A teacher reads to a group of young children 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 certificates.

The MS in Literacy program accommodates students working as full-time teachers. All courses are offered in the evening.

Core Curriculum

  • Literacy in Society
  • Classroom Literacy Instruction
  • Data-Based Decision Making in Literacy Assessment, Policy, and Practice
  • Final Culminating Project

Additional Information

See the Graduate Bulletin for details.

For more information, contact 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
  • Writing in the Classroom, 1-6
  • Differentiated Instruction and Coaching, B-6

Elective (choose one)

  • Language Acquisition
  • Teaching Social Studies, B-6
  • Integrated Literacy Instruction, B-6
  • Literacy for English Language Learners
Literacy Specialist Grades 5-12


  • Strategic Intervention to Prevent Literacy Difficulties
  • Young Adult Literature
  • Academic Literacy Across Instructional Contexts, 5-12

Practicum Courses

  • Differentiated Instruction and Coaching, 5-12
  • Dialogic Teaching and Learning

Elective (choose one)

  • Practicum: Writing in the Classroom, 1-6
  • Media Literacy
  • Literacy for English Language Learners
Specialist Track: Grades B-12


  • Early Literacy Development, B-2
  • Young Adult Literature OR Children's Literature
  • Academic Literacy Across Instructional Contexts, 5-12

Practicum Courses

  • Instruction to Prevent Literacy Difficulties
  • Differentiated Instruction and Coaching, B–6 and 5-12
  • Dialogic Teaching and Learning
  • Writing in the Classroom, 1-6

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: August 1
  • Spring: December 15
  • Summer: May 1

There is no departmental assistantship consideration for this program.

Required Application Materials
  • A NYS initial or professional teacher certification in any area
  • Transcripts from all schools attended (with at least a 3.0 GPA)
  • Three letters of recommendation (see Special Notes below)
  • Program-specific application questions


Special Notes

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]).

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.

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.



The University at Albany is a member in good standing of the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP), a national accrediting organization recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.


Logo for the AAQEP - Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation
Accreditation Details

The programs listed below have been awarded full accreditation by AAQEP through June 30, 2028. Full accreditation acknowledges that a program prepares effective educators who continue to grow as professionals and has demonstrated the commitment and capacity to maintain quality.

AAQEP-Accredited Programs and Annual Reports at the University at Albany

Advanced Graduate Certificate Programs

Master of Science Programs

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