Jun 16, 2024  
2019-2020 Catalog 
2019-2020 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Literacy Education (MA)


Education Department information  

The Master of Arts in Literacy Education offers courses that focus on teaching issues and practices related to an integrated language arts curriculum and prepares individuals to serve as literacy leaders in their school and communities.  Appropriate material is addressed relevant to learners from diverse backgrounds and school settings. Coursework outside the literacy core has been designed to support and enhance an individual candidate’s program of study.

For teachers in grades K-12 educational settings, the certification track of this program prepares you to take an exam and apply for a Reading/Literacy Specialist endorsement in the state of Michigan, with your existing elementary or secondary teaching certification. This program is aligned with both the Michigan Department of Education’s requirements for the BR (Reading Specialist) endorsement and the professional standards for Reading/Literacy Specialists as designated by the International Literacy Association (2017).

For individuals who are interested in literacy instruction, assessment, and development, but are not certified teachers, the non-certification track of this program prepares you to work in community-based settings with specialized literacy knowledge, skills, and dispositions. A Master of Arts in Literacy Education can be used in a variety of contexts to support children and adults in their literacy growth and success. 

Admission Requirements

Applicants must meet the following requirements to apply for admission:

  1. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.
  2. A teaching certificate, if applying for the certification track of the program. 
  3. A 3.0 or higher undergraduate overall grade point average based on a 4.0 scale.
  4. Completion of an application form for the Education Master of Arts Programs (available in the Office of Graduate Programs, 251 FWTL). This application must be accompanied by:
  • An official transcript from each college or university attended
  • Updated resume
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A personal statement of purpose
  • A copy of a currently held teaching certificate (certification track only)
  • A $55 application fee 
  • An interview with program faculty is required prior to admission.
  • A criminal background check that includes fingerprinting, at the candidate’s expense.

Admission is selective and is determined by the Education Department. 

Application Deadlines

Applications must be received by:

  • August 1 for Fall semester
  • November 15 for Winter semester
  • March 15 for Spring term
  • May 15 for Summer term 

Time Limit for Degree

A student in any master’s program is expected to complete all work within five years from the date of first enrollment in the program. Students exceeding this time limit must file a petition with the SEHS Academic Standards Committee. Petitions must describe explicitly the amount of work remaining and a timeline for completion. A student who fails to complete degree requirements within five years may be withdrawn and required to reapply for readmission. Courses that are older than five years may not be counted toward degree requirements.

Transfer of Credit

Up to six (6) hours of graduate credit (including coursework as a UM-Flint non-candidate for degree or “Lifelong Learning” student) may be accepted for transfer into the program.  All credit transfers must be approved by the Education Department faculty.  Students seeking to transfer credits not designated as program requirements or electives should contact the appropriate faculty advisor.

Academic Rules and Regulations

See the School of Education and Human Services (SEHS)  and Graduate Study  sections of this catalog for academic rules and regulations pertaining to graduate programs offered by the School. 

Requirements (30-36 credits)

A cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 (B) and passing grades in all courses are required.


When a candidate has undergraduate coursework equivalent to core courses, additional electives will be selected in consultation with an Education advisor to complete a total of 30 credits for the non-certification track or 36 credits for the certification track.

Reading Specialist Certificate Endorsement

Upon successful completion of the Master of Arts in Literacy program (Certification Track) and the Reading Specialist (Test Code 92) Michigan Test for Teacher Certification, graduates with teaching certificates from the State of Michigan will be eligible for Reading Specialist certificate endorsement (coded BR in Michigan). This endorsement allows teachers to teach reading and language arts as a special subject in grades K-12.