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UMass Lowell's online Master's in Reading and Language (M.Ed) and online Education Specialist in Reading and Language (Ed.S) help experienced practitioners broaden and deepen their professional knowledge in literacy and expand the contributions they can make to education.

Reading and Language Overview

The School of Education at UMass Lowell offers a master's degree (M.Ed. or Ed.S.) in Reading and Language that provides experienced teachers with opportunities to advance their knowledge and practice in literacy education.

There are two degree options within the Reading and Language program. These include the Licensure Option (M.Ed. or Ed.S.) as a Reading Specialist and Non-Licensure Option (M.Ed. or Ed.S).

The licensure program is approved by the Massachusetts Department of Education for licensure as a Reading Specialist. The program is for Massachusetts teachers only and the degrees culminate in a two-semester practicum leading to reading licensure.

The non-licensure program is for both Massachusetts and out-of-state teachers who pursue a master's degree to deepen their education in literacy education. The non-licensure program cannot be endorsed for licensure in any state including Massachusetts.

All candidates for both licensure and non-licensure options must have an initial or professional teaching license in Elementary Education, English, Teaching Students with Moderate Disabilities, Early Childhood Education, or English as a Second Language; must be a classroom teacher and currently working in a school system in order to complete field experiences in all courses.

  • Option 1. Approved Massachusetts Licensure Programs

    • M.Ed. Reading and Language - Massachusetts Teachers only (online coursework, field experiences and practicum) leading to reading licensure (30 Credits beyond the bachelor's level)
    • Ed.S. Reading and Language – 30 credit degree beyond the master's level Massachusetts Teachers only (online coursework, field experiences and practicum) leading to reading licensure. (30 Credits beyond the master's level)

    Massachusetts teacher seeking reading licensure must be employed in a school which uses the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks and where the practicum can be overseen by a licensed reading specialist who hold a Massachusetts Reading License. In addition to completing the UMass Lowell -approved program, candidates must pass the Reading Specialist MTEL in order to be licensed.

    Option 2. Non Licensure Programs for Educators in States Other Than Massachusetts: Non-Licensure

    • M.Ed. Reading and Language – 30 credit degree which culminates in a capstone and does not lead to licensure.
    • Ed.S. Reading and Language – 30 credit degree beyond the master's level which culminates in an Ed.S. seminar and does not lead to licensure.

    These program do NOT lead to licensure in any field. Instead, it provides the professional knowledge required for the continuing education of experienced practitioners. Candidates who complete the program successfully are awarded a Master of Education or Ed.S. Degree, but cannot be endorsed for licensure in Massachusetts or in their own state.

  • The program includes eight courses that are common to all programs.

    For Massachusetts teachers the degree culminates in a two-semester practicum and leads to reading licensure. For candidates who work in other states the degrees culminate in either the Ed.S. seminar or the M.Ed. capstone and not in a practicum.

    The program of study pathway for each option can be found in the Academic Catalog.

  • Successful applicants must submit proof of a valid teaching license in one of the following four areas:

    1. Elementary Education
    2. English
    3. Teaching Students with Moderate Disabilities
    4. Early Childhood Education
    5. English as a Second Language

    In addition, candidates must have at least one year of classroom teaching experience and be currently teaching in the area of their initial license.

    Applicants must submit:

    • Graduate School Application
    • Application fee
    • A personal statement of purpose
    • Two letters of recommendation (including at least one from an administrator)
    • All official transcripts. (Applicants are expected to have a minimum grade point average of 3.000 in undergraduate work).
    • Resume (including indication of place and scope of current employment)
    • Proof of valid teaching license in appropriate field(s)
    • For the Ed.S Reading and Language (licensure and non licensure) program you must hold a master's degree in education from an accredited college or university or a degree in a closely related field of study, with a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.000 for admission to this program. 

    Learn more from Graduate Admissions.

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