Schools with Degrees in Literacy: How to Choose

The study of literacy focuses on language development, reading comprehension, writing skills and literacy disorders. Many colleges and universities offer literacy programs, usually at the graduate level.

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Students interested in a graduate literacy program should have a bachelor's degree in a teaching-related field to be considered for admission. Some schools do offer this program online.

Ten Schools with Literacy Programs

Further information about schools with literacy programs is shown below:

College/University Location Institution Type Degree Offered Graduate Tuition (2015-2016)*
The University of Iowa Iowa City, IA 4 year, Public Doctorate $8,396 in state; $25,574 out of state
Western Michigan University Kalamazoo, MI 4 year, Public Master $12,727 in state; $26,958 out of state
The College of New Jersey Ewing, NJ 4 year, Public Master $12,510 in state; $19,728 out of state
Teachers College at Columbia University New York, NY 4 year, Private not-for-profit Master $34,896
Edinboro University Edinboro, PA 4 year, Public Master $8,460 in state; $12,690 out of state
Rowan University Glassboro, NJ 4 year, Public Master $12,870
University of North Dakota Grand Forks, ND 4 year, Public Master $7,044 in state; $18,807 out of state
Adelphi University Garden City, NY 4 year, Private not-for-profit Master $35,800
West Virginia University Morgantown, WV 4 year, Public Master $8,568 in state; $22,140 out of state
Indiana University of Pennsylvania Indiana, PA 4 year, Public Master $8,460 in state; $12,690 out of state

Source: National Center for Education Statistics & individual school websites

School Selection Criteria

  • Although rare, teaching experience requirements for admission may vary from a bachelor's degree, with some schools accepting tutoring or childcare experience as an alternative.
  • Most graduates with a literacy degree desire a career in teaching; however, there are different areas of focus within a literacy program that may impact their teaching specialty.
  • Students who want to design their own programs can choose a school that takes an interdisciplinary approach and offers the freedom to choose a variety of courses.
  • It's important to find a school that complies with the teaching requirements of the state in which a student wishes to teach.

Master's Degree in Literacy

In a master's degree program, students learn to teach children at all levels, from kindergarten through high school. Prerequisites vary from school to school, but all programs require a bachelor's degree.

Certificate in Literacy

Certificate programs usually emphasize a particular area of literacy and require a bachelor's degree and teaching certificate or credential prior to admission. Coursework varies depending on the specialization; however, most programs require between 12-20 units in courses that directly relate to the area of study.

Ph.D. in Literacy

In a Ph.D. program, students usually work with an adviser to create a course of study and develop a dissertation topic. A master's degree is often required for admission and many programs require professional teaching experience in language or literacy.

Literacy degrees are master and doctorate level programs found at colleges and universities. A prior bachelor's degree, teaching experience and credentialing are often required for admission.

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