Reading Specialist MA Initial

M.A. in Reading Specialist

Earn your degree while preparing for New York State initial literacy certification for birth to grade 6 and for grades 5-12.

Our accredited program is grounded in cognitive, linguistic, and socio-cultural factors that contribute to the acquisition of reading and writing skills in developing and struggling readers.

At the heart of this degree program is our practicum where you’ll gain hands-on experience providing literacy assessment and intervention services to children, adolescents, and/or adults. Your practicum work will be supervised by our faculty to allow you to get the most out of your experiences at Teachers College.

Please note: Fall 2019 will be the last term of entry available for the master's program in Reading Specialist.


Two students in conversation outside of Teachers College

Admissions Information

Master of Arts

  • Points/Credits: 34
  • Entry Terms: Spring/Summer/Fall


  • NY State Initial: Literacy Birth-6
  • NY State Initial: Literacy 5-12

Application Deadlines

  • Spring: November 1
  • Summer/Fall (Priority): January 15
  • Summer/Fall (Final): Rolling
* For details about rolling deadlines, visit our admission deadlines page.

Supplemental Application Requirements/Comments

  • GRE General Test
  • Must hold Initial Certification to receive Literacy Certification
  • Please note: Fall 2019 will be the last term of entry available for the master's program in Reading Specialist.

*Students without Initial Certification may be eligible for entry to the Reading Specialist Program; contact Professor Perin at if applicable.

Course Requirements

Master of Arts

The Reading Specialist Master of Arts consists of approximately 34 points (minimum 12 courses: 10 required, 2 elective) depending on course selections and can be pursued either part-time or full-time. Completion of a Master’s Integrative Project is required for graduation.

Required Courses (10 required courses, minimum total 28 points) - See examples of electives on FAQ link at

  • HBSK 4072 Theory and techniques of assessment and intervention in reading (3)
  • HBSK 4074 Reading comprehension strategies and study skills (3)
  • HBSK 5099 Writing intervention theory and practice (3) OR
  • HBSK 5077 Adult literacy and developmental/remedial education (3)
    • Students wishing to take both of these courses should speak to an advisor about a program modification.
  • HBSK 5098 Diagnosis of reading and writing disabilities (3)
    • Pre-requisite: HBSK 4072
  • HBSK 5373 Practicum in literacy assessment and intervention I (3)
    • Pre-or co-requisite HBSK 4072
  • HBSK 5376 Practicum in literacy assessment and intervention II (3)
    • Pre-requisites: HBSK 4072 and HBSK 5373
  • HBSK 5377 Practicum in literacy assessment and intervention III (3)
    • Pre-requisites: HBSK 4072 and HBSK 5376
  • A&HL 4000 Educational linguistics (3) OR
  • HBSE 4001 Teaching students with disabilities in the regular classroom (3)
    • This course is taken only by students without prior special education coursework in teaching students with disabilities in the regular classroom.

Psychology core requirement: Choose one from the following for 2 or 3 points –

  • HUDK 4022 Developmental psychology: Childhood
  • HUDK 4023 Developmental psychology: Adolescence
  • HUDK 4029 Cognition and Learning
  • HUDK 5023 Cognitive Psychology
  • HUDK 5024 Psychology of Language
  • HUDK 5090 Psychology of language and reading

If none of these courses are being offered, another appropriate course can be substituted with approval.

  • HBSK 5580 Seminar in consultation and evaluation in reading (3)
    • Taken during the final spring of enrollment in the program. The MA Integrative Project is also written this semester.

Elective Courses (2 or 3 courses, total 6 points): See FAQ available at

Course grades:  All courses must be taken for a letter grade, not pass/fail.

Completion of M.A. Project.  The Master’s Integrative Project addresses areas related to literacy and related learning difficulties among children, adolescents, and adults. This culminating project is conducted under the supervision of an advisor.

New York State Education Department (NYSED) has teacher certification requirements that are needed for program completion and graduation which are listed in the Office of Teacher Education section of the catalog.


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