this program, which aims to prepare educators to develop robust literacy programs and curricula. This 30-credit hour online degree program consists of 9 courses that range from 7.5 to 15 weeks in duration.

Core coursework includes Developmental Reading, Digital Literacies, Theoretical Foundations in Language and Literacy, Multimodal Literature for Children and Adolescents, Language and Literacy for Diverse Learners, Writing through the Lifespan, Literacy Methods, Assessment and Reflection for Children, and Literacy Methods, and Assessment and Reflections for Adolescents and Adults. The culminating experience for the degree is a capstone course, in which teacher candidates will demonstrate their learning through the creation of a professional development project for literacy teachers.

While this program does not lead to teacher certification, it may qualify for a reading or literacy specialist endorsement depending on requirements of the state in which the degree is completed. To be admitted to the program, applicants must have earned a bachelor's or master's degree in a related field. Admission requirements include transcripts, personal statement, proof of English proficiency, resume, and three letters of recommendation. Application does not require submission of GRE scores. Tuition is based on location of residency.

Texas A&M - Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on Reading and Literacy

The M.Ed. is a 36-credit hour, non-thesis, online program. Coursework in the program is offered both synchronously and asynchronously. Synchronous courses are offered at set times and delivered via video conference. Students in the program may choose to pursue an optional Texas state reading specialist certification. This certification is completed in conjunction with the degree program.

Required core courses in the program include Cultural Foundations of Education, Curriculum Development, and Analysis of Teacher Behavior. Additionally, students complete required departmental electives. Some of these courses include Reading Diagnosis, Literacy and Language, and Practicum in Literacy Intervention.

This degree program may be completed online or on campus, if desired. To be considered for admission, applicants must provide official transcripts, two essays, and three letters of recommendation. Scores from the GRE are not required. Tuition and fees are based on residency status.

Typical Online Literacy Curriculum

In general, literacy is associated with the skills necessary to read and write. However, today’s literacy degree programs emphasize multiple skills necessary for learners to be effective and efficient in a digital world. Coursework may include classroom instruction, curriculum development and assessment, and various literacies – including digital, visual, or media literacy.

With coursework designed for practicing educators, knowledge and skills gained are immediately applicable in the classroom. Often, candidates will also complete a culminating, or capstone, experience. This may be a project or thesis. It is important to speak with an academic advisor prior to enrolling in a program to ensure that coursework will meet both personal goals and professional requirements.

Literacy & Literacy Instruction Fundamentals

This foundational course provides an overview of theory and practice relevant to literacy development and instruction. Emphasis is placed on native English speaker and English language learners in Pre-K through 12 environments. Through readings, discussions, and case studies, students will develop the skills necessary to create and promote a culture of literacy in the classroom and beyond. This course serves as the foundation for future coursework on reading, writing, and instruction.

Language & Literacy for Multilingual Learners

Today’s learners come from diverse cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. To be an effective educator, teachers must understand the needs of these learners and be prepared to develop appropriate curricula and interventions. In this course, students will investigate contemporary theory, research, and practice relevant to language and literacy development of multilingual students. Topics include the culture of literacy, digital literacies, language acquisition (first and second languages), language transfer methods, and strategies for culturally responsive instruction.

Reading & Writing Assessment

Effective assessment is crucial for the success of any reading or writing program. In this course, students will learn the fundamentals of designing and implementing evaluation methods for courses and curricula. Contemporary strategies and tools are considered, in addition to issues and trends related to assessment and evaluation. Students will explore theoretical frameworks and real-world applications. Students will develop and present a comprehensive plan for both formal and informal classroom assessment techniques.

21st Century Literacy Skills

To be effective in today’s digital world, learners must exhibit literacy that extends beyond just reading and writing. This course prepares teacher candidates to recognize and teach 21st literacy skills. Examining real-world examples, students will consider how we must navigate technology to effectively communicate and listen. Emphasis is placed on technology and how it may hinder and support literacy development in the classroom and beyond. Current issues and trends in literacy are also considered.

Diagnosis & Remediation of Reading Difficulties

This course covers both the foundational theory and practice of observing, documenting, and evaluating reading performance and strategies for developing remediation plans. Students will investigate assessment instruments, methods, and materials necessary to determine children’s reading performance and progress. Additionally, students will review remediation activities and resources. This course aims to prepare students to effectively diagnose literacy instruction needs of learners and create remediation strategies based on assessment results.

Principles & Methods in ESOL Teaching

This course aims to prepare students to effectively teach English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) in both English as a Second Language (ESL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL) contexts. Students will explore principles and practices in support of skill development in the areas of problem solving and working with diverse populations. Topics include cross-cultural communication, instructional methods, assessment and evaluation strategies, and curriculum development.

Research Methods

This core course aims to provide an overview of educational research methods. Through case studies students will evaluate principles and strategies for the design and implementation of research projects. Emphasis is placed on research and evaluation in the classroom context. Topics include ethics and ethical concerns, measurement, statistical techniques, literature review, data analysis, and qualitative and quantitative techniques. The course will culminate in the development of a preliminary research topic and research strategy.

Capstone Project

In this culminating experience, teacher candidates will demonstrate their mastery of program outcomes through a research thesis or curricular project. The thesis or project must be centered within a K-12 context and be pre-approved by the student’s faculty advisor.

Where can you work with a graduate degree in literacy?

A bachelor’s degree is the terminal degree required for teachers. Generally, a master’s degree in reading and literacy is completed by an educator who is already teaching in a K-12 setting. These professionals seek the degree to supplement existing experience in order to become more effective educators and leaders.

Educators earning a graduate-level literacy degree may become eligible for advancement within their organization or find employment in public and private elementary, middle, and high schools, charter schools, home-schools, local or federal government agencies, or childcare centers. While these programs typically emphasize school-aged learners, it is possible to gain the skills necessary to work with adult learners outside of a K-12 setting.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for Kindergarten and Elementary School teachers in 2021 was $61,350 Kindegarten and Elementary. Teachers in Middle or Junior High schools had a median pay of $61,320 annually Middle. While High School teachers earned slightly more at $61,820 per year High. These careers are expected to grow between 4-5% between 2021 and 2031.

This degree may also help graduates begin careers that are more generally focused on designing and/or teaching literacy programs or to serve in educational leadership roles. Additionally, career opportunities may exist as researchers, adjunct faculty, curriculum writers, professional developers, or library staff. Finally, earning a master’s degree may qualify the teacher for a salary increase.

Common job titles in Reading & Literacy include:

  • Reading and Dyslexia Interventionist
  • Literacy Tutor
  • English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher
  • Literacy Specialist
  • Reading Coach
  • Assistant Professor in Literacy
  • Classroom Assistant – Family Literacy
  • Early Literacy Common Core Teacher
  • K-8 Intervention Teacher
  • 2nd Grade Literacy Teacher

Are there specific licensure requirements?

A valid, state-recognized teaching certification is typically required to teach in K-12 settings – in addition to a bachelor’s degree. Certification, licensure or endorsement may be included in graduate-level literacy programs, but this should be verified prior to enrollment. Those interested in pursing a graduate degree in literacy should research programs and contact their state licensure board to ensure the program is aligned to state standards.

Educators today are constantly challenged to adapt teaching strategies to meet the needs of diverse learners. Literacy degree programs focus on key principles and strategies for the teaching of foundational reading, writing, listening, and communication skills. Current K-12 reading and literacy teachers may supplement their knowledge and skills by completing a master’s degree in literacy. Earning a master’s in reading and literacy can give teachers methods and tools immediately usable in the classroom which, in turn, can lead to more successful learners in all subject areas.