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M.S.Ed. in Literacy Education with Focus on Reading


Literacy serves the foundation for all learning. As a graduate student in the M.S.Ed. in Literacy Education with a Focus on Reading program, you will learn how to use research-based practice to positively impact lives of learners in K-12 settings.

Who accredits the degree?

The M.S.Ed. in Literacy Education from NIU with a Focus on Reading is nationally recognized as an exemplary program by the International Literacy Association (ILA). As a competency-based program, each course builds upon the previous course(s) that are aligned with the standards for reading professionals developed by the ILA and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

What certification will I earn?

Completion of the program leads to the Reading Specialist certification or Reading Teacher endorsement being added to a professional educator license.

How long does it take to earn this degree?

At 33 credits, this degree will take you approximately 2-3 years to complete. If you've started coursework elsewhere, no problem! You are able to transfer up to 15 credits. 

What courses will I take?

You will engage in three phases of coursework:

Phase I, Foundations in Literacy, includes coursework at the Elementary and Middle levels that focuses on:

  • Improvement of Reading in the Elementary School
  • Teaching Reading in the Middle School
  • Content Area Reading
  • Bilingualism and Reading
  • Writing Instruction

in Phase II, Diagnosis and Remediation, coursework includes:

  • Diagnosis and Treatment of Reading Difficulties
  • Practicum in Diagnosis of Reading Difficulties
  • Practicum in Problems of Teaching Reading

In Phase III, Leadership in Literacy, coursework includes:

  • Leadership in Literacy (6 credits)
  • Supervisory Problems in Reading
  • Internship (can be completed while teaching full-time)

Core Course:

  • Literacy Research (or other approved research methods course)

The program is delivered to cohorts located at various sites throughout the region. Cohorts may be located at NIU-DeKalb, NIU-Naperville, NIU-Hoffman Estates, and various school districts.

How do I apply?

Apply to the NIU Graduate School as a degree Seeking student or Student-at-Large (non-degree status).

Completed M.S.Ed. application packets including two letters of recommendation, the completed application, fees, career goal statement, college transcripts and test scores (GRE or MAT) should be sent to the NIU Graduate School.

A candidate may take a course as a Student-at-Large while waiting to be officially admitted into the program.

For an overview of the program and required coursework, please review our program flier (PDF)


Corrine Wickens
Graham Hall 119J