Literacy Specialist Education

Our literacy specialist master's program focuses on developmental reading, including study of developmental readers, reading processes, and reading instruction at the pre-school and emergent level, elementary grades and secondary grades. Another major focus area of this program is the study of reading difficulties, including classroom and clinical assessment, evaluation, and diagnosis of reading. Through our program, you can obtain dual certifications: B–6 Literacy Specialist and 5–12 Literacy Specialist.

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Why Literacy Specialist Education at UB?

The features of our program include:
  • clinic-based practicum in the diagnosis and reading re-mediation of struggling readers in the University at Buffalo Center for Literacy and Reading Instruction and a classroom-based summer practicum at a school in a local district
  • knowledge of the theories, methods and materials of reading instruction, language instruction, reading assessment and diagnosis
  • study of literacy and technology; adolescent literacy practices; and content area reading instruction, language, literacy and culture

To be eligible for this program, you must have applied for, or received, initial New York State teacher certification.

Literacy Specialist Education Program

Program Overview

Academic credential granted Master of Education (EdM)
Certification option Successful completion of program leads to an institutional recommendation for NYS Initial and Professional Certification in Literacy Education
Grade levels All grades
Credits required for completion 36 to 37
Time to completion 4 to 5 part-time semesters
Course delivery On campus
Career opportunities Literacy Specialist
Clinical experience hours
  • 100 hours of field experience
  • Additional clinical experience may be embedded in content coursework 
Application deadline Priority Deadlines
Fall: Feb. 1, then rolling
Spring: Nov. 1, then rolling
Summer: May 1

Program Coursework

Application Requirements

You must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution.

Submit your completed online application, which includes:

  • Application fee: A $50 non-refundable application fee, submitted electronically through UB's ePayment system.
  • Test Scores: Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT) for applicants pursuing any of the tracks (initial/professional or professional) of the literacy program. Please use Institution Code 2925 and Department Code 3101. For NYS certified teachers and educational leaders who already hold a graduate degree, the GRE is not required.
  • Contact information for two individuals who will each be asked to provide an electronic recommendation letter.
  • Unofficial transcripts from all colleges attended. (UB transcripts are automatically submitted for current UB students and alumni.)
  • Applicants to the Master's degree program (Professional Certification) must have applied for, or received New York State initial teacher certification in the matching certification area. If application for teacher certification is in process, proof of such application must be submitted. If already certified, a copy of proof of teacher certification is required.

Former/Maiden Name: Please provide us with your former/maiden name if you have one. When requesting transcripts, please ask the sending institution to indicate your current name and former/maiden name.

Admissions Decision: The admissions decision will be communicated to you as soon as review is complete. The decision is based on a number of factors and is the result of a thorough and deliberate process. All decisions are final and cannot be appealed.

Dignity for All Students Act Requirement

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) requires that all students applying for certification as of December 31, 2013 have 6 hours of coursework or training on the social patterns of harassment, bullying and discrimination. As mandated by NYSED six clock hours of training in harassment, bullying, and discrimination prevention and intervention. This workshop is available through the University at Buffalo as well as other NYSED-approved providers. If you have already completed a workshop through a NYSED-approved provider, you must submit proof of completion when you apply.

Students with Disabilities Requirement

The New York State Education Department requires three semester hours of study in the area of students with disabilities for those who are entering the teacher education programs. If you have not yet fulfilled this requirement, you may take our students with disabilities course (LAI 574).

International Applicant Additional Requirements
  • Official original proof of degree
  • A copy of your passport biographical page
  • Official test scores for either the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) or PTE (Pearson Test of English) Academic. Test scores must be dated within two years of submitting your application
    • TOEFL minimum score is a 250 for a computer based test, 600 for a paper based test and 96 for the Internet based test. 
    • IELTS minimum score is 7.0 overall with no individual sub-score below 6.5. 
    • PTE minimum score is 55 overall with no individual sub-score below 50. 
  • Financial documentation – International graduate applicants must document their ability to pay for all costs incurred while studying in the U.S.
  • An official bank statement translated into U.S. dollars

All financial forms and supporting documentation with required signatures must be uploaded with your application, and must be dated within one year of your intended enrollment date.


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University Computing Standards

You are required to have daily access to a reliable broadband connection and a computer that meets university computing standards. You are also expected to have basic computer competency before beginning your coursework.