Best Doctorate in Reading Teacher Education Programs

Check out our ranking of the best doctorate in reading teacher education programs.

portrait of Tessa Cooper
by Tessa Cooper

Published July 28, 2022

Edited by Desiree Cunningham
Share this Article

A doctorate in reading teacher education prepares graduates for careers in academia, research, curriculum development, and school district leadership. While requirements vary by school, these doctoral reading programs usually consist of about 40-80 credits. Doctoral students often spend their first few years in the program taking coursework. Then, they spend the remainder of the program performing original research and writing their dissertations.

Completion times vary widely by school, as doctoral students spend varying amounts of time on their dissertations. However, most learners can expect to graduate in about 4-7 years. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in the 2019-2020 school year, graduate students at public schools paid an average $12,410 in annual tuition and fees. Graduate students at private schools paid $26,597 annually on average. The true cost of attending online college is often cheaper than on-campus programs.

www.bestcolleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Ready to start your journey?

Read on to learn more about the best doctorate in reading education programs at both public and private universities.

Best Accredited Doctorate in Reading Teacher Education Programs

Rankings compiled by the BestColleges Ranking Team

Is your school on this list? Get the BestColleges ranking seal.

#1

Cardinal Stritch University

School Information
Location Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Admission Rate 81%
Graduation Rate 50%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 28% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $610

Out of State | $610

Credits to Graduate

20

Program Information

Program Accreditation | Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

Cardinal Stritch University's doctorate in language and literacy prepares graduates to succeed as literacy leaders. The curriculum focuses on teaching reading in the digital age and theoretical and instructional literacy models. Students can take extra classes to prepare for teaching licensure as well. 

To qualify for admission, learners must possess a master's degree and a 3.5 GPA. The application also requires a resume and portfolio submission.

View School Profile
#2

Concordia University-Chicago

School Information
Location River Forest, Illinois
Admission Rate 75%
Graduation Rate 47%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 68% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus, Hybrid, or 100% Online | Self-Paced Classes or Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $751

Out of State | $751

Credits to Graduate

67

Program Information

Program Accreditation | N/A

CUC's students can earn a leadership Ph.D. with a specialization in reading, language, and literacy. The curriculum examines the theoretical and evidence-based foundations of teaching literacy. This program also emphasizes equity in school and how to create an affirming learning environment. This program includes a practicum component as well. 

Applicants must possess a master's degree with at least a 3.0 GPA. The application requires a rationale statement and a writing sample. This program also requires at least two years of teaching or administrative experience.

View School Profile
#3

Hofstra University

School Information
Location Hempstead, New York
Admission Rate 68%
Graduation Rate 65%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 12% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $1,570

Out of State | $1,570

Credits to Graduate

60

Program Information

Program Accreditation | N/A

Hofstra University students can choose between a doctor of education in literacy studies or a doctor of philosophy in literacy studies. The doctor of education best suits aspiring practitioners like teachers, and the doctor of philosophy best equips future researchers. Both of the programs examine literacy from a social and historical perspective. The curriculum highlights psycholinguistic and pedagogical principles. 

This program requires three years of full-time teaching experience and a master's degree in education with a minimum 3.2 GPA. The application also requires three recommendation letters and GRE scores taken within the last five years.

View School Profile
#4

Judson University

School Information
Location Elgin, Illinois
Admission Rate 39%
Graduation Rate 58%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 45% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Year

In State | $46,200

Out of State | $46,200

Credits to Graduate

76-77

Program Information

Program Accreditation | Illinois State Board of Education

Judson offers a doctor of education in literacy. The school designs this program with working professionals in mind. Classes take place one night a week and one Saturday a month. The curriculum balances research and practical applications so graduates can deliver exemplary literacy instruction. 

This school offers a questionnaire to help potential students discover whether they are ready to apply. The application requires a resume and a $200 fee. Judson prefers to enroll doctorate students with a minimum 3.35 master's GPA.

View School Profile
#5

Middle Tennessee State University

School Information
Location Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Admission Rate 94%
Graduation Rate 47%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 36% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $522

Out of State | $1,445

Credits to Graduate

75

Program Information

Program Accreditation | Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

Learners can earn a literacy studies doctorate from MTSU. Students can choose between three concentrations. These include a literacy instruction and staff development concentration, literacy measurement and analysis concentration, and reading and disabilities concentration. This program requires a research dissertation defense. 

To apply, students must submit a current curriculum vitae that shows at least three years of relevant experience. The application also requires three recommendation letters and a 700-1,000 word essay.

View School Profile
#6

National Louis University

School Information
Location Chicago, Illinois
Admission Rate 98%
Graduation Rate 22%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus or Hybrid | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $774

Out of State | $774

Credits to Graduate

63

Program Information

Program Accreditation | N/A

NLU provides a doctorate of education in reading, language, and literacy. The curriculum emphasizes critical, racial, and social justice issues in education. Students graduate with a balance of theoretical and practical knowledge. NLU students can choose electives in teaching and research or opt for field experience.

Aspiring learners must submit two recommendation letters and answer three essay questions. This program also requires individual and group interviews.

View School Profile
#7

Oakland University

School Information
Location Rochester Hills, Michigan
Admission Rate 83%
Graduation Rate 57%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 26% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $834

Out of State | $1,027

Credits to Graduate

68

Program Information

Program Accreditation | Michigan Department of Education and Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

OU's doctor of philosophy in literacy, culture, and language prepares learners to contribute research to the field and apply their knowledge to the teaching profession. The curriculum focuses both on teaching adults and adolescents. OU designs this program specifically for current educators. Learners can work full time during their studies.

Applicants must submit a curriculum vitae that outlines their professional experience. The application also requires a personal essay or academic paper and three recommendation letters.

View School Profile
#8

SUNY at Albany

School Information
Location Albany, New York
Admission Rate 54%
Graduation Rate 63%
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 19% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online, Hybrid, or On Campus | Self-Paced Classes or Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $612

Out of State | $1,104

Credits to Graduate

66

Program Information

Program Accreditation | N/A

UAlbany offers a doctor of philosophy in literacy. This program highlights how literacy learning and development differ across the lifespan. Learners take courses on literacy as a social practice and theory and research in teaching literature. This customizable program allows students to select 27 electives. 

Applicants must turn in transcripts from all the schools they attended, three recommendation letters, and official GRE scores. Applicants should also submit an academic writing sample.

View School Profile
#9

Sam Houston State University

School Information
Location Huntsville, Texas
Admission Rate 83%
Graduation Rate 54%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 53% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $320

Out of State | $728

Credits to Graduate

60

Program Information

Program Accreditation | Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

Graduate students can earn a doctorate of education in literacy from SHSU. This degree emphasizes hands-on experience with teaching and research. Learners practice evaluating current literacy programs. Participants must complete a major research project and present and defend a dissertation. 

This program requires a minimum 3.0 master's GPA. To qualify, applicants must possess a master's degree in literacy, reading, or a related field or at least 18 hours of graduate credit in reading or literacy.

View School Profile
#10

St John's University-New York

School Information
Location Queens, New York
Admission Rate 72%
Graduation Rate 63%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 22% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $1,265

Out of State | $1,265

Credits to Graduate

42

Program Information

Program Accreditation | Teacher Education Accreditation Council, American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education, and University Council for Educational Administration

Learners can pursue a doctorate in literacy from St. John's entirely online. This program prepares learners to teach grades K-12. Program participants' theories and strategies for teaching literacy and conducting assessments. The program also shows how to incorporate digital and social media components into lesson plans.

To qualify for admission, learners must possess a master's degree in any subject with a minimum 3.2 GPA. The application also requires two recommendation letters and a resume.

View School Profile
#11

Syracuse University

School Information
Location Syracuse, New York
Admission Rate 44%
Graduation Rate 83%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 15% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $1,802

Out of State | $1,802

Credits to Graduate

90

Program Information

Program Accreditation | Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation

Aspiring or current literacy teachers can earn a doctorate in literacy education from Syracuse. Program participants gain real-world experience through their studies. They can publish the research and scholarly work they complete. They also practice designing useful curricula and advocating for public policy. Before graduating, they must complete at least two independent study projects. 

The application requires materials like a resume, recommendation letters, and a personal statement.

View School Profile
#12

Texas Woman's University

School Information
Location Denton, Texas
Admission Rate 93%
Graduation Rate 43%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 60% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus or Hybrid | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Semester

In State | $5,052

Out of State | Additional $7,362

Credits to Graduate

72

Program Information

Program Accreditation | N/A

TWU offers a doctorate in reading education. Learners can choose between concentrations like literacy leadership, digital literacies, and early literacy intervention and leadership. Throughout their studies, learners hone their literacy research skills. They also practice designing and implementing reading programs. TWU offers concentrations like critical literacies and digital literacies. 

Applicants need a 3.0 GPA in their undergraduate and graduate courses to qualify. They must also turn in an essay based on a prompt.

View School Profile
#13

University of Arizona

School Information
Location Tucson, Arizona
Admission Rate 85%
Graduation Rate 65%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 42% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $882

Out of State | $1,794

Credits to Graduate

69

Program Information

Program Accreditation | N/A

UofA students can earn a doctorate in teaching, learning, and sociocultural studies with a concentration in literacies for a multilingual multimodal world. This program especially highlights justice and equity in the education field. Learners must complete two practicum courses. 

To qualify for admission, applicants must have at least a 3.0 GPA and a master's degree. The application also requires GRE scores and a published academic writing sample. Applicants must also write a statement of how their goals and interests align with the program.

View School Profile
#14

University of Arkansas at Little Rock

School Information
Location Little Rock, Arkansas
Admission Rate 66%
Graduation Rate 43%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 54% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $320

Out of State | $725

Credits to Graduate

72

Program Information

Program Accreditation | N/A

The doctorate in reading at UA Little Rock prepares learners for leadership roles in the scholarly literacy research field. Throughout their studies, learners discover literacy theories that shape modern practice. They also complete cognitive apprenticeships to gain practical experience. The program consists of four components: a literacy core, a research core, a specialty area, and a dissertation.  

Applicants must possess at least a 2.7 GPA in their previous studies. They must also turn in a $40 application fee and their official transcripts.

View School Profile
#15

University of Cincinnati-Main Campus

School Information
Location Cincinnati, Ohio
Admission Rate 77%
Graduation Rate 71%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 49% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $746

Out of State | $926

Credits to Graduate

90

Program Information

Program Accreditation | Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

UC's doctorate in literacy emphasizes the linguistic and political factors that impact literacy teaching. Learners also gain supervised university teaching experience. This program offers electives like adolescent literacy and current issues in literacy. Learners must complete at least one year of the program as full-time students. 

To apply, aspiring students must turn in three recommendation letters, a resume, and a statement of their goals and interests. Part of the application process may include an interview.

View School Profile
#16

University of Georgia

School Information
Location Athens, Georgia
Admission Rate 45%
Graduation Rate 87%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 14% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $370

Out of State | $1,050

Credits to Graduate

46

Program Information

Program Accreditation | N/A

Students can earn a doctorate in language and literacy from UGA. This degree allows students to research the current issues teachers face when teaching literacy. UGA designs this program for people who currently or want to teach K-12. Many program participants submit their research projects to scholarly journals or present their findings at conferences. 

To qualify, applicants must turn in an application fee, transcripts, entrance exam scores, and recommendation letters.

View School Profile
#17

University of Maine

School Information
Location Orono, Maine
Admission Rate 90%
Graduation Rate 57%
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 36% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $541

Out of State | $1,623

Credits to Graduate

57

Program Information

Program Accreditation | Council for the Advancement of Educator Preparation

UMaine students can earn a doctorate in literacy education. This program examines the theoretical research traditions and historical perspectives that influence the study of literacy. This competitive program only accepts 12 students at a time. So, learners receive more feedback from the faculty. 

Potential students must turn in an application fee, transcripts, entrance exam scores, and recommendation letters.

View School Profile
#18

University of North Texas

School Information
Location Denton, Texas
Admission Rate 74%
Graduation Rate 56%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 49% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Year

In State | $22,568

Out of State | $31,530

Credits to Graduate

60

Program Information

Program Accreditation | Texas Education Agency

Learners can pursue their education career goals with a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from UNT. This program prepares students to become leaders in literacy research and pedagogy. The program emphasizes social justice and equity in the education field. Students can choose between concentrations like curriculum studies or early childhood studies. 

The application requires a $75 fee. Applicants must also turn in three recommendation letters and a statement of purpose. The statement of purpose must outline research interests and purpose for pursuing the degree.

View School Profile
#19

University of Pennsylvania

School Information
Location Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Admission Rate 8%
Graduation Rate 96%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 6% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $21,438

Out of State | $21,438

Credits to Graduate

12

Program Information

Program Accreditation | N/A

Aspiring literacy researchers can earn a doctorate in reading, writing, and literacy from Penn. This degree covers multiple subjects like multicultural issues in education and historical perspectives of literacy. The courses emphasize research, policy, and practice. Learners must also complete a dissertation and defend it before they graduate. 

Applicants must turn in three recommendation letters, GRE scores, and transcripts. The application also requires an essay on why the applicant wants to attend Penn.

View School Profile
#20

University of South Carolina-Columbia

School Information
Location Columbia, South Carolina
Admission Rate 69%
Graduation Rate 77%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 32% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $572

Out of State | $1,240

Credits to Graduate

66

Program Information

Program Accreditation | N/A

UofSC offers a doctorate in language and literacy. While completing the program, students gain hands-on experience through internships. This program covers topics like sociocultural perspectives on literacy education and best practices for research. Program participants also complete a dissertation they can submit for publication or present at an industry conference. 

The application requires a personal statement, official transcripts, resume, and recommendation letters. Applicants must also turn in an academic writing sample with references.

View School Profile
#21

Wayne State University

School Information
Location Detroit, Michigan
Admission Rate 73%
Graduation Rate 48%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 34% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $705

Out of State | $1,527

Credits to Graduate

90

Program Information

Program Accreditation | Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

WSU provides learners with a doctor of philosophy in educational studies with a reading, literacy, and literature concentration. This program highlights research and teaching topics for grades pre-K through 12. Learners take classes on adolescent literature and English education. They also discover how to create a curriculum and evaluate students. 

To qualify, applicants must possess a 3.0 undergraduate GPA and a 3.3 graduate GPA. The application also requires an academic writing sample.

View School Profile

Popular Online Reading Teacher Education Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

How We Rank Schools

Each year, the BestColleges Ranking Team evaluates hundreds of programs to produce our annual Best Doctorate in Reading Teacher Education ranking. In 2022, the team sourced the most recent data available from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and College Navigator, both of which are hosted by the National Center for Education Statistics. We identified 21 schools that qualify for our ranking, listed in alphabetical order. The programs in our list are based on the following criteria.

The BestColleges Ranking Team is made up of contributors from our data science and product management teams. These contributors operate independently from the editorial team. All BestColleges school rankings are produced by the ranking team and are free of editorial influence. Read our Editorial Policy and Standards to learn more.

Frequently Asked Questions About Reading Teacher Education Programs

Is a doctorate in reading teacher education worth it?

The value of any degree, especially a terminal or doctoral degree, depends heavily on each student's goals and circumstances. However, for most learners, a doctorate in reading teacher education is ultimately worth it.

This degree can lead to high-paying positions in academia, research, and school districts. Furthermore, a terminal degree can help practicing teachers and administrators climb the career ladder, allowing them to move into supervisory and managerial roles within their fields.

What can I do with a doctorate in reading teacher education?

After you graduate with a doctorate in reading education, you can pursue careers as a professor in graduate education programs, an instructional coordinator within a school district, or as an academic researcher or educational consultant with various companies. Most of these positions require master's degrees, but a terminal degree in reading teacher education can help you stand out from the competition.

Keep in mind that no one degree can guarantee you a specific job and that demand varies by location, industry, and employer.

How long does it take to get a doctorate in reading teacher education?

Completion times for doctorate in reading teacher education vary widely by school. The main factor that affects this timeline is dissertation requirements. Doctoral students can spend varying amounts of time researching and writing their dissertations, so some learners can spend many years enrolled in doctoral programs. However, most students can earn a doctorate in reading teacher education within 3-7 years.

Some doctoral programs actually set time limits for students, requiring that they finish their dissertations and graduate within a certain number of years.

How much money can I make with a doctorate in reading teacher education?

Salary potential varies by location and field. However, doctoral degree-holders in reading teacher education may make annual salaries ranging from about $60,000-$80,000. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of May 2021, postsecondary teachers earned a median annual wage of $79,640, while instructional coordinators made a median annual salary of $63,740.

Keep in mind that salary potential depends on several factors, including industry, employer, location, and experience. If you work in a school district, you might earn a salary based on a table or schedule that considers your highest level of education and years of service.

What are the highest-paying jobs with a doctorate in reading teacher education?

The highest-paying job for graduates with a doctorate in reading teacher education is likely a tenured education professor at a college or university. According to the BLS, as of May 2021, the highest 10% of postsecondary teachers — likely professors with significant experience and tenure — earned a median annual wage of more than $172,130.

Salary potential for professors varies by school, by department, and by tenure status. Visiting and adjunct professors generally earn lower salaries.

Feature Image: Hill Street Studios / Stone / Getty Images

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Compare your school options.

View the most relevant school for your interests and compare them by tuition, programs, acceptance rate, and other factors important to find your college home.