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M.S. in Literacy Education FAQs

Get answers to all your questions about the M.S. in literacy education program.

If you have additional questions, please contact the program director or the Office of Transfer and Graduate Admissions.

What will I be certified to teach?

Two professional certificates are available through the Master of Science in Literacy: Birth-Grade 6 and Grades 5-12. The certificate you earn depends upon the program you matriculate in and courses you take.

Can I get certified in more than one program?

Yes. At this time, the literacy program leads to certification in either birth-6th grade OR grades 5-12, depending on which program you are matriculated. Since this program requires that you have a certification in a classroom teaching area as one of the criteria for admission, you will be eligible for professional or permanent certification in two areas (literacy and your initial certification area) at the completion of your program.

If you wish to earn a second certification in an area such as special education, you must take the additional number of credit hours in that area as required by the New York State Department of Education in addition to your literacy courses. You should refer to the New York State Education Department website for more information.

How many credit hours will I take to complete the program?

36 credit hours: 30 credit hours of courses, 6 credit hours of practicum.

How long will it take me to complete the program?

The fastest the program can be completed is in four semesters (summer, fall, spring, summer). This requires three courses each semester. Candidates can take as long as five years to complete the program as stipulated by the New York State Department of Education.

What is the practicum?

Practicum consists of two courses during which candidates work intensively with students who are in need of additional literacy support while under the guidance of skilled supervisors. One practicum involves one-on-one tutoring and the other involves small group tutoring. One practicum takes place at the on campus Literacy Center. The second practicum can take place at the candidate's place of employment or at the campus Literacy Center. Practicum students are also required to complete other course requirements.

Does previous or current job experience count toward practicum?

Previous experience in schools does not count toward practicum. One practicum may be conducted at your place of employment if you are currently working in a school setting. Arrangements should be made when you register for the practicum.

What else will I need to do for professional certification?

Candidates must pass the New York State content specialty exam in literacy.

Is there a minimum GPA requirement for acceptance?

The minimum GPA requirement is 3.0. However, we will consider undergraduate GPAs under 3.0 for conditional admission if there are other positive factors supporting the application. Conditionally admitted candidates must complete the first 12 hours of graduate courses with a "B" (3.0) or higher average before full matriculation. Candidates with GPAs under 3.0 may also be asked to meet with the program director for an interview or to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).

Do you have any helpful hints for completing my application?

Letters of recommendation - Letters from former professors and/or work supervisors (ideally, one from each) are required. Letters of recommendation written by relatives or family friends will significantly reduce chances for acceptance.

Personal essay - Speak to your commitment to teaching and lifelong learning; typographical errors and poorly organized essays are extremely detrimental to the overall application. If you have a GPA. below 3.0, you should explain reasons and describe how plan to improve your academic performance in the future.