Reading Specialist (Additional Certification) at Montclair State University

Reading Specialist (Additional Certification)

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Reading Specialist (Additional Certification)

The Reading Specialist Certification program prepares educators to meet present and future demands as literacy specialists. The program emphasizes practice informed by current theory and research and provides a range of learning experiences that enhance candidates’ understanding of what it means to be an effective literacy educator. Program graduates will be prepared to serve in a wide array of educational roles in a variety of settings.

Along with the Reading Specialist (Additional Certification) option, the department also offers the following options for graduate study: Reading, and Reading – Accelerated Hybrid Option.

Please refer to our programs of study page for a comprehensive list of all of the graduate programs offered within the university.

Admission Requirements

Applicants need to hold standard teacher certification and a master’s degree (in any field) before applying. To matriculate in this program students must be able to demonstrate appropriate interest and ability in the field of literacy education. Once accepted into the program, students also need to have completed two years of classroom teaching prior to graduation.

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 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 Specialist (Additional Certification) 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.
  • Teacher Certification: One.
  • Applicants with non-U.S. degrees, please visit the International Applicants page to review the US degree equivalency information.

This program requires 30 credit hours. Courses in the program are offered in different modalities, including face-to-face, hybrid and fully online. Applicants may credit any number of previous, successful and relevant graduate courses towards obtaining the Reading Specialist Certificate, even if this previous coursework has been used to obtain a graduate degree. This cannot be done with the Master of Arts in Reading. Course credits are negotiated with advisors once an applicant is formally enrolled in the program. For more information, please visit the Reading Specialist (Additional Certification) program listing in the University Catalog.


If you have any general questions regarding the application process and requirements, please email or call us:
Office of Graduate Admissions
Telephone: 973-655-5147
Fax: 973-655-7869

If you have specific inquiries regarding your program of interest, please contact the Reading Specialist (Additional Certification) Program Coordinator:

*During the summer months, there will be a rotating department chair available to answer your inquiry. Find the updated summer chair for this program.*

Program Coordinator: Dr. Erik Jacobson
Office: University Hall 3233
Telephone: 973‑655‑3471