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Master’s in Literacy Education

If you already have a provisional or initial teaching certificate and want to specialize in literacy instruction, please read on.

Our program allows teachers to work toward state certification in either literacy birth–grade 6 or literacy grades 5–12. The program has been structured to be in alignment with the Standards for Reading Professionals, revised in 2010, by the International Reading Association. In order to comply with New York State Education Department requirements, the program includes fifty hours of supervised practica at the range of grade levels our candidates seek for certification.

As you'll see in our sequence of courses, we have developed a program that has just the right mix of flexibility and specificity for today's professionals.

Benefits of the M.S.Ed. in Literacy Education

  • Tailor Your Own Professional Development: Our candidates take a variety of electives throughout their program in order to pursue interests in such things as instructional technology, linguistics, and children's literature. These elective courses can also focus on areas of particular need, such as special education, classroom management, and subject-specific pedagogy.
  • Specialize in Literacy: Required courses in literacy instruction build on the prior experience of our candidates. We concentrate on connecting theory with practice, encouraging practical applications to classroom settings. Our Specialization courses, offered each spring, allow candidates to perfect their administration of a range of assessment devices while offering tutorial experiences to children in our Literacy Education Center. Our program concludes with a five week long, intensive clinical experience during the summer working with children under the direction of our talented faculty members. We facilitate professional cooperation and help our candidates develop useful networks of support and continued access to instructional resources.
  • Study Full-time or Part-time: When applying for the program in either spring or fall, potential candidates have two choices. They may indicate their desire to pursue the degree on a full-time basis (generally twelve credit hours per semester). This allows people to graduate in August after twelve months of study. Other applicants indicate that they wish to take a few courses at a time, due to full-time teaching responsibilities in the schools where they work. This facilitates the real use of course assignments and allows our candidates to share their ongoing experiences.
  • Study at Convenient Hours: Courses are offered in the afternoon and evening so that our candidates may work as substitute or full-time teachers during the regular school day. Some of our classes are offered in a web-based format through distance learning so that they can fit into many people’s busy schedules.
  • Learn from Experienced Faculty: We love teaching. Our faculty members have many years of experience across a wide range of grade levels. Contact us if you'd like more information.

Master of Science in Education (M.S.Ed.) Literacy (36–37 credits)
Birth–Grade 6 (Curriculum Code: 8021)
Grades 5–12 (Curriculum Code: 8022)

Program Requirements

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Sequence of Courses (36–37 credit hours total)

Explore the college catalog or the course descriptions for specific details. Consult the master schedule of particular semesters for more information because course days and times may change from year-to-year and because some courses may be available in a web-based, on-line format or at SUNY Plattsburgh at Queensbury.

Foundations (9 credit hours)

Coursework in Foundations must be completed before Specialization coursework. Check prerequisites for each course.

Specialization (8 credit hours)

Coursework in Specialization must be completed before Clinical Experience coursework. Check prerequisites for each course.

One of the following courses must be taken concurrently with EDR509 and must be matched to the certificate sought:

Enrichment (13 or 14 credit hours)

Coursework in Enrichment may be taken before, during, or after Foundations and Specialization coursework. Check prerequisites for each course.

Children's Literature: Select one 3 credit hour course.

Clinical Experience (6 credit hours)

Twenty-seven (27) credits (including all of the Specialization coursework) must be completed prior to the clinical experience. Check prerequisites for each course.

  • EDR560 Clinical Experience in Literacy Instruction (6 credit hours, including 30 hours of supervised practica, summer only): prerequisites are matriculation in an M.S. Ed. Literacy program; completion of at least 27 hours of coursework toward that degree, AND EDR509, EDR527; and either EDR511 or EDR512.

    This five-week, Monday–Thursday, course in clinical experience is offered in the Literacy Education Center on the Plattsburgh campus. It may be taken in the afternoon (4–8 p.m.) during summer session "B" (June and part of July) or in the morning (8 a.m.–noon) during summer session "C" (July and part of August).

Culminating Experience

All candidates must complete a portfolio that receives a positive review from the graduate program faculty.

Planning Your Literacy Education Graduate Program

There are many ways to follow the sequence of courses listed above. You can choose from three possibilities — a one-year program, a one and 1/2 year program, and a two-year program — based on the current projection of course offerings.

Application Deadline: Interview Dates and General Information

The application deadline for matriculation in the summer or fall semesters is February 15th of each year. The application deadline for matriculation in the spring semester is October 15th of each year. An interview is required:

  • Literacy Education Interview Date: You will be contacted by the department if you have been selected to come for an interview. Late applicants will have an interview arranged at a later date.

Please note that all materials — except for the Literacy Questionnaire — should be sent to Graduate Admissions (Kehoe 113). The completed Literacy Questionnaire should be sent to the Department of Literacy Education (Sibley 302).

Application Forms and Instructions

Graduate application materials that need to be submitted to the Graduate Admissions Office (Kehoe 113) can be found at

Literacy Questionnaire

Please download, print, and submit the Literacy Questionnaire directly to the Department of Literacy Education (Sibley 302) on or before the application deadline: Literacy Questionnaire for Applicants.

Admission Requirements for M.S.Ed. Literacy

  • appropriate preparation at the baccalaureate;
  • a completed application form with required supporting materials;
  • submit GRE or MAT scores to the Office of Graduate Admissions at SUNY Plattsburgh no later than the day before the start of their first matriculated semester. This information, along with a cumulative GPA of 3.00, will be considered in combination with all other submitted materials for admission to a graduate program in teacher education;
  • three teacher education recommendation forms (at least two must be from a professor or academic advisor if you are currently taking graduate courses or if you have taken undergraduate or graduate courses within the last three years) that address your ability to take part in a graduate program in education;
  • a statement of purpose indicating why you want to enter this specific program;
  • a resume indicating relevant teaching experience;
  • a copy of your teaching certificate at the elementary and/or secondary level OR a written explanation indicating how all NYSED requirements (including NYSTCE exams) for such a certificate will be completed prior to matriculation into this M.S.Ed. program. Individuals must submit passing scores on the NYSTCE exams before matriculation into the program.;
  • a completed Literacy Questionnaire for Applicants (sent directly to the Department of Literacy Education, Sibley Hall — guidelines are above); and
  • attendance at an on-campus interview, if invited.

Contact Information

If you would like more information about literacy education programs at SUNY Plattsburgh, please contact:

Jean Ann Hunt, Ed.D., Literacy Education Program Leader
Office: Sibley Hall 222A
Phone: (518) 564-5136