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Master's Degree Program

Master's Degree Program

The Master's Degree program in Reading Education is designed to prepare reading practitioners with the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for effective teaching of reading, the development of reading programs, and literacy coaching at the elementary and secondary school levels. Successful candidates will also demonstrate the ability to conduct and disseminate research. Extensive course offerings allow the graduate student to pursue research in areas of interest, which, in almost all courses, will include intensive reviews of literature, selected field experiences in reading programs in public or private schools, and assignment to other private or governmental agencies that provide educational services to clients. Additionally, candidates also tutor children in a supervised practicum setting to gain experience in the diagnosis and remediation of reading problems.

Candidates seeking admission to the Reading Program must apply for admission, and meet with the Graduate Program Director before enrolling in any courses.

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the Master's Degree program must:

  • hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 in the undergraduate major field and a minimum GPA of 2.8 in cumulative coursework;
  • have had three semester credits in reading courses at the undergraduate or graduate level;
  • hold the Virginia Collegiate Professional License or an equivalent license from another state;
  • achieve a satisfactory score (as established by the ECI Department) on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT);
  • have an interview with the Graduate Program Director before enrolling in any courses;
  • complete any prerequisites for the program as advised by the Graduate Program Director, and,
  • submit a Graduate Admissions Application.

Under certain circumstances, applicants who do not fully meet the requirements for regular admission to the program may be admitted on a provisional basis, subject to conditions specified by the Graduate Program Director for reading education.

Master's Degree Program Completion Requirements

In order to be eligible for the Master's degree, candidates must:

  • successfully complete a minimum of 33 hours of approved coursework within a six year time frame
  • maintain a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 in the major field and in all cumulative coursework
  • Pass the RVE (Reading for Virginia Educators) Exam
  • have completed all course requirements
  • complete an exit interview
  • complete an application for graduation the semester preceding graduation

Completion of the program leads to the Reading Specialist endorsement. To obtain a regular endorsement, a candidate must complete all of the above, and:

  • successfully complete three years of full-time teaching, during which the teaching of reading was an important responsibility
  • achieve a passing score on the Reading for Virginia Educators exam for reading specialists
  • complete an endorsement application through Teacher Education Services

Candidates who have not successfully completed three years of classroom teaching may be eligible for a conditional endorsement.


Core Courses (required for Master's degree and Licensure-Only): 27 credits

ECI 689

Survey of Reading Instruction

3 credits

ECI 680

Reading to Learn Across the Curriculum

3 credits

ECI 683

Diagnostic Teaching of Reading in the Classroom

3 credits

ECI 686

Language Development and Reading

3 credits

ECI 685

Organizing and Supervising Reading Program Development

3 credits

ECI 693 (Prerequisite ECI 683)

Practicum in Reading I

3 credits

ECI 618

Approaches to Teaching Literature and Writing

3 credits

ECI 620

Multicultural Children's Literature &Literacy

3 credits

ECI 621

Differentiated Literacy Instruction & Portfolio Development

3 credits

Total hours for Master's degree - 33 credits

Research (required for Master's Degree program): 6 credits

ECI 635

Research Methods in Education

3 credits

ECI 637 (Prerequisite ECI 635)

Contemporary Issues in Reading Research

3 credits

Total hours for Master's degree 33 credits