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.

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 [email protected] 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

  • Fall: July 15
  • Spring: November 30
  • Summer: April 15

There is no departmental assistantship consideration for this program.

Required Application Materials
  • Transcripts from all schools attended (with at least a 3.0 GPA)
  • Three letters of recommendation (see Special Notes below)
  • Program-specific application questions
  • Official GRE scores*

*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. 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.

Supplemental Documents

A NYS initial or professional teacher certification in any area.


Special Notes

The Literacy program requires three letters of recommendation. At least one letter should be from a college/university professor/instructor.  The other two letters 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.

This program leads to certification as a Literacy Specialist. This program is not available to international applicants.

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 [email protected]).

Complete all questions on the application and take your time with the written questions. We read your responses carefully, not only for what you say but also to learn how you express your thoughts in writing. Be candid about your goals, experiences, and your own literacy abilities.

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.



This teacher education program is currently under review by the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP) for an accreditation decision in July 2021.

See accreditation data for details.

The teacher preparation programs in the Department of Literacy Teaching and Learning and the Division of Special Education are currently under review by AAQEP for an accreditation decision in July 2021. Below is institutional and programmatic data in accordance with this accreditation.

The School of Education offers programs that prepare new teachers and also those that already hold NY teacher or leader certification. Additionally, some of our programs lead to multiple certifications. As such, data on employment does not reflect the many career opportunities our graduates are afforded. For example, our Literacy MS leads to NY certification as a Literacy Specialist in grades B-6 or 5-12. This program requires prior NY teacher certification so not all graduates pursue positions in Literacy after degree completion, but remain in their current specialty area. The SUNY website provides data on those graduates only working in NY and the wages earned after a specified time after graduation.

Our graduates that elect to pursue NY State certification must successfully complete related certification exams. See our exam pass rates.

The satisfaction of degree completers is valuable data for our programs. See University collected data.

Students in our masters and certificate programs have six calendar years from the date of initial registration in the program to complete their program. Additionally, masters and certificate students are not required to enroll every semester. As such, time to graduation varies. Data on enrollments and degree awarded.

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