Admissions | Reading Specialist

Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Reading Specialist

In the Department of Health & Behavior Studies

Admissions Information

The Reading Specialist program is a Master of Arts program that prepares students to work in schools, clinics, private practice, and other educational contexts to teach reading and writing skills to both typically-developing and struggling readers. Our students are recent undergraduates, experienced teachers and people who are switching careers. They include regular and special education teachers planning to return to their classrooms equipped to help their students learn and improve their reading and writing skills, and individuals who wish to work as reading specialists. Students in the program learn to assess and teach reading skills to child, adolescent and adult learners. They learn to provide professional development and leadership in schools and communities using evidence-based techniques to improve reading and writing achievement at all levels. 

Applicants who already hold initial certification in a teaching area are eligible for initial New York State Literacy Certification upon completion of the program. Those applicants who do not hold prior certification upon successful completion of the program earn their MA degree but are not eligible for Literacy Certification until they earn the initial teaching certificate, should they choose.

The Reading Specialist M.A. Program requires 12-13 courses for a total of 33-36 points, depending on which courses you select (see Registration Guide). Students wishing to reside in NYC for only one calendar year only can complete the final, advanced practicum via a distance learning option where feasible. Full-time students usually complete the program in 1-1/2 years. Part-time students must complete the program in a maximum of three academic years.



Applicants may enter the Reading Specialist Program in Spring, Summer or Fall. Summer and Fall admissions are rolling but applicants are strongly encouraged to apply by the January 15 deadline (see below), particularly if they are interested in scholarships and financial aid.


Application Deadlines:

Spring: November 1

Summer/Fall (priority): January 15

Summer/Fall: April 15

Applicants to the program must submit an online application, transcripts for all previous undergraduate and graduate work, three recommendation letters, GRE scores, and a personal statement that details their goals for attending the program and describes previous relevant experience teaching or working in educational settings.

For more information about the application process, view the Admissions Instructions for Degree Programs.



The Reading Specialist Program offers several scholarships and a fellowship opportunity that may cover partial or full tuition. See Scholarships and Fellowships.

  • Apply
  • Request Info