Story Time in a Classroom

Master of Science 


Program of Study

Become a Certified Literacy Specialist

The MS in Literacy is for current teachers seeking initial literacy certification in New York State. To be admitted, you must already possess initial or professional teaching certification in any other content area.

In addition to fulfilling the education requirement for initial certification, the master's in literacy also meets the education criteria needed for professional certification in both literacy and the content area of your original initial certificate.

The MS in Literacy program accommodates students working as full-time teachers. All courses are offered online and/or held in the evening on campus. Also, all practicum courses take place after school hours.

This teacher education program is accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) for the 10-year period of April 30, 2011 to April 30, 2021.

Core Curriculum

  • Literacy in Society
  • Classroom Literacy Instruction
  • Practicum: Writing in the Classroom, 1-6
  • Data-Based Decision Making in Literacy Assessment, Policy, and Practice
  • Final Project


See the Graduate Bulletin for details.

For more information, contact Department Coordinator, Reisha Rieder at or 518-442-5100.

This program is approved for licensure or certification in New York State and the institution has not made a determination regarding the educational requirements for any other state.


Program Tracks
Specialist Track: Grades B-6


  • Children's Literature
  • Early Literacy Development, B-2

Practicum Courses

  • Instruction to Prevent Literacy Difficulties
  • Practicum: Differentiated Instruction and Coaching, B-6

Elective (choose one)

  • Language Acquisition
  • Teaching Social Studies, B-6
  • Science for Children
  • Integrated Literacy Instruction, B-6
  • Literacy for English Language Learners

Teaching Mathematics in the Elementary School

Literacy Specialist Grades 5-12


  • Strategic Intervention to Prevent Literacy Difficulties

Practicum Courses

  • Young Adult Literature
  • Academic Literacy Across Instructional Contexts, 5-12
  • Adolescent Literacies and Multimodalities, 5-12
  • Differentiated Instruction and Coaching, 5-12
Specialist Track: Grades B-12


  • Early Literacy Development, B-2

Practicum Courses

  • Young Adult Literature
  • Instruction to Prevent Literacy Difficulties
  • >Academic Literacy Across Instructional Contexts, 5-12
  • Adolescent Literacies and Multimodalities, 5-12

Differentiated Instruction and Coaching, B–6 and 5-12


Literacy specialists are well compensated. For example, in Albany, NY, the median annual salaries for literacy specialist teachers and literacy coaches are $68,514 and $71,891, respectively. This is notably higher than the combined average salary of $61,732 for all other K-12 teachers.

Teacher helping student in class

Admissions Requirements


Departmental Assistantship Consideration

Fall: Not Available
Spring: Not Available
Summer: Not Available

No Departmental Assistantship Consideration

Fall: July 15
Spring: November 15
Summer: April 15

Required Application Materials
  • Transcripts from all schools attended
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
    At least one letter of academic recommendation from Professors
  • Official GRE scores*

Supplemental Documents

An equivalent first childhood/elementary teaching certificate from any state


*In light of the current situation, applications will be considered for review without GRE (or approved alternative) scores. Official admission will be contingent on the receipt of exams scores; however, we encourage all interested individuals still apply.

Special Notes

The Literacy program requires three letters of recommendation. At least one letter should be from a past professor (or someone who has worked with you in an academic setting and can evaluate your academic capability). The other two can come from individuals who have observed you in a professional context. All the recommendations should come from people who would be able to evaluate your capability for academic success; who can evaluate your substantial work (paid or unpaid) in education or your current field; who supervise your work in current employment and can speak to your capacity for collaborating, managing multiple projects simultaneously, as well as working independently; or who have observed your effectiveness in a professional or human-service context. At least two letters of recommendation should provide evidence that you can succeed in graduate education.

This program leads to certification as a Literacy Specialist. This program is not available to international applicants. The test score requirement is for application Fall 2016 and forward. The department will also accept the following exams in lieu of GRE: edTPA, GMAT, Miller's Analogies, or Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators. Please contact the Pathways Into Education Center (518-442-3529) with questions regarding the entrance exam requirement. This program is available fully online (Birth -6th grade and 5th -12th grade tracks only) to full-time teachers pending permission for practicum experiences within your school district (contact Reisha Rieder for more information

This program requires an internship, field experience, study abroad component, or clinical experience requirement. Students who have previously been convicted of a felony are advised that their prior criminal history may impede their ability to complete the requirements of certain academic programs and/or to meet licensure requirements for certain professions.  If applicants have concerns about this matter please contact the Dean’s Office of the intended academic program.

Student Learning Objectives

Learning objectives that UAlbany students are expected to attain through their course of study within their academic program.

Master of Science
  • Our students demonstrate an understanding of the literacy knowledge and instruction appropriate for educational and/or community settings.
  • Students apply their understanding of diversity, equity, and technology to educational and/or community settings.
  • Students apply their content knowledge and understanding of literacy practices to the education and/or community setting of their choice through a reflective essay or inquiry project.

Careers and Advisement

The Pathways Into Education (PIE) Center is the central office on campus serving undergraduate, graduate, and prospective students interested in pursuing careers in education and programs leading to teacher certification.

Please call or email to schedule an appointment.

Graduate Advisement:
Email Graduate Advisement
(518) 442-3529