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Reading (MA)

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Reading (MA)

The Master of Arts in Reading Program is designed to provide literacy educators with appropriate experiences and solid grounding in the field of literacy. It is expected that students will graduate with a comprehensive understanding of literacy’s broad definition, sociopolitical underpinnings, and the ways they can effectively serve as change agents in their respective spheres of influence. Program graduates should be equipped with both the skills and dispositions to effectively advocate for the field of literacy and the profession of literacy educators. As a department, it is our hope and anticipation that our graduates will be prepared to serve in a wide array of educational roles in a variety of institutional and multicultural contexts. The curriculum places emphasis upon reflection and critical thinking about professional practice and helps students analyze the moral and ethical responsibilities of literacy educators.

Along with the Reading (MA) degree, the department also offers the following options for graduate study: Reading – Accelerated Hybrid Option, and additional certification as a Reading Specialist. Please refer to our programs of study page for a comprehensive list of all of the graduate programs offered within the university.

Admission Requirements

It is strongly recommended that students enrolling in the Master of Arts in Reading program already hold professional teaching certification and have spent at least one year teaching in schools or working with students in a professional capacity. Students who wish to receive certification as Reading Specialists must possess an initial teaching certificate, a masters degree in any field, two years teaching experience, and 30 hours of study as outlined in their study programs prepared with the program coordinator, and a passing score on the Praxis (Reading) Exam.

Application Checklist

In order to make applying for graduate school as seamless as possible for you, we have
created an application checklist. This checklist can be a reference point for you during the
application process to ensure that you have a comprehensive understanding of the steps
needed to apply, as well as all of corresponding supplemental materials for your specific
program of interest.

  • Application Deadline: Rolling Admission.
  • Submit Online Application: Please create your online account and submit your application by following the general application instructions and pay (or waive) the non-refundable $60 application fee. Once this step has been completed, the online portal will allow you to upload your supplemental materials.

The following is a list of the supplemental materials that will accompany your application for the Reading (MA) program:

  • Transcript: One from each college attended.
  • Essays/Personal Statement: Write one essay of no more than three double-spaced pages in response to the prompt below. Your essay can include some description, but it should also demonstrate that you have critically reflected on the profession and your potential place within it. Please write in a concise, formal, professional style. If you make generalizations or assertions, be sure to provide support for them. In one integrated essay, thoughtfully discuss each of the areas identified below:
    • Why you are interested in the profession in which you want to pursue graduate work and, if applicable, the particular concentration within that profession.
    • Your knowledge of issues and trends in this profession or field.
    • What areas and topics you hope to study in depth and why.
    • Any related professional or personal experiences you have had, including opportunities to collaborate with other professionals, and how these experiences make you particularly well-suited for the profession.
    • Potential challenges and opportunities associated with diversity you think are relevant to the profession you are pursuing. Be sure to explain what you mean by “diversity” (related, for example, to race, gender, age, sexual orientation, language, disability) and how it may pose challenges or present opportunities.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Two.
  • Students holding degrees from non-US institutions must request a course-by-course transcript evaluation from a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services or by Educated Choices. TOEFL or IELTS is required for applicants to any program who earned their degree in a country where English is not the official language. Please check our International Applicants page for more information and for our current TOEFL/IELTS Waiver Policy.

The Master of Arts in Reading Program is a (minimum of) 33 credit program. For more information, please visit the Reading (MA) program listing in the University Catalog.


If you have any general questions regarding the application process and requirements, please email or call us:
The Graduate School
Telephone: (973) 655-5147
Fax: (973) 655-7869

If you have specific inquiries regarding your program of interest, please contact the Reading (MA) Program Coordinator:
Program Coordinator: 
Dr. Erik Jacobson
Office: University Hall 3233
Telephone: 973‑655‑3471