Best Online Master’s in Reading and Literacy Programs of 2023

Explore the best online master's in reading and literacy programs, what education jobs you can get after graduation, and how much money you can make.
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  • Instructors teach students crucial life skills, including reading and literacy.
  • A master's in reading and literacy gives you the qualifications needed for the field.
  • Online master's programs in reading and literacy are widely available and convenient.
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects growth in some reading and literacy jobs.

Take a moment to consider where you might be without reading and literacy skills. Hard, isn't it? The ability to read and write feels almost as essential as breathing.

But it doesn't come to us as naturally as that, so we have teachers to help us with it early on and later in life. They coach us on how to read, communicate, and interact with the world around us.

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?

If you want to become one of these life-changing people, consider getting a master's in reading and literacy. Interested to know more? Here's what to do next:

  • Explore this page to determine whether this path is the right choice for you.
  • Check out the top-ranked online master's in reading and literacy programs, as well as our sponsored programs.
  • Request more information from schools you're interested in to find the best fit for you.

Is a Master's in Reading and Literacy Degree Right for Me?

  • What is the degree about? A master's degree in reading and literacy gives you techniques to teach language, comprehension, reading, and literacy.
  • How long does it take? A full-time student can finish a master's degree in about two years, while it takes part-time students three or more years to complete.
  • What is the career path? There are a variety of paths open to you, from traditional K-12 classroom roles to adult ESL positions. Or you can work in curriculum development to help improve reading and literacy skills for larger audiences.

Featured Master's in Reading and Literacy Programs

Master's in Reading and Literacy Programs You Should Consider

Best Online Master's in Reading and Literacy Programs

Rankings compiled by the BestColleges Ranking Team

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#1 Best Online Master’s in Reading and Literacy Programs of 2023

University of Arkansas at Little Rock

  • Little Rock, AR
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $383
Out of State | $383

Credits to Graduate
30

Program Information
Program Accreditation | International Literacy Association; Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation 

Start researching online reading programs by learning more about UA Little Rock's master's in reading degree. You can concentrate in reading generalist or reading specialist licensure. Both tracks require core coursework in the foundations of teaching reading, teaching children with dyslexia, and teaching reading in the content areas.

UA Little Rock's program requirements include an active teaching license and at least a 3.0 undergrad GPA. The self-paced curriculum lets you continue working full time while in school.  

Average Tuition
In-state
$6,495
Out-of-state
$18,750
Retention Rate
73%
Admission Rate
56%
Students Enrolled
8,899
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
84% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#2 Best Online Master’s in Reading and Literacy Programs of 2023

Liberty University

  • Lynchburg, VA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes 

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $415
Out of State | $415

Credits to Graduate
36

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation  

Liberty's master's in reading and literacy features a fully online curriculum you can finish in 18 months. Core classes include supervision of instruction, trends and inquiry for the reading specialist, and literacy for middle-level learners. You also complete a reading specialist practicum and internship at your job site.

Liberty's reading and literacy program requires at least a 2.5 GPA and accepts up to 18 transfer credits. You may submit unofficial college transcripts when applying. Active-duty service members and first responders receive a tuition discount.  

Average Tuition
In-state
$14,791
Out-of-state
$14,791
Retention Rate
81%
Admission Rate
50%
Students Enrolled
93,349
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
93% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#3 Best Online Master’s in Reading and Literacy Programs of 2023

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

  • Edinburg, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes 

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $1,585
Out of State | $2,809

Credits to Graduate
30

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Fully online reading programs include UTRGV's master of education in reading and literacy. UTRGV's degree offers four concentrations, including biliteracy, digital literacy, and reading specialist. Core coursework emphasizes the sociocultural foundations of literacy and the field's theoretical roots.  

Application materials include a one- to two-page personal statement and official undergraduate transcripts. The school uses a 3.0 undergraduate GPA cutoff. 

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,233
Out-of-state
$17,049
Retention Rate
81%
Admission Rate
82%
Students Enrolled
32,441
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
97% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#4 Best Online Master’s in Reading and Literacy Programs of 2023

Georgia State University

  • Atlanta, GA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Mix of Self-Paced and Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Semester
In State | $4,776
Out of State | $15,108

Credits to Graduate
36

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

If you're researching online reading programs made for experienced educators, consider Georgia State's master's in reading and literacy online degree. The program qualifies you to add a reading endorsement to your license. You can customize your education by choosing a literacy specialist or English to speakers of other languages concentration. 

Georgia State's reading and literacy admissions requirements include a resume, goals statement, two recommendation letters, and official transcripts. You must also provide a copy of your teaching license.  

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,158
Out-of-state
$22,389
Retention Rate
81%
Admission Rate
82%
Students Enrolled
36,360
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
92% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#5 Best Online Master’s in Reading and Literacy Programs of 2023

Cameron University

  • Lawton, OK
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $265
Out of State | $638

Credits to Graduate
33

Program Information
Program Accreditation | National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

CU's master's in reading requires rigorous coursework in the theoretical foundations of reading and methods for struggling readers. You'll build your knowledge and skills by completing two practicums at your job site. Other graduation requirements include maintaining a minimum 3.0 GPA. 

For CU's master's program, you must hold at least a 3.0 GPA and a valid teaching license. You must also submit two recommendation letters. CU grants a $1,000 tuition waiver to Oklahoma residents who take at least six credits per semester and meet other conditions. 

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,740
Out-of-state
$14,160
Retention Rate
67%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
3,771
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
80% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

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.

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#6 Best Online Master’s in Reading and Literacy Programs of 2023

Morningside College

  • Sioux City, IA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online |Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $320
Out of State | $320

Credits to Graduate
32

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Higher Learning Commission

Consider Morningside's online master's degree in reading and literacy if you hold a teaching license from Iowa or a state with a reciprocity agreement. The 32-credit curriculum lets you choose five electives. Other benefits include the ability to work full time throughout your education. 

Morningside's reading and literacy admission requirements include living in an NC-SARA member state and having at least a 2.75 GPA. You can lower your tuition by applying for a federal TEACH grant or a private scholarship opportunity. 

Average Tuition
In-state
$32,460
Out-of-state
$32,460
Retention Rate
69%
Admission Rate
69%
Students Enrolled
2,411
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
51% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#7 Best Online Master’s in Reading and Literacy Programs of 2023

Evangel University

  • Springfield, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $320
Out of State | $320

Credits to Graduate
30

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Higher Learning Commission

Evangel's master's in reading program features a cohort learning model, making it an excellent choice if you want to form professional relationships with other teachers. Classes include leadership in literacy, reading diagnosis, and current issues and trends in reading education. 

You can apply for one of three annual start dates. Evangel master's program requires GRE scores for applicants without at least a 3.0 undergraduate GPA. Other application steps include undergoing a background check.  

Average Tuition
In-state
$23,722
Out-of-state
$23,722
Retention Rate
80%
Admission Rate
95%
Students Enrolled
1,999
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
33% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#8 Best Online Master’s in Reading and Literacy Programs of 2023

SUNY at Albany

  • Albany, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes 

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $609
Out of State | $1,101

Credits to Graduate
27-33

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Middle States Commission on Higher Education

You can apply for UAlbany's master's in reading and literacy with or without a teaching license. Core classes include classroom literacy instruction, literacy in society, and teaching writing. You'll also complete a research project in the final semester.

UAlbany's master's in reading and literacy requires a minimum 3.0 GPA, three recommendation letters, and brief essays. Potential careers for graduates include preschool teacher, higher education advisor, and private tutor. 

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,070
Out-of-state
$24,660
Retention Rate
83%
Admission Rate
57%
Students Enrolled
17,688
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
94% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
#9 Best Online Master’s in Reading and Literacy Programs of 2023

University of Northern Colorado

  • Greeley, CO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $583
Out of State | $583

Credits to Graduate
30

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Higher Learning Commission

UNC's master's in reading and literacy online program attracts experienced teachers from Colorado and other states. Classes include teaching the writing process in schools, reading in the middle and secondary schools, and literature for children and young adults. You'll also complete a clinical practicum at your job site. 

You need a minimum 3.0 GPA and one year of teaching experience to apply to UNC's reading and literacy program. Fully online out-of-state students pay the same tuition rate as Colorado degree-seekers.  

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,596
Out-of-state
$19,854
Retention Rate
70%
Admission Rate
88%
Students Enrolled
11,460
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
83% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#10 Best Online Master’s in Reading and Literacy Programs of 2023

University of North Dakota

  • Grand Forks, ND
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $547
Out of State | $547

Credits to Graduate
32

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation 

UND's online master's degree in reading and literacy lets you select between an MS and an M.Ed. Both options require the same number of credits and feature classes on reading in the content areas and writing in the classroom. You'll show what you learned by completing an independent research project in the final semester. 

You can apply for the fall, spring, or summer semester. Both of UND's reading and literacy degrees require a valid teaching license and a minimum 2.75 GPA. UND extends in-state tuition to all fully online degree-seekers. 

Average Tuition
In-state
$8,540
Out-of-state
$12,810
Retention Rate
81%
Admission Rate
87%
Students Enrolled
13,615
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
83% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

Why Should You Get a Master's in Reading and Literacy Degree?

A master's degree in reading and literacy can greatly boost your education career. You'll unlock new career opportunities, make a bigger impact on students' lives, and possibly earn a higher salary.

"The degree allows someone to become a reading teacher, reading specialist, and literacy coach. Administrators with a degree in literacy and reading are able to use their knowledge to help their school succeed in reading as well."

Kathryn Starke,, Master's in Literacy

Benefits of Getting a Master's in Reading and Literacy Degree

  • Choose a career you love most: From reading specialist to instructional coordinator, a master's in reading and literacy can lead to new careers that match your interests and use your expertise.
  • Increase your earning potential: You're more likely to make a better salary with a master's degree than somebody with less education. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), teachers with a master's degree make about 20% more per year than those with a bachelor's degree.
  • Make an impact on students: Reading and literacy skills last a lifetime. You can be the person who makes a difference in students' lives by teaching them essential skills that will help them for years to come.

3 Reasons for Getting Your Master's in Reading and Literacy Online

  1. Better school-life balance: Online learning makes achieving a good school-life balance easier. Most online programs allow you to choose when and where you want to learn. This flexibility gives you more room to decide how to fit all of your responsibilities into your day.
  1. Work while you learn: Not needing to meet in person or stick to a regular schedule gives you room to keep working while you earn your degree. After you clock out for the day, you can squeeze in an online lesson or two from home. Or you can use part of your lunch break as a study session.
  1. Study at your own pace: Many online programs are self-paced, meaning you can take as long as you want to learn the material before moving on. You don't need to worry about frequent deadlines or falling behind. Instead, you can focus on mastering your coursework and progressing when you feel ready.

How Much Does an Online Master's in Reading and Literacy Cost?

Average Annual Cost of a Master's Degree:

Public Institution | 2019-2020

$12,394

Private Institution | 2019-2020

$26,621

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

You may pay more or less than $12,000 for a master's in reading and literacy, according to NCES, which collects and analyzes tuition data.

Many people choose to enroll in online programs that help working adults balance life and school. You can also look into scholarships and grants to make your degree more affordable.

Read More: How Much Does an Online College Cost?

Read More: Scholarships for Education Majors

How Much Money Will You Make With a Master's in Reading and Literacy?

How Long Does an Online Master's in Reading and Literacy Take?

Most master's in reading and literacy programs require 30-40 credits and about two years to complete. But some accelerated programs may allow you to graduate in as few as 18 months.

Average Length of Time*

2 years

Required Course Credits*

30-40 credits

*Varies depending on your school/program

Concentrations for Your Reading and Literacy Master's Degree

If you're interested in a specific topic within your reading and literacy master's degree, you can choose a concentration. In your concentration, you'll focus your knowledge on niche reading and literacy areas.

Concentrations vary by program, but common options include:

  • Early literacy
  • English as a second language (ESL)
  • Adult literacy
  • Curriculum development
  • Literacy coaching

What Jobs Can You Get With a Master's in Reading and Literacy Degree?

A master's in reading and literacy often leads to jobs in child or adult education. You'll help students develop their reading skills and meet the requirements for literary proficiency.

Reading and literacy graduates typically work in K-12 education. But you can also work at nonprofit organizations, education start-up companies, and learning centers.

Jobs for a Master's in Reading and Literacy

  • Reading and Literacy Specialist
  • Instructional Coordinator
  • High School Teacher
  • Kindergarten and Elementary School Teacher
  • ESL Teacher
  • Special Education Teacher
  • Education Administrator
  • Reading Coach

In general, the future of the education industry looks good. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that education and education training jobs should grow by 7% from 2021-2031. The fastest-growing jobs include preschool teachers and postsecondary teachers.

Read More: Advance Your Career With One of These 6 Highest-Paying Master's in Education Jobs

Is a Master's in Reading and Literacy Worth It?

Yes. You need a master's in reading and literacy to qualify for educator roles that teach these essential skills. You'll likely enter into a field with strong demand. In fact, some jobs for reading and literacy teachers are growing. And you may make above-average pay compared to other U.S. jobs.

"Now more than ever, I believe that the value of earning a master's degree in reading and literacy is invaluable. Every classroom teacher is a reading teacher, so any educator getting a degree in reading and literacy will be able to support the young readers in their classroom."

Kathryn Starke, Master's in Literacy

Everything Else You Need to Know About a Master's in Reading and Literacy Degree

What can you do with a master's in reading and literacy?

A master's in reading and literacy gives you the skills and knowledge to become a working educator and literary expert. For example, you can become a reading specialist, literacy coordinator, or high school teacher.

Grads often work in K-12 education and help students develop their reading skills. You can also use your degree to pursue more education, such as a reading specialist certification.

How much money will you make with a master's in reading and literacy?

The average salary with a master's in reading and literacy is $55,000, but you can make up to $117,000, according to Payscale June 2022 data. A reading specialist — a popular job for reading and literacy grads — makes between $41,000-$80,000 on average.

Other potential jobs and their median annual salaries include instructional coordinators ($63,740), postsecondary teachers ($79,640), and training and development specialists ($61,570), according to the BLS.

What courses will you take in a master's in reading and literacy program?

You'll take classes that center around literacy. You can expect to learn about best practices for helping students develop their literacy skills, strategies to help struggling students, and research methods. You'll also learn the essentials of being a teacher and how to use your expertise in reading and literacy in the classroom.

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.

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