Childhood Education with an Emphasis in Literacy

Our childhood education with an emphasis on literacy program is an extension of the childhood education EdM program. This program leads to childhood education professional certification for grades 1–6. This program does not lead to certification as a New York State reading teacher.

Why Childhood Education with an emphasis in Literacy at UB?

The features of our program include:

  • courses in primary, elementary and secondary reading; language, literacy and culture; and classroom literacy assessment
  • facilitation of classroom teachers' knowledge of the theories, methods and materials of reading, reading instruction, language, language instruction and classroom reading assessment
  • strengthening the normal EdM childhood education program with additional emphasis and study of classroom reading instruction and assessment
  • study of developmental readers, reading processes and reading instruction at the pre-school and emergent level, elementary grades and secondary grades; literacy and technology; adolescent literacy practices; language, literacy and culture; children's and young adult literature; and classroom reading assessment
  • use of laboratories, centers and projects that provide a rich variety of learning opportunities

To be eligible for this program, you must have an initial childhood grades 1-6 teaching certificate.

Professional Program Overview

Academic credential granted Master of Education (EdM)
Credits required for completion 33 to 36
Time to completion
4 to 5 part-time semesters

2 to 3 full-time semesters, if course scheduling allows
Course delivery On campus
Career opportunities Childhood education teacher
Application deadline Priority Deadlines
Fall/Summer: Feb. 1, then rolling
Spring: Nov. 1, then rolling

Program Coursework

Master of Education (Professional Certification)

This emphasis is meant for those who hold a New York State initial teacher certificate in childhood education (grades 1-6) as a prerequisite for admission. This program does not lead to certification as a reading teacher/literacy specialist. The Department of Learning and Instruction offers the Literacy Specialist Education EdM that is designed for teachers who desire to add a literacy certification.

Major Area Requirements (21 Credits)

  • LAI 549 Child Development & Learning (FALL ONLY) - 3 credits
  • LAI 550 Literacy Acquisition & Instruction Pre-K/2 - 3 credits
  • LAI 551 Childhood Literacy Methods - 3 credits
  • LAI 560 Improving Instruct in Elementary Language Arts - 3 credits
  • LAI 563 Language, Literacy, and Culture - 3 credits
  • LAI 662 Elementary Education Research (SPRING ONLY) - 3 credits
  • LAI 574 Teaching Exceptional Learners in the Regular Education Classroom - 3 credits
  • LAI 556 Classroom Literacy Assessment & Instruction (Prerequisites: LAI 550 and LAI 551) - 3 credits

Literacy Electives (6 Credits)

  • LAI 539 Strategic teaching strategic reading processes – 3 credits
  • LAI 544 Selected Topics – 3 credits
  • LAI 552 Middle Childhood/Adolescent Literacy Methods – 3 credits
  • LAI 565 Literature for Children & Young People – 3 credits
  • LAI 576 Literacy and Technology – 3 credits
  • LAI 580 Literature for Young Adults – 3 credits
  • LAI 651 Research Seminar in Reading – 3 credits
  • LAI 653 Special Problems in Literacy – 3 credits
  • LAI 685 Selected Topics – 3 credits

Childhood Elective (3 Credits)

Capstone Event (0-3 Credits)

  • Comprehensive Exam (0 Credits)
  • LAI 700 Project OR LAI 701 Thesis (1-3 Credits)

Application Requirements

Program Applicants

At this time, we encourage you to utilize the at-home GRE to fulfill the standardized testing requirements set forth by New York State. An at-home MAT exam is not currently being offered.

However, if you are having issues taking the at-home GRE, please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at so we can work through an individualized solution to address your specific situation.

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) scores from tests taken within the last five years — including verbal, quantitative and writing sections —  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.)
  • Statement of education and career goals
  • 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 your degree
  • A course-by-course transcript evaluation by a NACES member organization
  • 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
    • PTE minimum score is 55 overall
  • 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

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.

Are you an international student and unable to take the IELTS, PTE or TOEFL?

If you are currently unable to take the IELTS, PTE or TOEFL tests because they are canceled due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the University at Buffalo will accept the Duolingo English Test (DET) for proof of English proficiency. This test can be taken online, in your own home. More information can be found on the Graduate School’s website.

The TOEFL iBT® Special Home Edition is a safe and convenient option for students who are unable to take the TOEFL iBT test at a test center due to public health concerns.

Learn More

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.