Best Master’s in Reading Teacher Education Programs

Discover the best master's in reading teacher education programs and how they can advance your career in education.

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by Doug Wintemute

Published on July 29, 2022

Reviewed by Dr. Samantha Fecich

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Students earning education degrees and careers have many specialization opportunities. A master's in reading teacher education focuses on teaching literacy skills to students of all ages. These programs typically take 1-2 years to complete and prepare graduates for reading education endorsements and certifications in their state.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 10% growth for education, training, and library occupations between 2020 and 2030, adding more than 920,000 new jobs. The median annual salary in this field was $57,220 in May 2021. With a master's in reading teacher education and the appropriate state credentials, graduates can open doors to many of the top positions in this sector.

To combat rising college costs and minimize graduate school debt, prospective students should consider the true program cost when choosing a graduate school. They can also look at online schools, which are more accommodating to different schedules and living situations. To help students make the most of their selection, we ranked the top master's in reading teacher education programs.

Our Top Pick

University of Pennsylvania - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Why It's #1: UPenn finds the top spot in our ranking results by performing well in many important categories. The school's graduation rate is in the top three of all schools with master's in reading teacher education programs. UPenn also has one of the three lowest teacher-to-student ratios.

Though the tuition rates were among the highest, students at UPenn took out loans as financial aid at some of the lowest rates. This shows that learners have access to other forms of financial support.

Read Our Rankings Methodology

Best Accredited Master's in Reading Teacher Education Programs

Rankings compiled by the BestColleges Ranking Team

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#1

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 Semester
In State | $28,584
Out of State | $28,584

Course Units to Graduate
10

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

Penn's MS.Ed. in reading, writing, and literacy focuses on social justice and equity in education. The one-year program allows learners to develop a specialization through coursework and a field internship. Core courses include multicultural issues, forming and reforming the elementary curriculum, and teaching English in middle and high school. 

The program concludes with a capstone project, and graduates qualify for a reading specialist certification in Pennsylvania. For admission, prospective students need a bachelor's degree, letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose. 

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#2

Vanderbilt University

School Information
Location Nashville, Tennessee
Admission Rate 9%
Graduation Rate 93%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 8% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On-Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $2,169
Out of State | $2,169

Credits to Graduate
31

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

Vanderbilt's M.Ed. in reading education features core courses in literacy development, literacy for diverse and special needs learners, and literacy assessment and professional development. The program also includes a PreK-12 practicum and a capstone seminar. 

Graduates qualify for a reading specialist endorsement, while an English language learner endorsement is also available. For admission, prospective students need a bachelor's degree. They must also submit letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and GRE scores.

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#3

Boston University

School Information
Location Boston, Massachusetts
Admission Rate 19%
Graduation Rate 88%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 10% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On-Campus (Online Optional) | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Academic Year
In State | $61,050
Out of State | $61,050

Credits to Graduate
32

Program Information
Program Accreditation | National Commission on Higher Education (NCHE)

Students in BU's M.Ed. in language and literacy program can pursue one of three specializations, including language education, literacy education, and ASL/deaf studies. The program features a required course in research, with the remainder of the credits coming from their specialization.

For admission, prospective students need a bachelor's degree related to their chosen specialization. Degree-seekers in the ASL program need to complete an ASL proficiency assessment upon entry. Prerequisite courses in ASL and other specializations may also be required.

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#4

University of Rochester

School Information
Location Rochester, New York
Admission Rate 30%
Graduation Rate 87%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 7% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On-Campus | Scheduled Classes 

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $1,670
Out of State | $1,670

Credits to Graduate
30

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

Rochester's MS in literacy education features core courses in research methods and a topic related to diversity. The specialized courses include literacy learning as social practice and theory and practice in teaching and learning literacy. Students also need to complete a master's thesis or essay to graduate.

Rochester offers additional certificates as well, such as online teaching, teacher leadership, and digitally rich teaching in K-12 schools. For admission, prospective students need a bachelor's degree. 

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#5

CUNY Hunter College

School Information
Location New York, New York
Admission Rate 35%
Graduation Rate 57%
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 7% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On-Campus (some online and hybrid) | Scheduled Classes 

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $470
Out of State | $855

Credits to Graduate
31

Program Information
Program Accreditation | National Council for Accreditation Teacher Education

Hunter offers two specializations for their MS.Ed. in literacy education, birth-grade 6 and grades 5-12. Both programs feature required courses in leadership in literacy and literacy research for change. Degree-seekers also complete two supervised teaching practicums, plus progress and graduation workshops. 

For admission, prospective students need a bachelor's degree, a minimum 3.0 GPA, and valid teacher certification. They also need to submit letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and GRE scores. 

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#6

University of Central Florida

School Information
Location Orlando, Florida
Admission Rate 44%
Graduation Rate 72%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 59% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $370
Out of State | $1,194

Credits to Graduate
30

Program Information
Program Accreditation | N/A

UCF's M.Ed. in reading education prepares students for a reading endorsement and a specialized reading certification in Florida. The program includes core courses in developmental reading, measurement and evaluation in education, and classroom diagnosis of reading proficiencies. Specialized courses cover leadership and coaching, disciplinary literacy, and advanced evaluation and instruction in reading.

For admission, prospective students need a bachelor's degree and prerequisites in children's literature or language arts methods. 

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#7

Harding University

School Information
Location Searcy, Arkansas
Admission Rate 61%
Graduation Rate 69%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 12% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On-Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $561
Out of State | $561

Credits to Graduate
35

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

Harding's M.Ed. in reading features a dyslexia endorsement. The program is designed for current teachers or education professionals, and the core studies include courses in literacy and diversity, literacy assessment, and literacy curriculum. Degree-seekers also complete a literacy interventions seminar and practicum. 

For admission, prospective students need a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Applicants with lower GPAs can submit GRE scores for consideration. A K-12 reading licensure endorsement may be available for students with a master's degree.

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#8

University of South Florida-Main Campus

School Information
Location Tampa, Florida
Admission Rate 48%
Graduation Rate 75%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 55% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

 100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $6,410
Out of State | $17,324

Credits to Graduate
36

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

Students in USF's online MA in reading education develop knowledge of literacy practices, literacy pedagogies, and global literacies. Core courses include assessment in developing literacies, issues in vocabulary and word study, and literacy and technology. Students also complete a practicum in reading and a comprehensive examination.  

Graduates with teacher certification can qualify for reading certification. For admission, prospective students need a bachelor's degree and valid teacher certification. Applicants without certification need relevant experience, a statement of purpose, and letters of recommendation for entry.

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#9

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 Academic Year
In State | $32,436
Out of State | $32,436

Credits to Graduate
30

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation

Syracuse's MS in literacy education prepares students for professional certification in literacy education in New York. Graduates meet the requirements for New York literacy certifications in both birth-grade 6 and grades 5-12. Courses may include teaching academic writing, teaching comprehension, and issues in educating English language learners. 

Syracuse students also complete a professional portfolio. For admission, prospective students need a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA plus a valid teacher certification, a personal essay, and letters of recommendation. 

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#10

The University of West Florida

School Information
Location Pensacola, Florida
Admission Rate 31%
Graduation Rate 46%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 66% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Scheduled and Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $385
Out of State | $479-$1,044

Credits to Graduate
30

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

Graduates from UWF's M.Ed. in reading education qualify for Florida's reading endorsement and reading certification. The program features courses in reading and writing foundations, assessment tools and practices, and effective literacy coaching. 

For admission, prospective students need a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA and a valid teaching certification. They also need to submit letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and GRE scores. 

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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 Master's 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 463 schools that qualify for our ranking list based on the following criteria.

To ensure the accuracy and quality of our final ranked list, the ranking team reviewed each qualifying school to ensure it met the criteria for our ranking, and then applied our proprietary ranking methodology to identify the best schools offering this program in the nation. Each school is ranked based on a formula measuring academic factors (60%) and affordability (40%).

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.

BestColleges' Ranking Factors

Frequently Asked Questions About Reading Teacher Education Programs

Is a master's in reading teacher education worth it?

Yes. A master's in reading teacher education provides specialized skills and credentials that can set current and aspiring teachers apart from their peers. The degree typically prepares graduates for certification and endorsements in their states. Master's degree-holders can also pursue leadership roles within schools and education organizations.

Many schools have introduced online degrees, giving degree-seekers more options and more flexible scheduling opportunities. These programs allow current teachers to maintain employment while they upgrade their credentials.

What can I do with a master's in reading teacher education?

Graduating with a master's in reading teacher education can open the door to many specialist roles within the education sector. In addition to traditional teaching roles, professionals with a reading endorsement or certification can pursue literacy coach or reading intervention positions.

The master's degree also qualifies graduates for advanced education careers, such as working as a principal in elementary, secondary, and high schools. They might also pursue instructional coordinator or specialized literacy program developer roles.

What continuing education is available for reading teacher education graduates?

Completing a master's in reading teacher education typically leads to the workforce, but several continuing education options are also available. Graduates can, for example, pursue other teacher certifications and endorsements to expand their teaching capabilities and employability.

A doctorate in reading and literacy is the most straightforward path for those who want a more advanced degree. Reading and literacy doctoral programs allow learners to specialize even more within the field. This degree also qualifies graduates for postsecondary teaching and research and development careers.

How much money can I make with a master's in reading teacher education?

The salary a graduate makes with a master's in reading teacher education depends on their role, their experience, and what type of school they work in. According to the BLS, the median annual salary for kindergarten and elementary school teachers was $61,400 in May 2021. In public schools, the median annual wage was $61,760, while it was $47,480 in private schools.

The median annual salary for middle school teachers was $61,320 in 2021, whereas high school teachers earned $61,820. Public school teachers earned higher wages than private school teachers at both levels.

What are the highest-paying jobs with a master's in reading teacher education?

The highest-paying jobs for professionals with a master's in reading teacher education belong to elementary, middle, and high school principals. According to the BLS, principals made a median annual salary of $98,420 in May 2021. The top 10% of principals earned more than $153,520.

The wages differ significantly between public and private schools. For example, public school principals made a median annual salary of $98,870, whereas private school principals made $79,780.

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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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